April Dunford: Stop Selling Your Product, Start Selling Your Point of View

Startups often struggle to communicate the value of their products, particularly in sales meetings. From pitches that drown customers in a word-soup of features, to high-concept vision pitches that leave customers confused and sceptical – many companies struggle to connect authentically with customers in a way that generates deals. You need the Point of View pitch.

In this talk, April is going to teach you the difference between selling and helping customers buy. She will show you the different types of pitches to use and the pros & cons of each, and why Point of View pitches work so well.

also available on the podcast


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I’ll preface this by saying I’m super happy to be here. Like, when Mark asked me to come back, I was like, oh this is pretty cool, I get to speak two years in a row. But then I actually had mild panic because I realised I can’t use any of the other stuff that I’ve talked about. And I need to talk about something new. So I use it as a forcing function to clarify my thinking around a thing that I’ve been doing both when I was a VP marketing, working inside companies, but also as a, as a consultant, a thing that I’ve been doing with my clients a lot. And so this is maybe a little bit rough, but I think it’s a good idea. And we had a neat conversation about it yesterday in the breakout, which, which was super helpful to me as well, just because the more I talk about this, the more it clarifies my thoughts. So we so we’ll do this, but I’m really looking forward to the q&a at the end of this to see if this actually makes sense to people. So here we go.

This is a talk about positioning, but a little bit more about how you communicate your positioning or share your positioning. And I think it’s relevant, both about how you share your positioning to customers, or people that you’re trying to sell stuff to, but also internally, and partners and other people that just need to understand what your stuff is all about.

So, a little background on this. So, it starts with this, like, you have to kind of put yourself in the shoes of a customer. And so imagine I’m a buyer, and maybe I decide or my boss decides, you know what, you should go buy this thing. And just for argument’s sake, let’s say the thing is, you know, I manage a sales team, or I manage training for a sales team. And so I’m the sales enablement manager, and my boss comes and says,

“You know what, we should do this with some software, there must be some great software to do this, you should go out and figure it out, bring me some software that we should buy to do this thing.”

And so what do you do? Like, the first thing to realise is this buyer – and this is true in almost everything we sell – that buyer has never purchased that thing before. So they don’t know anything. They don’t know what’s good, and what’s not good. They don’t know, necessarily, what features are possible and not possible. They have no, they have some problems that they need to get solved. But they don’t necessarily know what the state of the art is on these technologies. What should my purchase criteria be? And then how do I make a shortlist? So they’ll go looking around? And so you know, I might find a chart like this and say, oh baby does this narrow it down? No, no, it doesn’t. This is actually terrifying. So I get to this, and I’m like, Okay, this is bad. This is not good. There’s a lot more here than I thought there was gonna be. This is kind of scary. And but then after a while I spalunk around and I figured out, there’s actually a category software for doing this stuff. It’s called sales enablement. Eureka. That’s great. Except the bad news is, even when I just look at that: terror! Like there’s dozens of things here like, I don’t know, should I but I can’t evaluate all these things. There’s way too many of them. So then I started doing searches, like best sales and human software, or how do I buy sales enablement, software and things like that. And I ended up at sites like software advice, or jeetu. crowd, or then there’s tonnes of these, and they probably already dominate the keywords for your industry. So your buyer, Google’s they, so they end up on one of these comparison sites. And so jeetu crowd is a great example. And comparison sites will give them charts that look like this. And what do I see there? I see the same logos that I saw on the previous slide, arranged slightly differently. And at first, you might think, well, this is helpful, right? Because I want things that are up in the top right, right?

Except that I’m the buyer and I look at this, and I go Hmm, some of those things up there in the top right are just for great big businesses. And we’re a tiny little startup, some of those things look really expensive. We can’t afford that. So the axes on these like high performance and the leader, I don’t necessarily want high performance and a leader. I’ve got different criteria than that. I want something that’s a little bit cheaper. I don’t actually care that much about high performance. So this thing actually doesn’t help me. In fact, the dirty secret of these companies, I hope nobody here works at jeetu crowd. But the dirty secret of these companies is they make money from customer confusion. So they actually and you’ll notice this, if you’re a vendor, they have tonnes and tonnes of grids that don’t even make any sense that they put vendors in grids. And you’re like, we’re not sales enablement. Why are we in the sales enablement grid, and that’s because they sell leads. So anybody that’s in here, trying to figure this out, fills out a little form, and then a vendor can buy that lead.

