Let’s dive into her eight components and explore how they can elevate your sales game.
- Setup: Insight to the Market The setup phase of a sales pitch aims to align the customer's understanding with the speaker's point of view. Instead of leading with alignment on the problem you’re both here to address, April emphasizes the importance of providing unique market insights to capture the customer's attention. By demonstrating a deep understanding of the market landscape, challenges, and opportunities, you establish credibility and position yourself as an expert, making it easier to guide the conversation in your favor.
- Setup: The Pros and Cons of Alternative Approaches During the setup, it is crucial to educate the customer about alternative approaches to the problem you're solving. Highlight the pros and cons of each approach to help them understand limitations and showcase how your solution stands out. By emphasizing why your approach is superior and addressing potential concerns, you build a strong foundation for the rest of your pitch.
- Setup: Alignment on Point of View on the Market As your discovery continues, the next step is alignment on point of view on the market, or as April calls it, “The perfect world.” Here, we're going to get agreement on what a perfect solution should look like or should do. You say something like, “If we really wanted to get this done, and knowing what we know about what works and doesn't work with the other solutions, can we all agree that a perfect solution would have to deliver ABC?” The customer’s answer here tells you everything you need to know. They are either fully onboard or not. And when they are fully on board, you can move into the follow-through steps.
- Follow-Through: Introduction So once we’ve all agreed that our product is what would solve the issues our customers are looking to solve, we move on to follow-through. The first (and most basic) step of the follow-through is the introduction. You establish the basics of your market category, who you are, and what you do. It should be quick and simple so that you can move on to…
- Follow-Through: Differentiated Value Once you’ve introduced your market category and basic information, it’s time to demonstrate how your solution can deliver the agreed-upon perfect solution. This is where you showcase how your product is uniquely suited to fit the needs of the marketplace. April calls this your differentiated value proposition. By clearly mapping out the value your product delivers, you create a compelling story that highlights the significant impact your solution can have on the customer's business translated into tangible benefits.
- Follow-Through: Proof Proof plays a crucial role in convincing potential customers that a company can deliver on its claims. April suggests leveraging customer case studies and third-party validation to provide concrete evidence of the company's value proposition. By showcasing real-world examples of successful outcomes and satisfied customers, your sales pitch becomes more compelling and trustworthy. But don’t forget to continually test and iterate on this portion of your sales pitch—this ensures that the proof you present effectively supports the positioning of your offering.
- Follow-Through: Objections (Optional Step) Objections are a natural part of any sales process, and addressing them effectively is crucial in a winning sales pitch. Take the time to identify and understand common objections your potential customers may raise. That means devising thoughtful responses that skillfully address these objections without undermining the value of your solution.
- Follow-Through: Next steps Additionally, conclude your pitch with a clear ask. What is the next step in the sales process? Provide a concrete call to action, whether it's scheduling a proof of concept, another meeting, or formalizing the deal. By directing the conversation towards the next steps, you maintain momentum and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. (And that means even disqualifying them can be a successful outcome.)
Crafting an effective sales pitch requires a deep understanding of positioning and a cohesive narrative. April Dunford's insights on the eight components of a successful sales pitch provide a valuable framework for B2B product marketers and leaders to improve their sales efforts. By utilizing her setup and follow-through framework, you can enhance prospect engagement, build trust, and drive better sales outcomes. Incorporate these components into your sales and marketing strategies, and watch your pitch transform into a compelling story that captivates customers and closes deals.
Want to listen to the full episode for a more in-depth look at April’s eight components of a successful sales pitch and five elements of successful positioning? Check out her interview on The Marchitect here.