Tips on Improving the Quality of Your Written Sales Pitch

help with written sales pitch

When did you last look at the email pitch written by your sales team? If the level of new sales isn’t what you’re expecting, it may be related to the quality of these emails being sent to prospective clients.

Here are tips for enhancing the message that compels prospects to take action:

First, recognize the difference between a verbal and written sales pitch. Your sales team may be outstanding in the realm of a verbal pitch, utilizing all the “soft” talents of tone of voice, appearance, body language, etc. None of that applies to the written sales pitch, so it’s important to be clear on the differences and focus solely on the choice of words and appropriate style (formal, informal).

Do the homework. Prospects are a lot smarter now than “back in the day.” They can tell by the opening line of the sales pitch whether your salesperson knows something about their company or is just winging it. With all the available resources at hand these days, there’s no excuse for not researching the prospect’s current executive team, annual sales figures, social media profiles, company website, corporate initiatives, and so on.

Whether or not any of this information makes its way into the written pitch (and, in most cases, it probably shouldn’t), this knowledge will affect the quality of the email pitch.

Get to the point. One common mistake with writing a sales pitch is thinking some sort of preface or introduction is necessary. Not at all! Busy prospects need to feel you’re getting to the point or they’ll simply click out of the message. Be concise. Let the recipient know only what’s absolutely necessary to know before moving forward.

“The only purpose of a prospecting email is to elicit a response,” notes sales strategist Marc Wayshak. Any “excess information in your email that does not support this intention is actually hurting you.”

Engage the prospect. Pay attention to the flow of the sales pitch. Avoid hopping around from one topic to another, or one tone to another. The trick to engaging a prospect is by moving them from one sentence to the next. And the best way to achieve this is by emphasizing—always emphasizing—what’s in it for them.

Stress value and benefits, not features. Your product or service likely comes with an impressive range of features, but unless you clearly demonstrate how those features offer value to the customer, you’re wasting your time (and theirs). Examples of value to communicate in an email include:

  • Brief description of how your product can boost sales
  • Offering to send an informative white paper or case study
  • Invitation to a value-added webinar

Another approach involves specifically identifying a problem or challenge your prospect faces. By naming this problem (which implicitly recognizes how well you understand their business and industry), you can then “tease” them with a concise description of your proposed solution and then invite them to learn more.

Make your call-to-action specific and compelling. By “learning more,” we mean ending your pitch with a single call-to-action that’s clear and to the point. What would you like the prospect to do after reading your email—opt-in to your newsletter, watch a product-focused video, set up an appointment? Specify your desired goal, while reminding them of the value they’ll receive by taking this action.

Spend time on the email subject line. Sometimes, the best email subject line comes after you’ve crafted a concise, informative and compelling email message. Here’s the place to get creative (while remaining concise), something along the lines of “Game-changing Idea for Your B2B Business” or “The Hidden Value You Could Be Adding to Your Business Right Now.” Any generic approach will likely end up in the prospect’s spam folder.

There’s a definite art and style to winning email sales pitches. Now might be a great time for a thorough reexamination of how your sales pitch is being crafted and take these steps to dramatically improve its quality.

 

How to Get Your Sales and Marketing Teams on the Same Page

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Just how well do your sales and marketing teams interact? Can you point to tangible achievements as a result of close sales/marketing collaboration? Or is the situation more akin to military platoons advancing with little or no contact with one another?

In fact, many businesses are still chasing the elusive goal of optimum sales and marketing alignment. Even in an era of advanced marketing automation, “marketing technology and processes have yet to turn the sales and marketing boxing ring into a night of candlelit dinners,” observes B2B marketing expert Laura Ramos.

As we all know, today’s consumers (both B2B and B2C) are far better informed about your products or services than in times past. This has substantially affected what we consider the sales cycle, since it’s rare for a salesperson to address a prospect who has no idea who they are or what they represent.

But it’s important to point out that what prospects do know is largely based on materials (in print and online) generated by a company’s marketing team. So if the sales team isn’t kept up to date on these materials, it can enter the sales conversation at a disadvantage—either looking unprepared or out of step with the latest marketing message your business is promoting.

Either way, that lack of alignment can mean the difference between closing a deal or losing the prospect to another, more closely aligned competitor.

Here are tips on getting sales and marketing on the same page, thus benefiting both your business and your customers:

  1. Always be communicating! A renewed emphasis on cross-departmental communications is a great first step in achieving proper alignment. Select an individual from each department to meet regularly (at least once a week) to keep each other informed on new lead generation, updated marketing materials, suggestions for new initiatives, and so on. Quarterly meetings between the entire teams is another potentially fruitful exercise.
  2. Review the marketing message on your website and in your collateral materials. It’s vitally important that everyone be “in sync” on the message you present to the target audience. When branding inconsistencies occur—between sales hand-outs and digital messaging, for example—the sales team may emphasize a range of features and benefits at odds with what the marketing team is pushing.

    To offset potential customer confusion, closely review all the material that represents your business in print, on the web and in social media. Ask the sales team for input on how to better frame a branding message that genuinely connects with prospects (rather than just makes your company look good). Get sales involved in the actual creation of materials, thus reflecting their own experience in the field.

  3. Align sales and marketing metrics. It’s likely your sales and marketing teams are tracking different information and employing different analytic models. If so, confusion is likely to ensue. The key is devising a system that both teams can use to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of a sales campaign or marketing initiative, how best to nurture a warm lead, and the numbers of leads that convert per month and quarter. Collaborative analysis can also point to any gaps in data that may be contributing to a decline in sales.

Sometimes a friendly rivalry can spring up between sales and marketing teams. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as everyone understands and agrees upon the final goal—acquiring new customers and retaining the ones you have. Closer alignment of these two necessary departments will tilt the odds of future success in your favor.

Want more advice on sales and marketing or general advice from other business owners like you? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!