Let’s clear something up. There are pitches to VC investors and then there are sales presentations to potential customers. Do not be confused. They are NOT the same thing.

With a VC pitch, you are presenting a consistent, structured story to one or more smart, hardened, calculating and time-constrained people evaluating you by way of a particular process and formula.  

PURPOSE / PROBLEM / SOLUTION / MARKET / TIMING / COMPETITION / REVENUE MODEL / SALES & MARKETING / TEAM / ROADMAP / VISION

Almost that fast. In that order. In 20 minutes, thank you very much.

Your average VC is way above average smart, and maybe they care about important things somewhere. But this pitch you’re doing, they’ve seen hundreds. Maybe thousands. What goes through their collective brains is this: “Stick to the script. Make this quick. I’m probably going to pass.”

A sales presentation should be almost nothing like this. First, the presentation should be specific to the customer. The topic is their problem, in their specific terms and using their language. Ideally, you’re using examples and scenarios that resonate uniquely with them.

A sales presentation should be a dialogue. A good sales presentation has discussion and back-n-forth. You should learn things. It is a dynamic, energized conversation. (And not one energized by pressure or fear.)

A sales presentation has specific ingredients. Purpose, problem and solution belong in the conversation, but only as long as they are focused on the customer. That’s it. Customers don’t care about your revenue model, your sales and marketing strategy, or your vision if it doesn’t specifically apply to them. And the competition? At your peril.

Here’s the big difference between a VC pitch and a sales presentation. That VC likely has no idea what a B2B/enterprise customer is dealing with. Most have never spent a day in a traditional corporate environment, dealt firsthand with the bizarre decision-making of big companies, or wrestled with the integration of a dozen critical systems.

But eventually, you will.