What is Pitchfire?

Ryan O'Hara
July 8, 2024
5 min read

You may have been sent to Pitchfire by someone you prospected, you are someone getting prospected, or maybe you keep hearing about us online. This post is diving into what is Pitchfire, why does it exist, and how you can use it to help you, whether you are a person getting prospected, or a salesperson working for a business. Let's start with the problem.

The Problem

Over the past 200 years, the concept of sales prospecting hasn't really changed. Businesses hustle to get people who work at other businesses to talk to them. Those people do whatever they can to avoid it.

Think about the times you would walk around a mall, see people at a kiosk, they try to pitch you, and you do everything you can to get away. This is literally what has happened with cold calls, cold emails, and LinkedIn messages almost 800 times a year.

Jon Mazza and I visited the Rockingham Mall in December. This is about to turn into an awkward sales pitch.

This year businesses will attempt 647 billion cold prospecting touches to get meetings.

The problem isn't sales people. They are just doing their jobs. They are amazingly smart, bright, and fun people to work with. The good ones are creative and helpful. They teach, support, and help people navigate their buying process. They are super important to our economy.

In fact, the average B2B salesperson that hits quota produces enough money to pay for 3 employee's salaries.

Companies rely on both inbound marketing and outbound prospecting to build pipeline. About half is supposed to come from outbound prospecting. So what's the issue?

Almost 60% of B2B sales teams miss their quota. When they prospect someone, less than 1% will respond to them.

This weekend, I'm up north of the White Mountains in New Hampshire to get a 3 minute show of a total solar eclipse happening on April 8, 2024, and tomorrow, we're waking up and driving to our spot 5 hours early, anticipating traffic.

This road on the way to Dixville Notch in New Hampshire could see more traffic in a weekend than the rest of the year combined.

Some people estimate over 100,000 people will be driving on this small empty road to see the eclipse.

Now, in places like Boston, New York City, or Paris, this wouldn't be a big deal, but Dixville Notch has 12 people living in it. This road will simply have too many cars on it. We're anticipating at least a 3-4 hour traffic jam.

Even New Hampshire's Governor is warning people about it:

So what's this have to do with cold prospecting?

Cold calls, cold emails, and LinkedIn messages are like this road. They are all over traveled, and with the rise of AI and sales engagement platforms, traffic is only going to get worse.

There are far too many potholes, the roads are too narrow, and they simply aren't designed for this much volume.

This is prospecting today. Sales people aren't the problem. The problem is the system.

Companies are always going to cold call and email people at other B2B companies. However, it's going to continue to get harder as inbox providers block emails from going through, and cold call data providers lose more and more numbers everyday due to privacy laws, opt outs, and data quality.

So what are we doing about it at Pitchfire?

What is Pitchfire?

Pitchfire is a place prospects like getting pitched. It's a paid prospecting platform, where buyers get paid to answer businesses.

We did a study and found out that 96% of B2B buyers are willing to respond to businesses, if they are getting paid to do so.

The Pitchfire buyer marketplace lets buyers get compensated to answer sales pitches.

Businesses can stop building pipeline, and use their customer acquisition cost to buy it. Our buyer marketplace makes it extremely easy for a business to offer money to a prospect to respond to their sales pitch.

A pitch in Pitchfire is a blank canvas a business can use to convince their prospect to meet with them.

A pitch on Pitchfire isn't a meeting. It's a 1000 character block that can convince someone they should start a conversation with you. When someone sends money to a prospect to get them to respond, something magical happens. Sales pitches get better, and so do responses.

Sales people no longer need to rush what they say because they are more likely to get a response than they are over cold email or cold call.

It's a place that is mutually beneficial to both buyers and businesses reaching out to them. Instead of getting a 1% reply rate with cold calls, emails, and LinkedIn messages, our platform allows sales teams to buy responses directly from their prospects.

This is an example of a pitch I received from an agency.

We use email and phone for corresponding with people, but once we start using these things for prospecting it becomes annoying for a buyer and a business prospecting them. The buyer has to manage the distraction, while the sales person working for the business has to be persistent and keep interrupting them to have a shot at getting a response.

