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How to Craft a
Product Story
that Sells
April Dunford
@aprildunford
aprildunford.com
Selling is HARD
Buying is HARD
Example: April Buys a Toilet
3 weeks
2 showroom visits
on the internet
0 New Toilet
3 weeks
2 showroom visits
on the internet
0 New Toilet
3 weeks
2 showroom visits
on the internet
0 New Toilet
3 weeks
2 showroom visits
on the internet
0 New Toilet
How hard is it to buy your product?
Before prospects
buy, they need to
figure what matters
so they can make a
short list
Sales Puts Customers in the
Windtunnel of Features
FEATURES!!!
If I make a
poor choice
Bad things
happen
40% - 60% of B2B
Sales Purchase
Processes End in
“No Decision”
The Easiest and
Lowest Risk Decision
is to Do Nothing
Salesperson
Guide
Buyers Want Our Help
Question: What do you
want in a sales
meeting?
● Perspectives on the
market
● Help me navigate
alternatives
Challenger Group - 2019 https://www.challengerinc.com/resource/how-b2b-buyers-choose-their-
suppliers-a-decade-of-analysis/
How do we Build a
Better Sales Story?
Why Pick You Over the Alternatives?
Our Current Frameworks
Weren’t Designed For This
Pitch Advantages Shortcomings
Product
Walk-
through
Shows the
product
Why pick you over the alternatives?
Problem /
Solution
More focus
on Value
Why pick you over the alternatives?
The VISION
Pitch
(Old way/
New way)
Investors
love it
Gives buyers a reason to delay a
purchase
Other “New Ways” exist so - why pick you
over the alternatives?
What do Startup Founders
and IBM Sales Executives
have in common?
What do prospects need to know?
1. What matters for companies like mine?
2. What are the trade-offs for the different
alternatives?
3. What would a perfect solution for my
company look like?
4. Can your product deliver that?
Insight – our understanding what really
matters for a certain type of customer
Map the
entire market
With the context of
that insight
Help them define
a perfect solution for them
Then show how we
stack up
against that definition
of “perfect”
Example: Help Scout
Example: Help Scout – Product Walkthrough
Here’s how you get started
Here’s the shared inbox
Here’s how this works across channels
Here’s how you do assignments,
prioritization
Look at these workflows & integrations
Blah, blah, blah, features, blah, blah,
blah blah, blah, blah, blah, blah
Example: Help Scout – Sales Narrative
Online Businesses see Customer Service
as a Cost Center vs a Growth Driver
Insight
Example: Help Scout – Sales Narrative
Approach Pros Cons
Shared
Inbox
Easy Limited Service Features
Traditional
Help Desk
Full-featured Complex
Cost Reduction Focus
Alt’s
Online Businesses see Customer Service
as a Cost Center vs a Growth Driver
Insight
Example: Help Scout – Sales Narrative
Approach Pros Cons
Shared
Inbox
Easy Limited Service Features
Traditional
Help Desk
Full-featured Complex
Cost Reduction Focus
Alt’s
Online Businesses see Customer Service
as a Cost Center vs a Growth Driver
• Easy to use/adopt
• Advanced features we grow into
• Customer Experience – that drives growth
Perfect
World
Insight
Example: Help Scout – Sales Narrative
Easy to use/adopt
• Start in minutes
• Shared inbox
Advanced Features that grow with you
• Workflow
• Integrations
Customer Experience
• No “tickets”
• Customers choose channel
Value
Insight Alt’s
Perfect
World
The Setup The Follow Through
The Market Your Solution
Sales Pitch Structure
The Value you Deliver
A good pitch starts with
good Positioning
A Great Sales
Narrative
Positions Your
Product in a Market
of Alternatives
Competitive
Alternatives Unique
Capabilities
Value Best Fit
Customers Market
Category
1
2
3
4
5
Alternatives, Value, and Best-Fit Customers
come from our Positioning
Strong Positioning = Strong Sales Pitch
I know a good
Positioning Book
Example: Leveljump
Example: Help Scout – Product Walkthrough
Here’s how you get started
Here’s how you set up the training
Here’s how reps access the training
Blah, blah, blah, features, blah, blah, blah,
features, blah, blah
Here’s how you track results
Example: Help Scout – Sales Narrative
Every day your reps aren’t fully enabled
costs you money
Insight
Example: Help Scout – Sales Narrative
Alt’s
Every day your reps aren’t fully enabled
costs you money
Approach Pros Cons
Shared drive Easy No version control
Can’t measure impact
CMS Know who
accesses what
Can’t design courses
Can’t measure impact
LMS Can set up courses Can’t measure impact
Insight
Example: Help Scout – Sales Narrative
Alt’s
Every day your reps aren’t fully enabled
costs you money
Approach Pros Cons
Shared drive Easy No version control
Can’t measure impact
CMS Know who
accesses what
Can’t design courses
Can’t measure impact
LMS Can set up courses Can’t measure impact
Perfect
World
• Measure the impact of onboarding with sales metrics
• Use metrics to improve onboarding to sell more faster
Insight
Example: Leveljump – Sales Narrative
Measure Impact of enablement with
Sales Metrics
• Track time to make quota, time to first deal,
etc.
