The people

Sunny Cha (Head of Marketing) led the project from San Francisco. Matthaus Kryzkowski (Tenjin's Platform Director) added his deep project knowledge, working from Berlin. I worked closely with both Sunny and Matthaus, from my base in the UK.

The challenge

Matthaus: "We have a data warehouse product whose value is understood in technical terms by about 3% of our target audience. Like many “big data” companies we need to find a way to unlock information that’s sort of locked up for most people. Make what we do simple enough so they can understand it. And find it desirable enough that they will actually use it to help their companies."

I did a consultation on the existing Tenjin website and made some recommendations about where we should focus to improve the sales script.

Sunny: "I felt our writing to be too technical, so it wasn't applicable to the broader audience. To have Paul reciprocate my original thoughts about the words, the pitch, everything we've been trying to do, validated my gut instincts and I was able to confidently discuss my thoughts with the cofounders."

The process

Armed with a clear plan, we started working on a new sales script for Tenjin. I presented Sunny with a series of simple questions that focused on different aspects of the big picture. She shared the questions with the key team members and everyone submitted their own perspective.

Tenjin already had a strong technical perspective. But I was keen to draw out more information about the humans who were involved (both the customers and the Tenjin team) and learn what the technology meant to them in the wider context of their lives.

Matthaus, Tenjin's Platform Director, had a lot of experience talking about the product with clients, so we conducted several chat sessions and dug deep into the technical features of the product as well as the customers themselves.

Matthaus: "To start with, Paul’s structured questionnaire approach helped the team to see the various perspectives on what we do. Further along, he made us see the different personas and their unique view on what we do and why it matters. He also framed what we do in light of the competition our clients face. This kicked off a follow-up process of us re-defining what our products really are."

Sunny: "Paul made all of us, including the co-founders, take a step back and describe our product/features from a human level. We were caught up living and breathing this stuff. Our language assumed that the world knew what we were talking about, when in fact, that wasn't the case."

By asking a very specific set of questions, we were able to round-out the Tenjin pitch. Creating more empathy with the customer and tapping into their real world motivations. When you put the technical solution aside, Tenjin's customers are all regular human beings. Driven, and sometimes held back, by the basic motivations and fears that affect us all.

The solution

We were able to clarify the human benefits behind many of the technical features. That helped us make them easier to understand and more appealing to new customers, not just seasoned users. This process didn't just help customers it helped the team as well.

Sunny: "Working with Paul, we became confident with taking a different approach, to tell a story, about a technical need. As a bonus, our new employees were able to get up to speed faster than before about the benefits of our features."

Matthaus: "Before Paul I don’t think we, as a group, were aware how complicated it is for clients to buy “big data” products such as ours and find it valuable. In most cases it is a non-technical operational manager who benefits, day to day, from such a product. It is a non-technical manager with purchasing power who is deciding about the purchase of such a product or its alternative. Paul helped us craft aspirational messaging that caters to all these groups together as well as messaging for each group. And on a personal level, working with Paul gave me a deeper insight into my own role at Tenjin as a platform director."

We also revealed more of the Tenjin team. Their values as a company and their character as individuals. That helped us create a deeper, more trusting connection between the people on both sides of the product.

The end result was a much more compelling sales script. A simpler product story and a narrative that appealed to the human motivations and ambitions of Tenjin's high achieving customers. The script served as the starting point and foundation for a new website and a useful addition to the business development process.

Sunny Cha
Head of Marketing

"I would most definitely recommend Paul, he knows how to cut through the fluff and get back to the basics, the fundamentals that people can really connect with."

Matthaus Kryzkowski
Platform Director

"I’ve already recommended Paul. I think all “big data” companies with new products have this type of problem and need to do this type of work to grow beyond their initial niche."