We created PitchLink as a means to overcome some of the biggest hurdles in B2B selling.
When we looked at the process in a typical B2B sales exercise, we found several unique features as well as obstacles.
B2B selling involves longer selling cycles due to the greater value. Longer follow-ups also implied that extended discussions and finer detailing was required. Typically conversations and feedback required time, and involved several key stakeholders. The customer needed internal discussions and approvals, while the vendor had to provide clarifications and additional data on the product.
Sales cycles also stretched out because often discussions entailed face-to-face meetings, but arranging meetings involving several decision makers at the same time, have become difficult in today’s time-starved world. So Sales engagements stretch out over weeks. Often, even the first face-to-face meeting is difficult to set up, and when it does happen, the customer is rushed for time. So the pitch, which was planned for say 15 minutes, turns out to be a 3 minute rushed affair.
The documents and sales collaterals involved in high-value complex sales are numerous and voluminous. The exchange of such material through electronic means is difficult, to say the least, and keeping them organized and in the right flow is well nigh impossible. Mails bounce due to large file sizes, sharing on services such as Google docs require permissions, and often it is not clear if the document has been opened by the recipient.
Sales pitches are also dependent on the skill of the presenter. The quality of communication varies vastly, and there is no way to ensure that a standardized message was being conveyed, beyond the printed documentation accompanying the pitch. And a pitch is only as good as the salesman.
When we looked around for a solution to address these critical problems, we found none. While there were CRMs aimed at tracking customers, there were no mechanisms which specifically targeted the process of communication itself.
That is when we decided to develop a tool inhouse, to solve such obstacles in sales communication. The result was PitchLink.
PitchLink is a platform meant for asynchronous sales communication over the internet. It is built to involve several stakeholders, and engage everyone in meaningful discussion, so that sales cycles can be shortened through early closures. It aims to organize all pertinent sales assets, and construct clear, standardized, selling propositions.
PitchLink allows the seller to create a complete narrative, using all sales collaterals. A standard pitch can then be sent out to prospects as a link. This mode of communication allows the recipient to view the pitch at convenience, where all data and large files are organized and presented in one coherent story. Without having to download anything.
The constructed sales pitch can use several elements, such as audio, video, documents and pdfs. In fact it can use any digital file format- even Powerpoint presentations. All technical specifications and data can also be presented as a part of the story, or as supporting information.
Discussions between the stakeholders can happen within the same interface, and all feedback can be followed, and acted upon.
Once a seller sends out a pitch, all engagement can be tracked. Built-in analytics let’s you see exactly who have viewed each element. This can not only give a clear view of stakeholders’ involvement, but also help to understand problem-areas which can be fine-tuned. Most importantly, it also gives an indication of who are likely to qualify as leads, or as hot, warm and cold prospects.
We feel PitchLink is an indispensable tool that surmounts most of the critical bottlenecks in B2B sales communication.