December 1

How to Craft a Product Sales Pitch that Wins Deals – April Dunford at INDUSTRY 2023

April Dunford Chief Executive Officer Ambient Strategy LinkedIn:


In the bustling world of B2B sales, standing out in a sea of competition is a challenge that every business faces. At INDUSTRY 2023, April Dunford delved into this challenge, exploring how to move beyond the mundane feature-focused product walkthroughs to create a compelling sales narrative that resonates with buyers. Here’s a look at what we learned about crafting sales pitches that truly make an impact.

Understanding the Buyer’s Dilemma

Let’s face it, buying is hard. And if you’re in the B2B space, purchasing decisions can feel as daunting as selecting the right toilet – if not more. Buyers are inundated with options, and sifting through these to make an informed decision is overwhelming. More often than not, they’re blasted with a whirlwind of features during a demo, which only adds to the confusion. This uncertainty frequently leads to the safest choice – doing nothing. Astonishingly, 40% to 60% (sometimes even 80%) of B2B sales processes end in “No Decision.” It’s not a testament to the superiority of the status quo but a clear sign that buyers struggle to navigate their options.

The Power of Strong Positioning in Sales Pitches

Strong positioning forms the backbone of a compelling sales pitch. It effectively answers the crucial question every buyer has: “Why should I pick you?” But here’s the catch – great positioning often gets lost in translation when it comes to sales. To avoid this pitfall, we need to translate positioning into a narrative that not only engages but also enlightens the buyer.

Crafting a Winning Sales Narrative

The essence of an impactful sales pitch lies in its structure, transforming a list of features into a compelling story. Here’s how you can structure your narrative:

  1. Market Insight: Start with an insightful observation about the market. This sets the context and shows your deep understanding of the industry.
  2. Alternatives: Discuss the pros and cons of existing solutions. This demonstrates your awareness of the market landscape and the buyer’s potential considerations.
  3. Perfect World Description: Paint a picture of an ideal solution – one that aligns with what your company offers. This step is about connecting the dots between the market needs and your product’s capabilities.
  4. Differentiated Value: Organize your product’s features around your unique value proposition. This is where you align your product’s strengths with the buyer’s needs.

Case Study: Help Scout’s Approach

Take Help Scout’s approach to customer service software, designed specifically for digital products. Their insight was that for digital products, customer service is crucial as it’s often the primary interaction point with customers. By aligning their product development with this insight, Help Scout created a narrative that resonated deeply with their target audience.

Implementing the Sales Narrative

However, crafting this narrative is only the beginning. The real challenge lies in its implementation. Start by testing the approach with a single sales rep, fine-tuning it based on real-world feedback. Then, gradually roll it out to the wider team. Remember, if the pitch fails to resonate, it’s back to the drawing board with your positioning. The pitch should evolve only when your positioning does.

Key Takeaways for Sales Success

  1. Involvement of Sales Team: Ensure that your sales team is heavily involved in this process, but balance their involvement without detracting from their selling time.
  2. Test and Tune: Pilot the approach with one sales representative before a broader rollout.
  3. Be Ready to Pivot: If the approach doesn’t work, revisit and refine your positioning.
  4. Consistency is Key: Your pitch should only change when your positioning does.

The landscape of B2B sales is fraught with challenges, but by transforming how we pitch our products, we can significantly increase our chances of closing deals. It’s about moving away from feature-heavy demonstrations to a narrative that helps buyers understand why your product is the ideal solution for their needs. By crafting a sales pitch that’s rooted in strong positioning and delivered as a compelling narrative, we can guide our buyers through the complexity of choices, directly addressing their concerns and aspirations. This approach doesn’t just sell a product; it offers a solution, a story, and an experience that buyers can relate to and, more importantly, believe in.

For more information

Positioning – Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It.

Sales Pitch – Sales Pitch: How to Craft a Story to Stand Out and Win

Paul McAvinchey

About the author

For over 20 years, Paul has been building and collaborating on digital products with fast-growing startups and global brands, including AOL and WMS Gaming. Currently, he's a co-founder of Product Collective, a worldwide community of product people. Members collaborate on in the exclusive Member Hub, meet at INDUSTRY: The Product Conference, listen to, learn at Product Interviews and get a weekly newsletters that includes best practices in product management. In recent years he led business development at DXY, a leading product design firm in the Midwest, and product innovation at MedCity Media, a publishing startup acquired by Breaking Media in 2015.


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