So they’re actually incented to confuse the heck out of customers. So this is my challenge on the customer side. Now, that’s the customer. Now I’m a startup. So let’s say I am actually the perfect solution for that gal. So I’m a little startup in the sales enablement space. And that’s me down there in the little box. How does anybody like how does anybody find me or pick me, this sucks. I want to be the little box down there and 7000 chart thing. And here’s me over here. And I’ve done an amazing job of making my customers happy. That’s why I’m way over here on the high performance. But I’m a start up, that’s why I’m not in the very top top top corner. Because I just don’t have enough. I don’t have as many customers as HubSpot does, for example, who by the way isn’t even sales enablement. What are they doing up there? So, so so that’s me. And so I got all these happy customers, but I don’t like to how’s anybody gonna pick me or know when to pick me?

And then here’s where it gets even worse, like so, you know, once a miracle occurs, and the customer actually decides to contact me. And so they’re going to come and I’m going to pitch them. And so what the customer’s thinking about on the other side is, you know, should I pick you or not? Should you be in my top three or not? Should I invest more time and thinking about you or not. And then we on the startup side, we’ll launch into our pitch. So the customer comes. And here’s what the pitches look like, we tend to have kind of three styles of pitches, like how we pitch customers when they come to us.

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So the one that you see the most is, for first startups, in particular, technical founders is what I call the ‘features, features, features pitch‘. And this is the pitch where you come in and you say, hey, let me show you what we do. And you jump into a demo, and you demo all the features. And this works. And it’s not like this never works. This actually works when you have quite a sophisticated buyer that’s done their research all already, they have a big long checklist of features that they’re looking for very specifically. So this can work. And it’s our comfort zone. For us, it works because it’s easy, we’re very comfortable with demoing features. The problem is, is if I don’t have a very sophisticated buyer that already knows exactly what features they want, you’re leaving it up to the customer to do the work to translate between these features translate to this value for me as a customer. The other thing it doesn’t necessarily do is it’s just talking about you. It’s not talking about how you compare to anybody else. So it also leaves that up to the customer to figure out how you’re different than all the other potential solutions that they could choose.

The second kind of pitch is, is the ‘founder origin story pitch‘. And this one I actually liked quite a bit. You know, this is where you say, “dude, I used to run sales enablement at Cisco, and it was awful. And I know exactly what your problem is, man, I you know, I tried it like this. It didn’t work. I tried it. And so I decided, forget it. I’m going to start my own startup and I make sales enablement, I feel your pain, and I built a thing to address your pain.” And so these pitches actually work very well, particularly in in in achieving this authentic connection with a customer. They’re like we get you we know you. The problem with them is that well, one in all the companies I ever worked at the origin story was way complicated. It just we couldn’t tell that story. The origin story was like, you know, we actually built a thing for something completely different. And then we almost went broke, and then the co founders broke up. And then we decided to do something else. And then we did a thing and then we accidentally got a customer and then we realised, hey, this works. And then you know, I can’t tell that story in a pitch is too complicated. The other thing is like, you know, it works really well when the founder does it last well when the sales rep attempts to deliver that story is doesn’t have quite the same authenticity. And here’s the other thing. It doesn’t always do a great job of explaining what kind of customers are we best suited for. So that’s a bit of a problem with the origin story. One time Right, like it doesn’t necessarily say. So I built a thing that’s only good for big companies, not small companies. So that is a bit complex there too.

And then the last kind of pitch we get, and I see a lot of this right now, because it’s trendy, that is the ‘big vision pitch‘. And this pitch usually comes from companies that have been out raising money, because the big vision pitch works really well with a VC. And this is the pitch where you come in and you say, “the world is changing. And in the future, there’s going to be winners and losers, and you might be a loser, you might be a loser. And the only way to be a winner is to come on this journey with me, man I got this thing, and the entire market is gonna blow up. And after it does, the only thing left on the apocalyptic planet will be me in my software, and you better be over on this bus over here, because all the other buses, everyone dies.”

