In 2018, a survey by Microsoft found that in-person meetings made people the happiest. Surprisingly , this even included tech-savvy Generation Z participants. But when the coronavirus pandemic struck workplaces across the globe, teams had to put happiness aside and find ways to connect digitally. One of the most challenging aspects of this requirement has been generating sales. How do you create a virtual B2B sales pitch that will keep potential clients engaged and excited?
The good news is that putting together an effective virtual B2B sales pitch isn’t all that different from putting together a presentation that you deliver in person, minus the technology. (If you've ever put together a successful webinar, you’re already a step ahead.) The following tips should offer a bit of inspiration to help you get started.
Research the Best Presentation Tools for Your B2B Sales Pitch
Many people have go-to presentation tools – for instance, PowerPoint presentations they share using a live video platform such as Zoom or GoToMeeting. If you’re new to digital presentations, take time to research which tool will suit your purposes best before you begin putting anything together. Some tools will allow you to import files you’ve already created, while others may require you to build a presentation from scratch. If you want to utilize video, music, or voice-overs in your presentation, keep these features in mind as you consider different platforms.
The last thing you want is your audience answering emails or taking care of personal online shopping while you’re delivering a presentation that you spent days putting together. For a virtual B2B sales pitch, consider mimicking a face-to-face meeting by letting everyone know in advance that you’ll be enabling video during the presentation. You may not love the idea of being on camera, but video meetings encourage participants to be more engaged because they’re on camera. It also allows potential clients to connect a smiling face with the voice of the person who is working hard to become their next vendor.
Be Mindful of Time
In a piece on online presentations, The Drum reminds readers that for most people, online attention span is limited. So keep your virtual B2B sales pitches as short and concise as possible. Maximize each element of your presentation for impact. While you want to keep your audience engaged, be mindful of your purpose: pointing out their organization’s pain points and showing precisely how your product or service can alleviate them.
Kick Off with a Teaser
Getting a potential client to commit to a 30-minute online meeting isn’t easy. Make sure you kick off your presentation by injecting an element of suspense that will help keep your audience tuned in as you move through your pitch. Ask a question for your audience to think about during your meeting. Tell a story that you return to and move along during your presentation – finishing it as you wrap things up. But as mentioned above, be mindful of time when telling stories; don’t let your tale become a wild tangent that leaves your audience’s attention wandering.
Encourage Audience Participation
Another way to bring your presentation to life is to get your audience involved. Remember when you sat up straight and paid close attention to your teachers where there was a good chance of being called on? The same applies to presentations. If you ask questions of your audience, make them meaningful, direct them to the appropriate people throughout the pitch, and really listen to the answers. Giving your audience time to speak will make them feel valued, and this will help them stay more engaged during your virtual B2B sales pitch.
Clearly Lay Out Next Steps
With your presentation successfully delivered and your audience in awe (that's the goal, right?) over how perfect your product or service will be in solving their problems, one of the biggest risks of a virtual B2B sales pitch is simply logging off at the end without presenting a path forward. Every sales presentation should close with a clear call to action. After you’ve educated your audience about what your company can do for them, tell them what you need them to do next. Just make sure your offering is easy to take advantage of as well as too appealing to pass up.
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