There's something magical about a great sales pitch: It makes prospects want to take the next step with you. It helps them see the opportunity, and feel excited about it. It encourages them to overcome indecisiveness and doubts, and leads to new beginnings. That is the power of a well-structured sales pitch.
Sounds like I'm laying it on thick? That's on purpose. Most salespeople think a pitch is just something you say to make a sale. They talk about how great their offer is, and the many reasons why the prospect should buy. Great salespeople are able to muster up genuine excitement about their pitch. They talk about how their offer can help the prospect achieve their goals, and even change their life.
In this guide, you’re going to learn the ins and outs of crafting a sales pitch that gets to the heart of the issue and motivates your prospects to action.
What is a Sales Pitch?
A sales pitch is a short but effective presentation where a salesperson explains the benefits and value of their product or business offerings in under two minutes.
Ideally, sales reps should be able to convey the nature and benefits of their company to potential customers in less than one or two minutes.
There are so many aspects involved in building a successful sales pitch, how do you know where to start?
This guide takes a deep dive into the heart of sales pitches. We will go over the basics as well as run through some examples of successful sales pitches so that you can build your own.
What are the Components of a Great Sales Pitch?
- Question: Starting with a question allows you to understand the prospect’s needs better while engaging them in the pitch.
- Hook: This is a single sentence that uses what you’ve learned about the prospect to grab their attention for your pitch.
- Problem: An effective sales pitch sympathizes with the problems your prospect is facing and addresses the customer's pain points.
- Solution: After mentioning the problem, paint a picture of the solution.
- Offering: At this point, introduce the hero of the story: your product!
- Personalized benefits: Instead of spouting features, make your value proposition extremely personalized to this prospect’s specific needs.
- Proof: To truly persuade the prospect, offer proof that your product can solve the problems they have.
The most common way to do this is with testimonials or case studies from your successful customers.
- Next steps: The last step in your pitch is discussing key points and the next steps in the sales process.
5 Ways a Good Sales Pitch Helps You Close Deals
- Give your sales calls structure: While you may know what you want to say on a sales phone call (especially when cold calling), it’s far too easy for the conversation to be diverted. Having a drafted pitch keeps your conversations on track by giving you a clear structure to follow.
- Decrease stress: Sales is a stressful career path, so anything that works to decrease stress is helpful. Drafting a pitch for yourself or your team allows you to see what you want to say before (and during) a call. In turn, this allows you to focus more on listening to the customer’s needs than on what you’re going to say next.
- Improve sales performance for low performers: When the whole sales team works together to build an effective sales pitch, low performers gain expertise from the methods and phrases used by high-performing salespeople on the team.
- Keep messaging in line: When your sales pitch is built alongside product and marketing teams, the company-wide messaging follows the same thread, which builds confidence in your target audience.
- Personalize your pitch to each prospect: By creating multiple versions of your sales pitch, you can personalize the main points, address customer problems and drive your value proposition to the needs and personality of the prospect.
What is an Elevator Pitch?
An elevator pitch refers to the ability to deliver a sales pitch to a prospect within the span of the time it takes for a single elevator ride.
Salespeople who can deliver an effective elevator pitch are those that can engrave a memorable description of what they sell in the minds of their prospects.
The elevator pitch follows the same components we mentioned above, however, it is slightly shorter.
For example, your elevator sales pitch idea could be structured as follows:
- Question: Has a client ever asked you for a performance forecast?
- Empathy: Our founders experienced this very often.
- Pivot: This is why they built a custom forecasting tool.
- Value: Our tool is able to produce performance forecasts based on 25 different scenarios.
Suggested reading: Best one-line sales pitch: 13 examples of winning one liners
How to Craft a Sales Pitch that Sells (9 Proven Steps)
Often starting your pitch is the hardest part. In order to hook your prospect into hearing what value your product has, you need to capture the prospect's attention.
It is important to start with the problems that your prospective client is experiencing. If they do not know what problem you can solve for them, they won’t want to hear you out.
Tailor your pitch to meet them where they are at and try to personalize your message as much as possible. Leave a personal impact.
Let’s explore all of the steps to writing a winning sales pitch:
Step 1: Base Your Sales Pitch on Real Customer Research
Understand who you’re pitching to.
Who is the main audience for your product? For example, if you’re selling a SaaS product, what kind of company are you pitching your software to? Are you pitching to a decision-maker at this point?
Take the time to fully understand what you are dealing with.
Within that company, who are you normally pitching to? Who has the final say in the purchase, and who is the end-user? Is your goal to build an army of internal champions, or are you delivering your sales pitch to an executive?
Real customer research is the only way to get answers to these questions. If your company has developed ideal customer profiles, you can spend some time looking through that information before you start preparing your pitch.
Step 2: Build Concepts and Analyze the Pitch from Different Angles
Don’t set out to write out a perfectly-crafted pitch in one sitting. Instead, consider this the moment to build as many ideas as possible.
Your sales pitch needs to be concise, clear, and to the point. But there is obviously more than one way to sell your product.
So, why not flesh out all those different options?
For example, let’s say that 66% of your audience is suffering from Problem 1, but 40% has issues with Problem 2.
