When you think of pitching, the first thing that comes to mind is often the presentation of what your company has to offer to a prospect. While the most obvious form of that is the formal solutions presentation where you propose the specifics of the product or service you think your prospect should purchase, you’re pitching value throughout the entirety of the sales process.
Whether you’re in the discovery call, doing a product demo or conducting a solutions presentation, you should always be selling someone on the idea of working with your company.
Pitching at Each Stage of the Sales Process
On the discovery call, there are two main goals: 1. Obtain all the information you need to add value during the solutions recommendation later in the process. 2. Sell the prospect on continuing the sales process past this step and the idea of working with you.
To understand which of your company’s offerings will best suit the prospects’ needs, you need to dig into qualifying criteria.
Who is the ICP? What’s the persona? What do they care about? Why are they having this conversation?
In terms of selling them on the idea of working with your company, the pitch at this stage isn’t about features, benefits or the value of your offering — it’s about your fit overall as a solution provider for them.
Discuss your experience working with similar companies to them, demonstrate that you understand their needs and make them feel good about choosing you as a solution.
Demo, assessment or solutions presentation
Depending on your company’s offering, the next step of the sales process will vary. For products, you might offer a demo. For services, you might conduct an assessment or give an initial presentation on the offerings you have that might be applicable.
At this stage, you’re pitching your expertise and the specific features, benefits and value of your solution.
To do this, you need to align the features and benefits of your offering to the pain points and challenges of your prospect. Beyond that, you need to align the ability of your company providing that value to their organizational needs.
Pitch and proposal
Once you present the formal proposal of the products and solutions that will best solve for the prospect’s needs, you start to move away from your overall sales strategy and into your closing plan. You should be reinforcing the strategy you’ve followed up until this point and really focus on instilling confidence in prospects about your solution and your company.
Collect feedback about the proposal, make any necessary refinements and then position next steps. While you’re not abandoning the strategy you’ve followed up until this point, your efforts need to be more tactical and focused around ensuring everyone has what they need to close the deal.
On some level, you’re pitching the movement of the deal.
Strategizing for the Entire Sales Process
The majority of the info you need to effectively strategize will be collected during the discovery call. However, just because that initial call will help you determine the approach you want to take for the rest of your sales process doesn’t mean you’re tied to the first iteration of that strategy.
Your sales strategy should act as guidelines that evolve over the course of the process. Re-evaluate your strategy after each call as you respond to what you’ve learned and the new challenges that’ll arise in the following steps.
The involvement of key stakeholders, the need for internal experts and the pricing discussion can all occur across multiple stages of the sales process.
When to involve key stakeholders
Involving the right people at the right time will make sure you’re considering the needs of everyone in the buying group. Often you know the champion and their needs very well, but you should also be taking company objectives into account because that’s how higher-level executives will become bought in.
Your pitch needs to resonate with all key stakeholders, and the best way to accomplish that is to involve key stakeholders as early in the process as possible. Or, if you’ll be working with decision-makers who won’t be involved until late in the deal, like a legal team or CFO, you want to understand their needs as early as possible so you can prepare for that conversation in advance.
When to bring in internal experts
When an offering is being evaluated to solve a specific use case or a very technical stakeholder is on a call, it can be beneficial to involve experts from within your organization who may work with the prospect post-sale.
Bringing in these internal experts helps you build trust with a prospect. It demonstrates a deep knowledge of what you’re selling and proves that people across your company are invested in providing value for your customers.
Prior to inviting an internal expert to participate in a sales call, ask yourself: Do you have enough information from the prospect to bring in the right expert and prepare them for a productive conversation? Does bringing the expert in align with where you are in the sales process? Can all key stakeholders from the prospects’ team talk to your expert at this time?
When to introduce pricing
If you’re questioning someone’s budget or ability to afford your solution, introducing draft pricing during the discovery call can help you qualify the prospect and establish initial alignment. You don’t want to waste everyone’s time by spending a ton of time on a sale that won’t work out due to price.
However, if you’re speaking to a prospect that aligns with an ICP that rarely has pricing objections, it might work better to wait until mid-way through the process when you’re presenting the solutions overview. You want to present pricing early enough so that you have time to get ahead of objections around it, but you also want to prioritize establishing the value of your solution first.
If someone asks about pricing before you bring it up, you shouldn’t hold out on them. But, typically the best time to introduce pricing is after you have trust built up with your prospect and they have a strong understanding of the value they’ll receive in exchange for your price.
Your sales strategy doesn’t just benefit you, it also needs to benefit your buyer.
While you are pitching something that you want them to buy, your pitch should be centered around the best interest of your prospects, which can require adapting and adjusting over the course of the sales process.
But, if you focus on pitching value at every step, you’ll have a much higher chance of success.
Karly is a Lead Growth Advisor at New Breed