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Best practices 23 min read

10 sales pitch examples that work (+ tips for writing your own)

Craft an engaging sales pitch to pack your pipeline with high-quality leads.

By Court Bishop, Contributing Writer

Last updated September 16, 2022

Traditionally, a sales pitch is defined as “a talk or a way of talking that is intended to persuade you to buy something.” But here is the thing: People do not like being sold to − our brains are wired to resist sales messages. A sales pitch should not be about convincing a prospective customer to make a purchase. Instead, use a sales pitch to persuade the prospect to take the next step in the sales process. Read on to explore:

What is a sales pitch?

A sales pitch is a message or script designed to lead your audience to a certain action, such as scheduling an appointment or demo. It can be formal or informal, verbal or written down. No matter the format, it is important to get it right because the sales pitch sets the tone for the entire customer relationship. A good sales pitch is concise and provides value to the prospect. Use it to begin a conversation, not to sell. The term encompasses many different types of pitches:

  • One-line sales pitch

  • Elevator pitch

  • Phone sales pitch

  • Email sales pitch

  • Social media pitch

  • Presentation sales pitch

  • Follow-up sales pitch

  • Investor pitch

  • Pain-point pitch

  • One-minute sales pitch

You can use a combination of sales pitches for the same prospect. For example, you might give an elevator pitch at a conference and send an email pitch to a prospect before finally delivering a comprehensive presentation pitch.

The 5-step sales pitch structure

Regardless of the situation, the following framework can work for any pitch:

  1. Problem

    Lead with the challenge that your audience is currently facing and back up your claims with data. Say you work for an insurance platform. You might share a stat like, “Insurtech has risen 45 per cent over the past five years, impacting how smaller insurance agencies do business.”
  2. Solution

    Detail what needs to happen for your buyer to overcome the challenge.
  3. Value proposition

    Explain how your product or service can help the prospect solve their problem and meet their goals. Share specific benefits, not just features.
  4. Social proof

    Tap into social proof by providing testimonials, references and customer stories that show how your product or service has helped similar businesses succeed.
  5. Engaging question and CTA

    Continue the conversation by asking an open-ended question. Then, move the prospect to the next step with a clear call to action (CTA), such as “Let me know if you are interested and we can talk on the phone later this week.” Do not view these steps as a checklist. Consider them the outline for the story you will weave for your prospective customers. Use this framework to turn your pitch into a compelling, authentic narrative.

How do you write a sales pitch?

It has been said that timing is everything. This is especially true when pitching your products or services to someone. Aside from choosing the right timing, you must also choose your target audience wisely. Your prospects will set the tone for your pitch, as you will need to personalise your message in order to establish rapport and form a connection with them. One effective way to grab their attention? Tell a story. Though our brains resist selling, they are receptive to stories. Whether you are communicating with potential customers in person, by email, phone or over social media, ground the pitch in a compelling narrative to keep them interested.

1. Reach out at the right time and connect with the right person

A successful sales pitch is all about timing, according to Courtney Gupta, a community engagement specialist and former SMB account executive at Zendesk. “You can have this amazing sales pitch, but the success of it really depends on timing”, says Gupta. “Sometimes, prospects would love to talk but aren’t looking to change vendors or are in the middle of another deal. Make a note if they provide a better time to reach out.”

“You can have this amazing sales pitch, but the success of it really depends on timing.”Courtney Gupta, Zendesk community engagement specialist

Gupta also emphasises the importance of getting in touch with the right person. “Some salespeople will start off speaking with lower-level management, for example, because that might seem like an easier in, but they don’t always have buying power”, she says. “Whoever is signing the deal (usually VP and above) should be your target.”

2. Make the prospect the hero of your story

The next step is framing your pitch with an engaging narrative. In this story, the prospect is the hero. They have a problem they need to overcome. Your product is the sidekick that will help them do it. Your job as a salesperson is to make the connection between your product and your prospect’s happy ending. Use your value proposition, testimonials and data to support the story. Get creative − Troops, a revenue communications platform, created physical cards to enable storytelling in sales and help sales reps quickly find the right narrative. Other companies write detailed briefs of various sales personas to familiarise reps with different stories. Whatever information or format you use, make sure your pitch always focuses on an outcome. “Before you make your sales pitch, find what the person can gain from the deal going forward”, Gupta advises. “If they’re going to get a promotion at the end of this, learn how you can help them work toward that or how you can set them up for success when they talk to their CEO. Finding out what’s at stake and what’s going to be beneficial to the person you’re selling to is important in any sales pitch.”

