How To Create A Sales Pitch That Converts

Anyone who has run a business will tell you that customers don’t like being sold. Yet, it is sales that rakes in the cash necessary to run your business. Creating a sales pitch that draws your buyer in without being pushy goes a long way in increasing your conversion rate.

Why sales pitches fail

Broadly speaking, customers dislike being sold. But looking at this granularly, there are a number of elements that go into building a sales pitch that appeals to the target buyer. 

The first element in a sales pitch is establishing your authority. Startup businesses do not enjoy the brand name that established businesses have. Establishing your credibility is thus a vital component of a sales pitch. 

The second element is addressing the buyer’s concerns. Although salespeople target specific buyer personas with their pitch, it is important to acknowledge the uniqueness of each buyer in terms of the problems they face, their budget, their expectations, and so on. Your pitch should address these concerns. 

Thirdly, it is important to narrow down your focus and pitch one solution at a time. It is possible that you may have identified several business opportunities with a specific target group. However, pitching them all in one sitting is likely to throw up multiple concerns and it is difficult to allay each one of them in your sales meeting. More likely than not, this brings down your conversion rate. 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, your pitch may not be engaging the buyer. No matter how targeted your solution is, your conversion rate depends on how well you communicate your offering to the buyer. The content of your presentation and its length can substantially influence conversion rate.

Digging into the details

Fixing your sales pitch needs you to have a complete understanding of the buyer’s needs, intentions and motivations. A lot of salespeople make the mistake of using ‘sales pitch templates’ that they tweak and personalize for each client. This does not work. Preparing a sales pitch is an activity that needs to be performed only after you have initiated prospecting and have a fair idea of what your buyer’s persona is like.

Ideally, you should get down to preparing a pitch only after you have met your prospect at least once. During this conversation, you should get a complete lowdown on the buyer’s business processes, problem areas, and expectations. If an in-person meeting is not feasible, you may also consider sharing a survey form to get some inputs before you proceed with a pitch. 

Here are some questions you should ask – firstly, allow them to explain the specific work process and let them identify what challenges they face. Secondly, understand their current solutions to see their motivations to buy your product – for instance, the prospect may be using an expensive competitor tool to solve their problem. In this case, cost could be a factor. Alternatively, they could be making use of ill-fitting tools like spreadsheets to get their work done. In such a case, productivity improvement may be a motivation to buy your tool.

With this knowledge, you can now set about producing a sales pitch that appeals to the prospect’s specific needs.

Preparing a sales pitch

The first step in preparing a sales pitch is to break down your prospect’s inputs into various categories like pain points, current fixes, buying motivations, and productivity/ROI gains. You will sometimes find that there are multiple pain points and their current solutions do not tend to them all. Other times, you may find a mismatch between their pain points and your offering. 

Once you have organized these details, start working on your sales pitch. There are a number of psychological factors that go into building a compelling pitch. In addition to taking care of this, the ideal presentation will adopt this flow:

  • Talk about the pain points
  • Discuss current fixes and solutions
  • Analyze the reasons why these fixes are not working or ideal
  • Propose alternate solutions based on your offering
  • Educate the ROI improvements from your product
  • Underline the reasons why you are perfect for the job
  • End the pitch with social proof and testimonials

Some salespeople prefer to include a slide on pricing while others choose to not include it and make it a part of follow up conversation. This depends on your specific product category and selling techniques. You may experiment with both these strategies and go with what converts better.

While designing the presentation, it is important to consider the size of the document and the tentative duration of your pitch. Lengthy pitches tend to distract and end up reducing conversion rates. Also, presentations that are highly textual or technical in nature fail to engage your listeners and are thus ineffective in soliciting a positive response.

Once you have the skeletal framework of your pitch ready, revisit the document and identify ways to make each slide more engaging. This could be through the use of attractive and visually engaging charts and images that communicate your message a lot more clearly than textual statements.

Also, wherever possible, include videos and screenshares that demonstrate your product features better. Studies show that marketing messages that show the user how to do stuff are more effective than merely listing these features out. 

There is also more to it. Changing your content format (bullets, images, videos, charts,etc.) routinely within your content aid psychologically in keeping your listeners engaged and tuned to what you are saying. It is thus recommended to use such break-in visuals just before your ‘money slides’. Money slides are typically where you offer your main pitch. This way, your prospects are likely to be at their highest level of engagement when listening to your proposal.

Following up

A sales pitch does not end with your presentation. Prospects inevitably have unanswered questions that need answers. It is a good idea to share your presentation over email with your prospects while also including answers to the questions they have asked. This creates an additional ‘touchpoint’ with the prospect and ensures high recall factor.

You may also tweak and experiment with the general framework of your presentations to see what works and what doesn’t in your specific case. 

Over time, this allows salespeople to build a robust sales pitch that ensures high engagement and conversion from prospects.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.