The most overlooked reason why someone wins a pitch is that their product is actually good.
If your competition won and you didn’t, it’s easy to assume that they were “better salesmen”. And maybe they are. So, sure, become a great salesman.
Yet, it’s far more likely – and far more healthy – to assume that your competition, as well as the decision makers, are just as smart as you are so that your competion’s offering is actually that good.
With a twist: it’s good subjectively – not objectively. Because there is no objectivity. An offering is always for someone. I’ve seen many pitches fail not because the idea wasn’t great but because it was great from the wrong perspective, focussing on aspects that were important to the developers rather than the decision makers or the users.
To understand the needs, wants, and desires of that someone makes it so much more likely to build a product that appeals to your audience and then to be able to communicate it in a way that resonates deeply. This is what great salesmen do: They take a great product and let it shine.