32 episodes

Want to make your product stand out in a crowded market? It all starts with great positioning. I’m April Dunford, the expert high-growth tech companies go to when they have a positioning problem. With over two decades of experience as a startup executive and consultant, I have positioned and re-positioned hundreds of products and companies. Using my battle-tested methodology, I'll teach you the nitty-gritty of positioning so that you can unlock better marketing and sales performance. If you're an entrepreneur, marketer, or business leader who wants to stand out, this podcast is for you.

Positioning with April Dunford April Dunford

    • Business

Want to make your product stand out in a crowded market? It all starts with great positioning. I’m April Dunford, the expert high-growth tech companies go to when they have a positioning problem. With over two decades of experience as a startup executive and consultant, I have positioned and re-positioned hundreds of products and companies. Using my battle-tested methodology, I'll teach you the nitty-gritty of positioning so that you can unlock better marketing and sales performance. If you're an entrepreneur, marketer, or business leader who wants to stand out, this podcast is for you.

    Rethinking Sales Strategies for Modern Markets with Loren Padelford

    Rethinking Sales Strategies for Modern Markets with Loren Padelford

    In today’s episode, I discuss how sales and marketing interact with Loren Padelford, a sales, marketing, cashflow, and revenue expert.
    You will learn:
    * The limitations of the predictable revenue playbook and alternative approaches.
    * How Salesforce pioneered cloud-based software and introduced a new way of thinking about how software gets delivered and sold.
    * How the rise of ad networks and digital ads made it easier to reach many potential customers faster.
    * Why the traditional sales process and long sales cycles are frustrating and failing.
    * That startups founders should design their own sales system based on their product and customer needs.
    * Shopify’s approach to hiring sales reps involved looking for personality traits like curiosity, intelligence, work ethic, and success.
    * That research shows no correlation between education and success in sales.
    * The limitations of Product-Led Growth (PLG) approach.
    * The role of sales reps as tour guides of e-commerce platforms.
    * The need for marketing, sales, and product to work together in the software industry.

    If you want to skip ahead:
    (0:01) The predictable revenue sales model and alternative models.
    (4:49) Sales and marketing strategies in the software industry.
    (10:52) The limitations of the predictable revenue model in software sales.
    (15:44) Sales strategies and personality traits for success in sales.
    (23:01) Sales strategies for Shopify businesses.
    (27:35) The role of sales reps in e-commerce, with a focus on Shopify's experience.
    (33:05) Sales and marketing collaboration.
    (36:51) Sales and marketing alignment.

    Connect with Loren Padelford on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorenpadelford/

    Connect with April Dunford and learn about practical positioning that accelerates marketing and sales:
    Work with April: https://www.aprildunford.com/contact
    April’s newsletter: https://aprildunford.substack.com/
    April’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aprildunford/
    April’s Instagram: ⁠https://www.instagram.com/aprildunford/
    April’s Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/aprildunford
    April’s TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@positioningshow

    Mentioned in this episode:
    * Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com, a 2011 book by Aaron Ross: https://amzn.to/4bXcBMP

    Get April Dunford’s books and audiobooks:
    “Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It.”
    “Sales Pitch: How to Craft a Story to Stand Out and Win.”
    Amazon US: https://amzn.to/49l0ZRY
    Amazon Canada: https://amzn.to/4ac9hgt
    Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3vosDzQ
    Apple Books: https://apple.co/3xihSzC
    Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=%22April%20Dunford%22&c=books
    Barnes & Noble: https://www.bn.com/s/%22April%20Dunford%22
    Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/contributors/april-dunford

    The Positioning with April Dunford podcast: Want to make your product stand out in a crowded market? It all starts with great positioning. Using April’s battle-tested methodology, she'll teach you the nitty-gritty of positioning so that you can unlock better marketing and sales performance.
    Podcast website: https://www.positioning.show/
    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3PFHcWx
    Subscribe on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/4aqyDqI
    Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@positioningshow

    This episode was produced by Story On Media & Marketing: https://www.SuccessWithStories.com

