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Couch-to-couch Sales: How to rethink your sales pitch in 30 minutes

To say that things are different now is an understatement.

This has been turned inside out and upside down, whizzed up in a blender, and then haphazardly duct-taped back together.

As a result, businesses had no choice but to change. 

What’s amazing about humans though, is our unyielding ability to adapt. 

“The show must go on” is a phrase that has proved to extend far beyond the reach of theater.

Our business partners are now staring back at us through screens instead of across tables.

Sales teams, in particular, have been especially rocked.

Couch-to-couch sales is not only a thing, but it’s a new way of life.

According to McKinsey data, 90% of sales teams have moved to a digital-enabled sales framework that allows them to sell to clients virtually. (source)

The adjustment has been easier for some than others.

The same McKinsey report claims that nearly half (46%) of sales teams think that this new, digitally-enabled way of selling simply isn’t effective.

While many B2B technology firms have been selling remotely for years, face-to-face interactions are a cornerstone of the sales process.

However, practically overnight, one of the most important parts of closing a deal has been taken off the table.

But there are other challenges too.

According to a study by Bravado, 48% of decision-makers have stopped responding. 

41% of nearly-closed deals have been pushed back or delayed. 

With an overall decline in sales, 12% of sales reps are worried about layoffs.

While an amazing presentation isn’t a silver bullet to closing a deal, it can certainly set us apart from the competition and aid in the closing process. 

I’ve written dozens of sales decks for companies of all sizes and the big thing is being able to empathize and get to the point. 

So, with that being said, here is…

How to rethink your sales pitch in 30 minutes.

This is a writing exercise.

Get out a Word doc, text doc, Google doc, or piece of paper.

DO NOT do this in PowerPoint or a slide design app.

Why? PowerPoint isn’t a writing tool, it’s a design tool.

For this, we need to focus on words and do some deep thinking.

5 minutes - Recap: Write down your old pitch in five sentences.

Don’t modify it just yet.

Just write it out.

This should be straightforward and simple - it’s also okay if it is still “pre-COVID” sounding.

It should usually go something like...

  • What’s going on (problem/macro-change)

  • What’s wrong with current solutions

  • Why your solution is unique/different

  • How your solution works

  • Proof that you’ve done it before

10 minutes - Empathize: Write out three things your client or prospect is experiencing.

It could be…

  • Shrinking budgets

  • New revenue streams

  • Older revenue streams drying up

  • Massive business pivots

  • New responsibilities

  • No free time

  • Tons of free time

Ensure you’ve done your research on the company and the prospects. 

Check their socials especially. 

People are being very open right now talking a lot about what they’re going through.


10 minutes - Rewrite: Rework your sales pitch to take those major experiences into account.

Take those previous five sentences and rewrite them.

Constantly reference the empathy list from the previous step.

Check off each one as you address it in your pitch.

Your new five sentences should have what your prospect is going through at the heart.

Solve an immediate problem while being cognizant of the long term ones.

5 minutes - Strategize: List out three ways you’ll use to ensure you’ll stand out when pitching virtually.

Again, reference that empathy list.

They don’t have a lot of time? Rehearse your pitch so it’s less than 60 seconds and ensure you start with something really attention-grabbing.

They’re extra skeptical? Get serious about demos. Have yours down pat and make sure it’s customized.

Do they have more time than usual? Send them an experience ahead of time to check out.

They’re distracted by something? Have interactivity built into every 2-3 minutes of your pitch. 

In this step, you should be doing things very differently than before.

If you find you haven’t changed much, crumple up your paper and do it over again.

What’s next? Repeat this process every two months for the rest of the year.

The pace of change is insane, so the pace of sales messaging needs to keep up.

Don’t be precious, be adaptable.

Try three to five different versions of your pitch, or more.

Hang in there.

Remember that humans are pretty amazing.

In the meantime, best of luck with that pitch.

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