Perfecting Your VC Pitch: 6 Steps
What makes the perfect VC pitch? What makes a VC pitch different from a SaaS software demo done correctly? Very little. The core principles of presentation are the same, connecting with the audience, reading the room, and showing the value of what you offer. Perfecting the Pitch offers some advice from decades of presentation experience including who to have with you at your VC pitch, unusual techniques for practicing your script delivery, pitch deck pointers, blockbuster opening and closing, and tools of the SaaS trade.
It is not the road you take, it is the journey
Your process should inform your pitch every single time. Perfecting the Pitch, whether for venture capital or in delivering a presentation of SaaS software should follow these steps. Roadmapping the journey to the pitch is operationally similar to roadmapping your demo or presentation.
Your journey to the perfect pitch starts with your discovery. Getting the most accurate information on your target, understanding their investing requirements, and being able to secure funding or secure a sale are all prerequisites to the pitch. Additionally, be sure you are taking steps to secure the correct audience that will be able to make a final decision. If you need a number of voices in the room, bring your biggest voices from your firm, whether c-levels or founders. You can mount objections more easily with the highest authorities.
Take Inventory (people and collateral)
When you know your audience, and you are clear on the objectives of the pitch or demo presentation, take inventory of the marketing collateral and assets. A VC pitch is going to differ from a demo deck in that it needs to show value of all products in a few slides, whereas the Demo Deck is going to showcase the value of the features in a narrower sense. We address demos and presentation decks here. Both decks need to tell a story and both decks need to communicate value and your collateral needs to communicate it, in several ways.
Old collateral or old decks for different VCs will not work for all pitches. Take the time to revise your decks for the needs or preferences of the audience. This rule applies to both SaaS demos and VC pitches. Up to date statistics, customized graphics, and all team information needs to be updated and relevant to the audience and based on findings during discovery. Speaking of people, who delivers the pitch and the demo needs to be assessed as well.
Who will be in the room during your pitch? Your founder, your lead product designer, your head of sales, your mom? You need to be specific on who adds value and authority to the pitch and prior to delivery, get specific on who is in charge of what area of messaging. This lessens the likelihood of interrupting or talking over team members. Additionally, more authority will help you close the deal on the spot.
Decide the Slides
12-15 slides that are objective and succinct are recommended for a VC pitch. Below are points from our deck builders that apply to VC pitches and demos alike.
- Keep the information that is relevant to the series of funding and the VC firm you are pitching. Let each slide stand alone.
- Show how you would fit within existing portfolio of investments
- Images over words, always
- Key Slides according to Forbes.com
- Company Overview
- Mission/Vision of the Company
- The Team
- The Problem
- The Solution
- The Market Opportunity
- The Product
- The Customers
- The Technology
- The Competition
- Business Model
- The Marketing Plan
- The Ask
Read more on our pitch deck building here!
Pitch Perfect Opener
Keep your opener and your description about what you do, really simple. If you cannot describe it in a sentence, you need to refine your plan and pitch later. Enlist a professional for this, if you need, because you have to land the opener and engage your audience from the moment you enter the room. We offer some blockbuster openers here and also advise on presentations as part of our demo audits, so we have a handle on how to engage and keep attention. Because once you have audience attention, you launch straight into a live action of what your product, software, or service does to create value for your client.
Scripted for Success
We write Demo scripts for SaaS sales teams and rather than giving lines to memorize, we offer a set list approach. There are going to be points you need to make and there is a temptation to try to make them quickly, but you may miss the opportunity to connect with your audienceor worse, you risk losing the audience’s attention altogether. This is why we suggest using set lists and improv exercises to work with your script.
How does the set list work? We have a blog on that here, but in short, it means that you practice making the points while answering questions and running hypotheticals for how a pitch will go. We offer a lot of communication exercises based on improvisation acting techniques, here, that will really improve your delivery and connection oriented presenting.
So many guides to pitching perfectly focus on the content of the pitch and not the semantics of the delivery. Use tools! Join AppSumo, find new ways to deliver information, or take a look at some of our technology partners to find ways to show value and ease your presenting with software. We recommend our partners DemoFlow and Digitile during presentations because they allow you to run software or searches seamlessly while presenting. It makes your presentation look like a trick. Also, know the keyboard shortcuts by heart, so you are not fumbling.
Don’t Close; Roadmap
We are not fans of the hard close; we are fans of the roadmap. Bridging gaps in understanding of your product or service proposition, signing contracts, and connecting so your audience wants to help you and bring your concept further, or refine your pitch. Consider language that moves a relationship forward or gets to the objections to the funding. The more questions you ask, the better. One of our signature phrases at Demo Solutions is Discovery, Before, During, and after the Demo, or Pitch, and the more comfortable you are asking questions, the more likely you are to overcome objections and win your deal, or funding!
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