And so it’s a bit like that. The problem with these big vision pitches is again, sometimes they work like if you’re in a market that is really in the middle of some crazy transformation, if your thing is absolutely unique, and there is nothing else like it on the planet, sometimes these things work; they work really well with a VC. And if you want to raise some money, this pitch works amazing. But the biggest problem with them is it doesn’t necessarily connect to what your product does for people right now. It’s a bit of a future forward pitch. And so sometimes customers get to the end. And one of two things happen. Like sometimes the customer buys in already that the future is changing, and blah, blah, blah, and you’ve just spent 25 minutes on it. We’re like, yeah, I’m a dude, we know already. The future. Yeah, it’s changing whatever. Just tell me what you do right now, like get to the point. And how are you any different than the five other companies that Oh, by the way, are also telling me the future is changing, and blah, blah, blah.

So it tends to it aggravates customers sometimes, or the customer just kind of doesn’t buy into the future, it is a bit like this all sounds a bit like Oh crap, like, you know, and so you run the risk of sounding like a bit like pushing buzzword Bingo. So if you’ll hear about this from Bob [Moesta] later, but you know, my conclusion on this, if you look at this, like, on the one side, we’ve got customers that don’t know how to buy. And on the other side, we’ve got founders that are struggling to figure out how to sell. And so what if we could figure out a way to communicate our ideas such that, you know, we are actually selling in a way that’s also helping our customers buy. So what if there is a way to sort of bring together the best of all worlds of all those pitches, so I could expose my features. But within the context of why those features matter, I could do this authentic connection with customers, and makes them wonder, like, I get what you’re struggling with, in a way that’s valuable to them. And I could give them kind of a genuinely helpful way to think about the market and where it’s going. That doesn’t sound like bullcrap. But it would give me a way to think about all the solutions in the market, not just my stuff.

So the background on this is interesting, if you go and look at the data on this stuff, the data shows that customers want this. And companies that can do it are successful. And so this set of data right here, I pulled from this amazing book called The Challenger Sale, which did it did a great big long to go in depth research study of what makes a good salesperson effective. And what do enterprise buyers actually want in sales people? And so when they talk to buyers and said, What do you want in a sales experience? What do you like best in a sales person? They said things like their top things were: I like a person that comes in and gives me unique and valuable perspectives on the market. I like people that come in and help me navigate alternatives. I like people that are helping me avoid potential landmines. And I like folks that educate me on issues and outcomes.

On the flip side, when they went and looked at the salespeople, they’re like, what do the best salespeople out there do? What they’re doing is they’re teaching for differentiation. They’re teaching for differentiation. So they’re teaching the buyers how to think about the market so they can make any educated, informed decisions. So I think the solution to this is, and I’m going to call this the ‘point of view pitch‘, I think the solution to this is, you need to build a point of view pitch. So what the point of view pitch is, is a pitch that expresses my point of view on what the best solutions are to a particular problem for different kinds of customers. What I’m doing is I’m giving you a way to think about the market.

So let me give you an example of this. So I got this company in the sales enablement space, which is, you know, I was using that as an example because I’m leading you to this. So so they’re in the sales enablement space. And the first thing you got to know about the sales enablement space is its horrifying, like you see that box, there’s thousands of companies out there that say they do sales enablement. So let’s start with the positioning, like what exactly is level jump? So the competitive alternatives to what they do are training materials on a shared drive, so I got to train my sales people and get them up to speed. How do I do that?

Well, you start by just putting some stuff on a shared drive, you get a little bit more sophisticated, and you start buying software that basically looks like a CMS. It’s like a better way of sharing materials with a group. And then if you get really sophisticated beyond that, you have an LMS, which is a learning management system, which is more like training software. So what does level jump have it if nobody else had? Well, they’ve built this stuff on Salesforce. So you might say, Well, so what? Well, the value that that gives people is that you can actually combine your training data with your sales data, and do some stuff with it. So the first thing is you can see whether or not your trainings working, so that you can build better training materials, because you can tell whether or not your training resulted in people selling more stuff. It gives the sales enablement person a way to prove whether or not the stuff they’re doing works. And lastly, you can look for patterns. So if I see certain salespeople do this, and that works, I can see I could build training programmes that, that mimic that. So the whole thing gets better over time. That’s the value they deliver. What’s their ideal customer, their ideal customer is someone who’s a little bit more sophisticated on the sales training bit, right. So you’re actively hiring a lot of reps. And you’ve got a head of sales enablement. So what’s the market category of what they do? what they are is actually outcome based sales enablement, they’re sales enablement that delivers results are still in the sales enablement market. Now, how do I pitch this in this point of view sort of way?

