In December, SimpleRelevance had the opportunity to participate in Dell’s inaugural Pitch Slam at Dell World – Dell’s annual global technology conference. Pitch Slam was an opportunity to take the stage in front of an audience of Dell World attendees and pitch SimpleRelevance to Elizabeth Gore, Daymond John and Michael Dell. Of course, getting to pitch a business to such successful and recognizable entrepreneurs is not something that happens every day. But what the people in the audience, the judges on stage, and the people watching online didn’t get a chance to see was the value in the process leading up to Pitch Slam.
Dell provided the contestants in Pitch Slam more than just an opportunity to showcase their business. Dell provided aggressive guidelines that challenged how we present ourselves, access to Dell resources and detailed feedback outlining how to best take advantage of our opportunity. And Dell provided all of the aforementioned value wrapped up in an uncommon and really cool opportunity to pitch SimpleRelevance.
One of the most difficult challenges for SimpleRelevance was crafting a 5-minute pitch to present to an audience that we had to presume had never heard of us and had no idea about our space – marketing technology. In the selection rounds, (when Dell met with the pool of companies from which they picked 6 to present) we were given 10 minutes to pitch. Cutting our time in half was difficult to say the least. As aggressive as it is to pitch an entire company’s value in 5 minutes, the exercise of analyzing and choosing every word that would go into our presentation, forced us to simplify our message and ensure that everything we said was impactful.
To assist with crafting the strongest pitch possible, Dell assigned contestants a mentor – an internal executive at Dell – who helped hone how we communicate our value to the audience. Our mentor went beyond all of our expectations in terms of accessibility, candor and insight. Our mentor made himself regularly available during the three weeks leading up to our presentation. He assessed our presentation, researched our company and made himself familiar with our service and our value proposition. And he gave insightful feedback specific to our pitch and our audience to guide us in making a concise, impactful business case as to why anyone watching should consider becoming a client.
The results of the actual pitch experience as of a month after are immediate meetings that were scheduled as we walked off the stage, introductions to potential investors as well as investors offering to walk us into their portfolio companies for a sales opportunity. Dell has also provided opportunities to find possible partnerships and customer relationships internally.
Beyond the guidelines, mentors and feedback around crafting and delivering an impactful pitch on a tight deadline, Dell added even more value by providing resources for SimpleRelevance to use moving forward. Their team genuinely offered themselves up for 24/7 support. We loved the opportunity to pitch at Dell World, but we’re even more excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as members of the Dell Founders Club.
Joe Peck, VP of Sales for SimpleRelevance, is an alumnus of Case Western Reserve University. A process and data obsessed sales leader, Joe joined SimpleRelevance after building sales strategies and teams at CareerBuilder, Groupon, and Betterfly over the past 10 years.