The drone industry is quickly becoming a crowded marketplace. So far, more than 60,000 pilots have been certified by the FAA to fly drones commercially — and that number is expected to increase 7X over the next 5 years. As more drone service businesses emerge, you’ll need to find a way to stand out from the crowd to be successful.

To do this, you have to be good at selling drones and the benefits they can deliver your clients. It might also require stepping out of your comfort zone and into new industries to provide mapping services.

A recent report from Skylogic Research suggests that the agriculture, inspection, construction, and surveying industries are a good place to start. These industries are among the most likely to outsource drone services to contractors. If you’re not familiar with these industries, it can be hard to get your foot in the door.


Source: 2017 Drone Market Report: Opportunities and challenges in key market segments, courtesy Skylogic Research

So how do you pitch mapping services to these companies? It’s one thing to read all of the information yourself and understand the business value your services bring to the table, but it’s an entirely different challenge to explain that value in a 3–5 minute pitch.

As a company that has spoken to thousands of businesses around the world, we have found what resonates with industry buyers that are skeptical about the value drones provide. And we’re happy to share some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way.

To make things easier, we’ve put together some industry applications and talking points to help build the perfect pitch deck to sell your services in the fast-paced world of drones for hire.

Market #1: Agriculture

In agriculture, it’s all about understanding what’s happening in the field, in order to increase yield and improve efficiency. Mapping with DroneDeploy gives growers and agronomists detailed insights about crops that would not be noticeable on foot or by traditional land-based methods.

Applications and Talking points

How does the agriculture industry apply drones to everyday workflows?

  • Crop scouting. Using drones is a much quicker, simpler way of scouting crops to find irregularities and issues, so that you can reduce variability and solve problems faster.
  • Soil mapping: Identify crop variation and damage across an entire field in a matter of hours.
  • Irrigation optimization: Drone imagery helps identify irregularities in irrigation based on vegetative cover and other indicators that you can only see from overhead, so you can make adjustments and achieve irrigation uniformity.
  • Drainage repair: Fix drainage issues so that water is consistent across the crop.
  • Yield optimization: Make the right crop adjustments faster with instant data and detailed mapping.
  • Yield projections: Make accurate projections based on detailed, high-resolution mapping.
  • Nitrogen application: More easily see nitrogen deficiencies in your crops.
  • Emergence/Stand count: Determine if you need to replant in any areas.
  • Equipment malfunction detection: Catch equipment issues that result in uneven seeding, pesticides distribution or replanting or gaps in plants.
  • Pest issues: Determine if any areas are having pest issues, and assess the effectiveness of pest control strategies.

Market #2: Construction

The construction industry is complex. Construction pros need technology that won’t add to the complexity of a project, but instead help to simplify it. Drone maps and models are a cost-effective, user-friendly way to help achieve this goal.

Speed is also essential to construction projects. Contractors are constantly working against timelines, and they need to have access to real-time insights to make smart decisions. Drone maps make it easier and more efficient to manage work as it is happens, and monitor site progress overtime.

Applications and Talking points

How does the construction industry apply drones to their businesses?

  • Management oversight: Keep real-time tabs on projects with regularly updated overhead maps. For in-depth analysis, zero in on key areas, often with enough resolution to see individual studs.
  • Site progress: Track progress against 3D models and aerial views. How many floors have been built in the past week? Are the builders following the plan? Are we on track to complete the project by the deadline?
  • Improved communication: Share maps and models with internal and external stakeholders for streamlined communications. Keep everyone in the office up-to-date and informed — even if you’re still on site.
  • Site planning & surveying: Instead of hiring a survey team to survey a greenfield site, you can hire a drone business to perform the same job faster, with as much accuracy, and at a lower price point. In some cases, this information is even more accurate because drone-generated point clouds gather millions of points compared to the hundreds gathered in a ground-based survey.
  • Stockpile measurement: Instantly measure stockpile volumes so you can make on-the-spot decisions about your materials needs.
  • Safety improvements: Identify safety concerns in real time, so your team can address them quickly. Reduce the time employees and contractors spend on roofs, steep slopes, and other dangerous areas.
  • Virtual design and construction: Export drone-generated point clouds into 3D design software for powerful insights. Ensure site progress is in step with original design plans.

Market #3: Inspection and Insurance


Image Courtesy of The Sequel Group

As a building or insurance inspector, you can use drones to inspect sites and infrastructure more efficiently and in a safer manner.

