Pitch Your PoV
Last year, I had the opportunity to sit in on a GTM all hands at Box where one of our sales leaders relayed a great story about how to frame your product value around its core proposition (vs all the other other ways products get positioned). This talk really shifted my mindset on how to even articulate product value, and as I shared a few days ago, story-telling is a critical tool in the PM’s bag of tricks. So let me walk you through the example…
In the late 70s / early 80s, Atari made a home video game console. The competition for this product was not another gaming system or some other form of home entertainment - it was the arcade. And if you were trying to sell an Atari and got caught in a comparison of features, you would lose, because arcade games:
had better audio and visual effects
used a familiar joystick controller
had communal high score leaderboards
and were just normal kid behavior
You could try to promise a future generation Atari console with some of those improvements, but that’s selling what might be on the truck next quarter vs. what’s on the truck right now. So how do you compete? Let’s re-frame the core proposition - the Atari:
let’s you play in the convenience of your home
avoids you being hassled by bullies at the arcade
takes a 1-time investment vs. never-ending coins
allows you to build out a cartridge game library
Now you’ve made it very compelling for a particular types of buyer for whom that perspective resonates. And if you have a unique point of view (PoV), that should be your pitch, because that’s your true differentiator.
How can we apply this in our day-to-day?
if you’re in product, highlight your unique approach to the user’s problem
if you’re in design, visualize your unmistakable take on the persona journey
if you’re in engineering, build your transformative version of the technology
if you’re in marketing, articulate your distinct evaluation of market trends
if you’re in sales, sell your custom exploration of the buyer’s pain points
if you’re in success, communicate your tailored gameplan for business outcomes
if you’re in recruiting, share your undeniable analysis of the candidate’s career
Transitioning from the what (specific differentiators) to the how (differentiation strategy) goes a long way towards crystallizing your vision and aligning your focus.
Would love to hear from readers that have gone through such a mindshift…
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further reading / references
I really enjoyed reading about the greatest sales deck ever
having a clear PoV is a strong signal of founder-problem fit
to stand out, you need to develop a “spiky” point of view
childish drawing / interpretation