    • 41 min
    A Buyer-Centric Approach to Competitive Positioning

    A Buyer-Centric Approach to Competitive Positioning

    In today’s episode, I explore the different types of competitors you face and how you can position yourself against each of them.
    You will learn:
    * How different departments or groups in a company (e.g. sales, product development, etc.) view and define competitors differently.
    * The 3 types of competitors: (1) status quo competitors, (2) direct competitors, and (3) “do nothing” competitors.
    * Positioning yourself against status quo competitors requires nailing your value versus the status quo, and understanding a customer’s pain of changing from the status quo over to you.
    * Positing yourself against direct competitors entails leaning into your differentiated value, as compared to your competition.
    * Positioning yourself against “do nothing” competitors involves understanding why customers evaluated you and your competitors, yet became indecisive and didn’t pick any solution/product/service.

    If you want to skip ahead:
    (4:36) Positioning against competitors in B2B sales.
    (9:59) Winning strategies for B2B sales, including disqualifying unqualified leads and addressing indecision in purchasing decisions.
    (14:45) Handling objections, increasing confidence in purchase decisions, and educating customers on trade-offs.
    (19:56) Ways to reduce customer indecision in sales deals.
    (24:53) Sales strategies for tech companies, focusing on positioning, best-fit customers, and risk mitigation.

    Connect with April Dunford and learn about practical positioning that accelerates marketing and sales:
    Work with April: https://www.aprildunford.com/contact
    April’s newsletter: https://aprildunford.substack.com/
    April’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aprildunford/
    April’s Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/aprildunford

    Mentioned in this episode:
    * April Dunford’s article/newsletter about this topic: https://aprildunford.substack.com/p/a-buyer-centric-approach-to-competitive
    * To get the free templates related to April Dunford’s two books, go to https://www.aprildunford.com/books and sign up for the newsletter; then you’ll receive an email to download the free templates.

    Get April Dunford’s books and audiobooks:
    “Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It.”
    “Sales Pitch: How to Craft a Story to Stand Out and Win.”
    Amazon US: https://amzn.to/49l0ZRY
    Amazon Canada: https://amzn.to/4ac9hgt
    Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3vosDzQ

    The Positioning with April Dunford podcast: Want to make your product stand out in a crowded market? It all starts with great positioning. Using April’s battle-tested methodology, she'll teach you the nitty-gritty of positioning so that you can unlock better marketing and sales performance.
    Podcast website: https://www.positioning.show/
    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3PFHcWx
    Subscribe on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/4aqyDqI
    Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@positioningshow

    This episode was produced by Story On Media & Marketing: https://www.SuccessWithStories.com

    • 30 min
    Arming Sales Teams To Win in the Market, with Brent Adamson

    Arming Sales Teams To Win in the Market, with Brent Adamson

    In today’s episode, Brent Adamson and I explore what works and what doesn't work on sales teams, and Brent’s ideas for how we should arm sales teams to go out and win in the market. 
    My guest today is Brent Adamson, a researcher, author, presenter, and thinker with a passion for “productive disruption.”
    You will learn: 
    * The origins of the Challenger Sale concept and how the term "challenger" refers to salespeople who teach customers about their industries and challenge their assumptions, rather than simply telling them what to do.
    * Challenging customers to think differently.
    * Customer context has changed radically in the last 10 years, making large-scale decisions more complex.
    * Why some customers are overwhelmed by internal complexity, information, inability to align on goals, marketing, conflicting messages, etc. 
    * Why many marketers misunderstand the customer journey. 
    * The supplier selection is a critical problem to solve, but often occurs after the sales side has already been solved for.
    * Helping customers feel more confident in their decision-making abilities, rather than simply presenting them with new information.
    * How the Challenger Sales approach involves both frame breaking and frame making, with the goal of helping customers navigate their own internal complexity and alignment with colleagues.
    * Understanding the buyer's journey. 
    * Using value to demonstrate customer confidence, not the other way around.

    If you want to skip ahead: 
    (3:22) Sales research findings, including the Challenger Sale study. 
    (6:12) Sales profiling, with a focus on the Challenger Sale approach. 
    (11:31) Challenging customers to think differently. 
    (14:27) Sales strategies. 
    (18:05) How buying decisions have become more complex and involve more stakeholders, creating challenges for sellers. 
    (23:04) Marketing strategies. 
    (28:10) Navigating complex decision-making in business. 
    (38:17) Customer confidence and alignment in B2B sales. 

