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Effective Sales Pitches are Simply Conversations

Posted by postwire on 09, Jan, 2012

Selling isn’t easy. In the technology industry, it often requires a lot of effort, time, and resources. Selling isn’t simple, either. Or is it?

This is the question I attempted to answer, while conducting a project investigating selling practices and techniques. I focused on our own product here at VisibleGains, which is, quite appropriately, a tool for salespeople to simplify their sales process. Should reps really risk overcomplicating their pitch in order to give a clear picture of their product for prospects?

Quite simply, the answer is no.

Prospects searching for tools to solve problems often make their decisions largely based on first impressions; in fact, a sales director whom I interviewed claimed he could determine a product’s relevance within just 10 seconds.

Most prospects, especially prospects involved in sales, don’t care about your technology’s fancy bells and whistles, minute details, or largely even its price. If it increases their productivity, solves a critical problem they are facing, or generally simplifies their everyday tasks, they will want to buy it.

Since your prospect isn’t converted by listening your sales pitch, anyway, make sure to polish and perfect an excellent value proposition—one that will concisely sum up your product’s best qualities that are relevant to your prospect. Relevancy is key—according to an article published by Forbes this week, a sales pitch should no longer be interpreted in its conventional form of a sales rep throwing information at a prospect, but a two-way conversation. “A good pitch is one where you ask questions, listen to the prospect, and offer them a solution to a problem,” says Wendy Weiss, an author and sales coach.

When I participated in a sales call myself, with the aid of one of our account execs, I realized the true importance of this principle. While selling to two prospects involved in sales, I began to mention our product’s integration with popular marketing automation systems, which was followed by the sound of crickets on the other end of the phone. The sales guys didn’t have the faintest idea about Eloqua tracking codes, but they loved the product’s applicability to their salesforce.com data. Sellers must tailor their pitch to their prospects’ needs, and truly engage in a dialogue, not a monologue.

This may seem like a no-brainer to some, but it’s surprisingly forgotten by many in our industry. As a sales rep, you have to do your homework beforehand and research the company and your target persona within it—if you think outside the box, your product may be able to solve problems they don’t even know they have.

Remember to simplify, personalize, and engage. If you can accomplish these goals and establish a two-way, one-to-one, trusting relationship with your prospect, you’ll be converting opportunities faster than the time it takes to deliver a full-blown sales pitch. Literally.

 

Abha Gallewale is a digital marketing associate at VisibleGains and an undergraduate economics student at Tufts University. 


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