How To Create a Tech Product Story Everyone Wants To Tell

We all know poor messaging will torpedo the potential success of even the greatest product. It doesn’t matter if your business has existed for five years or five months, getting your messaging right will be critical to its success and ability to scale. 

And yes, you can trust a great marketing strategist to get the ball rolling by creating a sound messaging hierarchy that articulates the company’s value proposition, its value proof and the ever so important “why now” claims that derive from its GTM strategy. 

But good product stories, the kind that move human beings to take action, require us to take it some steps further. Creating a product story should be crafted with the intent to align your entire ecosystem – employees, stakeholders, investors and your potential customers – around one shared narrative that sticks.

Here’s the basic flow we try to follow when approaching a new storytelling project:

#1 We start with, well…of course, the product

So it might seem cliché to start this off by talking about why any marketer attempting to create a product story, should start by really, really (really!) getting to know the product. 

But clichés become so, for a reason. They’re just true. So let’s go at it anyway and be really quick: As a successful product storyteller you have to achieve at least third place in the “who knows best to speak about the product” category (coming close behind the CEO and CTO). 

The  best creative ideas can only blossom when we’ve listened to the sales, product and business development teams, to the CEO, to investors, to our competition – and understand what is that thing that’s broken in their world, that we are trying to fix.

#2 We start early  

Startups, and more so the ones here in Israel, tend to believe that you can build a product, release it to the WORLD (GTM, anyone?) and only hire a marketer when you need to scale. Well, if you had to take away just one thing from this, it would be: please don’t do that. 

Your product story is this core element that provides the essential infrastructure for marketing, pretty much from day one. In this aspect, we tend to follow way behind the US, in our sense, with no good reason. 

But in terms of how early you start, don’t be mistaken: a good product story has to reflect a thought-out positioning process and GTM strategy, or it has no chance of sticking. A compelling story must be accurate about the pain our product solves, and who we target to be the firsts we can solve it for

It should also go beyond where the product is now, giving founders the freedom to move forward with their vision of the product, regardless of its current stage of development or performance.

#3 Does it mean a big branding process? Not necessarily!

CEO’s, you can stop sweating… 

While delivering a new story, of any kind, always entails developing new brand assets: visuals, video, web etc – any existing brand can very well carry a good new story, if we remember the storyteller’s role to look at the big picture. 

In many cases, for many startups we work with, the only way to get anything new out there is to build on whatever brand assets they already have. They simply do not have the attention span, the budget and resources for a completely new brand to support the story. So we treat it like building blocks: using what ever we can and adding layers that can be lingual, visual, moving – and together make up one comprehensive concept.

#4 We understand this story is meant to be told by everyone  

The best stories offer a clear narrative that aligns your entire team and ecosystem around a shared vision, but leaves room for personalization. And that becomes clearer when we set out to avoid colliding at the marketing-sales-misalignment junction

Sales put on a one-man show, and it’s our job to make sure they have everything they need to passionately sell (with some space to wing it!). If it’s not easy and natural for them, it’s not going to work. And all that hard work put into building that storytelling narrative by marketing is put to waste. 

That will be the case with every team we collaborate with, and for each one we need to find new creative ways to get them on board and make it work for them.

#5 We sell it in 

Once a story has been created, if you don’t feel excited by it, you are simply not there yet. When you do arrive at a story that excites you, that’s great. As the one leading this storytelling process – you need to sell it:

  1. Understand there really is no template: we have to be creative in every aspect of not just the story itself, but in how we get to stick with all stakeholders involved. 
    Be dazzlingly prepared, making sure every element of the story is fully thought out and reflected as a specific asset you plan to develop to support it
  2. Go over all these story elements and brand assets and mark which ones you’ll fight for, and the ones you can let go. Because people get emotional about stories, brands and products, and it will be your job, eventually, to make them all buy into it.


Food for thought: how we turn claims into stories 

Now this is the fun part. As tech product storytellers we aspire to be just the right amount of business strategist, marketer, content writer, designer, videographer and creative director (anything else you can throw in the mix will probably also come in handy). 

When all of these traits are put into work, and we surround ourselves with the right people to execute each element and create each asset – the really great stories are born.


Learn more on how we do product marketing on our blog, or contact us to become our next storytelling obsession.

6 Tips to Create a Killer B2B Sales Presentation

Developing a pitch-perfect sales presentation to sell B2B tech products is one of the most difficult challenges a content marketer will face. Sales and marketing see things differently, and a sales presentation is where sales-marketing misalignment most commonly comes to boiling point. If a marketer is successful in developing a sales presentation that the sales team is happy to use, it’s a good sign the organization is aligned. And if the sales presentation helps move a lead up the sales funnel – that’s a win.

Here are a few tips for marketers looking to successfully navigate the minefield of creating a sales presentation that rocks:

Tip #1: Just listen 

Most marketers know the organization’s messaging inside and out. After all, they created it. But the truth is, unless you are constantly talking to potential clients and prospects, you don’t really know what makes them tick. And that’s why you need your sales team’s feedback before you start.

