In this week's newsletter: What Is Narrative Alignment? Get Serious About Your Positioning Execution
View Online
Weekly Briefing No. 196
by Edwin Abl

Hey — It's Ed. Welcome to my weekly briefing, scale smarter. 

Quick Reminder:
You are receiving this email because you subscribed to my weekly newsletter or downloaded one of my content assets. It's not a link dump of "hey, here's what I'm listening to and reading." It's 7+ articles, with summaries, notes, views, and commentary, spanning topics on leadership, B2B SaaS marketing, SaaS GTM, sales, well-being, or other interesting finds from around the web. Occasionally, I send long-form articles on leadership, marketing, and personal growth.

Did your brilliant friend forward this to you?
Subscribe here.

==> Here’s what I thought was worth sharing ↓

How to improve inbound lead conversions 
The theory of 10 basic human values 
What Is Narrative Alignment? Get Serious About Your Positioning Execution

Thank you for subscribing 🙏.



1. Here are five blog posts written now over 5 years ago; they’re buried in my archives, but I thought I’d resurface them for you. 

• Read More: Thoughts on Personal Development

• Read More: Top Tips for Building Resilient Daily Habits and Motivation 

• Read More: Here’s How To Be More Productive Next Week

• Read More: What’s An Easy To Reduce Stress

• Read More: How Do You Become a Thought Leader

2. How to get your team to stop asking you every single question ;) When you empower your team to work more independently, you improve as a leader and ultimately contribute more to the organisation's success.

👉 Emphasise attention management
👉 Promote self-confidence in your staff
👉 Embrace the tough decisions
👉 Create a safe environment to make mistakes

3. Simple steps to giving constructive feedback to motivate and improve your team. To accomplish this, remember three keywords

🧘‍♂️ Prepare
🧘‍♂️ Listen
🧘‍♂️ Act

How to give helpful feedback.



4. Two quick insights learned from speaking to peers. On your website, “try now” rather than “book a demo” to improve conversions. Conversions rates are critical for inbound lead flow; small details like this are often overlooked but can positively affect the pipeline with the right tweaks. 

5. If you are interested in Product Led Growth, this framework on marketing attribution for PLG will help you understand what to track and why.

The three questions: 

1. How did they arrive at my site?
2. What attracted them to my site?
3. What converted them?

The 3-Part Marketing Attribution Framework All PLG Companies Need. 

6. It’s easy to think that more always means better, but that isn’t the case. Sometimes we can create something better simply by removing things. Simple solutions are not necessarily harder to find, but they take more effort to find. So the next time you’re facing a challenge and have no idea how to solve it, try thinking about what you could remove from the problem rather than what you could add, and see if it helps.

Our brain typically overlooks this brilliant problem-solving strategy.

INSIGHT: Consider your go-to-market strategy, sales process, or marketing strategy. How do you subtract? What can you remove from your plan or approach to become more effective and focused?



7. The theory of 10 basic human values

☀️ Self-direction: Freedom, creativity, independence, choosing your own goals, curiosity
☀️ Stimulation: Exciting life, varied life, daring
☀️ Hedonism: Pleasure, enjoying life, self-indulgent
☀️ Achievement: Ambitious, capable, influential, successful
☀️ Power: Social power, wealth, authority
☀️ Security: Social order, national security, family security, reciprocation of favours, cleanliness
☀️ Conformity: Politeness, self-discipline, respect for elders, obedient
☀️ Tradition: Respect for tradition, modest, humble, accepting my portion in life, devout
☀️ Benevolence: Loyal, responsible, honest, helpful, forgiving
☀️ Universalism: Equality, unity with nature, wisdom, world of peace, world of beauty, social justice, broad-minded, protecting the environment



One more thing...Thanks for reading.

Enjoy your day. And if you like this newsletter and want to support it, forward it to a friend 🤝, tweet me 👏, or if you’re seeing this newsletter for the first time, you can subscribe here.



 🤔  What Is Narrative Alignment? Get Serious About Your Positioning Execution

Want to nail your positioning and strategic narrative? Do you want to create "Narrative Alignment" internally and externally? 

Here's an easy 6-step checklist to increase your chances of building a precise positioning "Narrative Alignment" strategy. 


Step 1: Choose your Minimum Viable Audience (MVA)

Think precise. Be targeted with your TAM. Yes, you'll have a large TAM for investors, but to build a brand, you must go step-by-step. 

The first step is building a highly engaged audience for your brand. 

