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research paper sales pitch

  • 05 Dec 2023
  • Cold Call Podcast

What Founders Get Wrong about Sales and Marketing

Which sales candidate is a startup’s ideal first hire? What marketing channels are best to invest in? How aggressively should an executive team align sales with customer success? Senior Lecturer Mark Roberge discusses how early-stage founders, sales leaders, and marketing executives can address these challenges as they grow their ventures in the case, “Entrepreneurial Sales and Marketing Vignettes.”

research paper sales pitch

  • 22 Feb 2021

Reaching Today's Omnichannel Customer Takes a New Sales Strategy

For salespeople working harder than ever to stay ahead of customers' evolving buying habits, Frank Cespedes offers timeless advice in his new book, Sales Management That Works. Open for comment; 0 Comments.

research paper sales pitch

  • 04 May 2020
  • Research & Ideas

Predictions, Prophets, and Restarting Your Business

Businesses are starting to plan their re-entry into the market, but how do they know what that market will look like? Frank V. Cespedes warns against putting too much trust in forecasters. Open for comment; 0 Comments.

research paper sales pitch

  • 22 Oct 2019

Use Artificial Intelligence to Set Sales Targets That Motivate

Setting sales targets has always been an inexact science, with serious consequences if done poorly. Using AI-based advanced analytics might be the answer, argues Doug Chung. Open for comment; 0 Comments.

research paper sales pitch

  • 30 Jun 2019
  • Working Paper Summaries

The Comprehensive Effects of Sales Force Management: A Dynamic Structural Analysis of Selection, Compensation, and Training

When sales forces are well managed, firms can induce greater performance from them. For this study, the authors collaborated with a major multinational firm to develop and estimate a dynamic structural model of sales employee responses to various management instruments like compensation, training, and recruiting/termination policies.

research paper sales pitch

  • 22 Apr 2019

Why Salespeople Struggle at Leading

When salespeople become managers, they often do a horrible job. Four key steps can help them—and all soon-to-be managers—make the shift, says Frank V. Cespedes. Open for comment; 0 Comments.

research paper sales pitch

  • 09 Aug 2018

Two Million Fake Accounts: Sales Misconduct at Wells Fargo

Coming out of the financial crisis, Wells Fargo was one of the world’s most successful banks. But then its sales culture went wild, opening more than 2 million fake accounts. Suraj Srinivasan discusses what went wrong. Open for comment; 0 Comments.

research paper sales pitch

  • 09 Jul 2018

Overcoming the Challenges of Selling Brand New Technology (Hey, Need a 3-D Printer?)

Selling technology that is new to the market involves tricky tradeoffs around prospect targeting, channels, and tactics. Frank Cespedes makes the point with 3-D printers. Open for comment; 0 Comments.

research paper sales pitch

  • 06 Jun 2018

Cut Salaries or Cut People? The Best Way to Survive a Downturn

When times are tight, companies usually respond with employee layoffs. But what if they held on to workers and cut their salaries instead? New research by Christopher Stanton and colleagues has the answer. Open for comment; 0 Comments.

  • 29 Apr 2018

Analyzing the Aftermath of a Compensation Reduction

This study of the effects of compensation cuts in a large sales organization provides a unique lens for analyzing the link between compensation schemes, worker performance, and turnover.

  • 06 Jul 2017

Do All Your Detailing Efforts Pay Off? Dynamic Panel Data Methods Revisited

Personal selling in the form of detailing to physicians is the main go-to-market practice in the pharmaceutical industry. This paper provides a practical framework to analyze the effectiveness of detailing efforts. The method and empirical insights can help firms allocate sales-force resources more efficiently and devise optimal routes and call-pattern designs.

  • 05 Apr 2017

For Women Especially, It Pays to Know What Car Repairs Should Cost

Consumers can negotiate cheaper auto repair prices by convincing service reps they know something about market rates—helping women overcome gender discrimination, according to recently published research by Ayelet Israeli and co-authors. Open for comment; 0 Comments.

  • 22 Mar 2017

What's the Ideal Frequency for a Sales Quota?

Sales reps feed on two forms of compensation: salary, and a bonus tied to achieving a periodic quota. Would a more frequent quota incentivize better numbers? Doug Chung and Das Narayandas offer some answers. Open for comment; 0 Comments.

  • 20 Feb 2017

Where Should We Build a Mall? The Formation of Market Structure and Its Effect on Sales

In spite of the recent surge in e-commerce, brick-and-mortar retail, specifically in the form of large-scale shopping malls, is still the dominant venue for consumer purchases in the developed world. The construction of mass-scale shopping malls has also experienced tremendous growth in newly industrialized countries such as China. This research provides a rigorous, yet practical, framework to understand and evaluate why retail stores join a shopping mall and how their decisions affect mall revenue. The model can be extended and applied to a number of settings where a decision maker must choose among alternative sites to construct a market, for example, for transportation hubs such as airports or train stations.

  • 25 Jan 2017

The Effects of Quota Frequency on Sales Force Performance: Evidence from a Field Experiment

This study of different sales quotas and their effect on sales performance at a major retail chain in Sweden finds that changing from a monthly to a daily quota plan increases performance mainly for low-performing salespeople.

  • 06 Dec 2016

Assortment Rotation and the Value of Concealment

Assortment rotation is the retailing practice of changing the assortment of products offered to customers throughout a selling season. It is used by both brick-and-mortar and online retailers as a strategy for gaining competitive advantage. This paper studies assortment rotation in product categories such as apparel, accessories, and toys, where consumers typically make multiple purchases during a season. The authors identify and explain a new reason for retailers to frequently rotate their assortment: Consumers may purchase more products throughout the selling season if a retailer conceals a portion of its full product catalog from consumers by rotating its assortment. Aside from its scholarly contributions, the paper provides practical insights to retailers to guide their assortment rotation strategy decisions.

  • 21 Nov 2016

It Matters That Your CEO Doesn't Know Much About Sales

Sales appears to be getting short-changed in the C-suite, says Frank Cespedes. What’s needed are more links between top executives and the customer-facing side of the business. Open for comment; 0 Comments.

  • 28 Mar 2016

Do Incentive Plans for Exemplary Employees Lead to Productive or Counterproductive Outcomes?

This study of a mobile phone retail company shows that incentive contracts that selectively incentivize exemplary employees (that is, preferential incentive plans) may be helpful when companies want to motivate employees to pursue objectively measured goals in addition to relevant tasks not explicitly written into their contracts. However, preferential incentive plans may lead to unintended consequences if they trigger perceptions of inequity.

  • 08 Sep 2014

The Strategic Way To Hire a Sales Team

The equivalent of an entire sales force is replaced at many firms every four years, so it's critical that go-to-market initiatives remain tied to strategic goals. Frank Cespedes explains how in his book, Aligning Strategy and Sales. Closed for comment; 0 Comments.

  • 01 Apr 2013

First Minutes are Critical in New-Employee Orientation

Employee orientation programs ought to be less about the company and more about the employee, according to new research by Daniel M. Cable, Francesca Gino, and Bradley R. Staats. Closed for comment; 0 Comments.

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Salesperson communication effectiveness in a digital sales interaction 1 ☆

Neeraj bharadwaj.

a Department of Marketing, Haslam College of Business, 916 Volunteer Boulevard, 333 Stokely Management Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, United States of America

Garrett M. Shipley

b Department of Marketing, Haslam College of Business, 916 Volunteer Boulevard, 305 Stokely Management Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, United States of America

B2B buyers are exhibiting an increased preference to transact digitally with vendors. A topic which has yet to receive sufficient academic attention in this modern selling environment is salesperson communication effectiveness. Accordingly, this article: 1) defines digital sales interactions (DSIs) as technology-enabled, face-to-face buyer-seller exchanges; 2) proposes a typology of DSIs to set the stage to examine salesperson communication effectiveness; 3) introduces a framework that reifies the sender's auditory and visual cues that can influence receivers' thoughts (i.e., cognition, affect, intention) and activity (i.e., purchase behavior, advocacy); 4) suggests theoretical lenses that can illuminate various aspects of the salesperson's communication barrage; 5) advances how machine learning can be applied to understand what constitutes effective communication in a digital interaction by asking: to what extent does what a salesperson says (auditory cues) and how s/he says it (visual cues) impact her/his effectiveness in a DSI?; and 6) concludes by noting promising future research directions for B2B marketing researchers.

  • • Examines salesperson effectiveness in a digital sales interaction (DSI)
  • • Proposes a typology of DSIs based the nature of the sales communication in conjunction with its temporal aspect
  • • Introduces a holistic framework summarizing the salesperson's communication barrage
  • • Advocates applying machine learning to undertake holistic assessment of sender's cues
  • • Identifies promising research directions for B2B marketing researchers

1. Introduction

Technological advancements are ushering in the fourth industrial revolution ( Schwab, 2016 ). Whereas the steam engine, mass production, and the internet were responsible for providing the foundation for innovation in past eras, the case is being made that economies and industries will be disrupted by technologies which permit the blending together of the digital, physical, and biological worlds (e.g., artificial intelligence, quantum computing, 3D printing, and the internet of things). 2 In brief, the new technologies are predicted to change the way that we live, work, and interact ( Syam & Sharma, 2018 ).

A notable shift that is transpiring is that business exchanges (among suppliers, intermediaries, customers, and other constituencies) are increasingly being carried out in digital environments ( Hoffman & Novak, 1996 ; Turkle, 2017 ; Yadav & Pavlou, 2014 ). In a world marked by greater connectivity and interactivity, digital interactions have emerged as a dominant mode for buyer-seller exchanges ( Steinhoff, Arli, Weaven, & Kozlenkova, 2019 ). This assertion is supported in studies reporting that:

  • • 68% of B2B buyers prefer doing business online versus with a salesperson ( Hoar, 2017 ) because the digital channel offers greater convenience, price transparency, and access to product information and customer reviews ( Caitlin, Harrison, Plotkin, & Stanley, 2016 ).
  • • B2B buyers considering a purchase spend 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers and 27% of their time researching sources independently online ( Gartner, 2019 ).
  • • Owned media (a company's website) and digital inbound marketing (e.g., webinars, white papers, and blogs) play a pivotal role for B2B sellers in acquiring new business customers ( Vieira et al., 2019 ).

To better align themselves with the demands of digital commerce so as to achieve competitive advantage, selling firms are modernizing their sales strategy and pursuing digital sales interactions (DSIs), which we define as technology-enabled, face-to-face buyer-seller exchanges. Although the digital sales channel holds potential to drive topline revenues and/or conduct sales interactions more efficiently ( Sheth & Sharma, 2008 ; Thaichon, Surachartkumtonkun, Quach, Weaven, & Palmatier, 2018 ), some open questions remain before those business gains are to be realized (see, e.g., Singh et al., 2019 ; Organizational Frontline Research (OFR), 2019 ). Central to this article is salesperson communication effectiveness in a DSI.

It has long been understood that effective communication is a fundamental determinant of salesperson performance outcomes (e.g., Singh, Brady, Arnold, & Brown, 2017 ; Spiro & Weitz, 1990 ; Webster, 1968 ; Weitz, 1981 ). Furthermore, it is well established that a sender's verbal (e.g., Peterson, Cannito, & Brown, 1995 ) and nonverbal (e.g., Bonoma & Felder, 1977 ; Lim, Lee, & Foo, 2017 ) cues matter in face-to-face encounters. However, the extent to which the earlier findings on salesperson communication effectiveness hold in a less rich, digitally-enabled medium is not yet fully known.

Two promising developments facilitate studying the next frontier in sales communication effectiveness. First, digital commerce generates a continuous stream of video footage (OFR 2019). Instead of narrowly studying a single aspect of a salesperson's communication in isolation as was historically done (e.g., does “service with a smile” matter in shaping customer-related outcomes?), researchers are now in a position to couple the salesperson's auditory and visual cues with moment-by-moment customers' mindset and/or behavioral data for more holistic predictive and prescriptive purposes ( Marinova, Singh, & Singh, 2018 ). Second, advances in artificial intelligence (AI) permit capturing and analyzing the massive amount of unstructured and structured data from the video footage not previously possible ( Syam & Sharma, 2018 ). Whereas, for instance, the current literature that examines the “service with a smile” maxim relies on human raters to manually code the facial expressions of frontline employees ( Du, Fan, & Feng, 2011 ; Pugh, 2001 ; Wang et al., 2017 ), recent efforts deploy convolutional neural networks to automate the facial coding process, extract the sender's facial expressions, and subsequently associate visual and/or verbal signals with business outcomes ( Choudhury, Wang, Carlson, & Khanna, 2019 ; Liu, Shi, Teixeira, & Wedel, 2018 ).

These developments (i.e., the availability of video footage of seller-buyer interactions and state-of-the-art AI techniques) coupled with the increased interest in the digital sales channel among business buyers and sellers yields interesting opportunities for scholarship. Our discourse can offer researchers a path to address Marketing Science Institute's (MSI 2018–20) paramount research priority to deploy technological advances to capture and analyze audio and video data to improve marketing communications. The approach described is also pragmatically useful as it can provide guidance to firms on ways to improve salesperson communication effectiveness in DSIs, and in turn, drive key performance metrics.

In this article, we first propose a typology of buyer-seller interactions that can transpire in a digital medium to provide a starting point to assess salesperson communication effectiveness in this modern selling channel. 3 We then introduce a comprehensive framework that reifies the totality of the salesperson's auditory and visual cues directed towards a customer that can influence buyer outcomes. Subsequently, we advance how machine learning can be applied to better understand what constitutes effective communication in a digital interaction: to what extent does what a salesperson says (auditory cues) and how s/he says it (visual cues) impact her/his effectiveness in a DSI? We conclude by noting future research possibilities.

2. Digital sales interactions (DSIs)

Exchange is a foundational concept in marketing —it has been described as “the crux of marketing” ( Kotler & Levy, 1969 , p. 57) and as “a fundamental framework for viewing marketing” ( Bagozzi, 1974 , p. 77). The exchange system refers to “sets (of parties) in which interactions occur which serve to define the boundaries of the set” ( Alderson & Martin, 1965 , p. 125), and recognizes that the macro-environment in which the dyad is embedded is an important consideration ( Hunt, 1983 ).

The increasing prevalence of buyer-seller communications and transactions being conducted remotely via a screen-to-screen interface marks an evolution from the traditional in-person, face-to-face exchange ( Kopalle, Kumar, & Subramaniam, 2019 ; Salesforce, 2019 ; Verhoef & Bijmolt, 2019 ; Yadav & Pavlou, 2014 ). The fact that digital technologies can fundamentally alter marketing processes ( Kannan & Li, 2017 ; Kumar, Sharma, Vatavwalla, & Kumar, 2020 ) provides the impetus to study the efficacy of a salesperson in a technology-enabled, face-to-face buyer-seller exchange, or what we deem a digital sales interaction (DSI). Akin to an in-person face-to-face interaction, a DSI can occur at any point along the B2B buying journey, spanning from pre-sales communications to actual sales transactions to post-sales activity. 4

Scholars opine that digital technologies can alter the customer experience ( Kannan & Li, 2017 ; Kumar et al., 2020 ). This means that even though leading firms are innovating their sales channel in an attempt to deliver a superior customer experience across the entire customer journey (see, for example, Moorman & Lemon, 2020 ), and in turn, drive topline revenues and/or conduct sales interactions more efficiently ( Sheth & Sharma, 2008 ; Thaichon et al., 2018 ), salesperson communication effectiveness in a DSI is not yet fully understood.

One way to begin thinking about salesperson communication effectiveness in a DSI is to consider the nature of the sales communication in conjunction with its temporal aspect. 5 A seller's interaction with an institutional buyer can be scripted or tailored, and it can transpire in real-time or without temporal synchronization. Whether the communication is adaptive (i.e., the seller tailors the message) versus standard (i.e., the seller conveys a scripted message) or synchronous versus asynchronous can be used to formulate Table 1 , which contains an exemplar digital exchange in each cell. For illustration, we juxtapose a one-to-one interaction and a one-to-many interaction to highlight how these require differing theories to illuminate the DSI.

DSI exemplars.

