Ever wondered how to stand out in a competitive market when you are first starting a business?

Can we really say we are the fastest, cheapest, or best at what we do when we have such little experience starting out?

As a salesperson working at a tech startup, I am constantly thinking about how I can create the most powerful unique value proposition when our company has much fewer data points to choose from than our competitors.

However, after doing research online as well as trying a few experiments out while I interact with the market, I have found a few ways in which our company has been able to clearly define our value even as the new kids on the block.

In this article, we will explore how you can properly differentiate yourself when nobody knows who you are.

To best do this, I want to take one single example of one of the top startups for salespeople, Gong.Io, and explain how I believe they were able to differentiate themselves.

Let’s dive in.

How To Differiente Yourself Case Study – Gong.Io

1. Ask The Market To Identify The Problem

There’s no better way to learn about the market than to ask the market directly.

It’s funny, as a salesperson, I have learned more about my product and industry by having conversations with prospective customers than I would have ever learned from a book or video.

By speaking directly with your potential buyers, you will learn exactly why your offering is valuable and why it appeals to certain groups and not others.

When companies fail to truly understand their customers’ challenges, they tend to focus their offering on features and benefits, which quickly takes your product or service from the “need-to-have” to the “nice-to-have” category.

In addition to this, buyers will quickly compare your service to other existing competitors if you don’t clearly delay what you are trying to solve.

If you haven’t read “The Mom Test”, this topic is fundamental in the whole theme of the book. Essentially, if you interview customers in your target market and learn about their scenarios, you can easily understand what frustrates buyers with your current competitors.

At that point, start by collecting the data, identifying a similarity amongst the customers interviewed, and simply addressing that challenge directly with your solution.

2. Craft An Attention-Grabbing Headline

Learn how to create a value proposition with this technique.

What you’ll notice in the picture above is that the headline and supporting text are both assumptive and direct.

Within 10 seconds I already know who Gong is, what problem they solve, and how they stand out amongst the crowd.

How did I come to that conclusion?

Let’s start with the headline first.

The headline assumes that people are making opinions about something and that Gong delivers the cold, hard facts about it within just four words.

Without reading the text underneath, it’s hard to understand what the headline is referring to, so we transition our eyes down below.

The next assumptive word in the supporting text is the word “actually”.

This sentence reads as though the writer already knows that sales leaders don’t actually know what’s going on with their teams and that a tool that provides automatic feedback and intelligence would be of value to them.

It’s not uncommon for me to land a company’s website, and have absolutely no idea what value they provide because of a headline that is either too vague or too complex.

Create a direct and assumptive headline on your content that would allow a reader to understand what you do within 10 seconds.

That way, the reader doesn’t spend their time wondering who you are while they consume your content.

3. Share Your Research With The Market

30 Mind-Blowing Sales Stats That Will Change The Way You Sell

One thing I always hear, especially in sales, is the idea of constantly providing value.

I know, it sounds cliche, and I’ve probably used the word “value” at least a dozen times in this article alone, but Gong has been providing tremendous value in their pre-sales efforts by sharing free whitepapers, reports, and resources that include live sales data for people to receive.

By sharing their research with the market, it opens up engaging conversations that might not have been captured if they simply distributed content about their company.

Focusing their reports on their insights of what everyone else is doing allows other reps or teams to respond back and share their thoughts on the data Gong has collected.

Whether that response is in agreement or in disagreement, it doesn’t really matter.

It essentially serves as an anchor that people can use to start conversations with each other and ask meaningful questions about the information they have found.

In addition to this, it further proves the expertise and diligence of the company.

Gong automatically becomes a trustworthy source in their space because they distribute a plethora of content that has been backed by thousands of data points.

4. Explain The Personal Benefits Of Your Solution

Although the text in the picture above may be hard to see, Gong takes the data that they have collected and clearly describe why their service matters.

In case you can’t see the text, the picture above states that with their service, companies have seen 27% increase in revenue per sales rep, 20% additional time saved, and 53% reduction in onboard time.

If you have made it this far, you probably think I work for Gong, lol, but I think this is a great example of making it clear how your service benefits your customer holistically, without speaking about features and functionality.

By sharing benefits of your solution that resonate personally with a buyer, you show that you truly care for the market you serve and that you are an expert in your space.


Overall, when people have no clue who you are and what your business provides, it can be difficult to properly portray the value that you bring to the market.

When you first begin your business endeavor, it’s common for the public to neglect your offering because they “already have something like that already”.

This response will always come with the territory of starting a new business, so it’s essential for founders to understand the techniques that successful startups like Gong.Io have used to make their value clear to the world.

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