#286 - Yoav Vilner, CEO of Walnut - on creating a new SaaS category

A story about taking a market by surprise by being remarkable in everything they do.

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to create interactive and personalized product demos that prospects will love. My guest is Yoav Vilner, Co-founder and CEO of Walnut.

Yoav is a remarkable tech entrepreneur. He was the founder of one of the world’s first tech marketing companies that helped 600 startups grow and a founding CMO of an anti-bullying startup. 

He has been active as a startup mentor with accelerators by Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, and the U.N. and as a writer for top outlets such as Inc Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, Entrepreneur, and more.

 

In August 2020, he co-founded Walnut – which he leads as the CEO. 

With Walnut – they pioneered a category that enables sales pros to deliver interactive and unbreakable product demos. 

Then they launched a movement for prospects that had to suffer through frustrating sales processes that took forever. 

And then reinvented SaaS sales – by enabling interactive product demos that focus on value at any stage of the sales process.

Their mission: To solve the pain of buying software and create a way for prospects to fall in love with your product.

 

And this inspired me, and hence I invited Yoav to my podcast. We explore the journey of a startup that rapidly gained traction in the market. Yoav explains why he prioritized brand building from day one and how that helped them differentiate themselves in the saturated sales product market. Last but not least, he elaborates on the power of creating a movement – not only incorporating your ideal customers – but also their ideal customers. 

Here’s one of his quotes

Every time that we’re working on a new video, we say, ‘Let’s just push it and see if people are sick of it.’ It just helps us tell the story in a way that no other company is able to do it. And so every time we push the limits and boundaries, we just find out that the experiment has been successful.

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. That you can capture immense value from the market even at the MVP stage.
  2. How you can get potential customers to commit before you’ve even fully explained your product
  3. Yoav’s lessons about how he leveraged external funding in a way that only created winners.
  4. Why they took an aggressive approach to show as little as they could to prospects – and why that paid off.

 

For more information about the guest from this week:

 

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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.