    Connect with Brent Adamson on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brentadamson/ 
    Get Brent’s books from Amazon: https://amzn.to/3wlHOu4 

    Connect with April Dunford and learn about practical positioning that accelerates marketing and sales: 
    Work with April: https://www.aprildunford.com/contact 
    April’s newsletter: https://aprildunford.substack.com/ 
    April’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aprildunford/ 
    April’s Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/aprildunford 

    Mentioned in this episode: 
    * Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon’s book, The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation: https://amzn.to/3UsTcfG 
    * Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, Pat Spenner, and Nick Toman’s book, The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results: https://amzn.to/3Ut41y2 
    * “Sensemaking for Sales,” Brent Adamson’s article in The Harvard Business Review: a href="https://hbr.org/2022/01/sensemaking-for-sales" rel="noopener noreferrer"...

    • 50 min
    The Role of Market Category in Differentiation

    The Role of Market Category in Differentiation

    In today’s episode, I explore why market category is a good starting point for developing great positioning. 
    You will learn: 
    * Viewing your market category is context-setting for your products/company. 
    * Thinking of your market category as being similar to the opening scene of a movie. (See link below for my article about this idea, which includes the opening scene of the movie Baby Driver.) 
    * Understanding your product/company's unique value proposition before determining market category.
    * Why positioning involves identifying what sets your product apart from competitors and the status quo.
    * Why positioning in an underserved segment of an existing market category is easier than creating a new category.
    * Communicating the differentiated value of your product or service.
    * Why companies need to go deeping into their value props to help customers understand how they can deliver unique value for their business.

    If you want to skip ahead: 
    (3:50) Market categories and their role in positioning products/companies, with a focus on differentiated value. 
    (7:46) Positioning and messaging for startups, focusing on understanding customer needs and differentiated value. 
    (11:26) Positioning and market categories in business.


    Connect with April Dunford and learn about practical positioning that accelerates marketing and sales: 
    Work with April: https://www.aprildunford.com/consultant
    April’s newsletter: https://aprildunford.substack.com/ 
    April’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aprildunford/ 
    April’s Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/aprildunford 




    Mentioned in this episode: 
    * My article about market category in which I discuss the opening scene of the movie Baby Driver: https://aprildunford.substack.com/p/understanding-the-job-of-a-market  
    * Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, a book by Al Ries and Jack Trout: https://amzn.to/3JrR4zJ  



    Get April Dunford’s books and audiobooks: 
    “Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It.”
    “Sales Pitch: How to Craft a Story to Stand Out and Win.”
    Amazon US: https://amzn.to/49l0ZRY 
    Amazon Canada: https://amzn.to/4ac9hgt 
    Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3vosDzQ



    The Positioning with April Dunford podcast: Want to make your product stand out in a crowded market? It all starts with great positioning. Using April’s battle-tested methodology, she'll teach you the nitty-gritty of positioning so that you can unlock better marketing and sales performance.
    Podcast website: https://www.positioning.show/ 
    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts: a href="https://apple.co/3PFHcWx" rel="noopener noreferrer"...

    • 18 min
    Postman's Positioning Journey: 500K Customers & $5.6 Billion Valuation with Abhinav Asthana

    Postman's Positioning Journey: 500K Customers & $5.6 Billion Valuation with Abhinav Asthana

    In today’s episode, I talk with a technology entrepreneur about lessons related to his product initially being mispositioned in the market and also the challenges of positioning both free and paid versions of software solutions. 
    Joining me is Abhinav Asthana, founder and CEO of Postman, an API platform for software developers to build and use APIs.
    In today’s episode: 
    * How Postman's positioning evolved from a product-focused approach to a platform-focused approach, with different positioning for end-users and executives.
    * Building Postman with the conviction that modern software is built on APIs, and evangelizing (positioning) this idea to investors.
    * Why top-down positioning needs to align with company strategy. 
    * The value of working with analysts to understand customer needs and improve products.
    * Positioning software in terms of satisfying customer needs.
    * The importance of staying ahead of competitors in the enterprise software market.
    * The challenges of competing with free products and prioritizing user experience.
    * Abhinav advises talking to 50-100 customers per year to gain insights and build conviction in product decisions.

