Research Is Just One Pillar of A Successful Sales Pitch

Tue Feb 25, 2014

Jessica Helinski

Successful sales pitches include five necessary elements, according to Ray Carroll, director of sales at Marketo. Looking back on his experiences in sales, Carroll pinpointed five “pillars” that he considers to be vital to the pitch process, and he encourages reps and leaders to compare their current strategies against his findings. One notable pillar he discusses is research.

N1005P33001CProspects have so much information available at their fingertips, and they can readily seek out information with the click of a button. But, Carroll points out that information also available to reps; they just need to take the time to do research of their own. “Level the playing field by doing your own research,” he writes. “The best AEs understand the business of their buyer, and are able to speak intelligently about the challenges prospects are probably facing.”

Once research is conducted, reps should integrate that information into a customized presentation, which is another essential element of pitching. Capture the audience’s attention in the first 60 seconds by presenting information that specifically applies to their business (which is where the earlier research will come in handy). “Don’t start with why your company is great; start with how you can help the prospect’s company,” Carroll writes.

How do you prepare for pitches? Does your strategy include research, a personalized presentation and the three other “pillars” Carroll identifies?

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About Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on the specialties of local account category research and audience trends. She reports on sales and presentation tips for Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.

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