A good sales pitch doesn’t come easy.
Running a CRM with an integrated sales enablement platform (and even offering hands-on coaching), we’ve witnessed our fair share of sales pitches.
Some are good, a few great, but most pitches fall flat. Only a few standout pitches get prospects ready to sign a deal ASAP.
Trying to create one from scratch is a recipe for disaster. Instead, you should learn from those who have already mastered the art of the perfect sales pitch.
In this article, we share some of our favorite sales pitch examples and explore what makes them so effective. Plus, we also cover how your sales team can consistently deliver better and more personalized pitches to different prospects.
What is a sales pitch, and what do B2B buyers expect in 2023?
A sales pitch is a practiced presentation you or your sales reps give to convince potential customers to purchase your product or service. Of course, that doesn’t mean sales reps should memorize a script and read it staccato with the same pitch deck every time.
In fact, we’d go so far as to say that’s the exact opposite of what effectively closes leads in today’s business climate.
59% of B2B buyers in 2023 expect personalized content when researching a product or service. When it’s one-on-one, whether virtual or in-person, the last thing a buyer wants is some rehearsed pitch that doesn’t speak to their needs.
They will only connect with a sales pitch carefully designed for them, not a product pitch that blandly covers a product’s features and benefits more broadly.
The goal should be to teach every sales rep how to puzzle together the perfect pitch for every lead from pre-defined pitching elements, not writing out 58 different sales scripts.
Don’t get stuck on features. Focus on studying your potential customers through ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and memorizing different talking points and case study data.
Where the elevator pitch fits in
In the high-octane arena of modern business, your reps won’t always have the luxury of several minutes of their prospect’s undivided attention. To capture the shortened attention span of potential clients, you also need a killer elevator pitch. In less time than a five-floor elevator ride takes, your reps should have a potential client convinced they need your product.
But while clarity and brevity are the essence of a solid sales pitch, that doesn’t mean the elevator pitch format is the best option for every use case.
To help you figure out when to use what approach, we’ll share examples of successful sales pitches (including elevator pitches) and analyze what makes them great. Later, we’ll show you how to create a system that helps your sales reps deliver the perfect sales pitch in any situation.
6 brilliant sales pitch examples and their key takeaways
It’s a lot easier to learn and internalize sales lessons when you see them used in action than when they’re abstract ideas stated on paper or screens.
Below, you can explore six of our favorite sales pitches, hand-picked to demonstrate the fundamental principles of “the perfect sales pitch.”
A quick heads up: don’t fall for the temptation of copying an approach outright. This list will help you the most if you emulate and mix and match different approaches and tactics, adapting them to suit your target audience.
Tell a story about the less-than-ideal situation your prospect is in
This tried-and-true sales pitch tactic is a classic for a reason: it works. Before you can pitch a solution, you need the client to feel everything that’s wrong with their current way of doing things.
That’s the only way you can overcome what salespeople often call “buyer inertia” — the preference of most people (and companies) to stay the same rather than change.
ChartMogul created a pitch deck with a slide that perfectly sums up the story of their typical prospective client.
They have an overly complicated setup to even run basic business intelligence analysis. Their tech stack involves a wide range of different platforms — even getting some basic graphs requires a lot of working hours.
Then, after setting the stage, the sales rep will introduce how ChartMogul will lead to a much less stressful process.
Finally, they finish with some powerful social proof from a well-known company in the niche (SaaS).
- Tell a story the client identifies with: Paint a picture of their current situation and what’s wrong with it.
- Show how your product will fix it: Explain how the prospect’s new day-to-day will look with your product or service, not just its features.
- Borrow credibility from clients: If you have a relevant case study or quote from a company known in the industry, don’t be afraid to use it.
Use price anchoring and nostalgia to sell like Mark Cuban
This sales pitch from Mark Cuban is a thing of beauty and a particularly great example for businesses that sell to consumers or SMBs.
First, he anchors the price by comparing a Mavericks game ticket to a McDonald’s meal. Next, he overcomes objections with a lateral move — not directly engaging the complaint (Maverick’s poor performance), but instead invoking the nostalgia of watching a ball game live.
- Price anchoring: For consumer or B2B products where price is a major factor, anchor it against competing products (indirectly or directly) that are more expensive or have less to offer. “At competitor X, you only get A, but with our product for the same price, you get B, C, and D too.”
- Leverage nostalgia: For consumer sales, nostalgia is one of the most powerful emotions for moving products. Just look at how Top Gun: Maverick busted blockbuster records, and the newest Zelda game is selling like hotcakes.
Identify and solve a problem for a potential client
This example is from Josh Braun, former head of sales at BaseCamp, showcasing a unique approach to the sales pitch his ex-boss, Amanda Lannert, CEO at JellyVision, used to take.
Instead of just preparing a basic slide deck or settling for a tried-and-true elevator pitch, she started with prospect research.
For VIP prospects representing big-ticket deal potential, like Verizon, she’d dive deep and explore the social profiles of each executive she was meeting, read annual reports, analyze competitors, and more.
Finally, she identified a key problem for the executive and then asked what they were doing to solve it.