Here’s a list of some of the questions you need answers to, assuming you know the product and the market:

  • How is this sales presentation going to be used? Face-to-face, through an online meeting, as a send-out?
  • Is the sales presentation the first touch-point between sales and the prospect? What does the prospect know before getting this sales presentation?
  • What are the sales team’s expectations regarding this presentation? What is it intended to achieve?
  • How many competitor sales presentations does the prospect/potential client get to see? How hard is it to stand out?
  • What works best when pitching the product to potential clients?

Tip #2: Keep it grounded – start with the pain

Marketers have a tendency to aim high, think big and be inspirational. Sales, on the other hand, have to ground their pitch in order to sell. Sales presentations need to do likewise and speak to a very specific pain. A good place to start is the pain point the potential client is experiencing.

Tip #3: Be actionable and very specific about the next steps

The buyer needs to know the solution will have an impact in a relatively short time frame. That’s not always possible with Enterprise products that take time to deploy. The important thing, if this is the case, is to show very clear next steps and a path that is both impactful and efficient. Oh, and of course, your buyer within the organization should feel like this process is not going to put pressure on them. You – the vendor – will do the heavy lifting and support the organization along the way. When you develop your presentation remember that the buyer wants to be accredited for doing something meaningful for the organization.

Tip #4: Sales put on one-man-shows: one presentation does not fit all

We’d like to think that if we are specific enough about our audience – industry, role, etc. – we can create one presentation and run with it. It doesn’t work like that in one-on-one sales presentations. For example, we sell content marketing. But it’s a different presentation when we approach a potential client that has an in-house marketing team, versus someone that relies mostly on outsourcing marketing initiatives.

Always leave room for the salesperson to change the presentation based on the individual needs and challenges of the potential buyer. Create the presentation in a way that’s clear where the information changes.

Tip #5: Make sure you cover all the basics:

  • The specific pain point 
  • The unique way we solve it 
  • How and why our product works 
  • Why we should be trusted 
  • What it takes to get there: Implementation process and next steps 

But never assume there’s really ‘a template’…

These sections can be interpreted in different ways, of course. The product section can be a demo, or just a good description. The “Why Us” can be testimonials, case studies, or hard numbers that support the product benefits. You just need to ensure you have all these in mind when developing your presentation.

To achieve this we create a slide toolkit the sales team feels comfortable using, and can easily update and customize their presentations. The ability to adapt and personalize the presentation for each salesperson leads us every step of the way during the creation process, from wording, to image selection to format and file management.

Tip #6: Every piece of content has to reflect the brand and product narrative 

Make sure the X factor you worked so hard to weave into your product story has a key role in everything sales put out there. And, more importantly, that they feel passionate about telling that story. Remember, your product story aligns your entire team, your investors and your ecosystem around your product and the unique challenges it solves.

It’s time to test yourself:

Do your titles tell the story?

My golden rule for every deck, right before you think you’re done, is to copy all slide titles or key claims into one document and then read it. Did you get the basics? How fast? Did you get excited? If the answer is yes — hand the deck over to sales, they’ll know what to do with it. If the answer is no, go back to the drawing board and work out the flow of slides or title copy until all clicks. 

Want to learn more on how we give sales and marketing teams happily-ever-afters? Check out our Blog, or contact us.

5 tips to help you nail product-market fit, faster

Does your product fit your market, really?

35% of start-ups fail simply because the market (as they defined it) has no need for their product. Now, there’s a painful fact for you, so how do we keep out of this statistic? 

Product-market fit is that elusive term that refers to a point in a start-up life when there’s a product that is at the least sell-able, and ideally a “must have” for its market. You must reach product-market fit before you can scale. It’s at that point, when you know if your product has a future.

Tap into your ‘whatever it takes’ attitude

But usually reaching product-market fit is more complicated. Start-ups would go through hoops to get there. Sometimes they would have to pivot to a new direction (read more about When To Pivot), rethinking their product or their market. And many times they would fail in trying to reach product-market fit, burning too much time and money in the wrong direction.

Mark Anderseen wrote about how a start-up life has two parts: before product-market fit, and after. Anderseen believes that as a founder, you need to do anything in your power to get to product-market fit, “…including changing out people, rewriting your product, moving into a different market, telling customers no when you don’t want to, telling customers yes when you don’t want to, raising that fourth round of highly dilutive venture capital — whatever is required.”

So how do you get there?
Here are 5 tips to help you get faster to product-market fit:

  1. Always ask yourself: Are you solving a real problem?

If your product is nice to have, that won’t cut it. When you present your product to your first customers, they need to show you they need it and want it now – because it solves a real problem.

  1. Stay close to your first customers

Your first customers are your first true indication if you are close to product-market fit. It’s the best validation you can get. Track the way your product is being used (or why it’s not). Talk to your customers. Ask them as many questions as you can. Get to know the ins and outs of how they interact with your product.

  1. Don’t confuse early traction with product-market fit

Make sure you don’t develop a product for one customer. Start-ups can get caught up with attending to their first customer at the expense of solidifying a more generic product.

  1. Tie your solution to a solid business model

Your product is important, but there is no product without a business model that goes with it. The same way you are testing your product validity, test your business model to help you reach product-market fit.

  1. Don’t be afraid to scratch Plan A

Plan A is not sacred. It’s the plan that comes before Plan B. Don’t be afraid to scratch it if it’s not working, and do so early enough, when there’s still money left for Plan B.

Do you have any tips to help reach product-market fit? If you do, we’d be happy to hear them.