A key implication arising from Table 1 is that a researcher interested in comparing a pair of cells will require different theoretical lenses to explicate the determinants of salesperson effectiveness. Take, for instance, a researcher interested in understanding the emotions displayed during an adaptive, synchronous DSI in relation to a standard, synchronous one. Assuming that the former is a one-to-one interaction, the DSI provides the researcher access the facial expressions of both sides of the dyad. This permits employing emotional contagion theory to examine the extent to which a facial expression by a seller (e.g., a smile) results in the buyer mimicking the viewed facial expression and experiencing a positive affect towards the seller ( Chartrand & Lakin, 1993 ; Hatfield, Cacioppo, & Rapson, 1994 ). In contrast, a standard, synchronous DSI may involve a one-to-many interaction. This means that the researcher has access only to the seller's facial display. In this instance, one possibility is to construe the facial expression as a signal that the seller manipulates in order to achieve a desired response from a buyer (e.g., whether to smile, and if so, how broadly and for how long?). The emotions as social interaction (EASI) model ( van Kleef, 2009 , van Kleef, 2016 ) can provide the theoretical scaffolding to construe the seller's facial behavior as a signal. The seller can consciously determine which facial expression to display and the intensity of the emotion (e.g., slight versus broad smile) in order to elicit the desired response from the buyer.

In the next section, we expand on the cues that are available from a DSI. In addition to facial expressions, the researcher can access other nonverbal and verbal cues. As there are multiple cues, we provide a framework to conceptualize the sender's barrage of communications. For ease of exposition, we focus on a standard, synchronous communication in a one-to-many setting.

3. Conceptualizing salesperson effectiveness in DSIs.

A communication in an exchange system involves a sender conveying a plethora of signals to the receiver. Akin to a face-to-face meeting, the sender transmits auditory and visual signals in a DSI. However, other cues – such as touch and smell – are not as salient because the sender and receiver do not occupy the same physical space. Thus, we construe a receiver's appraisal of a sender in digital interaction to be shaped by the sender's auditory and visual signals, and the screen-to-screen interface makes it a less rich medium than an in-person, face-to-face interaction, yet richer than a telephone encounter in which only the sender's words and the delivery (i.e., auditory cues) play a pivotal role in shaping customers' appraisals ( Bharadwaj & Roggeveen, 2008 ).

Ekman and Friesen, 1978 , Ekman and Friesen, 2003 describe the abundance of auditory and visual signals from a sender as a “communication barrage.” Those authors suggest that the receiver can gather information from the sender's statements in terms of the content (i.e., words used) and delivery (i.e., rate of speech, loudness, tone, number of pauses, and disruptive words such as “umms” and “aahs” used). In addition, the receiver is subjected to a host of information from the visual channel. These cues can hail from the sender's facial expressions as well as their head and body movements. The audio and the visual channels, respectively, give rise to the verbal and nonverbal cues in a communication, and theories exist to conceptualize the receiver's affective appraisals and/or behavioral outcomes (see e.g., contagion theory ( Hatfield et al., 1994 ; Hennig-Thurau et al., 2006 ; Pugh, 2001 ) and emotions as social information ( van Kleef, 2009 , van Kleef, 2016 )). Fig. 1 depicts our conceptualization of the communication barrage in a DSI and possible customer outcomes.

Fig. 1

The salesperson's communication barrage and buyer outcomes.

It is well-established that how effectively a salesperson from a selling organization communicates with a buyer influences her/his success (e.g., Singh et al., 2017 ; Spiro & Weitz, 1990 ; Webster, 1968 ; Weitz, 1981 ), and the extant research on salesperson effectiveness has examined the sender's auditory and visual communication cues noted in Fig. 1 . Below, we briefly mention some exemplar studies.

To investigate the impact of what is said (i.e., the words used), Singh, Marinova, Singh, and Evans (2018) develop dictionaries of words to operationalize salesperson competence (e.g., in resolving customer queries such as need specification and transaction clarification) and warmth (e.g., relating/emoting in attending to customer queries). The authors' analysis of words demonstrates the primacy of salesperson competence in retaining a customer's interest, which in turn, drives customer purchase intent. In their paper evaluating the salesperson delivery-effectiveness relationship, Peterson et al. (1995) begin with the premise that how a sales message is communicated may be as important is what is communicated. They examine specific voice characteristics as determinants of customers' purchases, and find rate of speech (i.e., arguing that a rapid speaker is perceived as more knowledgeable and trustworthy) fundamental frequency contour (i.e., mean, variability, and contour), and loudness variability to be associated with higher sales. To assess visual cues, Pugh (2001) manually evaluates observational data from 106 actual bank teller-customer service encounters, and finds that the seller's positive facial expressions (i.e., happiness as conveyed by a smile) can influence the perceived quality of the service received. In their study of head and body activity, Pauser, Wagner, and Ebster (2018) rely on two trained observers to utilize the body action posture (BAP) coding system – which classifies 141 behavioral variables into 12 categories (e.g., head action, arm action) – to manually assess sales presentations, and find that symmetric movements (asymmetric movements) have a greater impact on attitude towards the salesperson in a low-gesture culture (high-gesture culture).

While the aforementioned sample of studies (as well as a large body existing research) can provide meaningful insight into the auditory and verbal cues summarized in Fig. 1 , the individual aspects are studied in isolation. What is needed is a broader examination of the relationship between sales success and effective communication in a DSI. Such a study could shed insight into an important, open question: to what extent does what a salesperson says (auditory cues) and how s/he says it (visual cues) impact her/his effectiveness in a digital sales interaction?

4. Holistically assessing salesperson effectiveness in DSIs

The volume and variety of data created at an increased velocity by the sender's barrage of digital communications that are digitized pose unique challenges. The structured and unstructured data are massive, which taxes human abilities to collect, store and process ( Bharadwaj & Noble, 2017 ; Marinova et al., 2018 ; McAfee & Brynjolfsson, 2012 ). They are also high dimensional, and situations in which p  >  n require new methodologies and computational capabilities.

Wedel and Kannan (2016) equate such big data to the “oil” of the digital economy. We see this as a fitting comparison because, just like crude oil, it is necessary to refine unstructured (i.e., audio, video, images, or text) data and structured (i.e., organized by variables or numeric values) data to extract meaning. Given that roughly 80% of data available to firms are unstructured ( Rizkallah, 2017 ), this suggests a rich, untapped reservoir of insights. For instance, deep learning can be used to detect the presence of a face in a given frame of the video footage and neural nets can then be used to transform the information from the face into a field of weighted pixels in order to extract the salesperson's facial expressions.

The aforementioned implies potential insights on both customers and sellers (MSI 2018), which raises two questions: how can firms harness and refine this data, and what potential insights can emerge? Recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI) can aid in this regard. 6

4.1. A primer on machine learning

Unstructured data, specifically audio and video, have successfully been structured and analyzed using methods from the field of artificial intelligence ( Arandjelovic & Zisserman, 2017 ; Balducci & Marinova, 2018 ; Li, Shi, & Wang, 2019 ). AI is an umbrella term for any technology or program that attempts to make decisions without explicitly being programmed to do so. AI mimics human cognition using algorithms, which allows a computer to structure unstructured data, analyze multiple features of the data simultaneously, and estimate an equation that will best fit the available data.

Machine learning, a subfield of artificial intelligence, focuses on the mathematical and statistical modeling of a particular task allowing a computer program to make inferences or decisions. Machine learning can be divided into two general types of learning: supervised and unsupervised. Supervised learning is described as observing input-output pairs and then creating a function that maps input to output ( Russell & Norvig, 2014 ). It is important to note that a supervised learning program will require “correct” input-output pairs—this is covered thoroughly by Syam and Sharma (2018) . Alternatively, an unsupervised machine learning program will learn the patterns of the data set based on the inputs with no output feedback ( Russell & Norvig, 2014 ).

The utility of machine learning comes from its ability to adjust the weighting of variables as more data becomes present. Because of this, machine learning provides an opportunity to derive a holistic prediction. Consider salesperson-customer interaction wherein the salesperson says something polite but uses a sarcastic tone. If the seller's tone of voice is not considered in tandem with the content of his message, it could register as a positive communication (and predict a successful sale outcome). However, including tone of voice along with additional cues (e.g., eye contact, arm movements) should make the prediction more accurate. In this way, the algorithm can learn what variables are important in predicting the outcome of an interaction (rather than having a researcher set parameters a priori).

4.2. Applying machine learning to assess a salesperson's communication barrage

Prior to describing strategies to assess distinct components of the auditory and visual cues noted in Fig. 1 , we begin providing the basic intuition as to how those individual aspects can influence customers' outcomes. To this end, we suggest theoretical lenses that prior researchers have used to illuminate the individual components of the salesperson's communication barrage. We then mention studies from the nascent stream of research that apply state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to analyze the auditory and/or visual cues from the video footage.

Psycholinguistic theory ( Pennebaker, 2011 ) offers a novel approach to evaluate what a sender says. In brief, quantifying the proportion of certain words used in relation to the total words used in the discourse can capture important aspects of the sender's communication, including the underlying sentiment of the message sent (i.e., positive emotion and negative emotion) and the thinking style that underlies those words: narrative thinking (i.e., the sender's message is characterized in a free-flowing, stream-of-consciousness manner with minimal structure), formal thinking (i.e. the sender's message consists of big words in an attempt to put on a performance to be consumed by the receiver), and analytic thinking (i.e., the sender's message is marked by a detailed analysis of the situation in an attempt to convey cause and effect). Bharadwaj, Noble, Tower, Smith, and Dong (2017) , for instance, use Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) to extract the aforementioned 24 variables from words conveyed by movie critics in their evaluations of movies (i.e., one variable for positive emotion, one variable for negative emotion; eight variables for narrative thinking; eight variables for formal thinking; and six variables for analytic thinking). Peterson et al. (1995) draw on linguistic theory to extract how a sender conveys his message, and the characteristics of the sender's delivery yield another set of variables (e.g., rate of speech, fundamental frequency contour, and loudness variability). To assess facial activity, researchers (e.g., Liu et al., 2018 ) rely on Ekman and Friesen's (1978) Facial Action Coding System (FACS) to categorize a set of emotional displays (e.g., happiness, sadness, anger). The presence of the face in a video and the six basic emotions generated in FACS yields distinct 7 variables. Lastly, the body action posture (BAP) coding system mentioned earlier captures the sender's head and body activity, and yields 141 behavioral variables.

Digital commerce generates a continuous stream of video footage, and allows researchers to move beyond narrowly study a single aspect of a salesperson's communication. The auditory and visual cues mentioned in the preceding paragraph, for instance, generate 175 predictor variables in each video frame. Assuming that there is on average 30 min of video footage for each sales interaction and the unit of analysis is a frame that is captured every second, the pixels from 315,000 frames for each salesperson must be analyzed. Given the large-scale nature of the analysis, the task must be automated, and a set of parallel computers (instead of human coders) trained to execute it. 7 Johnson, Ogihara, Ren, and Lee (2019) , for instance, process the raw content data by the CNN parts, then the CNN features (outputs from the CNN layers) are fed into the LSTM (long-term short-term) layers, and the fully connected CNN layers fuse together the data and generate the prediction.

5. Future research directions

Although digital sales interactions (DSIs) have emerged as a dominant mode for buyer-seller exchanges, some open questions remain regarding salesperson communication effectiveness in this modern selling environment. To begin to understand the knowledge gaps, this article defines digital sales interactions (DSIs); proposes a typology of some exemplar DSIs to set the stage to examine salesperson communication effectiveness (in Table 1 ); presents a framework (in Fig. 1 ) that reifies the sender's auditory and visual cues that can influence receivers' thoughts (i.e., cognition, affect, intention) and activity (i.e., purchase behavior, advocacy); and advances how machine learning can be applied to further understand what constitutes effective communication in a digital interaction.

The preceding discourse regarding sales effectiveness in commercial exchanges raises a host of issues in need of inquiry. In Table 2 , we identify a sample of possible research questions organized around five main promising avenues for B2B researchers: (1) the cues that can shape a customer's perceptions of a salesperson's digital communication effectiveness; (2) training and recruiting the digital salesperson; (3) organizational strategy and structure to support their digital selling transformation; 4) the suitability of digital selling; and (5) the potential negative effects of digital sales interactions.

Future research directions.

The cues available in digital sales interactions (see Fig. 1 ) can allow buyers and sellers to digitally simulate face-to-face interactions; however, these interactions are not as information rich as traditional face-to-face sales interactions. In an environment where the visual cues of body language and verbal cues of intonation can be out of sync, buyers and sellers can be deprived of information that could otherwise inform back-tracking or rapport building behaviors. Without the more subtle communication cues of traditional face-to-face interactions, a key starting point is to test the synchronous communications noted in Table 1 with their in-person, face-to-face counterparts. For instance, are the cues from the sender's communication barrage valued differently in digital sales interaction? What is the level of success that a salesperson is likely to achieve delivering the same standard script and call-to-action in a face-to-face sales interaction versus in a synchronous DSI (and versus asynchronous DSIs), and might those results generalize across a one-to-one and one-to-many situation? How might testing the counterfactual be influenced by the seller and/or buyer interfacing with multiple screens simultaneously? (see, e.g., cross-media consumption discussed in Bharadwaj, Ballings, & Naik, 2020 ).

Digital selling will likely require salespeople to possess an updated skill set in order to deliver a successful sales pitch ( Angevine, Plotkin, & Stanley, 2018 ; Davenport & Westerman, 2018 ), and require large expenditures on sales training ( Loechner, 2018 ). In this regard, machine learning and AI have the potential to completely change the way that firm's train their sales employees ( Singh et al., 2019 ). In their pursuit of more effective salesperson training, how might machine learning and AI help firms: reduce the amount of time needed for sales professionals to hone their digital selling skills in synchronous and asynchronous exchanges?; aid digital immigrants (i.e., older salespeople not as well-versed with digital interaction) to be more at ease with screen-mediated interactions (akin to digital natives)?; and ascertain the optimal script for a standard, synchronous sales pitch versus a standard, asynchronous sales pitch? Firms can also harness AI and machine learning for hiring decisions as well. For instance, can the repertoire of verbal and nonverbal behaviors of the most successful salespeople be cataloged and aid in the selection of prospective candidates? How should firms train employees to address cultural differences? In other words, might differences between individualistic and collectivistic cultures change the way that sellers navigate DSIs?

Firms undergoing a digital selling transformation will also need to attend to a host of issues pertaining to organizational strategy and structure. One of the most important strategic questions that firms need to address is: which set of customers is/will be most valuable? Even though new digital customers may absorb more time and require higher initial acquisition costs, it will be prudent to develop an updated decision rule in order to prioritize the firm's customer portfolio based on customer profitability (see, e.g., Zeithaml, Rust, & Lemon, 2001 ). Firms can then rely on the algorithm to determine which customers require an in-person, face-to-face meeting and which can be relegated to some type of digital interaction. From a structural standpoint, firms are often organized around functional areas, which leads to coordination issues. In this regard, a key challenge that chief marketing officers (CMO) face is how to develop “the necessary capabilities…to design, deliver, and monitor the customer experience” ( Moorman & Lemon, 2020 ). Stemming from this is: how can CMOs work with those leading other functional capabilities to develop an integrated value proposition and thereby drive favorable firm performance (see, e.g., Nath & Bharadwaj, 2020 )? Relatedly, a firm's technological platform may be built to support a traditional salesforce calling on customers in person, and set up to suit the needs of separate functional areas. An important question that arises is: what might “legacy” firms be able to learn from their “born digital” counterparts in order to expedite their on ramping of online interactions? (see, e.g., Kopalle et al., 2019 ).

Another fertile area for future research is the suitability of digital interaction. It is estimated that DSIs have the potential to significantly reduce face-to-face interaction expenses ( Laplana, 2017 ), but should the DSI be viewed as a substitute to the face-to-face sales force or a complement (see Angevine, Plotkin, & Stanley, 2017 )? As acknowledged in Footnote 3, a fully digital salesforce may not be advantageous in all instances. The factors limiting a firm from fully converting to a digital salesforce could depend on many different factors (i.e., the customer's lifetime value to the firm, stage of customer relationship, strategic importance of product, nature of purchase (e.g., straight rebuy) etc.). With a variety of limiting factors, the question becomes: under what circumstances should firms opt for an in-person, face-to-face interaction? What factors may moderate this business strategy decision (e.g., technological readiness of seller; technological readiness of buyer)? With consideration to researchers and firms unable to access machine learning or AI technologies, Tóth, Henneberg, and Naudé (2017) discuss innovative techniques, such as fuzzy set qualitative comparison analysis (fsQCA), that facilitate analyzing complex data sets holistically.

Lastly, what are the potentially negative effects of a digital sales interactions? In order to utilize the data produced from digital sales interactions, firms will need to collect data on each sales interaction. In doing so, firms will be collecting video, text, and/or audio data of not only their customers but also their employees, which could pose considerable security and privacy concerns. How might some employees or customers react to firms collecting information on each interaction? How might consumers react when they find out that firms are providing salespeople with real-time customer information and coaching to improve communication effectiveness, and in turn, business outcomes? Could their reactions augment the cost-saving potential of a digital salesforce? Alternatively, could these privacy concerns reduce the potential benefits of a digital salesforce? How might these effects be moderated by other firm specific factors? Could AI and machine learning mitigate or propagate biases?