Now, the way they’re originally pitching in is they come in and they say, Hey, LevelJump, let me show you how it works. And they jump into the demo. And they walk through sort of, here’s how you put your training materials in. Here’s how you share it with the sales rep. Here’s how you do all this stuff. And people weren’t necessarily getting. Yeah, but why is it different than the 19 million other sales enablement things out there? Because all of this stuff is kind of buried in the middle of the pitch?

Here’s a different way you could pitch it. You can say, Hey, I’m sitting across from who head of sales enablement. So I can go right to the chase, hey, to head of sales enablement, sales, enablement’s important, right? Yeah, it’s your job. You know why it’s important. It’s important, because every day your reps aren’t closing deals or making quotas, that costs you money. And they got some nice data that shows you exactly how much money it costs you It costs you a lot of money every day, your reps getting up to speed; a lot of money. So they explore that, cost you a lot of money, to the head of sales enablement. So yeah, yeah, I know. That’s why I do what I do, man. And then you say, so look, we were in this space. We know how people solve this problem. They saw it in one of three ways. Put some stuff on a shared drive, that’s good. It’s free. And it’s easy. If you only have one sales rep, that’d be all right. But here’s the problem, no version control, you don’t know who’s using what, and I got no metrics, I can’t even tell if the sales reps are even looking at it. So I might get more sophisticated, do a content management system. Great. Now I got version control, I can keep real tight control over what the reps see. Problem is, I really can’t track. Is it working? Is it not working? Who used this stuff and who didn’t? So I can’t really track who’s done what, then I get a little bit even more specific, I got an LMS. So I can actually force people to take the course. And I can measure whether they took the course that’s great. That’s an improvement. But you know what, none of those things were designed for sales. So none of these things lets me track is the training actually working the way we want it to work? Does it does it drive more sales? Do I get the quota faster, don’t get the first deal faster. So you know what? In a perfect world, our sales enablement solution would give us a way to measure effectiveness with sales metrics.Right?

This is a critical moment in the pitch. I have not pitched you my software yet. All I have pitched you is my point of view on the market. And so at this moment when I say, right, you’re either with me or you’re not. And so if I have aligned you with my point of view, I’m pitching my stuff. It’s like rolling down a hill. If I haven’t, then you’ve disqualified yourself. Or I’ve done a bad job doing the setup. So if I lean across and I say a perfect world sales enablement gives us a way to measure effectiveness of sales metrics, right? And the sales enablement person goes, Well, yeah, yeah, of course, you could do that. That’d be amazing. Then you say, great. That’s what we do. We’re Level Jump. We do outcome based sales enablement, we’re going to help you 1) build better stuff, build sales readiness programmes that drive actual revenue results 2) we’re going to let you show the impact of what it is that you do, we’re going to let you prove how your sales enablement impacts sales metrics. And then lastly, you can optimise the performance by taking what your best performance do and and replicating with the rest of your team. Here’s our proof that we can do what say what we say we can do 86% faster time to opportunity 20% faster, time to second deal 50% decrease in ramp time. And oh, by the way, I can actually track that to actual revenue dollars if you give me your stuff.

That’s the pitch.

Now, how do you build one of these things? It sounds cool. But can you build it for anything like does that actually work with just this thing or does it work with everybody? The way you build this, it’s a little bit of a three step process, like the first thing you have to do is, in order to build that pitch, I actually have to get really tight on my positioning, I couldn’t build that pitch without being super clear on who it is that I’m selling to what they value, what my differentiators are, who my real competitive alternatives are. So I need to get super tight on the positioning, then I work in the setup, the setup is everything before the right, which is here’s the challenge here are the market alternatives. Here’s the insight I get from looking at those. And here’s my description of the perfect thing. And then if you’re right, right, right, right, then I get to switch to the second part, which is the follow through, here’s my company, here’s the value my product delivers. These are the features that enable that value. Here’s the proof, I can do what I say I can do.