You reach your audience by being precise about who you are trying to reach. This approach is outlined in Kevin Kelly's 1000 true fans.


Step 2: Build out Ideal Audience Profiles 

Ideal-Audience = You focus on the challenges and pain, not you.

Ideal-Audience =  Broader than a "persona" and fits in the ICP. 

If you want to build out Ideal Audience Profiles, the categories you need to "define" are: 

• Your Vision
• Who I Need To Reach To Accomplish Goal (Broad Audience)
• Pick 3 Ideal Audience Traits 
• Ideal Audience Statement 
• Pick 3 Broad Wants
• 9 Specific Wants

Tip: Like any positioning, this doesn't happen just "within" the business. Speak to customers, understand their language and combine with sales, marketing and product feedback. 

The "Ideal Audience Profiles" replace your pointless "persona" work. 


Step 3: Create ICP profiles 

To understand your Ideal Customer Profile, make a simple 1-pager for each market or segment. 

Fill in these sections: 

• Geography
• Market
• No. of employees
• Annual revenue 
• Industries
• Decision maker
• Pain points
• Business objectives 
• Notable attributes 
• Why are they a good fit for the company?
• What is their big challenge or problem? 
• Why is it important to act? 
• What does security mean to the prospect? And how to un-sell the status-quo 
• What drives them
• What pains them 
• What they want now

You know, have a focused audience, their ideal attributes and the ideal customer profile. 


Step 4: Segment Your Positioning Narrative 

Most companies have their narrative all lumped together into one pot. 

i.e. CEO sells the vision, and sales-people need clarification in the sales story. They need clarification about your positioning on the ground. Marketing is trying to please everyone and fails to deliver to sales (as mainly they'll appease the CEO's messaging). 

Segment into a simple document for the whole business: 

CEO story to market and investors 

• Section 1: Vision AKA "THE DESTINATION." 

Marketing and campaigns     

• Section 2: Strategic Narrative "AKA THE STORY." 

What sales-people need to know =) 

• Section 3: Positioning, AKA "THE SALES STORY."


Step 5: Test & Learn 

While it's all sound thinking, you have created an impactful message ready for the market. It will most likely have gaps; notably, the languaging you use will need further precision. 

What to do? 

Go and speak to investors, peers, prospects and customers. 

Now refine further. 


Step 6: Aligning ALL teams on the positioning, i.e. "Narrative Alignment 

The step that most companies need to remember is rolling out capability training and enablement iteratively and ongoing. Before you start, you package together, in simple terms: 

• What is your Minimum Viable Audience
• Who are your Ideal Customer Profiles 
• Master document with segmented messaging 
• Feedback and learning from tests & learn 

Provide all pre-read materials. Make sure every area is well-explained (i.e. the four above items). Plan continuous enablement sessions across all teams, SDR, Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, and Product- ensure everyone aligns on the narrative. 

You run narrative alignment training and certifications at the start of each quarter. For each role, individuals and teams must understand the narrative. To test and align across the business, create a "Narrative Certifications" process. It involves a quick 5-mins whiteboard by individuals on the narrative. 

They pass, and all good. 

They don't repeat the task. 

Step six seems a lot, but it's fundamental to clarity, precision and GTM success. You'll feel confidence across the business if you do this well. 

To work with me on your "Narrative Alignment", get in touch:



Around - Video calls loved by extraordinary teams.

Pitch: Meetings don't have to crush your soul. Discover radically unique video calls designed to help hybrid-remote teams create, collaborate and celebrate together.

Click Here to Learn More



This newsletter is my passion project. I hope it helps you gain deeper insight and equips you to learn at the pace needed to keep up. Many readers have asked about how we can work together. In case you’re interested, I do three things.

(1) DUE DILIGENCE FOR INVESTORS & CEOs: A bespoke framework and capability model ‘DEMAND KARMA’ that delivers DD services to investors, VC firms and CEOs. 

(2) ADVISORY: Retained advisory at funded scale-ups. A simple monthly fee. Helping CEOs build a scalable marketing machine.

(3) MENTORING: Designed for people looking to get to the next level — Director, VP and new CxO. My sweet spot is helping to mentor developing VPs / "Head of"  / aspiring leaders to step into the CxO role.

If you’re interested, let’s jump on a call to see if you’re a good fit. 

Click here to schedule a call.
Copyright © 2020 Edwin Abl, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Edwin Abl · 32 Lavender Sweep · London, London SW11 1HA · United Kingdom