Getting Your Solution Sales Pitch Right to Win More Business
According to traditional wisdom, sales people need to know their portfolio of products and services inside out so that they can pitch any product to any customer. The problem is that the product pitch is dead. Customers in all markets want unique business solutions that enable them to either:
1) Solve (or, even better, avoid) a critical business problem; or
2) Seize a critical business opportunity.
This means that any sales person who has a standard pitch for presenting to any customer in today's market place is destined to fail.
In today's buying world, prospective customers expect sellers of any product or service to work hard to understand their world comprehensively and empathetically before the seller proposes a solution. Now this may seem obvious but, from our research, prospective customers of all sizes have told us that over 75% of sales people don’t make enough effort to understand their needs and over 90% fail to identify opportunities to up-sell or cross-sell because they jump to a solution too quickly.
Even if the IT sales person works hard to understand the customer's needs, our research shows that they are highly likely to fail to align the proposed solution he or she is proposing in a way that compels the customer to buy. Indeed, because there is such a prevalence of IT sales and marketing people coming from a service or technical background, there is a greater tendency for sales people in the IT industry, to be fixated on the features and advantages these products, rather than the benefits that the features can deliver within the (direct and specific) context of the customer's needs.
So how can IT solutions sales people get their pitches right? Well it's simple. Their pitches should follow the 5 simple steps outlined below:
Step 1 Outline the external pressures, trends and events the prospective customers (or the prospective customer's industry peers) are currently and potentially likely to face and the threats and/or opportunities that these represent.
Step 2 Ensure the customer understands the potential implications of the threats and/or the opportunities if they are not addressed
Step 3 Make sure the customer knows which programmes should be put in place to address the above, and the specific needs that have been identified for those projects (with some unique insight that links the obvious needs with broader, less obvious needs).
Step 4 Describe the unique value-added capability (and associated benefits) that the selling organisation offers in the exact context of stages 1, 2 and 3 above.
Step 5 Give a detailed explanation of the specific products, services and actions that are being proposed so that the potential customer realises the benefits on offer. At this point key elements from stage 1 and stage 2 which create urgency for action should also be referred back to, along with a specific request for the prospective buyer to allocate resources so that the two companies can work together with agreed timescales to address stages 1, 2 and 3 above.
By following these 5 simple steps you will differentiate yourself and your offer from your competition and develop credibility, a willingness to share additional interest and a perception of the value that compels the prospective client to want to buy from you.
For more skills and techniques related to sales in the IT & Technology industry take a look at our range of e-learning packages which offer a quick route to enhanced sales development: http://www.blackbeltselling.co.uk