SalesHood - Sales Enablement Platform

Rep to Rep, Mobile to Mobile, Pitch Contests

  • by Elay Cohen
  • September 14, 2015

Rep to Rep, Mobile to Mobile, Pitch Contests – Getting reps to confidently and competently pitch, handle customer conversations, and get on message is hard work. There’s no way to efficiently get reps on message. We all know having reps practice their pitch is ad-hoc, not scalable, and un-systemized.

Why can millions mobilize to record themselves and share their version of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and corporations haven’t figured out how to scale getting reps on message?

Let’s democratize the pitch certification process by embracing rep-to-rep, mobile-to-mobile pitch contests with video, bite-sized content, and gamification. Let’s work together to make sharing and collaborating pitch best practices fun, engaging, modern, and rich with ROI.

The Way It Is Today

We all know too well the way certification goes down. The practice is to publish a pitch, maybe with video, maybe with speaker notes and then pray for the best. Here are some of the ways certifications are done today:

#1: Fly around the world and have reps present pitches in local offices – > Result: Reps feel inspected. Experience isn’t real-life. Cost is high.

#2: Have reps present pitch to sales manager – > Result: After a few slides, many sales managers will say “you got it, let’s look at your forecast” and the pitch review isn’t completed.

#3: Have reps upload their pitches to a central doc library – > Result:No one watches the pitches. They just sit in a folder collecting Internet dust.

The bigger consequence of these scenarios is our salespeople miss the benefits of watching each other pitch. It’s proven – reps will see a productivity lift after integrating peer pitch best practices with their own style. Salespeople ramp faster, sell bigger deals, and close deals faster when they hear each other pitch and share best practices.

There’s A Better Way

Make the sales pitch certification process fun, engaging, and bite-sized. Do more pitch certification, more often, and in smaller chunks. Rather than doing thirty to forty slides or a long drawn out pitch process, create many micro-pitches. Here are some examples:

Elevator Pitch (90 seconds): Have reps record a ninety second-elevator pitch using a scorecard focused on value, customer proof points, engagement, lengt, Imagine every rep had a tight on message elevator pitch?

First Call Pitch (5 to 10 minutes): Chunk up customer presentations and deliver the 1) what we do 2) customer stories 3) value/benefits and 4) solution slides in less than ten minutes. What would happen to win rates if reps were on message using the same winning slides?

Discovery Pitch (2 to 3 minutes): Have reps practice their qualification and questioning prowess. Practice the value of kicking off customer meetings with open-ended questions to ignite dialogue. How would your pipeline quality improve with more qualification and discovery practice?

Demo Story Pitch (3 to 5 minutes): Move beyond features and functions and have reps share their demo story setup answering the why rather than the how.What would happen to sales cycle time with more demo storytelling?

Objection Handling Pitch (60 seconds per objection): Come up with your most common objections and have reps share in video the best ways to overcome them. Reps practice and a library for future reference and training is created too.What would happen to rep confidence with more objections handling practice?

Executive Close Pitch (5 to 10 minutes): Take your largest deals and have sales reps record their delivery of a mutual success / close plan or value based closing presentation. How would this pitch contest impact forecast accuracy?

We’ve run thousands of micro-pitch contests in the past ninety days. What’s struck me is how viral they go fast. For every pitch recorded by a rep, there are over ten peer reviews and twenty peer views. There is a hunger in the sales world for short bite-sized peer pitch vignettes.

Success Story

Here is a personal story. I was at the InsideSales Accelerate Conference last week and a rep walked up to me to thank me. They were at nsideSales for less than a week. They thanked me because they were able to easily watch their peer pitches, stack ranked and rich with peer comments. They watched all the top pitches and the ones that weren’t so great. They read the comments and saw the scores. The rep got a great sense of the attributes of a winning pitch and then recorded a their version. This rep received instant feedback from peers and managers. The pitch was on message and personalized. The final statement to me says it all:

In my past BDR job, it took me 90 days to get my pitch down. Here at InsideSales with SalesHood, I got on message in my first week.

I love this story. It represents the future of onboarding, social learning and best practice sharing. The integration of video, mobile, and gamification makes it possible to scale how we ramp reps more effectively and efficiently.

What are your micro-pitches and customer conversation vignettes that accelerate your deal cycles and drive urgency?

About the Author
Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $300M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.

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