Improve Onboarding to sell more faster
• Take what’s working and improve on it
Value
Insight Alt’s
Perfect
World
The Setup The Follow Through
The Market Your Solution
Sales Pitch Structure
The Value you Deliver
How to Ensure Success
1. Sales needs to be heavily involved
How to Ensure Success
1. Sales needs to be heavily involved
2. Test and tune with one sales rep first,
then roll out to the others
How to Ensure Success
1. Sales needs to be heavily involved
2. Test and tune with one sales rep first,
then roll out to the others
3. If it fails – go back to your positioning
How to Ensure Success
1. Sales needs to be heavily involved
2. Test and tune with one sales rep first,
then roll out to the others
3. If it fails – go back to your positioning
4. Your marketing messaging must reflect
the narrative
How to Ensure Success
1. Sales needs to be heavily involved
2. Test and tune with one sales rep first,
then roll out to the others
3. If it fails – go back to your positioning
4. Your marketing messaging must reflect
the narrative
5. When your positioning changes the
narrative changes
Homework
Answer these questions
• What are the reasons to pick you
over the alternatives?
• What does a customer need to
understand to understand your
value?
• Is it time to check in on your
Positioning?
Key Takeaways
1. Buying is hard
2. If buyers can’t decide, they
will do nothing
3. Your Sales Narrative should
answer “Why pick us over the
alternatives?”
4. Positioning is a fundamental
input
Questions?
april@aprildunford.com
@aprildunford
aprildunford.com

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Craft Product Story Sells With Positioning

  • 1. How to Craft a Product Story that Sells April Dunford @aprildunford aprildunford.com
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10. 3 weeks 2 showroom visits on the internet 0 New Toilet
  • 11. 3 weeks 2 showroom visits on the internet 0 New Toilet
  • 12. 3 weeks 2 showroom visits on the internet 0 New Toilet
  • 13. 3 weeks 2 showroom visits on the internet 0 New Toilet
  • 14. How hard is it to buy your product?
  • 15. Before prospects buy, they need to figure what matters so they can make a short list
  • 16. Sales Puts Customers in the Windtunnel of Features FEATURES!!!
  • 17. If I make a poor choice Bad things happen
  • 18. 40% - 60% of B2B Sales Purchase Processes End in “No Decision” The Easiest and Lowest Risk Decision is to Do Nothing
  • 19.
  • 21. Buyers Want Our Help Question: What do you want in a sales meeting? ● Perspectives on the market ● Help me navigate alternatives Challenger Group - 2019 https://www.challengerinc.com/resource/how-b2b-buyers-choose-their- suppliers-a-decade-of-analysis/
  • 22. How do we Build a Better Sales Story?
  • 23. Why Pick You Over the Alternatives?
  • 24. Our Current Frameworks Weren’t Designed For This Pitch Advantages Shortcomings Product Walk- through Shows the product Why pick you over the alternatives? Problem / Solution More focus on Value Why pick you over the alternatives? The VISION Pitch (Old way/ New way) Investors love it Gives buyers a reason to delay a purchase Other “New Ways” exist so - why pick you over the alternatives?
  • 25. What do Startup Founders and IBM Sales Executives have in common?
  • 26. What do prospects need to know? 1. What matters for companies like mine? 2. What are the trade-offs for the different alternatives? 3. What would a perfect solution for my company look like? 4. Can your product deliver that?