Your product solves both problems with two distinct features. So, create pitch ideas that present your product’s features in the light of these two very different problems.
All of these concepts are useful, and all of them could turn into your perfect sales pitch. So, write up at least five sales pitch concepts based on your research and focus on a catchy opening line!
When you’re ready to narrow it down to the best pitch, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Step 3: Collaborate With Your Teammates & Learn from Other Salespeople
Don’t make your sales pitch alone: getting the whole team together on this can be extremely helpful.
With your concepts in mind, set up a brainstorming session with your colleagues. Have them pick apart your pitch ideas and present ideas of their own.
Step 4: Pick Your Best Concepts and Write Them Out
It’s time to narrow down the ideas to just two or three and then write a great sales pitch.
How can you choose?
First, think about what will appeal to the widest audience. For example, let’s say you’ve created six pitch ideas based on the most common pain points your customers are facing.
If three of those pain points are normally secondary to other more common pain points, you can focus on the pitches that highlight those top challenges.
You may want to consider creating a pitch that’s adapted to each of these different targets.
Finally, consider the people you’re pitching to. For example, do you normally speak to the CEO, stakeholders or the marketing manager? If so, it may be worthwhile to create separate pitches for the different roles in order to deliver the best sales pitch possible.
Step 5: Measure and Refine Your Sales Pitch
As you start testing your new sales pitch, set up methods to track and measure the results.
There are several ways to measure this, but let’s talk about how you can see the results in your CRM.
In Close, you can add Custom Fields to your leads and contacts. So, to measure which of your sales pitches gets the best results, add a Custom Field that identifies which sales pitch was used with each new lead.
Next, create a Smart View that shows you only leads that heard a certain sales pitch:
Then, you can analyze the results by filtering your reports and pipeline view to see the leads in those Smart Views.
When you have this setup in your CRM, you’ll be able to easily discover the results of your test.
Find the answers to questions such as:
- What was the general reaction to the new sales pitch?
- What was the average conversion rate to the next stage for the control group?
- What was the average conversion rate to the next stage for the test groups?
- How many of the test group prospects converted to customers?
- How many of the control group prospects converted to customers?
By comparing this information, you’ll see which sales pitch works best.
You may also see aspects of the pitch that need to be adjusted based on the reaction of prospects. It’s a good idea to keep notes in your CRM as you use the new sales pitch, paying particular attention to how prospects react.
Better yet, since you can keep phone and video call recordings stored in your lead view in Close, you can go back later and listen again to their reaction to your pitch.
Now that you know how to create a good sales pitch, let’s talk about the specifics of creating a pitch that really sells your prospects.
Step 6: Use Questions to See Which Pitch is Right for Each Prospect
Above, we talked about the fact that you may create multiple pitches based on the type of prospect that you’re talking to. So, to get your pitch off on the right foot, you’ll need to ask some questions to make sure you’re using the right pitch.
First, ask questions BEFORE you get on the phone. In other words, take some time to dig into prospect research before you call a new lead. Who are they?
Can you match them to one of your customer profiles before you start talking to them?
(Hint: LinkedIn is a great place to start for this professional research.)
Next, once you’ve introduced yourself briefly, ask a question that will help you guide the conversation in the right direction.
For example, if you’ve created separate sales pitches based on which major pain point a customer is facing, you might ask something like this:
“I’ve been talking to other companies in [industry], and they mentioned that current world conditions have created [specific problem] for their business. Is this something you’ve been facing as well?”
If they say yes, you can use the sales pitch for that pain point. If they say no, ask:
“What would you say is a major challenge for your company right now, especially when it comes to [aspect of their business that’s related to your solution]?”
By asking this kind of open-ended question, you’ll get a clearer direction on which sales pitch is right for this prospect.
Step 7: Find a Hook That Pulls at Your Prospect’s Needs
Very early on in your sales pitch, you should know what your prospect’s needs really are.
A truly great sales pitch contains a hook right at the beginning of the pitch that pulls at those needs and hints at a solution.
For example: “It seems like many businesses in your industry are struggling with productivity issues during the pandemic. And when productivity is down, revenue automatically follows. Have you ever considered a better communication system for at-home employees as an option to increase productivity?”
To pique interest and spark curiosity, use a hook in the form of a question that includes phrases such as:
- Have you ever wondered…
- You know how…
- Doesn’t it seem like…
- Have you ever noticed…
- Have you ever considered…
- Did you know…
This keeps the prospect involved and gets them to think about what you’re saying rather than go on sales-call-alert.
Step 8: Present the Idea of a Solution
Don’t fall into the trap of bringing in your solution too soon.
While your prospect is considering the hook you’ve left them, present the idea of a solution without specifically mentioning your product.
Here’s how that could sound:
“Imagine how productive your remote team could be if they used a communication system that offered both synchronous and asynchronous communication that allowed them to work together just as smoothly as they did in the office.”
Using the word ‘imagine’ gets your prospect to paint a mental picture of the solution. This sets a powerful train of thought in motion, allowing them to visualize the results of using your product before they’re even aware that this is a sales call.
