Why PitchLink is not MailChimp! (Or Infusionsoft!)

Miniature business team having a coffee break

The sales technology stack can be broadly divided into email campaigning tools (primarily lead generation), marketing automation, CRM, Sales Enablement, Various synchronous pitching tools (like Webex or Go-to-meeting), Usage tracking/ Analytics et all. Over the next few posts I will try to explain where we think PitchLink fits into your Sales Tech Stack.

Is PitchLink a lead generation tool?

The initial exposure to PitchLink left a few users wondering – How can you send your pitch to thousands of cold prospects like what you do with tools like MailChimp, Infusionsoft and other similar email automation applications?

Well the simple answer is – you can’t!

PitchLink was built to solve a very specific problem – that of getting over the challenge of getting the first face to face meeting with your prospect. In the current sales process this meeting is the one where you introduce your prospect to your product or service, complete personalised need discovery process and initiate a conversation which should ideally lead to a sale. As we all know, getting a prospect from ‘interest to a P.O.’ is a complex and often unsuccessful process. And there could be multiple reasons why an interest or a pitch will not result in a sale. But that is not the point. The point is, while tools like Mailchimp and Infusionsoft starts your process of outbound sales with the expressed intention of identifying prospects, PitchLink comes in when you know who this prospect is and in turn this prospect knows that you (your company) exists (through your mail / drip campaigns and possibly some opt-in offers).

Your marketing team tracks engagement and moves the prospects through the sales funnel and once qualified, the lead is handed over to the sales team for making that great first pitch, which will be the beginning of the journey which will hopefully end in a sale. Or better still – many future sales.

PitchLink helps you send your structured story or pitch to your prospect, exactly the same way you would narrate it face-to-face, without demanding his scheduled time where she doesn’t have a clear idea of what to expect in return. PitchLink is one of the first sales tools of the coming era of ‘Zero interruption selling’. The prospect can view your pitch at a time or place of her choice and decide to engage, get clarification and additional information without getting into an exchange of mails or downloading huge attachments. Her unique ‘PitchLink’ becomes the anchor for this specific conversation which can now evolve organically without the typical logistical and complexity overload. The prospect can, at her own pace and time, come to the conclusion of moving towards a ‘buy’ decision without the usual social pressures of in your face selling.

….. and PitchLink is born

pitchlink_napkin

From a napkin sketch on the 3rd February 2016 to our shiny new Sales Pitching tool – PitchLink. It’s alive and kickin’ today.

Is there a sense of elation? Of expectation for praise for a job well done? Of fear of rejection and failure? Of the unknown (this is our first SAAS product)? Of users flocking to us and the server crashing? Of the good feeling and adrenalin that pumps with the crash? Well it is all of these and more. It’s like writing a new novel or making a new film.

What does tomorrow hold for us? For PitchLink?

Now you will be able to sign in using an invite ( if you need one write to me – ss@pitchlink.in or submit your mail id on our Home page) and simplify your pitching process dramatically.

We wanted to change a lot.  And we have strong views on how SAAS products should be – in terms of pricing,  simplicity, transparency, and in the way users are treated and asked to interact with or learn about software products.

We wondered why customers should pay to set up or learn how to use a product when they are paying for it in the first place?’

We wondered why customers get pushed into the higher tier just because they exceeded the quota by a small margin?

Why indeed? With PitchLink we have ensured that issues such as these never dampen your experience. And be sure to use the 90 days of free trial of the full featured product. (That’s right- 14 days just doesn’t cut it in our reckoning.) We want you to have enough time to deep dive into PitchLink.

We looked around and found incredible companies grow in front of us from nothing, their stories inspiring us to believe that we can build a product that will be used and loved by people all over the world. Something that will make life easy and meaningful. We tried to imbibe all of it here, in PitchLink. I am incredibly proud of our team. Everyone worked incredibly hard over the past several months to make PitchLink happen. You will find them in the About Us page. Take a look and say Hi.

Finally it’s in your hands. Take it for a spin or push its limits. But do talk to us. Write, mail. Know at all times we are here. Waiting to hear from you. Waiting to make this the best first experience of using a new tool you ever had!

See you in the inside. And have a great 2017!

Subhanjan, Founder.

Bangalore, India.

P.S. If you like what you see, please refer us to your friends and your 90 day free full featured trial can get extended to 365 days.

 

Why we created PitchLink

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.