🔆 Positioning & hangovers

In the Netherlands, there’s a saying, ‘Drank maakt meet kapot dan je lief is.’ It doesn’t really translate into English, but it would be something like this: “Drinking destroys more than you’d like.”

The deeper meaning behind it is that we know it’s bad for us. Nevertheless, we don’t address it – silently, it creates many casualties. 

It got me thinking about positioning – or better – ‘broad positioning.’

It’s like drinking. We try to enjoy the party everywhere, have fun here and there, and be everybody’s best friend. 

And in the end, we instinctively know we always end up with a hangover. It doesn’t give us what we hoped for. In fact, it ‘destroys more than we like.’


So why, I am thinking out loud? 


Is it fear of giving up?

Is it because we don’t know how to? 

Is it because we don’t even realize we’re doing it? 


Let me share an example of one of my clients (and don’t get me wrong – I am not saying they were an alcoholic 🙂

He came to me because the business unit suffered in a variety of ways: 

  • Sales cycles of months (for deals of just €8-10K ARR).
  • Heavy discounting in every deal.
  • Win rates still only in the low 20% range.
  • Implementation issues often escalated.
  • Churn became a day-to-day topic.
  • Profitability suffered.


In a period of less than one quarter, we addressed two things: 

  1. Sharpened positioning so they became the no-brainer option for the right customers
  2. Trained their sales team to confidently guide the customer and communicate the value.

The result

  • Time-to-close reduced by 30% instantly.
  • Win rates rose to +50% (even in today’s economic downturn)
  • Average deal size increased by +40%
  • Churn problems disappeared.
  • Profitability increased to bench-mark levels in their group.


Let me do a back of the envelop calculation on a sample of 100 leads :

  • they win 50+, instead of 20-ish (in way shorter time)
  • At an average price point of €12.8K ARR, instead of €9K
  • at a 75% gross margin, instead of low 60%.


The numbers that this produces (just for that sample) are:

  • €640K ARR instead of €180k.
  • €480K gross margin instead of €108K
  • All without the headaches after the party (nightmare implementations, churn, etc.)


Just think about that.


Question for you to reflect upon

How do you feel about your SaaS business’s performance—happy or hangover? Could it be that your positioning tries to party everywhere? 


Be Remarkable


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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.