    If you want to skip ahead: 
    (2:24) Origin story of Postman. 
    (7:19) Postman's growth, fundraising, and positioning challenges. 
    (12:57) API platform growth and top-down sales strategies. 
    (18:03) Taking an API-first approach in software development and marketing strategies. 
    (28:19) Scaling velocity, competitors, and customer engagement in the enterprise software space. 

    Connect with Abhinav Asthana on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/abhinavasthana/ 
    Learn about Postman’s API platform: https://www.postman.com/ 



    Connect with April Dunford and learn about practical positioning that accelerates marketing and sales: 
    Work with April: https://www.aprildunford.com/contact 
    April’s newsletter: https://aprildunford.substack.com/ 
    April’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aprildunford/ 
    April’s Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/aprildunford 



    Mentioned in this episode: 
    “Breaking Changes,” a podcast where Postman Chief Evangelist Kin Lane and guests talk about the API universe: https://www.postman.com/events/breaking-changes/
    “The API-First Transformation,” a book by Kin Lane with a foreword by Abhinav Asthana: https://amzn.to/3PZzEOy 



    Get April Dunford’s books and audiobooks: 
    “Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It.”
    “Sales Pitch: How to Craft a Story to Stand Out and Win.”
    Amazon US: https://amzn.to/49l0ZRY 
    Amazon Canada: https://amzn.to/4ac9hgt 
    Amazon UK: a href="https://amzn.to/3vosDzQ" rel="noopener noreferrer"...

    • 33 min
    Why Positioning Does Not Make the Jump From Marketing to Sales

    Why Positioning Does Not Make the Jump From Marketing to Sales

    Welcome to Season 2! In today’s episode, I explore why positioning fails to make the jump from marketing to sales in many companies, and what common misconceptions and mistakes in positioning work should be avoided.
    You will learn: 
    * Why sales teams often lack a deep understanding of positioning and its importance in the sales process.
    * Communicating value and positioning product consistently across all sales calls, even for new sales reps.
    * What happens when marketing creates positioning without consulting sales, leading to disconnect between the two teams.
    * The disconnect between sales teams and marketing teams, as marketing decks often don't account for the need for discovery and objection handling during sales calls.
    * Two common unspoken objections in sales pitches: pricing and change management.
    * Common challenges in transitioning positioning from marketing to sales, including inadequate decks. 
    * In enterprise and B2B deals, multiple stakeholders involved in a deal can lead to multiple pitch decks, making the process more complicated.
    * Customizing pitch decks for the champion, with a focus on resonating with their needs and concerns, rather than trying to address the objections of other stakeholders in the deal.

    If you want to skip ahead: 
    (0:01) Positioning in B2B marketing and sales. 
    (4:25) Sales strategy and customer understanding. 
    (8:55) Why marketing and sales positioning often doesn't align. 
    (13:18) Sales pitches and unspoken objections. 
    (18:00) B2B purchase process and positioning for sales. 
    (23:24) Customizing sales pitch decks for different personas. 

    Connect with April Dunford and learn about practical positioning that accelerates marketing and sales: 
    Work with April: https://www.aprildunford.com/contact 
    April’s newsletter: https://aprildunford.substack.com/ 
    April’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aprildunford/ 
    April’s Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/aprildunford 

    Get April Dunford’s books and audiobooks: 
    “Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It”
    “Sales Pitch: How to Craft a Story to Stand Out and Win”
    Amazon US: https://amzn.to/49l0ZRY 
    Amazon Canada: https://amzn.to/4ac9hgt 
    Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3vosDzQ

    The Positioning with April Dunford podcast: Want to make your product stand out in a crowded market? It all starts with great positioning. Using April’s battle-tested methodology, she'll teach you the nitty-gritty of positioning so that you can unlock better marketing and sales performance.
    Podcast website: https://www.positioning.show/ 
    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3PFHcWx 
    Subscribe on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/4aqyDqI 
    Subscribe on YouTube: a href="https://www.youtube.com/@positioningshow" rel="noopener noreferrer"...

    • 36 min

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