Firms are still grappling with a variety of challenges in this new communication forum, which opens up a host of questions in need of academic attention. We are hopeful that this article spawns greater empirical research that harnesses structured and unstructured data and machine learning to better understand marketing communication effectiveness in DSIs. Additionally, we hope that future research considers the varying effects of synchronous and asynchronous digital sales (both adaptive and standard) interactions as firms need more guidance on their digital salesforce transformation investments and initiatives.

☆ The authors benefitted from helpful comments from: our anonymous reviewers, session participants at the 3rd Annual Industrial Marketing Management Summit at the Fox School of Business at Temple University, and suggestions on our earlier thinking provided by Jagdish N. Sheth.

1 The authors benefitted from helpful comments from: our anonymous reviewers, session participants at the 3rd Annual Industrial Marketing Management Summit at the Fox School of Business at Temple University, and suggestions on our earlier thinking provided by Jagdish N. Sheth.

2 We thank Audhesh Paswan for suggesting that we address broader societal changes to contextualize the prevalence of digital exchanges. We believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is yet another force that is likely to further accelerate the adoption of digital commerce.

3 We thank Raj Agnihotri for this suggestion.

4 We acknowledge that a DSI is not suitable for all instances. In a straight rebuy situation, for instance, it is more efficient for both the buyer and seller to have the repurchase of a known, required input transpire via the click of a button on a sales platform. Additionally, an in-person, face-to-face interaction may be required to lay the foundation for a relationship with a promising prospect in a complex new buy situation or a follow-up visit may be required at a strategic account for a modified rebuy . We thank an anonymous reviewer for this suggestion.

5 We thank an anonymous reviewer for this suggestion.

6 AI is technology that mimics human intelligence and cognitive functions such as perception and reasoning ( Russell & Norvig, 2014 ). For a more in-depth treatment, we direct the interested reader to Paschen, Kietzmann, and Kietzmann (2019) .

7 The aforementioned audio and visual cues can be extracted using crowdsourced lexicons developed in the R environment. The sentiment underlying the sender's spoken words can, for instance, be calculated the using the Syuzhet package and can reveal the valence of the communication over the passage of time, and Soundgen can quantify the qualities of the sender's delivery.

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9 Sales Pitch Examples (Plus Tips on How to Write Your Own)

ebook cover -  transparent - pitch deck templates


Looking to expand your client base? Look no further! A well-designed pitch deck can be the key to success.

Person shares sales pitch examples

Updated: 09/07/23

Published: 09/01/23

Your sales pitch can make or break the deal, so it‘s a good idea to have that nailed down before meeting with your customer. It’s your opening line, your verbal business card, and the first thing your customer will hear when you call or meet with them.

I've been in sales for almost 16 years and have heard my fair share of both great and less-than-stellar pitches.

For this post, I‘d like to discuss the anatomy of a good sales pitch and share examples of the best sales pitches I’ve ever heard.

Download Now: 4 Customizable Pitch Decks [Free Templates]

What is a sales pitch?

How to start a pitch.

How to Makes a Sales Pitch

The Sales Pitch Framework

Sales pitch ideas.

Sales Pitch Examples

A sales pitch is a condensed sales presentation where a salesperson explains the nature and benefits of their business, ideally in less than one or two minutes. Sales pitches are often referred to as ‘elevator pitches’ because they should be able to be delivered within the time constraints of a single elevator ride.

Salespeople are past the point of giving prospects hour-long presentations to sell products or services. Nobody has that kind of time and, to be honest, if you need an hour to relay your value proposition, you're doing it wrong.

They're called elevator pitches for a reason. Ideally, if you're giving me one, I should be able to understand what you have to offer in the time it takes to get from the lobby to my floor.

A good salesperson should be able to get their message across compellingly and concisely. If you can nail your sales pitch, odds are you'll have more time to talk down the line.

research paper sales pitch

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You're all set!

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What is a product pitch?

A product pitch is not much different than a sales pitch, but is specifically focused on a product or service. You'll go in-depth and emphasize how your product works, how it will solve their pain points, and the specific benefits it will bring to your customers.

As an example, a sales pitch can be broadly focused, like if you‘re a consulting firm that offers a wide range of services. You’re selling your business as a whole, rather than a specific product or service, like a CRM platform or accounting tool.

Starting a pitch is arguably the hardest part. You have to grab your prospect’s attention so that they actually want to hear the value of your product and how it can help their business. But before you can share the product’s value, you have to hook the prospect.

When starting your pitch, you’ll want to integrate the following essential elements.

  • Start with the problem. Always start with the problem. Unless they know the problem you can solve, they won’t be open to hearing how your product is a solution.
  • Tailor the start of the pitch to their vertical. No one wants to hear a general pitch that would apply to any business. Research their vertical and use the information you found to personalize the pitch immediately.
  • Offer stakes. If they don’t solve the problem using your solution, what do they have to lose? You don’t need to state it in such clear terms — but alluding to the risks at the start of your pitch can help you secure buy-in straightaway.

Here are a few methods for starting a product pitch, but remember: try to stick to thirty seconds, or one to two sentences if you’re delivering the pitch via email.

Start off with a personal anecdote.

Start off a pitch with what you know best — yourself. While I don’t think you should focus solely on yourself throughout your entire pitch, starting off with a personal anecdote can help you speak with more authenticity and foster empathy.

The key here isn’t to focus on the product’s merits. How many product pitches start off with “This product helped me achieve X results in X amount of time”? A lot. And I’m already yawning. And no one cares about results unless they know the problem first.

Your personal anecdote should focus on a problem that your product can solve. Make it as excruciating as you’d like — and don’t forget to be genuine and connect your anecdote to their business.

Ask a question that relates to the problem you solve.

Oh, yes, the good old question. While it might verge on overused, it’s not to be dismissed. Asking a question is a highly effective way to start a pitch. The question should, again, focus on the problem.

Stick to yes or no questions and tailor it specifically to the business you’re pitching to. If you’re speaking to a real estate business, create a question that articulates a problem specifically experienced by real estate firms. If you sell a property management software, it could be as simple as, “Do you spend way too much time tracking individual property sales? That’s time better spent actually showing homes to prospective buyers.”

Start with a stat that resonates and offers stakes.

Starting with a stat can be effective — but it has to resonate with the audience and offer stakes. In other words, what does the stat have to do with the problem? How does it reflect a potential and critical downfall that could harm your prospect?

Let’s say that you’re a salesman of yard maintenance services. Starting off with “50% of homes don’t use yard maintenance services” is a lazy and boring way to begin your pitch. Consider instead: “50% of homes don’t use yard maintenance services, resulting in thousands paid to HOA every year.”

Now that you know how to start your pitch, it’s time to deliver the rest of it. Use the following tips to secure buy-in in less than three minutes.

How to Make a Sales Pitch

  • Make it short.
  • Make it clear.
  • Explain who your customers are.
  • Explain the problem they're facing.
  • Explain how your product addresses their needs.
  • Describe what success will look like as a result of using your product.

1. Make it short.

A sales pitch isn‘t a conventional presentation. You’re not going to have PowerPoint slides. You‘re not going to have complimentary pastries on a boardroom table. And, most of all, you’re not going to have your audience‘s time and patience for long — at least not until they’re sold on your product.

2. Make it clear.

This ties in with the previous point. You don‘t have the time to go on tangents or talk about anything but the message you’re trying to get across. Your pitch has to be lean and to the point. It has to register with your listener immediately. That means speaking with intention and clarity.

If you’re pitching a product, you want to ensure that you clearly communicate how it will solve your prospects' pain points, giving them a clear picture of how their day-to-day will improve if they decide to make a purchase.

3. Explain who your customers are.

Consider the picture you‘re going to paint in your pitch. Give your listeners perspective on who’s buying your product or service. They want to know that you have a lucrative, engaged market in mind. Be specific in identifying who will be interested in your product, and try to convey why your listeners should be interested in them.

4. Explain the problem they're facing.

Cover why your customer base needs you. Your target market is only as valuable as the problems you can solve for them. Convey a problem they consistently face. If you‘re pitching a spreadsheet software for accountants with functionality Excel doesn’t have, you could discuss how hard it is to bookkeep without your software's unique features.

5. Explain how your product addresses their needs.

Here‘s where you start to bring it all home. You’ve established who you‘re selling to. You’ve established why you‘re selling to them. Now, you have to establish why they’d buy from you. What can you do better than your competition?

As mentioned above, you need to clearly explain how your product addresses their needs. Continuing with the accounting example, you could touch on how your unique data visualization features make busywork more efficient.

6. Describe what success what success with your product will look like.

Show the benefits of your product on a broader scale. In the example we‘ve been using, you can talk about how accountants that use your software have more time to spend with important clients or the flexibility to spend time with their families. Show how your product makes your customers’ lives better as a whole.

Ideally, your pitch should be a one-liner summarizing what your company does, how they do it, and for whom. And this is not just a requirement for sales reps. Anyone in your company, from the CEO to sales consultants, needs to know your one-line sales pitch by heart.

So, how should you structure your sales pitch?

If you have time to properly expand and work on a conversation, touch on points of interest. Here's a framework you can use for building your pitch:

  • Problem: Start with a statement or question about the problem you solve. You can present the problem using a personal anecdote, question, or eye-opening statistic. Answer the why.
  • Value Statement: Share a very clear, concise statement of value. Be action-oriented and outcome focused. Avoid using jargon. Share benefits.
  • How We Do It: Highlight unique differentiators and explain what you do.
  • Proof Points: Provide clear reference examples and list recognizable achievements. Share industry validation and awards.
  • Customer Stories: Share customer examples and successes. Tell emotional and personalized customer stories. Make it real and tangible.
  • Engaging Question: Close the pitch with an open-ended question, creating a space to have a conversation.

Many companies use success stories in their pitches to ensure the sale. Name-dropping really works, so be sure to use that to your advantage. And if your product is small or light enough to keep in your pocket, you should always have one on-hand to show your prospect.

I always stress the need for a concise sales pitch. So keep it free of professional jargon, don't get into the weeds, and be sure to talk more about your prospect and their problems than yourself.

Nothing‘s more off-putting than a bragging salesperson talking about themselves, their company, or their services. That’s what I call the “me monster.” The actor in your story is the customer, not you — period.

Distribution Matters

Lastly, presentation and distribution are everything. You need to deliver your sales pitch to the right person at the right time with the right tools on hand (like a demo, free trial, or presentation).

The sale starts with your list of contacts. Define your list and personas, know their correct contact information, get an introduction, and make sure you contact them at a time of day when they're likely to respond.

  • Tell a story.
  • Include a value proposition.
  • Personalize the sales pitch.
  • Switch up your pitch.
  • Practice your pitch.
  • Try not to use metaphors.
  • Create a WOW moment.
  • Appeal to emotions.
  • Back it up with facts.
  • Tap into their fear of missing out.
  • Educate them.

How can you make your sales pitch the best it can be? Here are some sales pitch ideas.

1. Tell a story.

Keep your listeners engaged by telling a brief story . The story could be either about the company or how a customer found success through your product or service. In this latter example, you can start with the issue the customer was facing, lead into the solution, and end with the key results the customer achieved.

If you think storytelling is difficult, don’t fret. Just think of your favorite movies and TV shows — how did they keep you engaged? Try to emulate the same tricks as you try storytelling during a sales pitch. Use images and interactive elements to enrich the experience for your listeners, keeping in mind who your audience is and what their preferences are.

For instance, if you’re selling enterprise-level software to senior-level executives, you might adjust your tone and delivery to be more formal and poised. The scrappy owner of a startup, however, might appreciate more humor and levity. Study your prospects to figure out the best storytelling method for them.

sales pitch ideas: storytelling dos and donts

2. Include a value proposition.

What value will you provide for this person or their company? While your pitch should be short and sweet, the value proposition is the core of your sales pitch. To offer the greatest amount of impact, your value prop should come after you identify the problem that your prospect faces in their day-to-day. The value prop is the proposed solution and is the make-or-break moment of your pitch.

Create a value proposition canvas to guide the wording of your value prop. Remember that the gain creator and pain relievers connect directly to the customer gains and pain points. Leveraging these two sections of your canvas will help you create a pitch that directly speaks to your prospect and their needs.

sales pitch ideas: value proposition canvas

3. Personalize the sales pitch.

Who are you talking to? Make sure your sales pitch is relevant to them and piques their interest. You‘ll be able to customize it so it addresses the items that are most important to the person you’re speaking with.

This idea applies to any pitching method or technique you use. No matter what, the sales pitch should speak to your prospect’s highly specific pain points and needs. For instance, if you’re pitching your bookkeeping software to the sole proprietor of a freelance business, you might emphasize the easy and simple invoicing tool.

For personalization to have the most impact, you must have had a productive discovery call where you asked questions that uncovered your prospect’s most urgent needs. Leverage the information you found out during that process to hone your pitch.

sales pitch ideas: discovery call personalization

“How many times have you found yourself in a spot where you absolutely loved how you or your subject looked in a picture; however, something still seemed to be wrong about it as a whole? In most cases than not, that ‘something wrong’ is the image background. An ill-looking background can potentially drop down the appeal of a picture. Glorify’s background removal tool solves this problem for you under minutes!

Create beautiful, high converting e-commerce images, with just a few clicks.

Glorify is the brand new cloud-based Graphic design software specially developed for the internet marketers, e-commerce vendors, influencers, social media manager, as well as growth hacker. It’s primarily designed for everyone who’s not a specialist in visuals designing. With simply a few clicks any person can produce sensational item pictures, social media graphics, books, logo designs, etc.”

  • It immediately presents a common problem that e-commerce vendors and marketers deal with and offers a solution.
  • It’s fast-paced and gets right to the point.
  • Its use of animated visuals and catchy audio make it engaging to watch.
  • It demonstrates how to use the tool.

7. Social Sales Pitch

Social sales pitches are tailored messages delivered to prospective customers through social media platforms, like LinkedIn. This process is often referred to as social selling .

Unlike traditional sales pitches that can be more direct and transactional, a social sales pitch aims to establish relationships and build trust with prospects by delivering valuable and relevant content. The goal is to increase brand awareness and drive conversions by aligning your sales message with the interests and needs of your prospects.

Here’s an example of social sales pitch that works when you have a mutual connection:

social sales pitch example

To fill the need, they developed the idea of a software solution for encoding data into inaudible tones. On a three-day, SXSW-bound, Cincinnati StartupBus, LISNR® was born, pitched, and moved to a seed round. Over the past 7 years, LISNR has raised over $35M and pioneered many advancements in ultrasonic technology, ultimately driving its usage in payments today.”

  • It uses the company’s origin story as a storytelling device.
  • It communicates the company’s values.
  • It differentiates its product from others on the market.
  • It shows how much the company has grown over time.

9. Follow-Up Pitch

So, what do you do if your prospect doesn’t respond to your first pitch? You follow-up with them. A follow-up pitch gives you the opportunity to reignite the conversation, reinforce your value proposition, and address any questions or concerns your prospect might have.

Follow-up pitches can be delivered through a number of channels, but phone calls and email are the most common. Ultimately, the goal of a follow-up is to continue nurturing your relationship with the prospect and convert them into a customer.

Here’s a great example of a follow-up after connecting with a prospect on social media:

follow up sales pitch example

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What Makes a Great Pitch

  • Michael Quinn

research paper sales pitch

It’s all about reading the room.

A good pitch is a balancing act that can be adjusted to the currents in the room. A recent survey of HBR readers found — at least in this community — how important it is to understand not just what you are pitching, but who you are pitching to. The reason? The more senior your audience, the less you should rely on your deck and the more you should expect your pitch to be a conversation, showing your team’s authentic passion for the challenge or problem and their resilience for solving it creatively, together.

Pitching for new business is a make-or-break moment for many teams. You want to win the pitch, and so you develop a detailed slide deck, tout your credentials, capabilities and successes (case studies), and select your strongest presenter – possibly the leader of your team or company — to do all the talking. Right? Wrong.

research paper sales pitch

  • MQ Michael Quinn is the founder of Minor Nobles, the NYC-based consultancy offering workshops, webinars, rehearsals and 1:1 training to help teams and leaders update their behavior to win more pitches for new business and investment. He is also a faculty instructor for the Association of National Advertisers and host of the podcast, “Own The Room,” where top executives discuss their own experiences pitching and what they wish people would do more often, or avoid altogether, in pitches to them.

