Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Un-Earned Premium Status?

18.11.2022 No comments

It seems that almost every company I meet believes that they have a premium product or service and I rarely meet companies willing to concede they are anything but premium. What if a self-described Premium company was actually not premium, how could they know?

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Tech Stack for Sales

21.08.2020 No comments

I regularly get requests about what tools I use for selling B2B with new products yet create a system that can scale.

These tools are set up around a small sales team, B2B, and non-regional customer base. For larger scale customers & sales teams, all roads lead to the Salesforce ecosystem, but for those starting this ecosystem is too expensive and too complex. Even if your company has an existing tech stack, there is an argument for using this cheaper and more agile tools in the beginning as you are trying to figure things out. All of these tools are either free or below $50/month to use.

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The Premium Pricing Trap

17.08.2020 No comments

What would happen if you had an irrationally high selling price?

I love mind experiments. Some years ago I started to wonder if our price had become irrationally high. Christensen’s disruption theory explains how companies can chase the premium segment of the market and be blind to an at-first inferior competitor until they become irrelevant. How would we know? Was it possible that our premium pricing and positioning had gone too far? If we had an entirely wrong price (too high) and yet still had customers and new sales, what would the business look like?

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My New Products / Features aren’t Selling. Why?

26.05.2020 No comments

When you know your market, but it is not responding like you think it should

Cause 1: The product / feature does not work good enough. Very often version 1 of a new product misses it’s mark. Customer interviews and/or user analytics are the tools. Existing customers are the pool of people to investigate since they already trust you.

Cause 2: The problem to be solved is too small. Just because a problem can be solved, does not mean it is worth solving. Learning, setup, maintaining, and paying money are all ‘costs’ of a feature/product. Likewise, if new prospects are not showing interest (f2f meetings and web analytics), then focus on existing customers. Why are they not trying to use the product? Interviews and analytics are your friends.

Cause 3: Users/buyers don’t understand the problem or the solution. Educating existing customers is expensive– there are a limited number of messages you can send them before they ignore everything. New Prospects are even more difficult to get attention. This, however, is the one area that messaging/marketing/sales energy can improve. Before you deploy the forces, make absolutely certain that #1 and #2 above area all ok and check to see if there are ways to change the product to lower the education barrier. Eg. Cut back the functionality to the core value.

Your business was built on solving a valuable problem. Your follow-up work, were likely equally strong. However, there are a limited number of attractive problems that your company can efficiently solve. Your job is not to pick the best one, but to only pick the good ones.

Product / Business Phases

Products and Business areas live and die with defined phases of a life cycle. Each phase has its own optimizations and traps.

Long ago, I worked with an engineering manager (Gregor) with a fantastic intuitive sense for business. One of his product area manager was presenting the budget for the next year and was planning reduced margin and modest growth. Gregor forced the product manager to choose one of three modes and behave accordingly. (and I have used this ever sense)

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Why Subscriptions are So Attractive?

… and how so many businesses can use subscription thinking

The three phases and the key Metrics

A subscription business runs on MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue), however, getting customers to renew their subscription or even upsell them is much, much easier than getting them to sign up in the first place. This is why most subscription companies split the “selling” process into three teams: Hunting (signing up new logos), Onboarding (getting new logos activated), and Nurturing (churn prevention and up selling).

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How to pivot your B2B business away from F2F Field Sales

30.03.2020 No comments

How to pivot your B2B business away from F2F Field Sales.

#Social_Distancing Here are some highlights from someone experienced in orchestrating transitions from face-to-face lead generation & sales into hybrid and/or fully inside-sales driven companies.    

Skyscanner workers in Senzhen returning to the office– still very different.

Inside sales is the fastest growing segment of sales (along with eCommerce).  When inside sales works, it is far more efficient and scalable than traditional approaches.  That was true long before social distancing became a term in our vocabulary but In a social distancing world, many companies that imagined great difficulty in making the transition find themselves in a need to make an extreme ramp-up for their very survival.  The most difficult transitions are companies that:

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New Market Entry & Metrics

24.02.2020 No comments

When everything is unknown, how can you productively use metrics

Before “lean startup” was a term, there were many of us preaching agile market developmententry into a series of phases Read more…

Controlling Costs in an Agile World

26.06.2019 No comments

Originally posted on DLabs Medium site by Matt in 2018.  At the time of this posting, there is still not unified thinking in this area.

aka. What every technical and non-technical founder needs to know about running an agile technical team.

Agile Development teams focus on continuous value (to the business) delivery not continuous progress to a fixed feature set. As a result, traditional cost accounting, cost control, and budgeting will not work. This shift to agile changes everything around how founders must do budgeting, cost control, communicating with Read more…

4 Phases of Product Development Re-imagined

Originally posted on DLabs Medium site  by Matt in 2018, but the concepts are easily generalized.

At D.Labs we’ve looked at agile product development from many angles and written about them on this blog (X Driven Development, When is agile worse?, Controlling costs in the agile world, What marketing agencies can’t offer startups?,…). This is another angle that could get you faster through validation and save you a lot of gray hair.

Most company founders have an intuition about what the market needs and what is wrong with existing solutions. They then start solving a puzzle in their head around what kind of digital product could solve this problem: features, specifications, perhaps even user layouts. At DLabs, we call this “Intuition Based Development”. It tends to be the least efficient and most expensive way to build business value. Not only is the intuition perhaps wrong, but the only ‘good enough’ point is securely in the head of the designer so everything gets built to a relatively high level (Although it never feels that way to the founder in-the-moment).

The high cost of using intelligence and experience instead of being systematic & incremental.

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