This episode's topic is The Big Pitch. And it’s a discussion of one of the most important presentations you may ever give. It has a definitive and measurable impact. It’s rarely shared with a large audience. And while the audience may be small, they are a critical one. Because their interest and reaction to the presentation may change the future of a company. And in fact, that’s actually the point. Today, we’re going to talk about “pitch” presentations. Those opportunities when a start-up, mid-size or even a large corporation wants to be acquired.
The Big Pitch is a different kind of storyline with huge expectations and potential disappointments. And when you’re the communicator, it’s a crash course in how to position your company in a story that will resonate and attract a buyer.
In our podcast today, you’ll hear a lot about those expectations and some best practices on how to think about The Big Pitch.
More about Rachel Spasser
Rachel Spasser is a Managing Director and Chief Marketing Officer at Accel-KKR Consulting Group. Rachel provides strategic guidance as well as sales and marketing leadership across Accel-KKR’s portfolio. Prior to joining Accel-KKR’s Consulting Group, Rachel was the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Ariba, Inc., an SAP Company. With over 25 years of experience in marketing, business development and general management, Ms. Spasser has spent the past 20 years focused on the business-to-business technology space and speaks frequently on topics such as marketing strategy, demand generation and management and customer adoption marketing.
What are Pitch Presentations? Rachel Spasser Managing Director and Chief Marketing Officer at Accel-KKR What is the market like today after an unprecedented year? Q2 of last year was quiet. Companies that were going into investment during Q2 pulled back to wait and see what the market was going to be like going forward. Q3 through the end of the year was very busy. A lot of capital in the market and investment firms need to deepen that capital. Acquisition has become an essential part of the growth strategy. Listeners and the buyers are financial backers and sponsors. Listeners are the deal teams Strategic side Development department and functional leaders interested in acquiring that business. Make sure you understand who the listeners are going to be prior to the pitch. What are people listening for? Expertise Metrics of their business Leadership and the team dynamics Common mistakes in storytelling. People fall short on the presentation itself by rambling or going deeper than the listener can comprehend and not reading signals well. Data is important and should support the story you’re telling. Telling the rearview mirror story rather than the forward story. Backstory is great color and great context but there has to be context of what the future looks like. Seller can make the story real with good examples and buyer can have a vision for tomorrow. The deal makers and the bankers - most knowledgeable about the situation. What role do they play? The best bankers are the ones that can coach and bring the team along and develop a compelling way to bring the story along. Communicator - or the seller. Typically not a normal sales process. Pitch is high pressure environment. Salespeople are the most prepared for pitches. The pitch team should consist of: Key functional leaders CEO and CFO and senior leadership team CTO Head of Marketing Chief Customer Officer What do you do when your Chief Operating person or Executive is not comfortable in this space? Don’t bring them into the room. Hire a coach to help them feel comfortable presenting even a small part. Investor is looking at the team asking “can these people get me to where I want to go?” and sometimes the CEO do