The Standard Tech Industry Sales Pitch
January 2, 2013 5 Comments
The tech industry is full of people, companies and organisations that want your attention, your custom and your money. There are so many of them out there it’s mind-boggling – so how does one go about standing out from the crowd? The winners are the ones that can differentiate themselves from the rest – the ones that grab your attention and keep hold of it from first contact through sales pitch and on to sale. But the funny thing is that the more people (and companies) try to stand out, the more they often sound the same. I guess we’re not all that different after all…
I work in a sales organisation in the tech industry, so I not only get to see a lot of marketing material and sales pitches but I also have to write and deliver them. I am in no way claiming to be better than the rest here, but since it’s the start of a new year and everyone is gearing up to win new business, let’s have a look at the standard tech industry pitch and see just how similar everyone’s messages are. I thought it would be more interesting than just adding my voice to the chorus of 2013 predictions…
Let’s say you are a company which makes some sort of data-related product: software to access, analyse or consume data; hardware to store, accelerate or process it. Maybe you make cloud-enabled big data in-memory analytical engines for social-networking in the mobile era. It doesn’t matter – the rules are always the same. Here’s the template to which you must conform, with all the necessary stock phrases and bullet points:
1/ Paint a picture of a new era in which existing tech cannot deliver.
Key phrase: “We live in a world where…“
..unprecedented volumes of data, exponential growth, Moores Law
..mobile, social, Nexus of Forces, the Internet of Things
..big data, business intelligence, analytics
..heightened customer expectations, real-time data
..performance, acceleration, innovation
It always helps in this section if you can reference some sort of independent research to backup your theory, preferably from the likes of Gartner or IDC. For example, Gartner says Big Data will drive $34 billion of IT spending in 2013.
2/ Describe the purgatory in which customers are currently trapped.
Key phrase: “CIOs are being asked to do more with less“
..restricted operational expenditure
..limited investment but increasing demands
..aging and complex infrastructure
..legacy, legacy, legacy
..silos, sprawl, management overhead
3/ (Optional) Why other vendors and methods cannot deliver.
Key phrase: “Legacy approaches are not working”
..unable to cope with modern demands
You might even want to run some adverts criticising the opposition and showing off how much better you are… although to be fair that’s not standard practice unless you are a certain database company.
4/ Tada! We have the solution and we can now solve all of your problems.
Key phrase: “An innovative new way of thinking”
..performance, increased agility, lower costs
..better return on investment, lower total cost of ownership
..leverage existing investments, increase utilisation
..reduce overheads, management costs, deployment times
..cloud-enabled, mobile, social, big data, real-time, in-memory
5/ Nobody else can do this, so don’t even waste time looking.
Key phrase: “Our unique product / service / solution”
..broad portfolio for your unique requirements
..best of breed, turnkey, converged infrastructure/systems
..pre-configured, pre-integrated, workload-optimized
..one throat to choke
That’s it. Stick to this recipe and you should be able to merge in nicely with everyone else who is trying to give the same message. And just for fun, here’s a perfect example of someone following the above script…
A happy and prosperous 2013 to you all.