Categories Articles, Sales and Marketing

“We’re the leading provider of intuitive, innovative and strategic Big Data solutions. This product allows you to monetize your cutting-edge product to gain actionable deliverables at a 110% value-add. Don’t wait to optimize today to leverage efficiency for your enterprise.”

This sales pitch hurts the brain.

It’s crammed from start to finish with every clichéd sales buzzword that can fit into three short sentences. This pitch could easily apply to any company selling anything – and that’s the problem.

The words you use matter, especially as a sales rep trying to stand out in a crowded B2B marketplace. When you’re selling to a new prospect, you don’t want to sound exactly like every other rep they’ve heard from. The fastest way to improve your pitch is to stop using so many terrible and overused sales buzzwords. Start talking like a human being again, and you’ll find you connect more easily with prospects.

Here are the sales buzzwords every sales rep needs to stop using immediately. Seriously – stop it.

Leading

Are you really the #1 provider of a product in your industry? If so, you should say that your company is #1. Put it clearly and prominently on your website and don’t be afraid to brag about it. But if your company is smaller and maybe only #3 or #9 in the industry, don’t say that you’re leading in anything – because you’re not. Convince people to buy your product based on merit, and skip the bogus “industry-leading” line.

Intuitive

If your product is intuitive, it simply means that your company has done their job well and created a positive user experience. In today’s world, products have to be intuitive, or else customers won’t buy them and certainly won’t use them. In this case, intuitive navigation and design is expected by customers – it’s nothing to brag about in your sales pitch.

Innovative

Even if your company truly is innovative, you shouldn’t describe it as such. Unfortunately this word has been beat into the ground by every single technology company on the market. At this point, no one will believe that you’re truly innovative if you say so – you have to actually prove it to them. Find a feature of your product that with really wow prospects, and focus on that instead. Truly innovative companies prove it with their actions, not their words.

Strategic

If your product doesn’t help customers achieve their business strategies, why would they buy it at all? Yet again, this is an example of obvious and pre-existing expectations – no one is buying a product that isn’t strategic. You need to find another quality that differentiates your product from others on the market – one that will actually convince someone to buy.

Big Data

This phrase is so tired, even companies that have based their entire business plan around analyzing large amounts of data avoid using it. Most people even use this in the wrong context, applying it to any project that comprises lots of numbers and information. Big Data exhaustion is real, so stop talking about it already. If your company’s product helps manage data, say that. Leave the buzzy industry terms to the analysts, and sell with clarity instead.

Learn More About Measuring Sales Metrics»

Solutions

Ever since the world of sales discovered “solution selling” in the 1970’s, sales reps haven’t been able to stop talking about solutions. Everyone has a solution for everything, and it’s getting tiring at this point. While this may have stood out as a revolutionary sales tactic decades ago, it now sounds faded and old-fashioned. Forget about offering solutions, and just talk straight about what your product does for customers.

Monetize

If you’re in sales, you obviously want to monetize everything. Monetize just means making money out of something – so what are you trying to convey when you say it? The big change today is people making money from things that previously couldn’t be monetized, like odd needlepoint sayings on Etsy or cute photos of cats. If your product is something that normally makes money, then talking about monetization is probably irrelevant.

Cutting-Edge

This is another word like “leading” or “innovative” where everyone claims that their product is on the cutting edge, even when it’s not. It’s been so diluted of meaning, that it’s pointless to even add to your pitch. Saying that your company is cutting edge is sure to induce a yawn in every prospect you talk to, so try using another phrase instead.

Actionable

The definition of actionable is simply to take action on something. If your product doesn’t offer anything actionable, you’re in trouble. But again, this isn’t something you should really be bragging about. Offering customers an actionable product is just the base line of functionality at this point.

Deliverable

As opposed to undeliverable? A deliverable is just a thing that you give to someone. This could be anything from an email to software to a 90-minute presentation. Be more specific with your wording here. Instead of deliverable, why not just say what you mean? If you’re talking about a data report, then say data report, not a vague deliverable.

110%

Unless you’re coaching a rag-tag team of underdog little leaguers, you don’t get a pass on using this one. This just sounds cheesy and it doesn’t make any sense logically. In case you skipped math class, 100% is 100% – there’s nothing more. If you’re trying to show that you put in a lot of effort, then say that instead. Just don’t say 110%, please. Leave this dumb cliche to athletes trying to articulate why their team won.

Value-Add

This is just a weird way to say that you’re adding value to something. This is supposed to be a positive, but again, it should just be expected. If you’re selling someone a product, it better add value, or else why are they buying? Value is also simply too vague of a word for what you’re trying to convey. If your product offers customers the ability to save time, money or even annoyance in their daily lives, that is the “value” of your product. It’s much more compelling to talk about the specific things that customers get out of your product, rather than the vaguest value-added.

Optimize

This word simply means to make something the best that it can be. Depending on your industry and how you’re saying it, it can mean something else entirely. Be careful with words that have multiple meanings in multiple industries. If you’re talking about optimizing a website for SEO, that means something. If you’re talking about optimizing your business, that’s too vague and you can find a better way to say it.

Leverage

No. Just no.

Efficiency

Everyone wants to be efficient – to do more with less (another phrase we hate, to be honest). But unless you can offer a prospect hard numbers about how your product can increase their efficiency – say speed up their sales cycle by 25% – then don’t talk about it at all. You have to be able to prove your claims, or else it’s just another buzzword.
 
Hopefully, now you can see exactly why buzzwords are so terrible. They’re unspecific, confusing, overused, and often cheesy. It’s OK to use these words once in a while if it really applies to your pitch, but it’s important to use in moderation. Cut back on your buzzword use today, and you’ll improve every sales pitch you give in the future.
 

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