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Need-Based Sales Pitch: Insights from an Experiment

Profile image of Sreeramana Aithal

2020, International Journal of Case Studies in Business, IT, and Education (IJCSBE)

In brick-and-mortar retailing, sales personnel play the most important and complex role whereby they are the ones who are connected to consumers directly on a real-time basis. It is observed that the majority of brick-and-mortar retailers in India assume; consumers who walk into their stores have a clear understanding about their needs and based on their needs they enquire sales personnel in the store about a specific duct/category/brand. Such a significant assumption has created a predisposition and mindset in sales personnel, and they believe thatthey are left with very little room for adding any more products into consumers basket by the way of either cross-selling or up-selling. In this research, we have attempted to design a new need-based sales pitch technique and applied the same through an experiment to evaluate the change in (a) sales person’s attitude towards consumer orientation, (b) types of products/categories/brands being sold, and (c) overall store profitability.

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Using the role-play technique, the effect of four different sales orientations on customers with four different need patterns was examined by the authors. In a factorial design, product-centred,company-centred, customer-centred and self-centred salespersons interacted with strong need, marginal need, no need, and negative need consumers, attempting to sell a radio set. Neither the salesperson nor the customer was aware of the other's orientation.

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In brick-and-mortar retailing, sales personnel play the most important and complex role whereby they are the ones who are connected to consumers directly on a real-time basis. Besides, to this complexity retailers in India find it difficult to recruit well-trained sales personnel who is an all-rounder. It is observed that majority of bricks-and-mortar retailers in India assume a) sales personnel in the store are required to assist consumers in finding the right product at the earliest; b) consumers who walk into their stores have a clear understanding of their needs and based on their needs they enquire sales personnel in the store about a specific product/category/brand; c) sales personnel attrition rate in stores is generally higher owing to lower pay scale; d) product-specific training has to be given the highest priority; e) designing a common training program relevant to all types of sales personnel is difficult, and most importantly f) existing training efforts have not yielded in any significant positive impact on the store profitability. Such assumptions and misconceptions have created a predisposition and mindset in sales personnel and sales organization, and they believe that they are delivering the best results. In this exhaustive study, we have attempted to design a new sales personnel training framework that attempts to integrate a majority of the elements such as training content, trainee, trainer, training time frame in addition to firm-level and consumer-level evaluation techniques. In this twelve months-long research work we have analyzed a select brick-and-mortar retailer’s existing training framework, designed a new integrated sales personnel training framework, applied it to a select group of experimental stores to derive insights from the experimentation and check validity and reliability of the proposed framework. Results have demonstrated that more than 35 percent of the consumers repeat store visit rate could be determined by a) store profitability that is a positive motivator to sales personnel to perform better; b) walk-in conversion rate that is directly affected by the sales pitch of sales personnel which is directly affected by the continuous training efforts; c) sales personnel monetary incentive earnings that are directly affected by their performance through improved learnings, and d) sales personnel attrition rate that is a result of overall satisfaction of sales personnel.

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How To Write A Perfect Sales Pitch: Best Practices, Examples, And Templates

How To Write A Perfect Sales Pitch: Best Practices, Examples, And Templates

When I hear the phrase ‘sales pitch,’ I have ambivalent feelings about it. On the one hand, it’s just something inevitable, something every sales rep has to deal with. On the other hand, there’s…well…negative shade to it. Pitch? Really? I don’t like people pitching me any sort of thing.

Mulling over this confusion, I dare to infer: a good sales pitch can’t be pitchy.

Otherwise, it will make your prospects experience not the best feelings.

But what makes a sales pitch good? In this post, I’ll answer this question and share sales pitch examples and templates to make your pitch not pitchy but perfect .

What is a sales pitch?

Elements of a good sales pitch.

  • How to make a sales pitch
  • Sales pitch templates

A sales pitch is a concise sales presentation in which a salesperson makes a sales offering. They explain their business and non-intrusively show the value of their product/service. Salespeople commonly make their sales pitch at least once a week, so for sales teams, this is a regular part of the sales process .

You might deal with various sales pitch types depending on which channel you use for it:

  • Cold calling. ‘Call the damn leads’ – the phrase you might have heard hundreds of times, which reflects how you can reach a sales prospect with your offering – by phone.
  • Email outreach. Alternative to calling a prospect, you can use email to present your offering.
  • Social selling. You can contact your prospects on various social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more.
  • Elevator pitch. You typically use it at business events or when meeting someone in your industry for the first time.

Interestingly, you might come across the term ‘elevator pitch’ as just a synonym for ‘sales pitch.’ It emphasizes the very short time frame within which a sales pitch should be made – within the time of a single elevator ride.

research paper sales pitch

I won’t tell you that your sales pitch must have a strict structure. To be honest, I’d prefer to deal with creative sales reps who afford a sort of freedom, as they sound more personal and emanate credibility.

Anyway, creativity is something that should follow knowledge. So, if you’re planning to get some understanding of how a good sales pitch differs from a bad one, I would say that a good sales pitch is commonly based on 6 essentials and advise that you keep them in your pitch.

Sales pitch elements

When you contact a person for the first time, you can’t expect them to embrace you with both arms wide. Just put yourself in their shoes; what would you think? I bet you’d think, ‘What do you want from me?’

There must be something that will show them you are not a stranger – a good hook. As a salesperson, you should do thorough research and find information about the prospect that will let you catch their attention from the start.

You’ve read a prospect’s post? You’ve heard their company launched a new product? Or maybe you’ve just looked through their LinkedIn bio and think you have much in common? All this information can work well.

Here are some examples of hooks you can use:

“I see you’ve been promoted to the position of ___. Congratulations!”

“I’ve read your post about ____. I find your tips really useful.”

Alternatively, start your pitch with a direct explanation of why you’re contacting a person:

“The reason I’m calling/emailing is that ____.”

Even after impressing the prospect with your hook, you’re still a stranger to them. It’s time you told them a bit of information about your company. Just be careful here: you might be tempted to speak/write a lot. Resist it. Your intro must be short and straightforward, something like this:

“I am a sales manager at ____. Our company specializes in ____.”

3. Pain points

You’re making a sales pitch without pitching, remember? In your sales pitch, you’re not someone who is selling; you’re someone who is helping the prospect solve their problem. Your task is to identify your prospect’s pain points and highlight how your solution can help.

For example:

“I’ve read your company is using multiple services for ____, _____, and _____. It looks like you’re spending a lot of money on monthly subscriptions while your team has no single platform for cooperation.”

4. Benefits

I would say that’s the most crucial element of your pitch, your best moment to convince the prospect to buy your product/service.

Sadly, but very often, salespeople mix benefits with features. Don’t do this. In fact, your prospects don’t want to hear how excellent your solution is. They want to hear what they’ll get; they want a result.

Provide them with your value proposition.

Try to create a vision of success your prospect will experience after trying your solution. Will they become more productive? Will they spare money? Will they grow their revenue? You should know particular benefits your prospect will get and clearly state them, better with facts and figures.

For instance:

“With our tool, you’ll be able to manage all your workflow on one platform. This will help you enhance your productivity, sparing up to 5 hours daily, which your team can spend on most important tasks, and saving 30% of your budget.”

Snov.io CRM banner

About 72% of customers say positive testimonials increase their trust in a business. That’s because people need proof, so give it to them.

A good way is to reference companies who are your current customers, especially those who are your prospect’s direct competitors. And don’t forget to support it all with facts and numbers.

“We have been able to help companies like _____ grow their productivity by 30% and increase revenue by 15%.”

6. Call to action

The closing element of your sales pitch should hint at further cooperation with the prospective customer. Here I would advise you to ask your prospect an engaging question and call them to action, for instance, get together for a sales interview . But don’t just appoint a meeting; concentrate again on the value it will bring to your potential client.

“What if we arrange a video call next week for me to show you how we have helped companies like yours specifically. Would it be worth your time to see how our solution could save effort and money?”

Now that you understand the basic elements of a sales pitch let’s walk through some working tactics that will help you make your pitch irresistible.

How to make a sales pitch: best practices and examples

Do your research.

Before making a pitch, the first thing to do is to study your prospect from different angles. You should be clear about who you’re pitching to , so don’t neglect to find the basic demographic and firmographic data, like a person’s name, position, and information about the company.

A good option is to rely on LinkedIn , from which you can collect lots of data, such as the company’s news, industry-related posts, and comments, and use it as a compelling hook for your sales presentation.

Do your research

Use storytelling

Did you know that a great story can lead to the release of oxytocin, which creates a deeper connection between the storyteller and their audience? Not a surprise, storytelling is considered one of the most powerful sales techniques.

I highly recommend that you build your pitch around a narrative. Tell your prospect how other companies started using your product/service and what improvements they got. If you feel your prospect is inclined to object to your offering, you can even tell a brief story of how you have overcome problems by adopting a new technology after several objections.

Use storytelling

Focus on the prospect

Even if you provide an example of your company in your sales pitch, make sure you don’t go too far telling your prospect about your best functionality for another long hour.

A good sales pitch is a story where the main hero is a prospect, not you. So concentrate on your prospect’s current challenges and the bright perspectives they’ll get when they buy your offering.

Focus on the prospect

Balance between emotions and reason

In one of my previous posts about B2B sales psychology , I talked about the importance of appealing to emotions during a sales pitch. Here I would add that you should harmonize it with the appeal to the logical side.

You can appeal to emotions while talking about the prospect’s pain points, say, by asking them how they feel about their current problem. Or you can draw a positive picture of future improvements with your solution by asking them how they would feel if your product/service solved their problem.

research paper sales pitch

Create the FOMO effect

FOMO (fear of missing out) is a perception that you’re lagging behind others in experiencing the advantages of your current life. In sales, you can use the FOMO effect as a psychological trick to stimulate your prospect’s motivation to buy.

Try telling them success stories of direct competitors who have been using your product/service for a while. I’ve mentioned it in the previous chapter while talking about proof. This way, your prospects might feel anxious about missing out on something important their rivals already have in their pocket.

Create the FOMO effect

Personalize your sales pitch

Make sure your sales pitch is relevant to your prospect. Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach and focus on specific needs and pain points of a company you’re going to sell to. And let me remind you again: do research before you start your pitch and learn about your prospects, so you can address them personally, win their positive attitude, and build trust.

Personalize your sales pitch

Another way to build trust with your prospects is to position yourself as an industry expert. Why not add interesting facts to your sales pitch that your prospective customer might not know about?

For example, if your offering concerns a sales CRM , you can add some general information about the CRM market or statistics about how companies are adopting a new CRM. That will show you are well-versed in the subject and only add to the value of your offering.


Be prepared to handle sales objections

It hurts, but your sales pitch won’t always be accepted as something your prospect has been waiting for. Prospects do object, and yes, they do it quite often. Just be prepared to come up with counter-arguments to back you up.

Collecting a list of typical sales objections is important to the process of strategizing your sales pitch. When you know how to handle objections quickly, you’ll appear more credible and professional to the prospect.

Be prepared to handle sales objections

It might be strange to imagine yourself talking aloud, but you need to practice your sales pitch beforehand. Make a plan of your presentation, including all the elements mentioned above, and exercise what you’ll be saying, in what order, figuring out possible questions and prospects’ reactions to your sales pitch.

The top 5 sales pitch templates for your business

Wow, it seems you’re now ready to conquer the hearts of your prospects. Just one last bonus – I’ve prepared 5 templates to support your sales pitch email efforts.

Just remember: templates are fine, but your pitch must be highly personalized, so use them as convenient backing for your creativity.


Sales pitch email template #1 – Sales introduction

Use this template in case your prospect hasn’t heard about you before. Your key goal here is to give them a reason to start communicating with you, so prepare a hook and demonstrate you’ve done your homework, researching a company you’re going to pitch to.

Sales pitch email template #2 – Prospect’s website visit

Never miss a chance to make a pitch to a prospect who has visited your website. You don’t need to look for a specific hook in this case, as you’ve got one already. This template will help show you are attentive to your website audience and ready to help immediately.

Sales pitch email template #3 – Responding to content

Most of your prospecting customers are publishing regular content, usually blog articles. This is a wonderful opportunity to use one of their posts as a hook to build links and make a sales pitch.

Sales pitch email template #4 – LinkedIn connection email template

LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for getting new customers, so once your prospect has accepted your connection, you can use it as a hook for making a non-intrusive sales pitch. You can do this through LinkedIn messages, InMails, or email. The latter will be a better solution to deal with LinkedIn limits and restrictions .

Sales pitch email template #5 – Objection handling

This template will help you to stay in the game even after your prospect objects. As you see, a bit of storytelling can save the situation. If you don’t have a similar story to share, you can always use one of your customer’s use cases .

Wrapping up

A sales pitch is an inevitable part of your job as a sales rep . And while there are dozens of prospects who have negative associations with it (yes, just like me), you already know that making a good sales pitch is possible without being pitchy.

I hope all the above tips, examples, and templates will help you come up with a sales pitch that will melt your prospect’s hearts the way none ever did. Meanwhile, Snov.io will take care of your sales process from start to finish.

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15 Best Sales Pitch Examples [+ Tips and Templates]

15 Best Sales Pitch Examples [+ Tips and Templates]

Melissa Williams

What Is a Sales Pitch?

​​types of sales pitches, 15 sales pitch examples, sales pitch tips, sales pitch template.

When it comes to sales pitch examples and persuading anyone about anything, a dichotomy holds true:

You want (or believe) one thing; they want or believe another thing.

The easiest way to get from Point A to B is to connect the dots.

You find your audience’s point of view (POV) and connect to their values or needs.

Below are 15 sales pitch examples that show you tactical strategies and sales techniques to do it the right way.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

A sales pitch is a concise, targeted sales presentation that succinctly explains the following aspects of an offer: 

  • The product’s/service’s features and benefits
  • Unique value proposition/unique selling proposition (USP)
  • Data to back up your claims

Really great sales pitches also sometimes manage to make subtle references to more nuanced company information, like a mission statement, brand values, and more. 

Sales pitches vary in length depending on their format, the specifics of your offer, and the needs of your market. 

That being said, they’re definitely meant to be short — usually only a couple of minutes or less. That’s why a sales pitch is also sometimes referred to as an “ elevator pitch .” The idea is that you should be able to deliver the entire spiel in the time it takes to share an elevator ride with someone. 

Because time isn’t usually on a sales rep’s side when they’re pitching, they need to make sure the content and delivery are extremely compelling. 

To that end, it’s also important that the purpose of a pitch isn’t to sell the product immediately after the pitch. Instead, aim for baby steps; a more appropriate goal of a sales pitch would be to have to prospect book another meeting, sign up for a webinar, or commit to a demo. 

Sales reps have a lot of flexibility when it comes to pitching. There are several formats and delivery options available to suit the needs of any product, rep, or target market. 

Types of sales pitches

Phone Sales Pitch

Though cold calling (and, these days, phone calling in general) gets a bad reputation, it can actually be a surprisingly effective approach for a sales pitch. 

One of the advantages of a phone pitch is that it happens live, in real-time, so sales reps can gauge the prospects’ response and adjust their tactics accordingly. 

Phone sales pitches also make it easy for sales reps to show how much they’ve done their research as they deliver a highly personalized, value-driven offer. 

Pitching over the phone can also provide a natural segue into initiating an email conversation. 

Voicemail Sales Pitch

If you’re going to practice phone sales pitching, you’ll also want to master your voicemail sales pitch. 

With about 80% of all calls going to voicemail , chances are high that phone-based reps will need to rehearse exactly what they’re going to say when they hear that beep. 

And with so little time in the day (and the depressing statistic that only 5% of voicemails ever get returned), your voicemail sales pitch needs to be intriguing enough that it compels the prospect to give you the time of day, listen to the message, and call you back. 

Email Sales Pitch

The email sales pitch is a great tactic for sales teams that need to pitch to a large number of prospects. Reps who use this format get the benefit of being able to pitch to prospects anywhere, at any time. 

Sales pitch examples: A/B testing

Still, for all of its conveniences, email sales pitching comes with its own set of challenges. 

Standing out in a prospect’s inbox, for example, is no easy feat. People receive over 100 business emails per day , so reps need to know how to cut to the chase immediately (bullet points are great for this). Even the subject line can become make-or-break for some messages. 

The best way to use an email sales pitch is to focus on one or two primary points, and stick to them throughout. Remember, your main goal is to initiate further conversation; you can pick up where your email left off the next time you speak. 

Social Media Pitch

Sales pitch examples: Social media pitch

Instead, look for ways to use social media that will hold up as timeless. 

Social media pitching is great for increasing brand awareness and establishing credibility. It allows sales reps and prospects to engage in a casual, easy way that helps build rapport and trust. 

Presentation Sales Pitch

The terms “sales pitch” and “sales presentation” are sometimes conflated. And for casual purposes, that’s mostly fine. 