“I read in your annual report that you folks have invested heavily in optical fiber-to-the-premises architecture to connect homes to businesses. One of the challenges is balancing the capital expenditure with growth. How are you dealing with that?”
She then reframed the problem and offered a new perspective (key point: without directly selling a product).
“The paradox of choice arises when visitors are overwhelmed by an excessive number of choices, leading to confusion and a higher likelihood of abandoning the site. That’s why companies selling complex products online are looking to reduce the number of choices. What have you done to simplify the online experience?”
- Personalize your pitches: A sales pitch is much more powerful when it’s directly relevant to a prospective client.
- Do your research: A researched opinion based on hard data is a lot more impactful than guesswork.
- Identify and explain the problem: The foundation of the Challenger Sales framework is researching problems facing your prospect (relevant to your product) and identifying and explaining them.
- Sell the solution, not your product: Explain the value of the solution, not the specifics of your product.
A soft pitch opening helps you overcome resistance
Chris Westfall, author of The New Elevator Pitch, has mastered the art of the soft opening for pitches. In this example pitch, he uses the question, “You know how Warren Buffet wrote a letter to the NYT talking about how he pays less taxes than any of his employees?” to segue into pitching tax accounting services.
- Use a relatable anecdote to start a pitch: Try soft openers referencing relevant anecdotal questions like “You know how…,” “Doesn’t it seem like…,” or “Have you ever noticed…”
- Personalize, personalize, personalize: Chris specifies that he’s helping high-net-worth individuals in West Texas. He doesn’t say, “I help people pay less taxes.”
Break down how you’re going to help the prospect
A key part of consultative sales is to explain how your product or service is actually going to help your potential client.
Ryan Stewart, a “fractional CMO for hire,” recently shared a Loom video of a strategy proposal. If your company is in consulting or offering professional services of any kind, you can learn from this video walkthrough.
In the video, Ryan carefully walks through a bespoke content strategy for the potential client, which helps them understand what they’ll get.
He also makes sure to reiterate the core problem (lack of high-quality content interfering with paid ad performance and scaling), not just focus on the future.
- Video can be a powerful selling tool.
- Show, don’t tell: If you can give your potential customers a walkthrough, demo, or free trial of your product, you can let the product do the selling without any tactics or gimmicks.
Get to the point
Until now, we’ve mostly focused on successful sales pitches from companies and consultants, but for our final example, I’d like to focus on the legendary Airbnb pitch deck. Startup pitches are unique in that they often sell a non-existent product and ask for exorbitant amounts of money.
In the case of Airbnb, they landed $600,000 in funding with little more than an idea and a bad website. How? Their simple pitch spoke straight to the hearts of investors.
You can clearly see how this pitch has influenced the ChartMogul example above. Starting off by defining a clear story about the problem, the Airbnb founders could then introduce the solution.
- Be clear and concise: Successful pitches get to the point and don’t stray from it.
- Substance over bling: Airbnb raised over $600,000 in 2009 with this bland-looking pitch deck (and a less-than-stellar delivery). What gives? They had done their research and delivered a pitch that convinced venture capitalists to open their checkbooks.
- Sell the dream: Airbnb maps out the path to massive returns with a clearly defined potential market cap backed by research.
Hopefully these examples and takeaways have given you a clear idea of what the perfect pitch looks like. The next step is to create a system to help your sales reps deliver successful pitches at scale.
How to help your sales reps nail every sales pitch
The perfect sales pitch isn’t some one-size-fits-all monologue you prepare once and have your whole sales team repeat forever.
You need to craft a pitch that speaks to as narrow a target audience as possible, preferably the exact prospect you’re talking to.
Create an internal process for creating the perfect sales pitch every time
It may sound counterintuitive, but a standardized process is the key to delivering a personalized and effective sales pitch every time.
An example process would be:
- Research and identify the prospect’s problems
- Find a relevant, unique selling proposition
- Find a relevant anecdote or create a story flow
- Create your “solution” pitch
- Find relevant case studies or other social proof
- Formulate a suitable call to action (often a leading question that promotes action)
Getting your reps to follow this approach is a lot easier with your sales playbook and learning management system built into your CRM.
Start the selling process with research and listening
There’s no personalization without the steps of research and listening. A good place to start is by researching and qualifying potential customers before you add them to an outreach list.
If you have mainly inbound leads, you can automate this process by asking qualifying questions about industry, budget, and use cases in sign-up or consultation forms.
Make sales materials easy to access and edit
Your sales reps can’t use what they can’t find, and any time they spend searching for sales docs or pitch decks is time they can’t spend selling.
You need to create a system that makes finding, editing, and sharing these materials as easy as possible.
Close more leads with better pitches
Remember, pitches are not one-size-fits-all. They should be personalized to align with your prospect’s industry and challenges. Initiate them with an attention-grabbing anecdote, query, or statistic. Then introduce the solution, overcome objections, and offer social proof.
The problem is implementing these sales pitch ideas in the real world.
Simply put: better content management and sales enablement features help your reps pitch better and close more deals.