A guest blog by Steve Benson, Founder and CEO of Badger Maps
Time is money in sales, especially when the average salesperson only spends about 36% of their time engaged in revenue-generating activities. Every moment you spend speaking with a prospect or customer can make or break your deal.
In order to deliver the perfect B2B sales pitch, you need to learn:
- How to get into the right mindset
- How to set the tone of the pitch
- Why you shouldn’t rely on your sales deck
- How to deliver the close
Imagine that you’re telling a friend about the last great vacation you took. You’d passionately describe the places you went, the food you ate, and what you experienced. It’s very likely that you’ll use expressive body language, your tone of voice will change and your eyes will light up. Your authenticity and passion will draw you and your friend into a better conversation because you genuinely want them to experience the same feeling.
You want to get into this same mindset when you head into a sales meeting. You’ve solved other customer’s pains with your product and you know that it works. When you go into your sales meetings with a passionate attitude, you’ll prove to your buyer that you genuinely believe in your product and how it can solve their problem.
Visualize past the successes you have had, how your product will transform your prospects business and exactly how the meeting will go. You’re in a great place to succeed.
Communicating with confidence starts the moment you enter the meeting room or when you first start speaking with your prospect. This means having good posture, looking comfortable and speaking slowly and clearly. There are little tricks you can use like using a downward inflection when you’re introducing yourself to project confidence, rather than using a flat or upward tone - which can make you seem dull or like you’re asking for permission to introduce yourself.
Imagine that you were your prospect, would you want to buy from someone who seems unsure about why they’re meeting you?
Conveying confidence will reassure your prospect that they’re in good hands and show them you’re an expert in the field.
Make it a Conversation
Before you talk to your prospect, you should have already done some basic research on their industry and role. Take a few minutes before the sales meeting to learn more about their use-case. You can start by asking your prospect about the specific pains they’re looking to solve by talking to you.
Having a pre-meeting conversation will help you build rapport and help you better tailor your pitch.
When you begin your sales pitch, make sure that the conversation continues. Things shouldn’t change after you begin your sales pitch, a great sales conversation isn’t you talking at a prospect. Remember, your prospect isn’t looking to buy features - they want to buy a solution and you, as a partner, are a part of that package.
Connect Your Product with Real Business Value
During your sales pitch, you need to connect the dots between features, benefits and business value creation. The goal of your sales pitch is for your prospect to understand that the real business value of your product is greater than the cost of implementing it.
The trick to achieving this is to ask your prospect the right questions.
For example, Badger Maps is an app for field salespeople. Field salespeople use our app to optimize their routes and plan their sales day.
What I learned from the pre-meeting conversation is that their sales reps feel like they’re flying blind when they’re planning their day and they’re wasting time when they’re in the field.
The feature I would highlight is the route planning and route optimization feature. The benefit of this feature is that salespeople spend less time planning and driving, and more time meeting customers.
To get to the real business value, I would ask “How much more would your sales reps sell if they could meet two more prospects everyday?” And that’s the bottom line, your prospect will realize that they’re leaving money on the table by not implementing your solution.
One misconception that people have about sales pitches is that it’s a presentation on your product, the features and how it works.
That’s wrong. You should only be presenting your product about 25% of the time and spend the rest of the time actually selling your solution.
Sales reps fall into a routine when they rely too much on their sales deck. They’ll spend all their time going through their pitch slide-by-slide and miss opportunities to actually talk to their prospect. You run the risk of sounding too rehearsed and bored if you do this.
This is why having a pre-meeting conversation is so important! Take what you’ve learned from your pre-meeting conversation and show the prospect what they really want want to see. You should actually show your product in action for their specific use-case.
Your buyer will understand that you’re really listening to them and are actively looking for a solution just for them.
Don’t focus on your deck as if it were the star of the show, think of your sales deck as a tool to make your sales conversation easier.
Closing your sales pitch has two steps and you never want to end a meeting without accomplishing them. They are to (1) create urgency and (2) establish concrete next steps.
In most industries and especially with complex sales situations, it’s unlikely that you’ll get your prospect to sign the dotted line at the end of your first meeting. They’ll need to meet with other stakeholders and rope you into other conversations, but first, you actually need to stay top-of-mind with your prospect in order for them to move you on.
A great way to create urgency is to share a case study or testimonial about a similar customer who has found success with your product. You’ve already got your prospect to realize the real business value of your product earlier in the conversation, but now they can actually imagine themselves reaping the benefits of implementing your solution.
It makes sticking the status quo, or inaction, much riskier for them.
Most people think following-up for a sales call begins when the sales meeting ends. If you think of it this way, you’re not paving the way to close your deal with the highest probability.
Before you end the conversation, make sure you have concrete next steps established with your prospect. Your prospect is probably getting 100-200 emails a day and you don’t want your follow-ups to get lost.
Don’t let your prospect “just think about it” or let them “get back to you later”.
You and your prospect should agree on when you’ll next follow-up, how you’ll next follow-up and what you’ll follow-up with. This will stir an instinct in your prospect to keep their word and respond to you based on the timeline you established together.
Perfecting your sales pitch takes time and practice. Don’t be discouraged by a few bad pitches and use every misstep as a learning opportunity to hone your skills.
Author Bio: Steve Benson is the Founder and CEO of Badger Maps, the #1 route planner for field salespeople. After receiving his MBA from Stanford, Steve’s career has been in field sales with companies like IBM, Autonomy, and Google – becoming Google Enterprise’s Top Performing Salesperson in the World in 2009. In 2012 Steve founded Badger Maps to help field salespeople be more successful.
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