But in technical terms, a presentation sales pitch is one that includes a sales deck. 

The sales deck is the presentation component — a visual supplement (including images, copy, graphics, charts, etc.) that improves your pitch. Tools like PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Keynote can help sales reps of any experience level create sales decks for presentations. 

Over 90% of the information that’s transmitted to the brain is visual, so having the ability to present with visual aids is a huge advantage. 

Sales pitch examples: Presentation sales pitch

For a really polished presentation, email and/or print a PDF copy of the sales deck for the prospect, so they can review it on their own time and share it with other relevant decision-makers . 

Website Sales Pitch

Some sales teams use their company website to help them make their pitch. 

A website sales pitch includes any strategic messaging and/or content placed on the page that’s designed to capture prospects’ attention and encourage them to take the next action (e.g., fill out a form, call a sales rep, etc.). 

One of the biggest advantages of using the website to assist the sales pitch is that this format can be very effective at showcasing your brand values without coming across as too sales-y.

Follow-Up Sales Pitch

Sales pitch examples: Follow-up sales pitch

Elevator Pitch

“ Elevator pitch ” is the long-standing nickname for a sales pitch, and is named for the way salespeople need to pitch — quickly! Reps can get into the right mindset for an elevator pitch by imagining that they need to get their points across by the time the listener arrives to their floor. 

This is one of the shortest types of sales pitches, usually clocking in at 60 seconds or less. Be quick, be honest, and be friendly. The elevator pitch exists to make connections and is an invitation to learn more — don’t make it more complicated than that.

Sales pitch examples: elevator pitch template

Sales Pitch Example #1: The Elevator Pitch

In today’s day and age where everyone is on the go, the elevator pitch is a necessity. People simply don’t have the bandwidth for a full-length presentation — especially when they’re only just exploring their options. 

>>Example: Check out this example in which a G2 rep pitches his product with authenticity and enthusiasm in under 20 seconds. 

Social proof (i.e. data from case studies, quotes from testimonials, etc.) is one of the most powerful things you can include in a sales pitch. 

Just make sure you find a balance between sharing what other people think versus sharing what you can do specifically for that prospect’s unique challenges. 

Sales Pitch Example #2: The Product Demonstration

Sometimes, there’s really nothing like the real deal to get the prospect hooked. A live product demonstration can be incredibly compelling. 

>>Example: Check out the way the founder of Scrub Daddy scrubbed his way into three different Sharks’ hearts (who ended up arguing for the right to work with him!) and earned his company a lucrative investment. 

Watching this video, there’s no denying that the product works. The interested Sharks have absolutely no skepticism about the product or its claims; in fact, the best-fit Shark is actually excited to give him the money — all because his product demo spoke for itself.

Sales Pitch Example #3: The Pain Point Pitch

Here’s another Shark Tank example, and the entrepreneur in this pitch knows exactly how to dig into his market’s pain points: by talking about their children.

It’s clear by their body language here that every Shark — even those who are too old, at this point, to have kids in daycare — knows exactly the struggle that Mr. Brightwheel describes in his introduction.

The universal frustration faced by teachers and parents alike is so poignant that all he needs to do is describe it for a minute or two, and it brings even empty-nest parents right back to those chaotic early years.

Sales Pitch Example #4: The Two-Sentence Pitch

The Two-Sentence Pitch (also sometimes called the 12-second pitch) has a very specific framework.

First sentence: Complete (but brief!) summary of what your company does. 

Second sentence: What sets your company apart from competitors.

That’s it! This structure is helpful for beginning conversations with investors. It’s also sometimes used as the introduction for a slightly longer elevator pitch. 

>> Example: Here’s the two-sentence pitch in action.

Yesware is a sales engagement platform that helps sales reps increase productivity, improve engagement with prospects, and guide team-wide data-driven decisions. We integrate with Gmail, Outlook, and Salesforce in under 60 seconds, giving reps access to data directly in their inbox. 

This pitch is short enough that the specific language and other components can easily be A/B tested to find the perfect combination of words, gestures, pauses, etc. 

Sales Pitch Example #5: Don’t You Agree?

This presentation pitch example is a bait-and-switch approach that leaves your audience agreeing with you.

Here’s how it works :

  • Start with an undeniable truth.
  • Make a bold claim that contrasts it. One that should stir up some furrowed brows.
  • Why they should agree + Solution.

>> Example:  Here is a set of slides by Drift that does this well. The breakdown of the pitch:

Sales pitch example: Drift

Truth : Tech has taken over our lives.

Bold claim : Forms, emails, and calls are the enemy. (Keep in mind that this is being pitched to marketers and salespeople, who rely on these channels for leads and customer communication.)

Why + Solution : Tech makes us treat humans like faceless leads. We should be focusing on creating real conversation and solving needs. Meet Drift.

The beauty of this approach is it makes us think differently. Deep down, we all want to push our teams ahead. Doing so requires innovation and change. Your pitch introduces a new line of thinking that helps your audience become a change agent for their team.

Want more? Here are 7 of the best sales presentation slides   from companies like Facebook, Uber, and LinkedIn.

Sales Pitch Example #6: Start With a Story, Segue Into Your Pitch

Storytelling captivates us as an adult just as much as it did when we were a child.

Our brains literally react to them. Stories trigger the release of a trust hormone called Oxytocin. When storytelling in a sales pitch , this chemical reaction promotes connection and empathy.

>> Example: See this story by Amy Cuddy . (The pitch here is that we really can fake it until we make it; our body language informs our perception of ourselves and others’ perceptions of us, thereby shaping our outcomes.)

Here are the details to include in your story (with the speaker’s filled out as an example):

What : A car accident threw her from the car, dropped her IQ, and took her out of college.

When : Age nineteen

Why it matters : Amy overcame the odds by faking it until she made it. She realized that adjusting her body language shaped her mind, her behaviors, and her outcomes.

Pro Tip : Keep your story short. You should hit on all of the details above in less than 2 minutes. Here’s an example of what not to do: a seventeen-minute story by LEGO®.

Sales Pitch Example #7: Start With a Stat

Sharing data during a sales pitch is a surefire way to demonstrate your credibility. It shows that you’ve done your research and that you understand how their problem affects them in a very tangible way.

How it works: Start your pitch with a statistic that highlights the problem the prospect faces. 

>>Example: Let’s imagine your sales team sells onboarding software for new hires. Your product is designed to cut down on wasted time training new employees and reduce employee turnover. 

Did you know that disengaged or poorly-trained employees actually cost companies money? Employees with low engagement cost their organizations approximately 18% of their salary. And that’s not to mention the fact that it costs anywhere from $7,500 to $28,000 (or more) to hire and onboard a new employee.

This is an effective intro, or “hook,” because it immediately gets the prospect thinking about their own budget and bottom line, and how to avoid the consequences mentioned in the statistics.

Sales Engagement Data Trends from 3+ Million Sales Activities

Sales Pitch Example #8: The Demo Principle

What do late-night infomercials, Costco samples, and magicians have in common?

They show you what they’re pitching firsthand.

The theory here is that the cost of time and resources it takes to give a demo is worth it, because the net profit from sales outweighs the net profit of sales without a demo.

How to do it : List out a table with two columns: bells and whistles go on the left; the end benefits go on the right. Cross out the bells and whistles; demo and sell the end benefits.

>> Example : Watch this carrot slicer show passersby about an easy peeling experience. Notice how little he talks about features of the peeler, because you can see them for yourself.

Sales Pitch Example #9: Give Perspective Based on Your Audience

When you’re pitching, you know the thing you’re trying to sell like the back of your hand.

But you need to know your audience like that, too.

It’s the key that helps bring their point of view to yours. And it’s one of the most easily overlooked secrets behind a successful sales pitch.

Most pitches make the classic mistake of jumping right into selling.

How to do it right on your own : Ask your customers to pick their brain. Why did they choose you? What benefits were they excited to see? Why do they keep coming back? Lead with that.

>> Example: Watch Mark Cuban explain what he did when he was faced with selling Mavs tickets when they were the worst team in the league. (Start the video at 1:01.) He reframes the game experience as a way for parents to create lasting memories with their children — memories like the ones they still have with their own parents.

Sales Pitch Example #10: Use Emotional Appeal

Another thing that works in Mark Cuban’s pitch is that he uses nostalgia.

Triggering someone’s emotion drives them to act.

Think about it: It’s why panhandling works : it sparks sympathy, which compels us to give.

How to do it on your own : Identify your audience’s business and/or personal values. Show how your pitch relates to their own values. ( Yesware , for instance, relates to its users by being built to save them time and increase their productivity every day.)

>>Example: See this Shark Tank pitch , where a company founder gets two sharks tearing up by getting them to commiserate with the risks of starting a new company.

Using content in your pitch that strikes an emotional chord is one of 7 proven sales techniques to close a deal and get to “yes.”

Sales Pitch Example #11: Educate and Inspire

The way we grow in life, love, and our careers is by learning.

On the flip side of that, one way to help others to grow is to educate. And not in a way where you push your opinions. You need to lay the groundwork with facts they don’t know.

How to do it yourself : Use specificity. It’s a persuasive technique to make your points more believable.

>>Example: Here is a video pitch from CharityWater .

It lays out these important facts:

  • Some people have to walk 4 hours a day to get access to drinking water, and even then it is contaminated with dysentery and cholera.
  • Drinking dirty water each year kills more people than intense violence like war.
  • The water crisis is solvable. There is enough water in the world.

Sales Pitch Example #12: Use the Pique Technique

What was the first thing you did when you woke up this morning?

It’s the opening line of the video example above, and it captures viewers.

The thing is, when you’re selling to someone who doesn’t want to be sold to, jumping into a standard pitch is a fast turnoff.

The Pique Technique is where you make an odd request or ask a question that leaves your audience wanting to know more. They wonder why you’re asking, and that keeps them focused.

How to do it yourself : Make a small request of your audience, or ask them a question that’s easy to answer but leaves them wondering why you’re asking in the first place.

>> Example :

Sales pitch example - pique technique

Sales Pitch Example #13: Paint Them a Picture

You think what you’re pitching is great, right? Well, the best way to show your audience this is to give them your POV.

How to do this : Think of the end effect of whatever you’re pitching. What does it feel like? Use a metaphor to explain it to your audience. You’ll need three or more points of similarity between the thing you’re pitching and the thing you’re comparing it to.

Because this can be tricky, here are two examples:

>>Example 1: Joe MacMillan compares the first web browser to driving through the Holland Tunnel:

Points of similarity:

  • Possibility to be able to go anywhere
  • Excitement of what is to come
  • The anticipation of everything being laid out before you

>>Example 2: Don Draper pitches a slide projector wheel by describing it as a time machine:

  • Goes backward and forwards
  • Takes us to a place where we ache to go again
  • Lets us travel to a place where you know you’re loved

As Don Draper says, this technique helps your audience to create a sentimental bond with whatever it is you’re pitching.

Sales Pitch Example #14: Use Flattery

We all have some level of self-doubt.

Which is why flattery is so effective.

It replaces our self-doubt with self-esteem. This subconscious effect holds true even when the offeror has an ulterior motive and the person you’re complimenting sees your ulterior motive .

>> Example:

Sales pitch examples: use flattery

Check out 5 more email examples of personal selling  in action.

Sales Pitch Example #15: Show Them That Their Time > Your Time

This one makes you stand out because 98% of sales pitches make a valiant assumption.

One that ruins their shot — despite the effort put into writing and setting up the nurture.

They assume is that their time is more valuable than their prospects.

The mindset is “I put in 1 minute of research, so I’m warranted to ask for 15-30 of yours.”

Because “I think this is a really good fit.”

Who cares? The trash can.

Instead, show them you spent more time researching than you’re asking for.

>> Example: See the example below. First, Asher runs an audit to pitch. Then, he reaches out through LinkedIn Messaging and email to send me the audit directly.

Within the same hour, I then received this with the audit attached:

Sales pitch examples: LinkedIn

Keep the following tips in mind as you practice and perfect your sales pitch. 

Research…a Lot

As fast-moving as most sales pitches are, they require a tremendous amount of research ahead of time. 

For a sales pitch to be effective, the rep who’s delivering it needs to be on top of everything from product knowledge to customer knowledge, to market trends and predictions. 

Solid sales pitch research means understanding: 

  • The prospect’s pain points , needs, challenges, and preferences
  • The appropriate channel for distributing the pitch 
  • The decision-makers at the prospect’s company, and how to reach them
  • Which questions and/or objections may be presented during the pitch

The more thorough your research, the more personalized your pitch will be. 

Make a Connection

Although it’s hard to measure, a lot of your success with sales pitching will come down to how well you make your first impression. 

Avoid the temptation to launch directly into your pitch content, no matter how limited your time. 

Instead, be the leader in building rapport. Make an effort to make a connection, and (of course) always remember to pitch with honesty and integrity. 

Start With a Strong Opening

You only have a few minutes to pitch, so the first few seconds are key. The opening of your pitch (sometimes called “the hook”) is one of the most important parts to master. 

To add curiosity and engagement to this section, consider starting by asking a question or sharing a relevant statistic. 

Work on Your Messaging

Regardless of the format of your pitch, always ensure that your brand messaging and value proposition are communicated clearly. 

Sales pitch tips: Unique selling point (USP)

Numbers are precise and definitive — sharing statistics and data during a sales pitch can give prospects something tangible to reference as they contemplate more about your offer. 

Nail Your Next Steps

Remember, the point of a sales pitch is to get the prospect to agree to the next step in the process. 

To that end, sales reps need to make sure that they know exactly what they plan to ask for after their pitch. 

Whether you want a meeting, a demo, or simply an email address, make sure that you have your specific ask ready (along with any materials you need to make it easy for them to say yes). 

Although every sales pitch is different, there are a few components that are common to just about everyone. 

Use the following list to help you create a sales pitch template for your team. 

  • Introduction: Make friendly introductions and build rapport. Pay attention to the prospect’s body language, and adjust your approach accordingly. 
  • Problem/Pain Points: Many sales reps find it effective to start their pitch with a question, or with a surprise-factor statement relating to the prospect’s pain point. The idea is to get them feeling a bit unsettled at the beginning so that by the time you finish your pitch, they are relieved to hear about your solution. This is where you get to the heart of the “why” for the prospect. 
  • Value Statement/Value Proposition: As clearly and concisely as you can, explain your company’s value proposition and unique differentiators. The way you describe your USP should be action-driven and results-oriented. Avoid overly technical jargon or complex explanations. 
  • Proof Points/Customer Stories: Social proof is powerful enough that it should always be included in a sales pitch, no matter how limited your talk time is. Snippets from case studies, testimonials, and online reviews are all great resources that prove other customers trust you; internal data and success stories can also be very compelling. 
  • Closing Question/CTA: At the end of your pitch, it’s time to talk next steps. Some reps choose to end their pitch the same way it began: with an open-ended question . This can put the ball in the prospect’s court and help guide them into the next stage. If they don’t get there on their own, though, it’s up to you to be firm and make a direct call-to-action (i.e., Can we set up a demo for Thursday? How’s 2:00pm?). 

Remember, it’s important to always connect the dots and put your prospect first.

These sales pitch examples use tactical strategies that are easily replicable but must be catered to your specific prospects.

This guide was updated on November 22, 2023.

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The Sales Pitch: 8 Sales Hook Examples, Triggers, and More!

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Are you looking for a way to make the perfect sales pitch?

Sales pitches are an important part of any business. The goal is to get your audience interested in what you have to offer and then convince them that they need it. But how do you create a great sales pitch? We’ve got some tips on making the perfect sales pitch, including hooks, triggers, and more!

You want people to buy your product or service so use these tips on creating the perfect sales pitch! These will help you develop compelling content that will lead potential customers down a path of desire until they finally reach action.

sales pitch

What is a sales pitch?

A sales pitch is a message used to persuade a prospect to purchase a product or service.

It can be delivered in a variety of different ways, including in-person, over the phone, or via online, TV, or radio advertisements.

In most cases, a sales pitch should be short and to the point. It should also explain or demonstrate the value of the product or service to the prospect.

Here is a presentation that gives a higher level overview of this post, or continue reading as I’ll go into more detail.

Slideshare Presentation: Sales Pitch: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering the Message

Before we get too far, I’m going to assume you already have leads to pitch. So we’re just going to get straight into actually pitching them. 

However, if you do not yet have a stream of leads, this is what LeadFuze’s software can do for you. 

LeadFuze helps you build lists of accurate leads automatically while integrating with sales outreach tools to allow you to contact those freshly verified leads.

LeadFuze in action. Sign up to get 25 leads for FREE.