The average success rate of a prospecting touch yielding a meeting is .4%! Yikes.

Earlier in this post, we mentioned that reply rates are less than 1%. Today, about 60% of pitches are answered on Pitchfire.

Members of Pitchfire get paid to respond to prospecting. There are no meetings required.

A lot of people on this post who work in sales may think you are buying a meeting when you use Pitchfire. Even though we allow you to connect your calendar to make booking easy, people on Pitchfire get paid the same no matter how they answer a pitch.

In the event that a person views a pitch and is interested, we allow easy booking on a person's calendar.

Pitchfire has a calendar integration with Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar.

Isn't there some kind of Gmail or Outlook plugin?

In the event that you are someone who gets prospected, we also have free inbox plugins for both Google Workspace and Microsoft Outlook that allows you to send businesses to your Pitchfire listing.

This is this the Pitchfire Inbox Add in for Microsoft Outlook. We also have this for Google Workspace.

This achieves two things.

First, it keeps pitching and corresponding with sales people out of your inbox, and allows you to promote your Pitchfire listing to them.

You just have to install it on the same inbox you used to create your account. Remember these businesses taking the time to pitch you over email and phone are likely going to want a response from you more than other business. That's why they are taking the time to email, call, or message you.

Second, using the Pitchfire inbox plugin stops about 90% of automatic follow up steps.

When businesses are prospecting you, 98% of them will reach out to you more than once through your phone, email, and LinkedIn. Most of these companies buy a sales engagement platform like Apollo, SalesLoft, HubSpot, Outreach, etc. They'll add your contact information into these platforms and put you into a sequence of prospecting touches. These steps will manifest into cold calls, emails, follow up Linkedin messages, and even text messaging now.

There are only two ways out of the conversation. As buyers, we can unsubscribe (which many companies leave out of their prospecting), reply to an email or message, or answer a cold call.

When someone sends a business to Pitchfire with the plugin, we reply back as the user which takes them out of about 90% of sales sequences or cadences. This reply threads the email, and makes their software stop the follow up steps.

A reply on Pitchfire sent from the inbox plugin.

This means a business doesn't have to waste time with 6-30 follow up steps to get a response and the prospect ignoring the outreach will have a better shot at answering and viewing a pitch if they get paid for it.

So who gets the money when a pitch is sent in Pitchfire?

When a business pays a prospect to answer a sales pitch through Pitchfire, we contact the prospect and show them the offer. Pitchfire users have 7 days to answer a sales pitch, before the pitch offer expires.

The higher a business offers someone to answer, the higher it ends up in their Pitchfire inbox.

Users on Pitchfire can set their floor for offers. Our minimal offer start at $25, but every prospect has their own floor they can set.

The user can respond with a number of rebuttals. If they are interested, they can take a meeting. We show your offer, minus our transaction fee. Today, our transaction fee is 20% of the offer. The rest goes directly to the buyer, when they respond.

There are a number of responses in Pitchfire. Each one has a different next step that is required to earn income to answer the sales pitch.

Pitchfire users can connect their bank account or a business bank account, and withdraw money directly through their Pitchfire wallet.

Since a user gets paid the same no matter how they respond, there is no conflict or corruption that can occur. A business gets a response and a chance at developing pipeline. Our users can save hours a year cutting interruptions and make extra income without being rude to sales people.

In order to pitch in our marketplace, all businesses pitching in our marketplace must also list themselves in our marketplace. Sorry...thems the rules.

And that's it.

Our goal is to make the whole experience of buyers and businesses coming together more enjoyable for everyone. Want to try it out? Make an account for free today.

Ryan O'Hara

Ryan O'Hara is the founder of Pitchfire. Prior to starting Pitchfire, he has been an early employee at several startups helping them with marketing and prospecting tactics including Dyn (Acquired by Oracle 2016) and LeadIQ (first GTM employee-Series B).

He's had prospecting and marketing campaigns featured in Fortune, Mashable, and TheNextWeb. Ryan specializes in go-to-market strategy, branding, business development, prospecting, and sales training. He also mentors two accelerators, The Iron Yard and The Alpha Loft.