Building inspectors: Use drones to identify issues on roofs, building exteriors, and elevated towers without the need to spend hours walking or climbing a site. Collect better data, save valuable man hours, and reduce the need to send contractors into unsafe conditions.

Insurance inspectors: Use drone data as a way to streamline inspection claims by quickly and comprehensively assessing damage to property, homes, and commercial real estate.

Agriculture insurance: In the case of agricultural insurance, gather a complete picture of an entire field so that you can make the most accurate damage assessment.

Applications and Talking points

What role do drones play in the commercial inspection industry?

  • Improve safety: Perform remote inspections to identify problem areas that need further attention. Reduce the amount of time crews spend on roofs, elevated towers, and other dangerous areas.
  • Thermal imaging: Gather accurate thermal imagery to identify structural issues and remotely identify problem areas.
  • Enable complex simulations: Drone-generated 3D models aid with forensic inspections by providing a cost-effective way to reconstruct incidents.

Market #4: Surveying

Drones are quickly becoming an integral part of every surveyor’s toolkit. Survey teams see huge time savings and decreased costs thanks to UAV technology. In some cases, sites can be surveyed 20x faster than they would through traditional ground methods. Not only do drones increase efficiency, but for many surveyors drones can be a safer choice too.

Applications and Talking points

How can drones help surveyors?

  • Create topographic maps: Use drone data to save time and lower costs while creating accurate topographic maps.
  • Produce survey-grade maps: When paired with powerful drone mapping software, and ground control points, drones can produce survey-grade maps and accurate 3D models in hours, as opposed to days.
  • Improve safety: Reduce the amount of time crews spend walking sites or navigating dangerous areas.
  • Lower costs: Lower costs for yourself and your clients by performing surveys in a fraction of the time compared to traditional ground methods.
  • Integrate with industry software for additional analysis: Drone maps and models can be easily imported into most industry software. As a surveyor, you can provide your clients with additional information that they may not otherwise have, like 3D models that can be used for inspection and compliance.

Market #5: Mining & Aggregates

The mining industry is highly-regulated, technical, and potentially dangerous. Overall, the industry faces tough market conditions and operators are constantly working against skill shortages, labor unrest, cost inflation, reserves exhaustion, safety concerns, public image challenges, and government revenue expectations. Operational efficiency and cost is crucial; And safety is paramount.

Drones help mine sites improve efficiency, lower costs, and increase safety by gathering powerful aerial data.

Applications and Talking points

How do drones fit into the mining and aggregates industries?

  • Site surveying: Surveying a potential mine site is faster, safer, and more cost-effective using drone technology.
  • Information sharing: Easily share maps and site information between on-site supervisors, explosive technicians, and employees in the lab.
  • Material/aggregate volume analysis: More accurately determine material volumes that can be extracted, or calculate material volume on site.
  • Fragmentation analysis: Fly over blast sites to photograph the rock and ensure that the blast was done correctly. Flying overhead to plan a future blast.
  • Equipment and materials tracking: Keep track of the location of equipment and the amount of materials remaining.
  • Terrace/ramp evaluation: Determine how much to add or remove for efficient operations.
  • Bench evaluation: Verify the face of the bench to understand structural integrity. Maintain safety by ensuring equipment is protected from falling over the side.
  • Regulatory and environmental compliance: Easily survey your site to ensure environmental compliance (e.g., measure the elevation variation to protect against material and/or chemical runoff)
  • Improved safety: Measure materials with drones instead of dangerous and labor-intensive manual methods.

It’s Time to Fine-Tune Your Pitch Deck

So, what’s next? We recommend you get to work by updating your pitch deck, outreach emails, or other sales materials with some of our talking points. If you aren’t speaking the right language to your prospects, you’re bound to have a hard time conveying the value your drone services can bring to their business.

If you ask any salesperson, they will tell you that a good pitch can make or break an opportunity. Get started by finessing your approach. Practice your pitch. And go into your next call, presentation, or meeting with the confidence—and good talking points—to close the deal.

Where to Learn More


Read More in DroneDeploy’s Guide to Starting a Commercial Drone Business

Get Started with DroneDeploy

Want to learn how DroneDeploy can help your business? Visit www.dronedeploy.com to start your free trial or request a consultation with one of our team members. The DroneDeploy mobile application is available for free download for both iOS and Android devices.



Pitch Perfect: Creating the Ultimate Sales Pitch to Sell Your Drone Mapping Services was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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