4 Ingredients on How to Make a Good Sales Pitch

Every sales pitch consists of these four elements:

You’ll need to tailor your pitch to your audience so that they can benefit from what you have, but first, you’ll want the know everything about them. What are their needs? Challenges? Pain points and goals for themselves or others in society as a whole?

The most successful pitches of today begin with knowing who will be reading it – this includes understanding their preferences, habits, demographics, etc., and how those affect desirable outcomes like customer satisfaction or retention rates. You don’t want any unwanted surprises when pitching an idea!

There is always one problem that every business has, and it’s a big deal. Some might think this isn’t an issue for them or their industry but the truth is, we all have to face problems day in and day out – especially if you’re running your own company.

What problem is your target audience experiencing on a regular or semi-regular basis?

Highlight the problem in your sales pitch and describe its impact. If possible, share stats that will drive home the importance of solving the problem.

Let your audience know that you understand their problem completely.

After addressing the problem, show your audience how your product or service can help them solve it.

Don’t let your prospects’ fears about a potential solution persuade them to go in the wrong direction. Be prepared to show that you’ll be able to solve issues, like an unexpected problem or need for additional support services, and do it quickly so they can focus on their other priorities as soon as possible.

Summarize the value of your solution, and explain why they should do business with you. Make sure to break down your solution into smaller chunks or steps so that your audience will have an easier time understanding it.

Once you’ve outlined your solution, you should let your audience know about all the benefits that come with solving their problem. If possible, provide hard data based on case studies and results from your current or past customers.

 5 Types of Sales Pitches and Ideas

In this section, we’re going to go over the most common types of sales pitches. A good sales rep should have all of these pitches prepared and ready for when a situation arises to pitch their company’s product or service.

1 One-word pitch

Can you sum up your entire brand in one word? You should be able to.

Your one-word pitch should consist of a single, powerful word that best describes what you do. All large companies have a one-word pitch.

Google’s is “search” while HubSpot has the more abstract “flywheel.” To find your own unique and meaningful word to describe your company or service can be challenging but it will help guide everything else in terms of marketing strategy and implementation 

Take some time to think about how this might work for you!

Once you decide on your one-word pitch, use it everywhere: on your website, in your sales presentations, and during meetings.

2 Elevator pitch

The elevator pitch is an effective way to communicate your company, product, or service in a memorable and concise manner. This type of sales pitch should be kept under two minutes so that it can be delivered during the course of one elevator ride (specifically when there isn’t time for much discussion).

The purpose behind having this short-yet-effective type of presentation is that you never know what opportunities will arise outside those where there are long periods available to discuss what you do.

3 Cold call pitch

Cold calling isn’t dead. In fact, as much as 49% of buyers prefer a cold call as a first point of contact with a business.

A cold-calling pitch should always take into account what type you are dealing with so that it is tailored for each person and their needs specifically; this can make all the difference between one who becomes interested in your product/service and someone else who doesn’t want anything to do with it at all!

The prospect may have some questions after hearing about why they need our specific service – try not to ramble on too long before answering them, but also don’t say too little either because then there’s nothing left for them to ask more about.

While your cold call pitch can be longer than an elevator pitch , it shouldn’t be lengthy. Try to get to the point as soon as possible before you lose your prospect’s attention. 

4 Email pitch

Some people may think that email pitches are just a copy of cold calls. But with the power to be creative and concise, emails can actually become an even more effective way for you to communicate any message quickly.

Use subject lines like “urgent question,” or make use of bolding, underlining, italicizing–whatever it takes! Just remember that your prospects receive many marketing messages every day so try not to keep them waiting too long before they read something worth their time from you.

It’s harder to convey tone over email, so avoid using any ambiguous language in your email sales pitch.

Additionally, keep in mind that your prospects receive a lot more emails than phone calls every day, so it’s going to be harder to stand out. This makes it crucial that you use the right subject line and keep your email short and to the point.

If you are struggling to find the email address of the person you intend to pitch, here’s a resource that can help do that with ease .

5 Sales presentation pitch

The sales presentation is the traditional method of pitching a product or service. It provides you with the most space and time to pitch your offering, which takes more than just words to get people excited about what you’re selling (I mean, if I had 10 minutes in front of an audience would I spend it talking? Nope).

As always try getting straight into point as quickly as possible.

Add some visuals that will catch someone’s eye so they can see how awesome your company really is down at their very core from not only text but also images too.

8 Sales Hooks Examples and How to Develop Them for Your Product

Your main goal is to quickly attract your target audience and make a sale. After all, what is a sales hook for?  So make use of these 8 sales hook examples that will be presented to you. 

Since the market is becoming more and more competitive, it’s getting harder to accomplish this goal without effective sales hooks in your sales pitch.

By sales hooks, I mean all those targeted, personalized, and emotional mental hooks that will get both the attention and the affection of your prospects.

The important thing to remember here is that these hooks are only teasers, not your full offerings. They should act as baits that give out just enough of a taste to leave your prospects wanting more.

The easiest way to understand the purpose of sales hooks is to think of them as elevator speeches.

If you had only one thirty-second chance to tell a prospect about your product, what would you say?

You need to be prepared to say what you do and what makes you special at any time, and as quickly as possible.

To be able to achieve this, you should do your research first.

This is the research that will help you gain a deeper understanding of your market’s characteristics, and consumer wants, needs, habits, and preferences so that you can make the best hook in sales.

Then, you need to find at least one thing that sets you apart from the competition.

Today’s consumers are faced with hundreds of marketing messages trying to persuade them to buy something.

You can’t expect to sell your product only by stating that it is out there on the market.

You have to develop a sales hook and objective sales pitch that is relevant to your product and your business as a whole.

Here are sales hook examples that you could use when making your sales pitch outline:

1 Tell a story that your prospects can relate to

“ There is no sale without the story; no knockout without the setup. ” — GaryVee

Everybody loves a good story. We can identify with them, learn something new, and get inspired.

Stories can quickly grab our attention and engage us emotionally.

This makes stories an excellent choice when creating selling hooks. 

Just be careful – do not bore your target audience with a never-ending story that will ask them to keep them listening or reading for too long.

sales hooks

The only way to make the sale is through stories that are brief, compelling and straight to the point.

But, how do you create such stories?

Use colorful, authentic language when describing your product.

Try to create an experience for your prospects.

Make sure that this experience includes all the positive aspects of your product.

To help people relate to your story, ask them to imagine a scenario and play along.

Structure the story in a way that will create a mental image of a better tomorrow – thanks to your product, of course.

It’s crucial here to not let yourself get lost in the story and start exaggerating. You have to make sure that your story is realistically optimistic.

Otherwise, many people won’t buy it.

Stick to the real value and features of your product, just communicate with them in an interesting way.

You can end with a lesson or a famous quote that supports your viewpoint.

2 Engage prospects with surprising questions

There’s no better way to engage your audience than asking them a question .

The more surprising the question is, the greater the engagement that you can achieve.

Just make sure to pose intelligent questions and try not to be too personal – it may offend them.

Find a counter-intuitive or unexpected piece of information, and use it in the form of a question or as an answer to a question.


Pick a less well-known fact that includes a large sum of money, a famous person related to your business or the interests of your audience.

Keep your questions relevant to your business and your product.

If you want to use provocative questions, make sure that you have an equally provocative idea to share.

Also, never start your sales hooks with harsh communication.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to tell tales to your prospects before you start talking about sales.

You only need to establish a certain level of credibility and trust before shooting these kinds of questions at your prospects.

3 Push the pain-point buttons

Solving the right problems for your prospects can bring you massive sales.

Getting into the problems of your customers will inevitably get you their attention.

But in order for this tactic to work, you need to know your customer’s fears, struggles, and insecurities very well. Otherwise, your efforts may backfire on you.

sales hooks

If you have done good research, push where it hurts the most.

This is the best way to gain their trust.

Find the things that set your product apart from others on the market.

Then, talk about the issues related to your competitors’ solutions.

Use numbers to quantify the issue, if applicable.

As soon as you remind the prospect of all the headaches, you’ll have a clear way to push your product and save the day.

This is how you’ll motivate people to purchase your offer.

4 Make use of Dichotomy

If you’re going to utilize this kind of hook, start by saying something that is true.

Then present a second truth that is in direct opposition to the first fact.

Finally, bring in your product and demonstrate how it can be used to address the problem.

In a segment of Shark Tank, the founders of DARTdrones utilized the dichotomy approach successfully in their pitch.

They proceeded by emphasizing that drones are indeed a useful piece of technology.

Then they contended that drones are prone to crashing, which directly contradicts the first truth.

That’s when they presented their solution which is a training course for drone pilots.

This contrasting approach informs us that we do not make absolute judgments, but rather that we compare two or more things.

A good fact is introduced first, and then a negative truth is introduced. This causes your audience to notice the contrast between both truths. 

They would want to see a solution, and you’ll be there teaching them how to do it.

5 Give out some genuine flattery

Flattery is the way to go when it comes to sales. People absolutely love being complimented, so use this charm during your pitch and they will be intrigued by what you have for sale!

The customer might catch on that you are buttering them up, but deep down inside they’ll feel good about themselves because of your compliments and see a positive side in all of your selling skills.

Make sure to express your flattery in such a way that it sounds sincere and contributes to the development of a good relationship with the client.

6 Appeal to the emotions

Using emotions is a really important tactic. During your pitch, make use of them. you avoid seeming manipulative, as doing so will turn off your consumer.

Determine the business, values and beliefs of your target audience. Demonstrate how your pitch is related to their own value system.

Including material in your presentation that elicits an emotional response may be your ticket to closing a deal and receiving a “yes.”

7 Use the Pique Technique

The problem is that when you’re selling to someone who doesn’t want to be sold to, directly launching into a conventional sales presentation is a certain way to lose their interest.

This pique technique is used when you make an unusual request or ask questions that leave your audience wanting to know more about what you’re talking about. They ponder why you’re inquiring, and that keeps them engaged.

8 Include supporting data

While you don’t intend for your pitch to appear dry, feel free to throw in a few concrete facts on your hook to support your pitch.

You need your clients to trust you, and for some individuals, objective data puts their minds at rest.

As long as you can cite credible sources for whatever statistics you put forth, a few excellently placed facts will help you appear more trustworthy.

To present your supporting facts,  make use of charts and graphs that are simple to understand. Instead of dumping all of the data on the table at once, break them down into manageable pieces.

3 Stages of a Good Sales Pitch

sales pitch

You may have heard the old sales term, “It’s easier to sell an aspirin than a vitamin”.

If someone has a headache, the aspirin is a sure bet.

The vitamin, someone has to be sold.

It’s pain point vs. luxury and it’s a very accurate portrayal of how it can be easier to sell products that solve a problem and harder to sell things that don’t.

But if you really want a positive response from your sales pitch, you have to go further by taking that aspirin and putting it in the form of one of those gummy vitamins.

You’re turning something that is useful into something that’s attractive.

You could have even thought, “Maybe we could do something similar to our case study above and make a podcast?”

It could be that simple, but

  • What do your targets want to hear?
  • What kind of research needs to be done?
  • Is there any psychology that can compel them to respond?
  • Will your leads listen to a podcast?

These are all questions that must be answered before you begin to worry about packaging your offer into a sales pitch.

Showing them a boring service or product (that they really need) takes thought.

Re-positioning your sales pitch to where it’s actually interesting takes time and effort.

There are tons of ways to make people perk up when your email arrives (no matter what you’re selling).

  • Restaurant owners want to get positive reviews, lower shrink, and open a second location.
  • Manufacturers want to shorten supply chains and improve output without increasing overhead.
  • Nursing homes want to protect, improve, and build their reputation.
  • Really, take a minute and figure out what your leads want to do to improve their business.

Bonus: Here’s a quick post that could help you (if you’re still having trouble).

Go Where They Go

To begin answering those questions about your prospects, you have to start visiting the same places they do.

If you’re not willing to find what interests your targets, you have no business trying to reach out to them in the first place.

You may as well send one of those, “I was going to call you, but figured I reach out here first” canned emails.

Read some industry blogs or white papers.

Try to find some keywords and terms that seem to be buzzing around.

Once you have a loose idea of what your buyers want to hear, it’s time to go into deeper water and extract the things they’ll want right away.

We’ll give you a couple of tactics to get you started.

Find What They Already Enjoyed

Go to a site like Buzzsumo (it’s free) and see which terms are getting shared the most.

We did a sample search below for the term “ lead generation “.

sales pitch

That quickly let us realize that it’s not a perfect method 🙂

sales pitch

Then, we tried searching for “dental practice management”.

We all know that someone reading this is trying to sell something to dentists.

It’s like the go-to B2B market, right?

Anyway, here’s what we found in the results.

sales pitch

A couple of the links there and another search let us know that dentists of an unsuccessful practice seem to look up anything from advertising tips to management best practices. (See screenshots below.)

sales pitch

There’s a lot of room here to find a topic that can bridge the gap between you and your ideal client.

sales pitch

Let Others Do the Research

Doing studies and running surveys of your audience is a great way to gather intel, but that will take a lot of time and maybe even a third party.

It’s more likely that the research you need is already available.

One of the best places to look is Pew Research.

And social media is a key component to both gaining and interacting with leads.

We went to Pew to find out if their research could help.

A quick search along the menu at the top lead us to see the “Internet & Tech” section.

sales pitch

We found the “Fact Sheets” tab interesting and clicked on it to find a few sets of data.

sales pitch

Low and behold, one of them was about social media.

sales pitch

In this piece, we were happy to find a ton of basic, but useful facts that could be used in creating a resource that speaks to businesses in a way they understand—facts.

sales pitches

The cool part is that you only need to give credit to Pew in order to use these facts in your own material. 

Like, right now, we are using Pew research to help you understand that we know what we’re talking about when it comes to researching.

sales pitch

Bonus Resource: These are just a couple of ways to find the content that your leads really want from you. HubSpot wrote a great post summarizing 17 different tools . You may want to bookmark it for future use.

A Word on Psychology

There is a lot that goes into the buying process (from your buyers’ point of view). Almost every step has to do with their noggin.

We aren’t going to go deep into the brain activity of the consumer here, but we will cover the basic points that you need to know when creating your irresistible offer.

Copyblogger wrote a great post  that is worth reading. In it, they state that “people make decisions emotionally” and “people justify decisions with facts”.

It’s these two keys that help you get responses from your sales pitch.

Giving your targets something they want, triggers them emotionally.

You are giving them a resource that will help them attain their goals, fulfill their desires, etc…

At the same time, you are setting yourself (or your brand) as the expert.

Readers, viewers, and listeners all need to be moved from their wants to their needs over the course of an email or two. Let’s break it down.

Emotion-based selling

Bottom Line: If you get this, you can get leads to respond. Creating a compelling offer happens when you can make leads emotionally desire a result (that you convey with your resource) and factually prove that you can create the result shown.

Don’t Stop There

Once you find that bridge between what you’re selling and what leads want to learn, it’s important to run the full hundred meters of this race.

It would be tempting to just spin the data you looked up into an original post or white paper. Or to hire someone on Fiverr to write content that barely passes inspection.

Nope! Don’t do it.

If you’re going to do that, just send spam. It’ll work about the same.

One of the best tips we could give you to make your pitch unique is to find out the most shared and valuable piece of content—and make it better.

Think about the real-life sales pitch example we gave.

Do you know how much effort it takes to record a podcast and upload it on the internet? If you’re interested, here’s a detailed post and a couple of hours worth of video tutorials on the topic.

It wasn’t easy, but the results speak for themselves.

Why would you put so much into your business and not do your best to sell the product?

Stage One Recap:

  • Take what you have to sell.
  • Find (related) things leads want to know.
  • Research to find out what they already like.
  • Make a (better) resource for them.
  • Highlight (factually) your ability to solve a problem.

2 Packaging

sales pitches

Hopefully, your sales hook is starting to become clear.

If you’ve read this far, your mind should be starting to think about the ways you can grab the eyes and ears of your leads in ways that don’t start with a cold, hard sales pitch.

Now, we’ll change gears a bit and talk about how to package your sales pitch within the confines of a cold email .

You’re Nothing if Not Relevant

There is a lot to convey in such a short amount of text.

You have 2-4 sentences (5 max), to tell them what you do and give them a way to learn more.

That’s not a lot of room for an introduction.

In fact, you shouldn’t introduce yourself.

That’s why you have one of those fancy signatures at the end.

With Gmail, they already see your face anyway.

Just get to the point; the clear value that you hope to tell them more about in a conversation.

“ Delivery of your value statement should take no more than 15 to 20 seconds — generally less. ” — Dave Hibbard

Here are the elements of a relevant cold email:

Subject Line

You’ve probably read several posts about this one little thing.

