? Hey there. This is The Overview, a weekly roundup of noteworthy B2B SaaS stuff. You’ll find interesting tweets and articles from around the internet, plus highlights from my personal swipe file.
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In this post:
Degrees of separation
How tight can you connect your product features to how your customers will increase revenue, or decrease costs?
You can compete with features, benefits, service… but ultimately the fewer degrees of separation between your customer using your product, and driving more sales or cutting costs, the better.
It’s a really nice, simple way to think about what you’re saying today. “The all-in-one, best-of-breed, omnichannel…” means nothing unless it can be tied to $.
“ABM is stalking customers”
I really liked this quote from Dave Kellog on account-based marketing:
In the end, traditional marketing is hanging a sign to attract customers; ABM is stalking customers.
His post tears down a book (ABM is B2B) by the co-founders of Terminus (ABM software), and then offers rational tips on getting started with B2B account-based go-to-market:
Many startups get pushed to do ABM too early for the wrong reasons. If you don’t feel the need to do ABM, I’d argue that you shouldn’t.
ABM is, however, a muscle that develops slowly so you should probably start your ABM program about 2 years before you think you’ll need it.
The best way to start at ABM is not by asking everyone to do a little, but by asking a select few to do a lot. Create a small dedicated strategic accounts team focused on the customers you want to pick and consisting of, e.g., 3 salesreps, 2 sales consultants, 2 SDRs, 2-3 CSMs, and one marketer. Measure that team not by your regular functional, funnel metrics but first by ARR  and then by an ABM scorecard. If that doesn’t work, fix it. If it does work, expand it.
What we can learn from the Marble Arch Mound
As well as the enormous waste of money, this thread is really relevant for all those involved in creating value propositions.
If you read through, you’ll see the comparisons made between the marketing material, and reality.
As a customer, there’s nothing worse than being misled. You invested time, effort, money and status in something that turned out to be not what it claimed. This feels worse because we’ve invested emotional capital – so the cognitive dissonance is painful.
Prevention is key: make sure your brand positioning and product experience is aligned. Sometimes, that means reducing the claims that your positioning makes. Most of the time (hopefully) it means encouraging your product/service teams to step up.
The company is the product
Silos kill SaaS.
Unlike other companies, where go-to-market happens almost like a waterfall delivery process, SaaS is everything, all at once, all of the time.
Product has to iterate, marketing has to promote, sales have to close deals. But at the same time, marketing has to support product and sales. And sales has to give feedback to product and collaborate with marketing. And product are working with marketing, and learning from sales.
So focus on the customer. Who are they? What do they need? What’s going on in life for them?
Hire 2 people to understand customer insights and turn them into easily-consumable snippets for the rest of the business:
Product/UX researcher – to create job-to-be-done maps and user personas
Product marketer – to own buyer personas, map customer journeys, manage
Both to collaborate on customer and prospect feedback, helping prioritize the product backlog and marketing/sales enablement, and acting as quarterbacks for the customer amongst all GTM teams
That’s the Overview for this week
Hope you found something interesting in this edition!
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