In a recent review with one of our clients, we made a startling discovery. Our client is an EdTech company that creates virtual learning programs for children in school and sells them to parents.
Upon studying sales data for the last quarter, an interesting trend showed up. Our client’s sales reps seemed to be spending almost 20% of their conversational time fielding questions about their competitors. In contrast, only 15% was spent talking about the product and its USPs.
This discovery made our client completely reevaluate their sales playbook and update their pitch to make it easier for their reps to close leads. But this isn’t the only insight we’ve garnered into how to pitch a product in the past two years of analyzing more than 1 million minutes of sales calls every month.
You know the basic stuff:
- Know your product in and out
- Understand exactly how it’s different from (and better than) your competitors’
- Keep pricing models and plans handy so you don’t have to evade cost-related questions
But how can you elevate your product pitch from good to great? Start with these 8 tactics.
Don’t assume know-how
To avoid the awkward interruptions of “Yeah, I already know that” or risk your customer losing interest, ask how familiar your customer already is with your product and brand. For instance, if they aren’t familiar with your product and haven’t even used your competitors’, you can start from the beginning. But if they are, you can steer the conversation towards your product’s USPs and differentiators.
Be aware, not scared
Knowing the limitations of your product helps you give customers a realistic picture of what it can and can’t do. But most products are in a constant state of Work in Progress because innovation is a constant process
If your product team is open to customer feedback and always searching for ways to enhance what’s on offer, that’s a strength, not a weakness. Your product team may be rolling out new features and beta releases as you speak, but this is a sign of progress and improvement and that’s how your customers need to see it as well.
Talk benefit-first not feature-first
Your product may be great and have a ton of features. But what your customer needs to know is how it’s going to solve their specific problem. That’s why need discovery is so important. You get the opportunity to uncover what your customer wishes they could do better or faster or more efficiently, so you can highlight the features of your product that empower them to do that.
Pro tip: Ask your product team for some proof points for the ultimate benefit trifecta- time, money and effort. Having numbers for the exact value your product can offer in these 3 buckets can fast track closure.
Think of every feature as an objection
Let’s say you are selling cloud storage data that streamlines the digital assets of multiple teams. Your customer raises a concern that all teams having access may compromise the security of sensitive data. And just like that, what you have always positioned as a benefit suddenly becomes a barrier. Unless, that is, you were ready with an answer. Then it serves to strengthen your pitch.
In this way, every feature of your product can lead to a follow up question. A good pitch prepares for this. And in case you’re worried by this because more objections mean a weaker pitch, think again.
The sales tech stack is constantly being upgraded, because there’s a direct bottom line benefit that comes from investing in technology
Whether or not your product is a replacement for one they’re already using, it may invite resistance because of the sheer amount of effort and training it takes to implement a new product and get the entire team familiarized with using it.
It can thus be helpful to highlight the time and effort your product takes to integrate into your customer’s existing processes and databases, so they can start making the case internally.
Put the user first
Are you on call with the person who’s going to use your product? Or their manager? Or a member of the team they manage? Knowing how your product is going to impact the day-to-day of the person you’re talking to can help make a better case. You can talk to them in terms of the direct benefits they are going to experience rather than having them imagine an indirect outcome.
The clincher- customize your pitch
Putting your customer’s needs first doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring out everything your product can do or take them through the standard product demo. But the hook can be the core issue they are looking to solve.
Importantly – that doesn’t necessarily need to be your USP. You may realize that what matters to them most is different than you have always assumed is your greatest strength or differentiator, and that’s where customizing your pitch can help.
Pro tip: One of the best ways to customize your pitch is to have use cases specifically for the industry or company size of your customer’s enterprise. And finally, don’t give away too much
Remember: information is power. In your attempt to retain your customer’s attention, don’t offer so much advice and insights that the customer feels they’ve got everything they possibly could from you or your product. Leaving something to the imagination allows your customer to give you the benefit of the doubt in the hope that future calls will give them further help.
Plus, it helps to remember that you aren’t the product expert, and it’s best to be candid about that. It’s not your job to know the intricacies of your product. That’s what product demos and free trials are for.
Houston, we have a problem
You may have a product pitch that’s near perfect, but there is no guarantee you will be able to follow it as planned. Salesken doesn’t just assist your sales reps in conversation and make the leap from good to great. Salesken can even help your reps in situations where customers derail a conversation or pose questions they are not prepared to answer. It’s AI that makes your reps better at their jobs with real-time cues and prompts that mimic the tactics used by top-performers, so you can build a team of all stars.
So, what are you waiting for? Make the leap.