It dominates that discussion of outreach, because it’s so important to the open rate.

We could hash out those details, but we’ve written extensively on the subject. Here are few links on the topic (from us and others).

  • Subject Line for Cold Email – The Art, Science, and Successful Examples (LeadFuze)
  • Follow Up Email Subject Line – How to Write Something Compelling that Actually Works (LeadFuze)
  • 164 Best Email Subject Lines to Boost Your Email Open Rates (OptinMonster)

How to start a sales pitch

Most readers can see the first sentence, making it the second most important part of the email (subject line being first).

There are a few sales pitch ideas that you could use, depending on who you’re trying to contact.

The Gush: If your audience is a reach up like to CEOs, celebrities, or others who may be publicly notable—tell them that you enjoy their [insert thing they do here].

  • Sales Pitch Example: We’ve been a user/reader/subscriber of [blank] for years and are big fans of…

The Brag:  This is where you start off with a closely related and well-known client of yours to prove that you are a potential fit for their brand right up front.

  • Sales Pitch Example: We just finished a project for [insert fancy-pants customer you’ve worked with here] and thought….

The Point: You know your leads. If they don’t want their time wasted, often times the best thing to do is give them the goods in the first line.

  • Sales Pitch Example: I was wondering if you were looking for more social media leads for your dental practice?

Question Time

Make sure that one of your few sentences is a question.

It’s like the call-to-action.

The whole email should be geared toward getting a response.

You should actually include a couple of sentences that maximize the potential to getting an email back.

For instance, (using the question above) asking a direct question, first sentence, about their business needs (e.g. do you want more XYZ?).

Then, end with a less confrontational and related question. Something like, “Which social media platform gives you the best results?”

Doing this provides two opportunities for the lead to answer, one aggressive and the other not.

If they answered the less aggressive question, they may need more nurturing.

But if they email back asking for quotes—it may be a faster qualifying process.

The Signature

Your signature should be the only contact information that you give.

Don’t introduce yourself, don’t start out with who your company is, none of that.

Put all relevant data in your (professional) email signature at the end of the email (before the P.S.).

sales pitches

Don’t make it too long. They don’t need to know your birthday, favorite color, and NO inspirational quote.

  • Company (with address)
  • Your immediate contact data

Post Script (AKA P.S.)

Always include a P.S. in your cold emails.

It’s more likely to get read than the second sentence.

O.k., so we may not have hard data on that last sentence.

That said, post scripts get read by everyone who opens the email.

If you have a great resource that is perfectly tailored to your ideal leads, this would be the ideal place to put it. Those leads who opened your email and shrugged with a “Meh” may look down and say “Ohh”, leading to an eventual response.

Remember our case study? This is how you go from ZERO to 71.

sales pitches

We have to go over one last critical piece to the cold outreach puzzle—timing.

Your compelling product pitch is going to be the cornerstone of your outreach, but most of the time it won’t take on the first send.

Oftentimes, it takes multiple touchpoints and emails to get a response from even the best leads.

In order to make the most of your lead list, you’ll want to send several emails; timed in a way that gets a response without annoying people.

We go into a lot more detail on when to send cold email .

6 Sales Pitch Best Practices

We’ve discussed the sales pitch from a lot of different angles in this blog post.

Before we wrap this up, we’ll go over a few best sales pitch lines and practices you should keep in mind to ensure that your sales pitch is as effective as possible.

1 Start with a question

A good way to start a sales pitch is to ask the prospect a question. 

Avoid starting your sales pitch by listing a bunch of facts (e.g., who you are and what your company does). Instead, begin your sales pitch with a question which helps to start a dialogue between you and the prospect.

Try asking a question about something you and the prospect would agree on, such as an undeniable fact or truth within their industry. You can start your question in one of the following ways:

  • You know how…
  • Doesn’t it seem like…
  • Have you ever noticed…

Getting the prospect to agree with you right at the beginning will help you build rapport and frame the conversation in the right way, giving you a better chance of making the sale.

2 Keep it conversational and friendly

While you should certainly practice your sales pitch, it shouldn’t sound practiced. Don’t turn your pitch into a monologue.

Think of talking with a prospect as chatting with a friend who could use your help. Keep the conversation casual and genuinely try to help the prospect while presenting your solution.

3 Focus on the benefits

Focus your sales pitch on the benefits that your solution can provide. Show the prospect how your product or service can solve their pain points, and the results it can generate for the prospect’s company.

This will help make the conversation highly relevant and interesting to your prospects, allowing you to grab their attention and get them interested in what you have to offer.

4 Make it short

You shouldn’t strive to explain everything about your solution in your first conversation with the prospect. Your sales pitch should result in the prospect wanting to learn more about your offering.

If you’ve done your research, you should be able to deliver your pitch within a couple of sentences.

Apart from intriguing prospects, a short pitch will also show them that you’re considerate of their time.

5 Take advantage of data

Your prospects most likely get pitched by companies similar to yours all the time. They hear a lot of different claims, some of them hard to believe or prove.

If you want to make your sales pitch believable, use actual data and stats to support your claims. Mention case studies you’ve produced, as well as any testimonials from satisfied customers that you might have accrued so far.

This will help prospects have an easier time trusting you and having faith in the effectiveness of your product or service.

6 Use storytelling

People are naturally attracted to stories. Storytelling is a great way to captivate your prospects and make them lower their guard.

Delivering your sales pitch in the form of a story allows you to build rapport and create a stronger connection between you and the prospect. A story helps prospects relate to your brand more, making it easier for you to sell to them.

Tell the prospects a story that covers where their business is now, what problems it’s facing, and where it could be if they had a way to solve their problem. Then, tell them how your product can help them get there.

7 Great Sales Pitch Examples

Before we conclude this guide, we’re going to mention a few of the best sales pitch examples out there. 

G2Crowd’s pitch revolves around agitating a pain point of their target audience and then offering their solution as a way to help their audience solve it.

They highlight a clear disconnect between what’s currently available in the market and what prospects actually need.

This sample sale pitch accomplishes all of this while staying relatively short and focusing on the benefits the G2Crowd platform offers to its users.

Vidyard’s pitch addresses its core audience right from the start and focuses on the competitive advantage its product has, as well as the clear benefits it can provide to its users. 

They also make sure to mention a number of different use cases for their product, helping prospects quickly understand all of Vidyard’s possibilities and making them imagine using it within their own company.

3 Brightfunnel

Brightfunnel’s sales pitch is the shortest one on this list. In just 15 seconds, they manage to explain what their platform is about and how it can benefit their target audience.

By keeping their pitch short, they manage to both keep their audience’s attention as well as have them asking for more.

4 Scrub Daddy

The founder of Scrub Daddy, Aaron Krause, presented his sales pitch for his scrubbing tool, which changes texture depending on how hot the water is, on Shark Tank years ago.

In addition to being able to rapidly describe how his product addresses cleaning issues around the house, he was able to show those claims in a live environment, which helped to make the pitch a success. 

For added interest and entertainment, he sprinkled in some lightheartedness and humor throughout the presentation and demonstrations.

5 Goody bag

Goodybag is a catering service that provides lunch for businesses. That isn’t exactly a new concept, is it? However, there are a few unique characteristics of the business that distinguish it from other comparable services.

As a result, the entrepreneur in this pitch example takes the time to clarify what the business is NOT from the beginning. This aids in the clarification of precisely what the company provides and what its unique value proposition entails.

6 Mama I Want to Write

Ebonee Monique Thompson of Mama I Want to Write, presented the narrative of her business at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneur Conference, which served as another example of an elevator pitch. Despite the fact that she just has a few minutes, her sales presentation gives a thorough overview of her service.

In a short amount of time, she described the issue – individuals who want to write but don’t have the time or energy – and the services her business provides to help them address the problem of time and concentration. This includes outlining many distinct target audience members who may benefit from this service – and then walking listeners through the process of using the service.

7 Lazarus 3D

Lazarus 3D is a medical technology company that develops equipment for medical institutions. Beginning with a clear explanation of who they manufacture their product for and what issue it addresses for medical facilities, physicians, and their patients, the creator of this sales pitch sample sets the tone for the rest of the presentation.

She also used real-world analogies and incorporates graphics into her sales presentation to assist people to better understand the idea she is trying to sell.

At the conclusion, she poses a question to really get people to start thinking about the significance of what she is presenting to them.

A question to your audience at the conclusion of a sales presentation, whether delivered online, through email, or in person, may often assist to prolong the discussion and get people thinking about how they could really use your service.

Find Prospects to Make Sales Pitch

Now that you know how to make the best sales pitch, you still have one problem to deal with. 

How would you find prospects to make your sales pitch to? It could take some time if you’d go around and search for them one by one. 

Lucky you! LeadFuze is here to help with that hard task.  

LeadFuze Account Based Search

Find Specific People Using LeadFuze’s Account Based Search

LeadFuze connects with popular CRMs and ATSs, which eliminates the need for you to manually enter all of the data. It will be a completely hands-free experience.


If your goal is conversations with quality leads, then your offer (aka your sales pitch) is what you need to focus on. Everything should be tested, but it’s the offer that’s most important. It needs to resonate with your target audience.

Make it a good one!

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

We have over 60,000 monthly readers that would love to see it! Contact us and let's discuss your ideas!

Josh Slone

About Author: Josh Slone

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Close more deals with the latest sales trends and tips from Salesblazers.

5 Sales Pitch Examples (and How to Craft Your Own)

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Learn more about the core elements of a good sales pitch and review sales pitch examples that do things right — and wrong.

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Elyse Archer

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We’ve all had to put up with pushy salespeople. I used to be one. Early in my career, I worked for a company that encouraged its salespeople to push for an immediate close, and it was soul-sucking. I’m grateful to have found a better way to sell — one that builds mutually beneficial long-term relationships.

As a sales professional, you don’t have to coerce or pressure. Instead, you need to be a curious problem solver who uses your emotional intelligence to be of service. That begins with your sales pitch.

What you’ll learn:

What is a sales pitch, why are sales pitches important, what are the core elements of a sales pitch, what are the types of sales pitches, what are the do’s and don’ts of sales pitches.

  • What are some sales pitch examples based on different scenarios?
  • How do you craft your own sales pitch?

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research paper sales pitch

A sales pitch is a script or quick message that lets you share critical information about your product or service with a potential buyer. However, this doesn’t mean it’s all about you or your sale. A sales pitch should focus on your prospect and their needs. In other words, how your product solves their problems.

Think of your sales pitch as an invitation to take the next step, like scheduling a discovery call or setting up a demo. Each time you guide someone to the next step, the invitation will evolve with the course of your sales process . You may make several sales pitches before a final close, and each one will depend on what’s right for the prospect at each stage.

They help you hook the right customers — those who would benefit most from what you have to offer. The right customer will buy what you’re selling, use it, and be better for it. Why? Because you’re not just pitching a product, you’re pitching a solution.

A strong sales pitch also gives you the opportunity to listen, ask questions that showcase your experience helping similar prospects, and share information the prospect can’t find on their own.

Good sales pitches are helpful, specific, and unique. They lead prospects to a clear next step. Your energy and pitch intent are just as important as what you say, so a helpful attitude focused on your prospect’s best interest should guide you.

Successful sales pitches:

  • Use a unique, personalized opening. This will help you stand out from generic pitches and show the customer you’re focused on them.
  • Acknowledge your prospect’s pain points or goals. A sales pitch should always focus on your prospect and their needs first.
  • Include solutions backed by data. This gives your pitch more credibility and helps to build trust with your prospect.
  • Close with next steps. Set the stage for further conversation and a future relationship with your prospect.

There are many types of sales pitches, and they vary based on the steps of your sales process and channels used. You can also tailor your pitch for all types of settings, such as:

  • Trade shows
  • Networking events
  • Sales meetings
  • Over the phone
  • Social media
  • Live or recorded videos and webinars

According to Salesforce’s State of Sales Report , 34% of deals are closed with a combination of both virtual and in-person touchpoints, while 32% are closed using only virtual channels. It’s likely that you’ll have to lean on more than one channel or pitch technique to close a deal, so it’s important to think about what these touchpoints might look like. For example, if you pitch someone in person at a trade show, you might follow up with a phone call, then an email, and so forth until you reach a close.

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Depending on your product and industry, your full sales cycle may cover several types of pitches before the final close. No matter which stage you’re in or what channel you’re using, here are some proven guidelines for an effective sales pitch.

  • Focus on your prospect’s point of view. Don’t make it all about you. This will help you build a more authentic relationship with the client.
  • Be concise. Don’t ramble. Not only will this help you come off as confident and professional, but it shows that you are knowledgeable about your product/service.
  • Share who your customers are. Don’t keep secrets. Transparency is huge for building trust and credibility. If you’ve helped similar customers, share that with your client.
  • Relax and ask questions. Don’t be aggressive. No one likes a pushy salesperson. Instead, try to understand their point of view and offer ways to help.
  • Support your pitch with examples of success supported by visualizations. Don’t bog down presentations with words. An engaging pitch will hold your prospect’s attention and make it memorable.
  • Tell a story. Don’t speak in bullet points. The more you can draw your prospect in with a story they can relate to, the more impact it will have.
  • Use AI to streamline your sales pitch prep and follow-up. Don’t rely on outdated tools. Better tools will make you more efficient, help you stay organized, and keep you on track.

Sales-pitch examples for different scenarios and channels

Below are three good and two bad sales pitch examples. Many come from my own experience as a sales coach and business owner.

Good: Written note to a cold prospect

The message below could be sent via email, LinkedIn, or any other digital channel. In fact, it’s also the type of language you can use when meeting a potential customer at a networking event.

“I saw [prospect company’s] latest public update on [a project]. Based on the research we’ve compiled about [emerging customer preferences in your industry], I have an idea that could help you [solve your problem or reach a goal]. Would you like to connect to see if this could work for you? Let me know when you’re available for a 10-minute conversation so we can discuss more. In the meantime, I’d be happy to share a case study about how we [helped a similar client with a similar issue.]” 

This pitch works because:

  • It has a unique opening.
  • It’s specific to the prospect.
  • It includes a next step.

Good: Voice message sent via LinkedIn

One day, I logged into LinkedIn to see something novel in my inbox: a voice note that stood out among the written messages. I was intrigued and listened right away. Undeniably, hearing someone’s voice on a digital platform made it feel more personalized. This person used LinkedIn to their advantage intelligently; they connected with me without being pushy or going straight for the close. (You could use the script above to guide the content of your voice message.)

  • It stood out on a popular channel.
  • The message was personalized.
  • The pitch wasn’t all about the offering.

Good: Pre-recorded personal video

Every day, my team and I receive multiple pitches for the podcast I host. One still stands out to me after more than a year — a person who took the time to record a personal video. In it, he shared why he loved my podcast and pitched his boss as a guest. However, it wasn’t all flattery. What impressed me most was the level of research he did to customize his pitch to my show and its goals.

  • It built an immediate connection.
  • It was customized.
  • It suggested clear next steps.

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Bad: automated, group-blasted linkedin message.

“Hi. Did the last hire you made have you scrambling to put out fires? If the quality of your talent is lacking, we may have a solution for you. Our virtual assistants are vetted via testing and go through a rigorous assistance rotation with our managers and executives before they’re added to our roster. Take a look at our database and rates: [link].”

This pitch does not work because:

  • It’s not personal.
  • It relies too heavily on technology and not enough human connection.

Bad: In-person elevator pitch

“Hi, Ms. Archer. Sorry to bother you, but I wanted to share some information about the latest [version of your product offering.] We fixed issues that came to us as feedback from customers like you and added [new features.] Can we meet for lunch to discuss?”

This pitch will not work because:

  • It doesn’t focus on the prospect.
  • Its tone is “salesy” and superficial.
  • The next step is too aggressive for an initial in-person meeting.

How to craft your own sales pitch in 5 steps

Now that you know the key components of a great sales pitch, what to avoid, and how to use different channels to your advantage, it’s time to craft your own pitch.

1. Research clients to find opportunities to help

Above all, the best pitches are service-oriented. Personally, I like to read through client testimonials to remind me of how my offering has helped clients realize big improvements. Think of success as helping prospects address pain points and achieve goals.

2. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes

Think about your prospect (or group of segmented prospects with similar profiles). Consider what’s likely on their mind. The goal here is to think from their point of view, not yours. What would make them pause in their busy day to take notice of your offer and its benefits to them?

3. Customize your message

Your pitch should be specific and, whenever possible, customized to each prospect. You’re more likely to see success with a highly personalized pitch than with a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t consider your prospect’s unique needs or goals.

4. Always provide a next step

At the end of your pitch, explain what the prospect can expect. This includes a next step if they agree your pitch is a great fit for them. Depending on where your prospect is in the sales cycle, each pitch will have a different goal or next step. This might be scheduling a product demo, reference call, or closing the deal .

