Product Positioning: 5 Easy Steps to Strategic Storytelling by@alfiemarsh

Product Positioning: 5 Easy Steps to Strategic Storytelling

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Alfie Marsh

Head of US GTM @ Spendesk I love go-to-market strategy...

About @alfiemarsh
react to story with heart

Recently I stumbled upon an incredible piece of marketing.

Ruchin Kulkarni, Co-Founder of shared a manifesto on why they are building a CRM for product-led-growth (PLG) companies. It was a masterclass in strategic storytelling.

Here’s why.

Five steps to strategic storytelling:

When Andy Raskin published his article “The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen” he outlined the five steps to master strategic storytelling.

They can be summarized as:

  1. Name a Big, Relevant Change in the World.
  2. Show There’ll Be Winners and Losers.
  3. Tease the Promised Land.
  4. Introduce Features as “Magic Gifts” for Overcoming Obstacles to the Promised Land.
  5. Present Evidence that You Can Make the Story Come.

True Ruchin’s manifesto, on how software companies will acquire customers in a world dominated by PLG, is a masterclass in using the five-step framework to position products and win the hearts of a market. A new world order

Ruchin first states there is a new world order by leading with this explanation:

Instead of going straight into explaining what their product does, Ruchin tells a story to set the context as to why their product needs to exist.

He then explains how this new world order came to be:

Outbound sales died in the 2000’s ☠️


Inbound took off in the 2010’s 📈


Lower software costs mean freemium has become a highly successful acquisition model 🚀


Ruchin has presented the new world order and given context as to why it exists, and I understand there will be winners and losers.

Those who fail to adopt PLG will lose.

The promised land is presented as a place where you can acquire customers without cold calling prospects, you can acquire them cheaper than before, and freemium users will be early evangelists of your product since they’re already using it.


Okay, so I’m hooked. PLG is the way to go. No more cold calls. Cheaper CAC. Evangelized customers. Easy upsell. Crushed competition.

So, now what?

Well, the promised land isn’t easy to get to.

There are obstacles and challenges to overcome.


  • too many signs up for sales people to manage

  • conversion rates of free users to paying customers are low

  • salespeople waste time on non-converting leads

Time for a solution Ruchin then explains how the current winners of PLG use hyper segmentation to determine which customers should be contacted by a sales person to convert to a paying customer. And gives examples of Slack, Dropbox, and Hubspot.



The best companies only prioritize reaching out to leads which fall into specific criteria. But in the ‘new world’ of PLG, accessing the data required to make such decisions is hard.

Incumbent CRMs were built for the old world:

  • outbound sales = salesforce
  • inbound marketing = hubspot
  • product-led-growth = ????

There is no solution that helps people play in the new world order.

Data on how customers use product, interact with marketing, or which payment plan they’re on are stuck in siloed platforms that don’t talk to eachother.

Enter Toplyne.


  • Centralize data from siloed systems across product, billing, and CRMs to give a 360 view of users
  • Prioritize which freemium users should be contacted by salespeople and increases conversion rates


The details of how the product works is irrelevant at this point.

Convincing your audience of the new world order is what matters first.

Mario marketing

Here’s a powerful tip from Mario.

People don’t buy product, they buy what product enables them to do.

Good marketing explains what product helps people do, but great marketing provides the context for why these superpowers are necessary.

They present the stakes of winning or losing in the new world order.

Once prospects are convinced the world has changed, it becomes much easier to accept they must adapt to survive in this new environment.

⭐️ Golden Rule: Never pitch a solution to someone who doesn’t think they have a problem.

Wrapping it up 🌯

Toplyne’s manifesto was a masterpiece in strategic storytelling because they:

✅ Set the context ✅ Presented a new world order ✅ Helped us visualize what success looks like in the new world ✅ Outlined the challenges and obstacles people will encounter ✅ Provided a solution to getting over those challenges

I’ll end with a question:

What new world order does your product help people thrive in?

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