So you got to start with positioning. And I talked about this last year, and I could probably spend a good 50 million hours talking about positioning. But here it is, at a super high level, your positioning defines how your products the best in the world at delivering some value that a well defined set of customers cares a lot about. It consists of five pieces, I need to understand exactly who my competitive alternatives are. If I didn’t exist in the world, what would customers do? Then I need to understand what are my capabilities that are different than those other alternatives? And then how do those capabilities map to value that gets me my unique value, I need to understand exactly who the person is sitting across from me in this pitch. So I need to understand my customer segmentation, in enough detail that I have insight into what their challenges are. And then lastly, I need to know what is the market I intend to win. So what is the market category that I play in?

To get to this, I believe you need to do a structured process to do it well. These pieces are not always intuitive to companies and the companies that I work with, we do it with a process, and we start with competitive alternatives. Generally, you would think that competitive alternatives would be obvious, but almost every company I work with that first step is hard. I’ll give you an example. This week, I worked with a team. And they gave me this stack of paper and this was their competitive analysis. There were 72 competitors in that competitive analysis. But when we went into this and said, okay, in a deal, if a customer didn’t use you, what would they do? What were they doing before you showed up? And you know what the VP sales told me, he says 50% of the time, Excel, they’re using Excel.

Your positioning is really different if what you’re trying to take out is Excel versus what they thought their competitor was, which was IBM. These are very different competitors. Once I have clarity on, this is what I actually compete with, then I can say, What do I got that they don’t have? Once I understand that from capabilities, I can map it to value when I understand that value. I can say, who cares a lot about that value? That’s going to give me a really tight definition on who exactly are my best people to sell to? And then the last bit is market category. I got this value to communicate to these people. How do I contextualise that in a way that it makes sense? Am I email, or am I chat? Or am I team collaboration? That’s how you get that. Again, I don’t want to go too far down the positioning radical, I wrote a book on this. There’s like hundreds of pages. If you want to go nuts on positioning, you can spend seven bucks and go buy it.

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So you get that positioning bid, then what do you do? Then what do you do? So I’ve got that, that I’ve got two pieces to this pitch, I got the setup, I got the follow through. So the setup starts with what is the challenge for this particular customer, given what I know about them, that is sitting across from me, and specifically, how do I frame the challenge in a way that leads them to my value. This is actually kind of takes some thought to frame the challenge in a way that leads to your value. So you get that and then you say, okay, customer struggling with this, right. And then you move to market landscape pros and cons. Here’s all the different ways you could solve this, you can do it with Excel, cheap and easy. But here’s the problem with that you can do with interns cheap and easy. They quit on you, you know, oh, you can do a great big enterprise software, oh, does everything super expensive, hard to deploy, not fast to get going all these things. So you outline this. And then that discussion leads you to an insight that says, You know what we’ve been thinking about this all wrong. Like, if we look at this, none of the current alternative alternatives are really solving the challenge the way we set it up. And then you move to this description of the perfect world, which is knowing what we know about what works and doesn’t work in the current solutions. And knowing what we know about what’s possible with technology today. If we really wanted to solve this problem, here’s what the characteristics of a perfect solution would be. We’d have this without this, I have this without this. And this without this, right?

Is the turning point in this pitch. Now I’m not pitching your my stuff yet. I’m pitching you my point of view on what the best possible solution for this challenge is, given the context of you as the customer and all the other ways you could do it. Then once I’ve got you there, then I can flip to the follow through: the follow through looks like a standard pitch; here’s us; here’s what we do; this is the value we deliver; these are the features we have that enable that value; here’s the proof we can do what we say we can do. And then the end of the pitches the ask – whatever it is you want them to do next, please have another meeting with me, please take me to your boss, please just buy some stuff and we can get out of there. That’s how you do it.

