"We have spent a lot of time telling our customers on our solution. We want to spend more time focusing on their problem"

Last week I ‘Zoomed’ with Ryan Falkenberg and Mark Pedersen, the two founders of Clevva (Capetown, South Africa). Our conversation dug into the big lessons they learned from reading my book, The Remarkable Effect.

Ryan – “We’ve both read it, and the key messages that we have really taken to heart is: Lead with the problem, not the solution.”

Mark – “When we start with our solution, we simply extend our sales cycles. We have been exploring ways to accelerate sales, and this really resonated.”

Ryan – “The aha moment was the realization we’d fallen in love with our product. I think the problem is maybe in the name of our company (smile). We do think we’re so clever. We think we can solve any problem. So we fell in love with our own technology and all the amazing things that it can do.”

“The critical reminder was: Choose a problem that’s really important for our customers. I.e., pick that single problem our customers would value us solving instead of a solution that can solve many problems.”

“Reading your book helped us shift our approach. It forced us to start with our customer, not our solution. It allowed us to identify and target the single problem we are brilliant at solving – helping our customers offer one-touch customer service. And as a result, we have found our marketing messaging has simplified – its more about the problem we solve, and less about the solution we offer.”

“A key change has also been in our sales process. We are qualifying companies more effectively – do they need this specific problem resolved, not would they be interested in our solution.”

“It’s also impacting on our product roadmap. Rather than broadening our capabilities to resolve more problems, we are narrowing it to be the best at resolving our chosen problem.”

Ryan – “I guess what really helped when we read your book is that it reminded us of what we knew but had lost sight of. It brought us back to focusing our energy on our customers, not our solution. It focused us on a problem that is important to solve for our customers, and where our solution is particularly well suited to resolving. ‘

Question for you to reflect upon: What would happen if you’d focus your Go-To-Market approach on validating the size of the single problem you solve like no one else?

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.