5. Test and refine

Each time you pitch, you’ll learn more about what works and what doesn’t. Keep track of your results so you can evolve your process and improve the experience for your customers. Pay attention to the types of pitches that bring you the most success, and lean into your unique strengths as a sales rep to pitch more effectively.

Leverage these sales pitch examples & tips to create your own

The most effective sales pitches come down to a few things: they’re service oriented, personalized, transparent, efficient, and focused on building relationships backed by credibility and trust. Whether you’re working to improve your sales pitch or just starting to test the waters, the right tools and coaching will help you automate parts of your sales process, improve your techniques, and be more productive so you can close more deals.

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Elyse Archer is the founder of Superhuman Selling and She Sells. Elyse helps entrepreneurs and sales professionals leverage their natural gifts and build wealth. She is also an international keynote speaker and host of She Sells Radio, where she shares best practices from female sales leaders who have accomplished extraordinary goals. Elyse is a 2X Salesforce Top Sales Influencer and has been featured in Forbes and Inc.

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How to Craft the Right Pitch with Research-Based Selling

research paper sales pitch

Starting with the right candidates

They’re a director, or a VP. Their company has X number of employees. They might have a job title with a specific keyword or maybe you’re targeting someone based on their job function. That’s fine. We’ll either perform database cleansing on the contacts you provide or we will conduct a new contact discovery to deliver a honed list of custom-researched names. Unlike most lead generation companies, we start with only the people or personas that you want to talk to. And then – we launch the survey into this list, which has been crafted to find out what you really want to know.

Our surveys are customized for the specific audience and then deployed by SimplyDIRECT’s research branch, Gatepoint Research. Each four-minute survey offers an incentive or a “penny for your thoughts.” And who doesn’t like to share their opinion on a topic that is near and dear to them?

Research-based selling  

Imagine you’re selling ERP software. Wouldn’t it be great to know what system your prospect currently has in place and for how long? Even better are the answers to questions like these:

  • Do you experience any challenges with your current ERP system?
  • How satisfied are you with your ERP system?
  • What are some things you wish your ERP system could do better?

These are the types of questions our surveys ask. The answers to these questions enable research-based selling where you can tailor your pitch to the clients’ pain points.

Here are some actual results from a survey deployed to the target audience of an ERP solution provider.

research paper sales pitch

Almost two-thirds, 59%, of respondents wanted a system that could be upgraded easily. Just over half wanted integration between disparate systems. Exactly half wanted a consolidated, comprehensive view of data.

research paper sales pitch

Just think how powerful these research results would be if they were yours? While these charts show the tallied answers of all respondents, their individual answers are made available in a web-based dashboard so salespeople know exactly how each person answered the questions.

What could you do with that knowledge?

Key qualifiers and who to call first

Most likely, you’d contact the folks who are specifically planning to make a change first, followed by the people who have had their existing system in place for 10 or more years. Or perhaps your key qualifiers are related to a specific competitor or pain point. You have done a competitive analysis and you have heard others talk about similar challenges. You can get right to the point without wasting anyone’s time. You know what is important to the prospect and presumably how your solution would fill their needs. There are many points of entry you can use with research-based selling. You can even package the research results into content assets to market to people who didn’t participate in the research.

Our happy clients include industry leaders like IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, and Workday as well as many niche companies. Download the executive brief: “ Research-based Selling: Using Survey Intelligence for Sales Advantage .”

  • Lisa Vitale
  • December 19, 2019
  • Categories: Blog , Sales
  • Tags: research surveys , research-based selling

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3 ways to tighten up your sales enablement process, maximizing campaign roi begins with a solid foundation – the database, creating a database for account penetration.

The Perfect Sales Pitch: Examples, Templates, and Best Practices

research paper sales pitch

Overfamiliar, aggressive, awkward — we’ve all been on the receiving end of a terrible sales pitch from a pushy seller.

But sales pitches are so much more than an uncomfortable phone call or an unwarranted email. In fact, a great pitch should make a buyer’s life better by connecting them with products and solutions that solve their most urgent problems.

How can you maximize the potential of your sales pitch? In this guide, we’ll reveal the secrets to ensuring your outreach is pitch-perfect by answering common questions like:

research paper sales pitch

  • What is a sales pitch?
  • How do you make a sales pitch?
  • What needs to be included in a sales pitch?
  • What makes a sales pitch bad?
  • How to deliver a sales pitch
  • Templates for sales pitches that capture attention

Let’s dive in.


A sales pitch is a well-crafted sales presentation that connects salespeople with potential buyers. The goal of a sales pitch is to catch a potential customer’s attention and convince them to learn more. Pitches can happen anywhere — via email, social media, or in person. A great sales pitch should pique the buyer’s curiosity and convey clear value.

For more on how to craft the best sales pitch, see what our team of sales experts has to say in the video below


research paper sales pitch

Creating an effective sales pitch is simple — just follow these five steps.

1. Research, research, and research some more

Great research will help build a foundation of value for your pitch, increasing the likelihood that your buyer will respond. Try to understand to whom you are pitching. What does their company do? What goals might that company have? What buyer persona are they most likely to fit in? Additionally, don’t forget to explore the customer’s story and profile — find out who they are, what their role is, and if you have any shared interests that might help you set the tone for the rest of the customer relationship.

2. Frame it around the customer’s needs , not yours

Talking about your product is the fastest way to get buyers to tune out. A winning sales pitch is about the customer, not you. Think about the functionality of your product and the value it provides for your potential clients. Are you reducing costs? Improving efficiency? Eliminating manual tasks? Buyers will respond more to the benefits of your product pitch than anything else.

3. Choose the right channel

There are many venues through which a sales pitch can be delivered — email, social media, or a phone call. Think about both the customer’s needs and their industry. Think about both the buyer and their industry. Mature, more established industries may respond better to more traditional forms of outreach, like a sales call. On the other hand, a highly innovative or startup company may prefer modern approaches, like a direct message through social media. That said, don’t stress over this stage too much; if you don’t get a response from one channel, it’s totally acceptable to try again via another one.

4. Make it personal

Next, think about personalization. Most reps use automation tools or work off a base pitch template, but that template should change based on how you are delivering your pitch and who it’s going to. For instance, you’d use different language based on whether you’re pitching a prospect via social media than you would through a sales email. You’ll also want to tailor your pitch so that the value and benefits you’re describing map to actual buyer pain points — after all, someone in healthcare will have very different needs than someone in manufacturing.

5. Tell the buyer what you want them to do

Finally, always end with a call to action. What do you want the buyer to do? Call you back or respond with times to meet? It’s critical that you close with a clear next step, so stay away from vague phrases like “What do you think?” Go for strong, timely, actionable phrases instead — check out the examples in the next section for more inspiration.


Now that you know how to make a sales pitch, let’s take a closer look at what the pitch itself should say. Regardless of channel, there are three main components to every successful pitch.

research paper sales pitch

Whether it’s the opening line of your cold call or the subject line of your cold email, your hook should capture your buyer’s attention. Great ideas for openings include:

  • Asking a question (“How would you like to increase revenue…”)
  • Share a data point (“Did you know that 60% of CEOs…”)
  • Reference a shared connection (“Saw that you were also a fan of…”)
  • Cut to the chase (“I won’t waste your time — just wanted to share…”)
  • Mention a recent interaction (“It was great connecting with you at…”)

After your hook, you should quickly explain why you are contacting your buyer and what your product can do for them. Keep this value prop short but enticing. Some key points to hit on include:

  • What your product is in plain English — now is not the time for marketing jargon.
  • Why the buyer should continue to engage with you using data, case studies, testimonials, or market research.
  • How will the buyer personally benefit should they respond? Do this by typing the benefits from the previous bullet to the buyer’s goals or objectives.

Call to Action

Finally, close your call, social, or email pitch out with a call to action, or CTA. Push to include a clear next step your buyer can take, like calling you back or responding with availability. Take a look at these examples:

  • When is a good time to chat about this more?
  • Would you be open to a call to hear more?
  • What is the best way to connect on this?
  • Do you have any availability next Tuesday for a quick call?
  • How would 15 minutes next week sound?
  • Does it make sense to connect for 10 minutes this week?


There are some sales pitch techniques you should avoid at all costs. Before you send your pitch or dial your customer, skim your pitch for any of these red flags:

  • “I” statements: Your sales pitch has limited real estate. Don’t waste it on talking about yourself.
  • Long pitches: The term “elevator pitch” should be taken literally. You shouldn’t take an hour to deliver your value proposition. A good sales pitch should be delivered in the time it takes a person to go from the lobby to the second floor.
  • Product pricing: Getting a buyer to speak about their wallets, or money in general, on the first interaction is a fast way to have them ignore you because you don’t sound interested in them or their journey.
  • Complicated explanations of product features or capabilities: During the prospecting stage, buyers aren’t ready to discuss solution details or look through an entire pitch deck.
  • Overfamiliar greetings like “How was your weekend?”: Unless you’ve met the prospect before, this will come off as creepy.
  • Generic pitches: If this pitch could work for any prospect, then it’s probably not tailored enough to capture a prospect’s attention.
  • Promises you can’t keep: It may be tempting to promise buyers the moon, but this approach will ultimately set them up for disappointment; be realistic and let the strength of your product speak for itself.

bad sales pitch example


Any inside sales rep will tell you that pitching is hard. No matter which channel you work through, engaging with customers is a nerve-wracking experience. But it’s not impossible.

The key to delivering a flawless pitch is to stay confident. And the way to build confidence is through preparation. Here’s how:

  • Practice your pitch live before you deliver it . While it may seem silly to recite a pitch to your roommate (or your pet), live practice is one of the most effective ways to work out the kinks in your delivery so you’re fully comfortable speaking in front of prospective clients, even if you’re pitching through a digital channel. — so it’s best to start honing your live pitch delivery skills sooner rather than later.
  • Keep buyer profiles on hand. In general, most pitches will be done remotely via phone calls, social media outreach, or email. Take advantage of the fact that your buyer isn’t in the room by keeping your account reach on hand during interactions. Think of these notes as a security blanket. Sure, you could deliver the pitch without them, but in the event that your nerves get the best of you, you can recover quickly and discreetly.
  • Know what your next step is. Don’t get caught flat-footed when a customer says “yes” to your pitch. Especially for live interactions, it’s important to know what your next step looks like. In some cases, this may be as simple as asking a buyer for time to set up a demo. But buyers may want to talk shop while they have you — so be prepared to dive deeper. It can help to keep a sales play or discovery call deck on hand to guide you through a more in-depth conversation, should the need arise.

sales pitch benefit


There’s no one right away to craft a sales pitch. That said, these sales pitch examples can help your sales team get started — just don’t forget to personalize using the strategies we discussed earlier for the best conversion rates.

1. The Shared Connection

This approach is useful when you and your buyer have something in common outside of work, like a shared hobby or alma mater.

Hi <<>>,

Reaching out as we’re connected on LinkedIn, I found your recent post about the best restaurants in Seattle super handy. Your suggestion to “eat outside our comfort zones” was a great reminder to be more adventurous in my dinner choices.

And in the spirit of trying new things, I wanted to share our latest research with you. I would love to connect to walk you through the report and get a sense of your near-term goals.

Would you be open to this?

2. The Data Dump

Data is a great way to catch buyer attention, especially if it can help them make the case to their team for your product.

The bad news: marketing burn is all too real these days. The good news? Help is on the way. New research shows that our platform can deliver:

  • 72% increase in buyer engagement
  • 50% in open-rates
  • 20% decrease in attrition

How does 15 minutes next week sound to walk through how our customers achieved these numbers with our platform?

3. The Celebratory Moment

Eventually, one of your pitches will coincide with a big moment in a buyer’s life. As long as it’s appropriate, leverage that moment to build a connection.

Congrats on the recent promotion to Senior Program Manager! As you settle into your new role, curious to see how you’re approaching project management?

Did you know that a simple reduction of two manual tasks can win you back five hours a week?

Our platform makes it easier than ever for you to focus on the work that matters. If it makes sense, I would love to connect more on what we could do for you to make your day more efficient.

Do you have time next week?

4. The Incentive Follow-Up

Finally, this is a great template to use when leads are tepid or unresponsive — especially when paired with a personalized message.

With the weather cooling down, wanted to see if you’d be interested in a virtual coffee? Again, I would love to connect on our solution and fill you in on the use cases your peers are currently using our platform to solve. If not, enjoy a coffee on me!


Sales pitches don’t have to be an awkward experience. With these sales pitch ideas and techniques, you should be able to craft a sales pitch that strikes all the right chords with your target audience, ensuring your outreach is pitch-perfect and gets your buyers to the next step of the sales process every time.

Ready to put your pitching skills into action? Explore how Highspot makes engaging customers easier and more effective than ever .

The Highspot Team works to create and promote the Highspot sales enablement platform, which gives businesses a powerful sales advantage to engage in more relevant buyer conversations and achieve their revenue goals. Through AI-powered search, analytics, in-context training, guided selling, and 50+ integrations, the Highspot platform delivers enterprise-ready sales enablement in a modern design that sales reps and marketers love.

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Please note you do not have access to teaching notes, city branding and museum souvenirs: towards improving the st. petersburg city brand: do museums sell souvenirs or do souvenirs sell museums.

Journal of Place Management and Development

ISSN : 1753-8335

Article publication date: 19 June 2019

Issue publication date: 27 September 2019

The purpose of this paper is to identify ways to develop museum shop product, which will possess competitive advantage, and to recommend what should be done to develop such product so that it has a positive impact on the city brand of St. Petersburg.


In total, 76 museums have been studied through the observation method to describe their shops’ inventory in terms of percentages of each product. Mostly St. Petersburg museums were included in the analysis. The observation method enabled the researchers to analyse the inventory of the museum souvenir shops. The findings of the analysis enabled the researchers to reach conclusions about museums’ strategies of product development.

The research allowed to make the conclusion that although the museum shops in St.Petersburg demonstrate positive tendencies in the development of competitive stores’ products a lot of work is still to be done. Not all museums are characterised by availability of clear strategy for product development. They offer souvenirs (if any) which do not differ from those existing on the market according to topics and functions which are characteristic for them. Recommendations on how to make the product of museum shops more competitive were proposed.

Practical implications

Cities need new and fresh ways to create and promote their brands. Museums can contribute to this significantly with the help of souvenirs production. This research will provide insight into the process of how museums can do this by developing their shops’ inventory strategies. Recommendations to improve strategies for creation of competitive product were offered in the paper.


In today’s competitive conditions, museums are creating augmented products and create museum shops. Nevertheless, the role of museum shops in brand creation is underexplored. Museum shops have a high potential for creating high-quality products that may influence the museum and city brand in a positive way, as souvenirs and visual images of museum artifacts play an essential role in making an impression on tourists.

  • Destination sub-brands
  • Museum brand
  • Museum shops


This article is an output of a research project implemented as part of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE University).

Trabskaia, I. , Shuliateva, I. , Abushena, R. , Gordin, V. and Dedova, M. (2019), "City branding and museum souvenirs: towards improving the St. Petersburg city brand: Do museums sell souvenirs or do souvenirs sell museums?", Journal of Place Management and Development , Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 529-544. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMD-06-2017-0049

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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Home > Student Research > Senior Scholar Papers > 560

Senior Scholar Papers

The Evolution of the Literary Myth of Petersburg Between Two Revolutions

Author (Your Name)

David C. Brenneman , Colby College

Date of Award

Document type.

Senior Scholars Paper (Colby Access Only)

Colby College. German and Russian Dept.

Sheila M. McCarthy

Second Advisor

Julie Kay Mueller

This study examines the evolution of the literary myth of St. Petersburg from 1904 to 1917, concentrating on how three artists, the poets Anna Akhrnatova and Alexander Blok and the symbolist novelist Andrey Bely, brought the Petersburg myth, a literary phenomenon firmly rooted in the nineteenth century, into the swirling, fragmented subjectivity of twentieth century modernism. My thesis contends that as the myth advanced from nineteenth century "realism" into the more personal, subjective art of the twentieth century, these writers employed Petersburg imagery as a poetic device to refract cognitive, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Hence, the city in Petersburg, Bely's great urban novel, becomes a symbolic vehicle through which to convey the spiritual vacillations of the book's main characters. while the architecture and objects appearing in Akhmatova's cityscape serve to gauge the emotions of her poetic heroines. In Blok's poetry, a tavern is not just a tavern. but often an embodiment of the poem's narrator himself.

Literary myth, St. Petersburg, Anna Akhrnatova, Alexander Blok, Andrey Bely, Russian Literature

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