Now the positioning components are important because they map to all the different pieces of this pitch. I can’t figure out how I frame the challenge, until I really understand who the ideal customer is. And I really understand my value. It’s a combination of those, and it’s the other side of the coin. So I have to frame that properly. Secondly, I gotta understand how to contextualise all the alternatives. I don’t want a list of 75 different competitors. I want to be able to put them in categories and say, these guys, there’s 1500 companies here, but you know what they are their content management systems. There’s 29 companies here, but you know what they are? They’re learning management systems. There’s all the different ways you can do it manually. Let’s just call that manual. Here’s your choices. Do it manual, do it with a CMS, do it with an LMS here’s why all those suck. I got to know how to contextualise that stuff before I can build this pitch. The perfect world is essentially the flip side of my value, right? This is this be saying look, your purchase criteria for the solution should look like this. And then I’m going to introduce who I am, I usually do that by stating my market category. Here’s the market I’m going to win. And then this whole value on capabilities that comes out of your positioning too right, and we did that by looking at what’s differentiating for you, and how does that map to value? What are the capabilities that support that value. So the whole thing goes in here.

So I have a couple of other examples to drive this home. So I just joined the board of a company. They’re so cool. And they’re called Mesh diversity. And they’re quite small early stage company. And what they do is anti-racism and inclusion software. So this is kind of a new idea. We don’t have software that does this. But so that’s what they do. Now what’s interesting with them is that when I started working with them, they did not have a super clear identification around exactly who were they selling to. So at the beginning, when they phrased the problem of here’s the problem they saw, they’d say, we solve problems related to racism and diversity in companies. And so what they would do is they would start by talking about here’s why racism is impacting your company performance, here’s why inclusion is impacting your company performance. And they would go blah, blah, blah all the way down. And it took them forever, it was kind of like the big vision pitch, it took them forever to get to the point on Oh, by the way, we have software to solve this and here’s why you should pick us. And a lot of the times the reaction they got was the company would say, yeah, we know that already mesh and and we’ve got training and diversity programmes to do that. But you know, what, would you guys have software, like, Why buy software for it?

And so we did a positioning workshop. And one of the things that came out is, there is so much demand for this right now in the market. And they’re a fairly small company that only has to do X number of deals this year, they can actually focus their marketing and sales efforts, just on companies that already recognise that racism and diversity in their company is something they should solve. So when they pitch this stuff now, they come in, and their starting point is, hey, CEO, you know that racism and inclusion is causing you pain in your company culture, right? And the CEO goes, Yeah, I just eliminated 49 slides. The CEO says,Yeah, Yeah, I know, I’m already doing stuff around that. We say, we know you are. And in fact, we work with lots of companies that are doing stuff, and here’s what they’re doing. They’re doing training programmes. And you know, what the problem with training programmes is, there’s a lot of problems. One, it’s one and done. People come in and do the training, they go away, you’re trying to solve a systemic problem with a non-systemic solution. Two, you have no way of measuring how bad it is in your company right now. And no way of measuring whether or not you improved it. No metrics; problem, right? Yeah, I guess you’re right, that is a problem. In a perfect world, here’s my perfect world pitch. In a perfect world, we would have a systemic solution to the systemic problem. We wouldn’t have a way to measure where you’re at, and measure whether or not you’re improving, we’d have a thing that works with everybody in your company, and it works over time, right?

Now, again, you’re either with me or against me on that one. But if I get you there, then I got you, then the rest of it is great. We’re Mesh diversity, we’re anti-racism, inclusion software, here’s what we got, we got a thing that works with everybody in your department, we got a whole bunch of metrics, we can track it over time, blah, blah, blah, the rest of the page.

Here’s another one. This is a company I worked with a while back. They’re amazing. They do enterprise storage devices. And they’re kind of hardware and software. And what they do is really, really nichey their big problem is the competitive landscape on this, oh my god, it’s terrible. It’s absolutely terrifying. So they work mainly with a big research Life Sciences Research. It’s two things. It’s either I do research, genomic research, GIS data, really like science data, or I’m doing video stuff. And I need this like big, big storage device that does really high throughput. And so they make these storage devices. And the alternatives to this are either the big company, so you go with like HP, or Dell or whatever. And these things have amazing solution, but way too expensive for any of these folks to be able to really consider. So instead, what they bump into is people building homegrown stuff with piece parts. But then they don’t get any support. And they’re not really techie. And they hate that. Or they have these kind of mid-range systems that are like lower cost, but they don’t actually do the scalability.

