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Building an effective sales strategy: Part 3

Crafting the perfect customer pitch

Pear’s Partner, Pepe Agell, learned the importance of mastering sales during his entrepreneurial journey with Chartboost, a mobile advertising company. Pepe led Chartboost and built sales and go-to-market strategy for the company from its earliest days to its acquisition by Zynga in 2021. He is now a Partner at Pear VC, based in Barcelona and focused on Pear Europe.

This is the third part of our three-part series on building an effective sales strategy, focused on three essential stages of the sales process founders need to master. Before diving into part two, don’t miss part one and part two!

Now that you’ve learned how to run your client meetings effectively, let’s talk about how to construct the perfect sales pitch.

One of the most common mistakes I see is that sales people will often launch into the finer details of the product offering without sharing the bigger vision first and the impact that the solution can have in the customer’s life. Here is how I recommend structuring your pitch to most effectively close deals:

1. When pitching to a client, start with the why before focusing on the how or what.

After you gather as much information as possible from your client, you are ready to pitch your product. I like to follow the why, how, what method.

Simon Sinek has a well-known TED talk all about how great leaders talk about their products by leading with the why. I go back to this TED talk all the time, and I’ve found that the same framework can be applied in sales when talking to clients about your product or solution.

Why: You should lead with a strong explanation of why your solution is the best for the customer. This can include who you are, what is happening in the market, the challenges you’re solving for, and why the customer should listen to you.

Example of a strong why statement:After watching my dad go through diabetes and battle with insurance companies to get the treatment he needed, I was compelled to start a company that made it easier for elderly adults to navigate the health care system. I found that I had to be my dad’s advocate, calling and negotiating on his behalf, and I realized that not every older adult had that same support system.”

How: Next you can explain how you’re solving the problem the customer has, what your approach is, and some of the details about the product.

Example of a strong how statement: “We decided to build a marketplace where patients could easily onboard their medical information and get paired with the most suitable insurance provider in just few minutes.”

What: Finally you can dive into the what, really explaining what benefit your customers will receive with your help (revenue growth, etc.) and the specific features you offer.

Example of a strong what statement: “For every patient request we get on the platform, we process thousands of insurance quotes and select the most appropriate one for each case. We manage the contractual process, payments and medical claims. All in one mobile app.”

2. Get to a demo as quickly as possible.

Product demos help clients picture your solution in their daily workflows. It is also a clear way of visualizing how are you really solving their problems. From my experience, aha moments and even wow moments in a sales pitch happen during the course of the demo, not while going through slides. That’s why, I strongly recommend to get to the demo part as quickly as possible.

3. While explaining your product to the client, integrate your client into the story.

Slides need to connect to each other through an overarching narrative or story. It’s also important to bring your client along on the journey.

I’ve seen many salespeople feature the client’s logo on the opening slide. That’s great, but it’s much more impactful if you bring the client into your entire story. You can feature pictures of their products, their people, and statements they’ve made. Don’t forget to clearly explain what’s it in for that particular customer or for similar companies that are already working with you (see next point). Remember that your clients don’t care about your product features but the impact that you will have in their day to day.

4. Show proof of benefits from other clients.

I’ve found that it helps to share how other clients have found success with your product, but I recommend talking from a client’s perspective.

Instead of saying: “Our product is really strong at automation, and that’s why clients go with us.”

Try something like: “Clients in a similar growth phase experienced exactly the same pain points, but by implementing our automation tools, they were able to become 50% more efficient.”

5. Explain the next steps and how to get there.

Make sure you clearly explain the onboarding process, using screen shots where necessary, so the clients can really grasp what onboarding your product actually looks like. You should clearly explain how long it will take for the client to go live with your product. Also, if you haven’t already discussed pricing, make sure you do that before you wrap up.

6. Engage your audience meaningfully.

During the sales pitch you shouldn’t just ask “Any questions?” Instead, you’ll get more engagement if you ask meaningful questions like “Does this resonate with you?” or “Do you experience something similar?”

To sum it up, all founders have to implement a successful sales strategy in order to truly succeed. These are the best strategies I’ve developed while building and leading sales teams across regions. I hope they help you be more effective in getting new customers and growing revenue. And remember that “when the pressure is on, you don’t rise to the occasion. You fall to the highest level of preparation.”

This is part three in our series on sales!

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