  • 27. Insight – our understanding what really matters for a certain type of customer
  • 28. Map the entire market With the context of that insight
  • 29. Help them define a perfect solution for them
  • 30. Then show how we stack up against that definition of “perfect”
  • 32. Example: Help Scout – Product Walkthrough Here’s how you get started Here’s the shared inbox Here’s how this works across channels Here’s how you do assignments, prioritization Look at these workflows & integrations Blah, blah, blah, features, blah, blah, blah blah, blah, blah, blah, blah
  • 33. Example: Help Scout – Sales Narrative Online Businesses see Customer Service as a Cost Center vs a Growth Driver Insight
  • 34. Example: Help Scout – Sales Narrative Approach Pros Cons Shared Inbox Easy Limited Service Features Traditional Help Desk Full-featured Complex Cost Reduction Focus Alt’s Online Businesses see Customer Service as a Cost Center vs a Growth Driver Insight
  • 35. Example: Help Scout – Sales Narrative Approach Pros Cons Shared Inbox Easy Limited Service Features Traditional Help Desk Full-featured Complex Cost Reduction Focus Alt’s Online Businesses see Customer Service as a Cost Center vs a Growth Driver • Easy to use/adopt • Advanced features we grow into • Customer Experience – that drives growth Perfect World Insight
  • 36. Example: Help Scout – Sales Narrative Easy to use/adopt • Start in minutes • Shared inbox Advanced Features that grow with you • Workflow • Integrations Customer Experience • No “tickets” • Customers choose channel Value
  • 37. Insight Alt’s Perfect World The Setup The Follow Through The Market Your Solution Sales Pitch Structure The Value you Deliver
  • 38. A good pitch starts with good Positioning
  • 39. A Great Sales Narrative Positions Your Product in a Market of Alternatives
  • 40. Competitive Alternatives Unique Capabilities Value Best Fit Customers Market Category 1 2 3 4 5 Alternatives, Value, and Best-Fit Customers come from our Positioning Strong Positioning = Strong Sales Pitch
  • 41. I know a good Positioning Book
  • 43. Example: Help Scout – Product Walkthrough Here’s how you get started Here’s how you set up the training Here’s how reps access the training Blah, blah, blah, features, blah, blah, blah, features, blah, blah Here’s how you track results
  • 44. Example: Help Scout – Sales Narrative Every day your reps aren’t fully enabled costs you money Insight
  • 45. Example: Help Scout – Sales Narrative Alt’s Every day your reps aren’t fully enabled costs you money Approach Pros Cons Shared drive Easy No version control Can’t measure impact CMS Know who accesses what Can’t design courses Can’t measure impact LMS Can set up courses Can’t measure impact Insight
  • 46. Example: Help Scout – Sales Narrative Alt’s Every day your reps aren’t fully enabled costs you money Approach Pros Cons Shared drive Easy No version control Can’t measure impact CMS Know who accesses what Can’t design courses Can’t measure impact LMS Can set up courses Can’t measure impact Perfect World • Measure the impact of onboarding with sales metrics • Use metrics to improve onboarding to sell more faster Insight
  • 47. Example: Leveljump – Sales Narrative Measure Impact of enablement with Sales Metrics • Track time to make quota, time to first deal, etc. Improve Onboarding to sell more faster • Take what’s working and improve on it Value
  • 48. Insight Alt’s Perfect World The Setup The Follow Through The Market Your Solution Sales Pitch Structure The Value you Deliver
  • 49. How to Ensure Success 1. Sales needs to be heavily involved
  • 50. How to Ensure Success 1. Sales needs to be heavily involved 2. Test and tune with one sales rep first, then roll out to the others
  • 51. How to Ensure Success 1. Sales needs to be heavily involved 2. Test and tune with one sales rep first, then roll out to the others 3. If it fails – go back to your positioning
  • 52. How to Ensure Success 1. Sales needs to be heavily involved 2. Test and tune with one sales rep first, then roll out to the others 3. If it fails – go back to your positioning 4. Your marketing messaging must reflect the narrative
  • 53. How to Ensure Success 1. Sales needs to be heavily involved 2. Test and tune with one sales rep first, then roll out to the others 3. If it fails – go back to your positioning 4. Your marketing messaging must reflect the narrative 5. When your positioning changes the narrative changes
  • 54. Homework Answer these questions • What are the reasons to pick you over the alternatives? • What does a customer need to understand to understand your value? • Is it time to check in on your Positioning?
  • 55. Key Takeaways 1. Buying is hard 2. If buyers can’t decide, they will do nothing 3. Your Sales Narrative should answer “Why pick us over the alternatives?” 4. Positioning is a fundamental input