So they always had a hard time differentiating because there were so many competitors. So the big thing we did there was to be able to tell this story about, look, you’re doing this kind of research, or you’re doing this sort of video processing, and you’ve got choices. And the choices fit in three categories. It’s either:

  • Enterprise stuff, does exactly what you want way too expensive.
  • You got the roll your own stuff might get you to where you need way too complicated, no support.
  • Or you got these other ones that look like a low end version of the enterprise guys, but don’t actually have the throughput and the performance that you need. We’re the best of all those worlds. That’s how they do that pitch.

Lastly, what happens after the sales pitch because I got this question a little bit yesterday. And so communicating your point of view is not just the It actually permeates everything you’re doing in sales and marketing. So if I go back to my level jump example, the folks that do this sales enablement stuff, they do this really amazing job of communicating their point of view across a whole bunch of different marketing things that they do. So at one point, they built this piece of content. And it was like sales tax explained using doughnuts. And so they did this like it. Here’s how all the vendors split out into all these other categories. So we have sales intelligence, what is that? I know who likes the doughnuts; ere’s three examples of companies that do that. I need sales dialer, I only call people who like donuts, that’s ringcentral, thats 8by8. Conversational intelligence, I see if I’m talking too much about donuts, and that’s Gong and all the rest of it. And there they are. They’re down there and sales readiness and enablement, which is I trained to become the master at selling donuts. And there’s three companies in there. It’s level jump, plus, their two big competitors, which they do not care if you put on a shortlist or not, because they have a clear differentiator, and they’re going to beat them. They just want to be on the shortlist. They started getting a lot of questions about how does this stuff relate to the other tech that I have in my ecosystem? So they created this thing that looks like it looks like the map to a shopping mall where there’s levels. And they’re like, look at the base level, you’ve got sales engagement and conversational intelligence. Everybody has that. That’s where Gong fits. That’s where Salesforce fits, it’s all down there. And then you’re going to layer on some stuff above that you might have corporate learning that’s good for the generic corporate learning what you do everywhere else. And then you’ve got a learning experience platform Learning Management Platform here, the vendors in here, but then you want sales enablement, that’s different. You can think about it in two ways, either content management systems or their sales readiness. We’re over here in sales readiness, top right level jump, if what you actually want is real sales readiness. That’s where it is, here’s how it fits with everybody else, giving you a way to think about the market super helpful, both these pieces of content super popular with their customers. And then you look at their website, and their website is just driving home this point of view over and over and over across all this stuff they do. So their tagline is outcome based sales enablement, prove the revenue impact of your go to market readiness, coaching and enablement programmes. That’s the headline. That’s what we do. Right? Then we get into here’s how level jump ties enablement to revenue. And we got a nice graph there showing the product. They talk about the three, their three value points and what the supporting points of that are. And then on the homepage, near the bottom, they’ve got the here’s the outcomes. Here are the numbers that we can drive for your company. This is how we prove we can do what we say. And they’ve talked about proving the ROI of sales enablement.

So here’s the key takeaway. So, teaching customers how to think about a market is hugely valuable to them. Your point of view on a market can do that, it needs to be rooted in your positioning. So communicating your point of view should help customers understand how to make choices. And once a customer is aligned to your point of view, then selling them is actually super easy. This is me this my email address and you can find me on Twitter and other places. And that’s my website.

Thank you for clapping!

April Dunford
April Dunford

April Dunford

April is an executive consultant, speaker, and author who helps technology companies make complicated products easy for customers to understand and love. She is a globally recognized expert in Positioning and Market strategy.

Previously April has run marketing and sales teams at a series of successful technology startups and has launched 16 products into market. She is also a board member, investor, and advisor to dozens of high-growth businesses and is the author of the book Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get it, Buy it, Love it. You can find her at:Β www.aprildunford.com

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