Suggested reading: Learn how to create highly effective sales presentations
Step 9: Sell Them on Benefits (Not Features)
At this point, you can start discussing your solution. Now that your prospects have already imagined the results they could have, they’ll be more open to discussing the specifics of your product.
Just remember not to spend too much time discussing the specific features of your product. Instead, pull benefits from each feature and focus on those.
To continue with our example above, you could say something like this:
“Our product allows remote teams to communicate asynchronously with video, meaning you can have a personal conversation with your teammates and get your ideas across in a way that isn’t misconstrued, as often happens with text-based conversations.”
Continue this line of conversation and highlight the benefits of your product and the way it specifically fills the needs of your prospects.
How to End a Sales Pitch to Ensure You’re Heading in the Right Direction
Talking about your product is good. Selling your product is better.
How can you end your sales pitch in a way that pushes prospects towards closing the sale? Here are some sales pitch closing techniques you can use to conclude well:
Go Through the Virtual Close
Let’s be clear: it’s very unlikely that you’ll close the deal in this sales pitch.
That said, you can shave loads of time off your sales cycle by including a virtual close in your sales pitch.
Here’s how this works: you’ve come to that point in your sales pitch that your prospect is seriously interested in your product. You’ve successfully helped them see the real-life benefits of your product and they like you.
Now, you need to let them guide you through the steps to purchase.
This accomplishes two things:
- First, you’ll have a much clearer understanding of the steps involved in selling to this customer
- Second, your customer will continue down the path of imagination to a time when they purchase your product
All you have to do is ask a simple question:
“What will it take for you to become a customer?”
The important point here is to keep asking follow-up questions. Get them to take you through their process until the point where they say: “Then, we’d purchase your product.”
This could include getting approval from different execs, letting stakeholders ask questions, going through a product demo, looking through a proposal, etc.
Once you have a clearer view of their purchase process, you can continue to close your sales pitch with the next step:
Leave the Prospect with a Specific Call to Action
Wondering how to create urgency in a sales pitch? Make sure to leave the call with a specific action that either you or the prospect must take.
This might include:
- Sending them your Calendly link so they can book a meeting with stakeholders
- Setting up a product demo for their team
- Getting an introduction to another important decision-maker
If the ball is in your court, make sure to take that next step as soon as the call is over.
If you’re waiting for the prospect to take the next step, set a reminder in your CRM to follow up with this prospect in a few days if you haven’t heard from them.
And that’s how you conclude a sales pitch the right way!
Sales Pitch Examples and Formats
Let’s put our theory into practice by looking at 2 of the most common sales pitch formats, as well as actionable examples to give you a head start in your own pitching efforts.
Cold email outreach templates can be difficult to write initially. To help you generate some ideas for how to position your sales pitch to prospects via email, here’s a simple framework to follow (and fill in the details for yourself with each prospect conversation).
Opening: As with cold calling, be sure to personalize your opener, and tie the reason for reaching out to something relevant to them.
Pitching: Condense everything we talked about earlier into a single paragraph, using no more than one to three sentences.
Call-to-action: Ask them if they’d be interested in learning more, and suggest a quick call as the next step
Keep your email outreach punchy and straight to the point. The ideal length for a cold email pitch is roughly 50 - 125 words—and you can grab our best free cold email templates right here.
Lastly, always use a business email address like email@example.com for cold outreach and you'll get significantly better open rates than if you're sending from an email service provider like Gmail.
Almost every buyer is now connected online and available on various social channels. Thus, it’s essential to know which social media channels your target audience spends their time on.
You can reference past sales channel performance reports or speak with marketing to find out which channels to target. Either way, keep these pointers in mind.
LinkedIn Messaging: Follow the same principles as the email outreach and keep it personal, short, and direct. Make your pitch based on the value proposition you’d like to help your prospect with in their business and have a clear ask about next steps.
Tweets: By following Twitter conversations of your target prospects, you can get an idea of the type of problems they are experiencing and you’ll have the opportunity to weigh in with an actual solution directly on a Twitter thread.
If you can solve a prospect’s challenges (or point them to a feature in your product that accomplishes what they’re looking to do), that’s a major leg up over just a cold sales pitch. Regardless, your goal with social media outreach is to start conversations, not close deals on the platform—so stay focused on providing value & guiding prospects to the next stage in your sales cycle.
What Turns a Great Sales Pitch into a Truly Perfect One?
In this guide, you’ve learned all of the fundamentals about crafting a great sales pitch that achieves real results:
- Writing a sales pitch that sells isn’t easy, but it’s possible
- Collaborating with your team on value propositions is crucial
- A 100% focus on the prospect makes your pitch really drive home
- Always have a clear ask & next step ready for your prospects
- Follow up, follow up, follow up
That said, we’re still just beginning to scratch the surface of everything that goes into perfecting your pitching skills. To go from mechanically writing a sales pitch that resonates with your audience, to honing in on a message that consistently gets your prospects to the next step in your sales process takes time, education and repetition.
We've got a lot more to help you craft your perfect sales pitch. Download our complete sales pitch guide, which includes examples, pitch scripts, templates, and more!