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We’re all somewhat in love with the products and services that we take to market. And we can all tell good stories about why that product or service is fantastic.

A couple of challenges to that. Firstly, what if the buyers that you’re communicating with aren’t really looking for a solution like that just right now? So certainly, to deal with that first issue, certainly, we need to create messages that talk about the challenges and the needs that the buyers have to stimulate that so that we can create opportunities. The second problem is that quite often, our messaging is kind of me, too. So we really need messages that create opportunity that only you can win. And that’s what I’ll show you how to do on this blog.

I’m going to take a fairly traditional approach and then I’m going to change it a little bit. I’ll take a look at the products and services that we take to market, and then I’ll work out what the messages should be around that. We really need to create opportunity, not just seize on existing opportunity. So, I’m going to take it from solution, and the right attributes of that solution, and then go to, what does a buyer need, for which that solution would be a right answer. And then, why? What challenges are they facing that gives rise to that need? And who are they, anyway? We’ll look at the situation that gives rise to the challenges, that gives rise and it makes the solution attractive.

So, we’re kind of going backwards from our solution to build a compelling market message. But then we are going to do the same thing for our competition. Not where are they bad, where are they good? We’ll build a really positive view about the competition so that the messages that we build are only compelling for us, and not compelling, or, if they resonate, they don’t really strike a chord and then create an opportunity for our competitors.


Funnel Plan


Uses proven best practice, that is constantly evolving with feedback from thousands of users. Guides you to build the best tactics to help buyers move through each stage in their journey.Helps you work out how many buyers need to make each stage in that journey guides the right tactics, gives you early warning indicators. Covers both Sales and Marketing, not just one half of your engine. Makes sure that your strategy is buyer-centric, before you build those tactics. Provides powerful analysis tools for each of the decisions you are asked to make in building your plan. And all distilled to one page


Go-to-market plan for Sales and Marketing. Using absolute best practice. Boiled down to one page


Lack a clear process for earning new business that we can understand and follow


Complex B2B, so important to plan for both Sales and Marketing. Limited time and funds per plan


Small B2B businesses. Large businesses trying to help their partners (small businesses) follow best practice new business processes. Large businesses with many ‘parts’ (divisions, products, markets, geographies)


Marketing Consultant (The competition)


Smart person or people building plan using their own experience

Deep knowledge of the domain (market, product, competition, capabilities)


Go-to-market plan for Sales and Marketing that reflects our realities


Lack a clear strategy and plan for earning new business that we can believe


Complex B2B, so important to plan for both Sales and Marketing. Planning entity big enough to warrant the cost. Access to funds


Mid-sized business (small can’t afford, and doesn’t scale for larger ones). Large, somewhat homogeneous businesses


So to build this message, I argue that we could be targeting small businesses that can’t afford the consultant. But I’m not going to target them because I think they’re different enough that we would need our own messaging for the small business. So I’ll target the larger businesses that either have multiple partners that they are trying to enable with planning expertise, or they have multiple component parts, have lots of divisions, lots of products, lots of geographies etc.

So let’s now build the message that wins.

“If time and budgets were unlimited, every time you had to build a plan, you would hire the best B2B expert in town. Someone who is deeply immersed in your market, and a guru at go to market planning for complex B2B. Maybe, if you only had one plan, that would be perfect, but you don’t. You’ve got tens or hundreds of plans to build for yourself or for your partners. So how do you build hundreds of plans and still bake in absolute best practice into every one.

Well, that’s where your funnel plan comes in. It’s your very own, super affordable, online B2B guru that leads every one of your plan owners through absolute best practice. To validate this strategy, identify the [inaudible 00:03:33] and marketing philosophy they need to meet the revenue goals and find the best fit tactics to create and capture new demand. And best yet, funnel plan boils the objectives, strategy, velocity and tactics down to a compelling and ultra-clear one-page plan.”

So, see what we did there? We created demand, we created an opportunity that the consultant simply can’t win with. So what I’m really arguing is, I guess, 2 things.

Firstly, when you build your messaging, get a little earlier in the journey than product attributes. Certainly, you need to know why your product and service is great, but I bet you already do. But let’s work out why they even need to be talking to you. Let’s talk about their situation and the challenges they face, what they need and therefore saying it attributes to the product.

Point two, do the same thing for your competitor so that the messages that you build work only for your product, and they only create opportunities that only you can win. So let’s take a look at that in the funnel plan .

Now, this week, the consequences of what we’ve just done doesn’t really play it’s hand strongly in the funnel plan itself. It’s more in the content you create afterwards. But it does play a hand. So let’s take a look at the problems that we’ve chosen. Certainly, the problem articulation needs to reflect the problem that we chose for this plan. Remeber – We had lack of clear process for earning new business that we can understand and follow. So that’s the problem that we’ve chosen. But you’ll recall that I also talked about the circumstance, which actually leads to the segmentation that means that our ideal client profile is going to need to change because our ideal client now is one that has the sort of challenges that we can meet, that our competitors can’t meet. So let’s go back to that. Our situation was that a certainly complex B2B, they’ve got limited time funds but the market really is large businesses trying to build multiple plans either for their partners or for themselves.

So let’s reflect that in the ideal client profile and in the target markets. Now, who is it that actually has that problem? It’s probably in the larger businesses if there is a central planning head, but that really rarely exists. So I’m going to go and put into the funnel plan, head of sales for large complex businesses, head marketing for large complex businesses. They are probably my two ideal targets.

Well, if you enjoyed this blog then make sure you subscribe to get either our blog. Funnel Vision comes out twice a week or Funnel Vision monthly, which is an editor’s grab of the best articles from the previous month. Go to align.me/blog and select one of those options now. You can also subscribe to the YouTube channel to get updates.

If you’d like to see if Math Marketing has got a market planning workshops known as Funnel Camp and Funnel Mastery Workshop, it would help you to lift the performance of your sales and marketing systems. Why not speak to your final coach today? Contact details are on the website.