“Before you make your sales pitch, find what the person can gain from the deal going forward.”Courtney Gupta

3. Understand the customer’s needs and personalise the solution

You cannot tell the right story if you do not know your audience. Buyers want sales reps to take the time to gain a firm understanding of their business and the challenges they are facing, but the reality does not always match the expectation. Many customers do not believe that sales reps truly understand their problems (or have a way to solve them). Your initial sales pitch should demonstrate your knowledge of the prospect’s business, industry and unique challenges. Most types of sales pitches allow for some time to research the prospective buyer in advance and it is critical to do so. Even just 15 minutes of research on Google News and LinkedIn will go a long way toward inspiring confidence. Elevator pitches are a little different because you will not know who you are pitching ahead of time. In this scenario, tell the story of your target customer. But instead of pitching your company as an HR software platform, for example, you might say: “We help companies of all sizes provide their employees with generous, corporate-quality benefits.” Then, use open-ended questions and active listening to turn the conversation toward the prospect’s specific needs. “A good sales pitch relates the action you want the customer or prospect to take back to why it’s important to them and their company”, says Gupta. “You need something from them, but what can they gain from working with you and your business? There has to be some incentive on their end.”

“A good sales pitch relates the action you want the customer or prospect to take back to why it’s important to them and their company.”Courtney Gupta

4. Start your email pitches with a strong subject line

If you are emailing your pitch, your subject line is the “once upon a time” that leads prospects into your sales story. In many ways, it is a microcosm of your whole sales pitch. An intriguing subject line speaks to prospects on a personal level and persuades them to take the time to read it. We analysed sales emails from 15 different SaaS companies to identify the most effective tactics for writing powerful sales subject lines. Here is what we learned:

  • Keep it personal by using the contact’s name and the word “you.” Generic subject lines are easy to ignore and will quickly end up in the trash folder.
  • Hook the prospect into your story by writing something meaningful. Include an eye-catching statistic, offer an informational (or controversial) statement or ask a question that demonstrates your knowledge of their industry. Do your research and target a personal pain point.

Crafting subject lines that are relevant to your prospects comes with practice. Consistently A/B test your emails to learn what works and what does not in your messages.

5 sales email examples proven to engage customers

5. Get creative

Go beyond the standard sales pitch email or cold call. There are creative ways to take a pitch to the next level. “If your emails didn’t work, gifts are another avenue”, says Gupta. “Gifts show your brand character. They often make prospects want to take a meeting because they remember you and relate that positive memory to your brand. Even if the timing wasn’t right the first time, they’ll keep those warm, fuzzy feelings in mind in the future.”

“If your emails didn’t work, gifts are another avenue. Gifts show your brand character.”Courtney Gupta

Some gift ideas include:

  • Company swag

  • Water bottles

  • Trendy technology like speakers

  • Boxes of goodies

6. Keep the pitch length in mind

Buyers do not care about your product or service. They care about their problems. If you spend all your time with a buyer talking about yourself and your company, it will be hard to convince them that you actually want to help them solve their problems. Make your sales pitches concise in order to leave room for listening and engagement. Keeping your pitch brief also forces you to refine it and concentrate on your value proposition. You are less likely to talk about irrelevant features if you are locked into a short length. The ideal sales pitch length depends on the format, of course, but here are some guidelines to get you started:

  • Aim for 300 words in your sales emails. A study of cold sales emails found that emails with 1,400 to 1,500 characters (approximately 300 words) showed a substantially higher response rate than emails of 100 words or fewer.
  • Keep your cold calls under eight minutes. Chorus, a conversation intelligence platform, discovered that 7.5 minutes is the average length of a cold call that converts into a next step.
  • Limit your sales presentation to 18 minutes. Apply the TED Talk principle to your sales presentations. TED Talk speakers are limited to 18-minute presentations for a simple, data-backed reason: After the 18-minute mark, you lose your audience to information overload. Attention wanes, engagement is lost, and it is that much harder to get a “yes.”

If these limitations sound too difficult for you, the problem could be your understanding of your product’s value. Once you are confident in the benefits your offering brings to the table, you will find it much easier to keep your pitch short and engaging. Start by refining your positioning statement.

Great sales pitch examples (and why they work)

We found 10 notable examples to inspire you to craft a winning pitch. These examples cover various types of sales pitches, but they offer lessons that you can apply to any prospect.

Sales pitch templates

Feeling inspired now? Time to take that mojo and run with it. Get started with these email templates from Zendesk’s own sales experts.

7 cold email templates that skyrocket response rates

That first reply to your email is often the hardest to get, especially when you are going in cold. These email templates will help you tailor your cold pitch to the situation.

12 sales email templates for every stage of the sales pipeline

It is tempting to think the sales pitch is only the entry point to the deal cycle. But the truth is, you are pitching your product or service until you close the deal. This collection of sales email templates helps you create and refine your sales pitch for each stage of the cycle, from first contact to closing.

10 follow-up email templates to boost your sales

You nailed the elevator pitch, the cold call, and the sales presentation, but what happens after will determine your success. Do not put all this effort into your sales pitch only to send a generic follow-up. Use tailored resources (such as sales videos) and personal connections to add value. These templates will empower you to craft follow-up emails that keep the conversation going.

The complete guide to sales emails (based on what really works)

Use these sales pitch examples to make your own

The goal of a sales pitch is to present your product or service in a way that leaves the audience wanting to know more. Incorporate approaches from the examples above into your own sales pitches. Whatever the occasion, you will be prepared with a compelling message anytime you need to make a pitch. Wish you had more time to spend researching your leads and writing the perfect pitch? Learn how Zendesk Sell can help you cut down on busy work and get back to the work that matters.

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