Apr 29, 2024 Paul Sullivan

ARISE™ Ideation Stage: Build strong GTM for SaaS and Fintech Teams

ARISE™ Ideation Stage: Build strong GTM for SaaS and Fintech Teams


This article, part three of five, explains how our proprietary ARISE™ framework sets go-to-market teams up for significant success. This isn’t something made up out of thin air from no experience. I’ve assimilated some of the world's best optimisation frameworks into a cohesive approach and married over 15 years of experience, including spells as a CTO and CMO, to apply the business use case.


My passion lies at the intersection of technology, customer acquisition, and revenue, all underpinned by a deep understanding of the customer and their experience. In today’s world, this collective approach, known as go-to-market, is the mainframe for long-term success in steering a business in the right direction, a direction I know you, as business professionals, are striving for.

Suppose your business is going in the right direction. In that case, your customer-facing teams will be working from a CRM, with shared access, a 360-degree view of the customer, and gathered insights that bring your customer acquisition costs down and drive the length of your relationships with the customer up (CLTV). It’s the perfect recipe for success. If not, ARISE™ might be the ideal solution for you.

The ARISE™ Framework and HubSpot

As a HubSpot agency partner, the ARISE™ framework was designed for HubSpot teams, although you could apply it to Salesforce with more effort. Still, their tech stack is mainly acquisition-focused, so the tech doesn’t naturally sync like HubSpot's. HubSpot’s advantage is that they’ve primarily coded their stack from scratch and have few acquisitions that impede the ability to share data across teams easily.

With HubSpot easily serving the marketing, sales, and customer success teams and the ease of connecting finance and other back-office functions, slimming down tech and costs has to make sense.

The ARISE™ Framework Assessment Stage

Our first article, focusing on the Assess stage of the ARISE™ framework, discusses customer insights, but it's more than that. Stage one is about looking honestly at how and where your business performs and understanding whether you have the right team to carry the company forward. You take stock of your current performance, the infrastructure that has got you there, the decision-making processes, and the tech stack - and you lay it all bare to focus on turning it all around.

The ARISE™ Framework Research Stage

The second article discusses the Research stage of the ARISE™ GTM Framework, which you should read to understand how much work goes into dynamically shifting a firm. In my experience, research seems to be the one thing everyone wants to avoid at the top level. I can only infer that the founders have always shied away from it during their early GTM motions, leaving a negative context to research within the organisation.

The other downside to research is that many consulting firms do an excellent job of it but can’t deliver on it, which becomes the “we don’t want a pretty presentation” line. The ARISE™ methodology, however, combines consulting, research, execution, reporting, and continued optimisation. In many respects, ARISE™ is an operating model for B2B technology firms in both SaaS and Fintech. However, the many B2B service organisations we have used it with ratify its utility across B2B products and service providers.

So what’s included in the ARISE™ Ideation Stage?

At this stage, we investigate the customers and the world in which they operate. We flesh out your critical customer-focused components and rewrite them with the added clarity achieved from what was learned during the assessment and research stages.

Service design for true customer success

Adopting service design principles in a tech company's go-to-market (GTM) strategy offers substantial benefits by ensuring a deep understanding of customer needs and enhancing the overall customer experience. Service design's holistic approach allows companies to map out the entire customer journey, identifying key touchpoints and interactions where improvements can be made to serve the customer better. 

This comprehensive view helps create a seamless and integrated experience that meets and exceeds customer expectations, leading to higher satisfaction and loyalty. By focusing on end-to-end service delivery, tech companies can ensure that every aspect of customer interaction is optimised for efficiency, usability, and pleasure, which are crucial in retaining customers in competitive tech markets. 

Furthermore, service design encourages iterative testing and feedback, enabling companies to refine their offerings based on real user insights continually. This adaptability keeps the product relevant and aligns it more closely with evolving customer needs, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of the GTM strategy. 

Overall, using service design principles helps tech companies better understand their customers and craft genuinely customer-centric offerings, fostering stronger relationships and driving business growth.

The jobs-to-be-done framework

The Jobs-to-Be-Done (JTBD) framework is a powerful tool for understanding customer needs and designing products that genuinely resonate with users in the B2B SaaS and Fintech sectors. Here’s how it can be effectively applied:

Understanding Customer Needs

The JTBD framework shifts the focus from demographic profiles to customers' underlying needs and goals. In B2B SaaS and Fintech, this means understanding the customers and what they are trying to achieve when using a product or service. For instance, a financial services firm might use the JTBD framework to determine why businesses choose their payment processing solution over others. Is it speed, reliability, ease of integration, or cost savings? By focusing on the 'job' the product is hired to do, companies can tailor their offerings to meet these needs better.

Product Development and Innovation

In product development, the JTBD framework helps identify and prioritise features based on the jobs they perform for the customer. For example, a SaaS company might discover that its clients need a way to automate data entry because they want to reduce manual work and free up time for strategic tasks that grow their business. This insight can lead to more targeted, compelling features directly addressing the customers' core objectives.

Marketing and Sales Strategy

For marketing and sales, the JTBD framework provides insights into communicating a product's value in terms that matter most to customers. Instead of focusing on features or technical specifications, marketing messages should emphasise how the product can help accomplish the specific jobs that customers need to get done. This approach can make marketing efforts more relevant and compelling to potential buyers.

Customer Segmentation and Personalisation

In B2B SaaS and Fintech, where the end-user and the buyer might be different from the same person, the JTBD framework helps segment the market based on the jobs different stakeholders are trying to get done. For instance, the decision-maker is focused on cost efficiency, while end-users prioritise ease of use. Understanding these distinct jobs can help tailor messages and develop effective features that appeal to each segment.

Competitive Differentiation

The JTBD framework also aids in identifying real competitors, which may not be apparent through traditional market analysis. By understanding the job the customer needs to get done, a company can see how different products or services—including those outside their immediate category—might fulfil the same job. This can lead to more strategic decisions about positioning and product development to better differentiate from competitors.

Long-term Strategic Planning

Finally, the JTBD framework can guide long-term strategic planning by keeping the company focused on customer outcomes rather than just product features. This customer-centric approach ensures that the company continues to innovate in ways that are meaningful to its customers, thereby sustaining growth and preventing disruption from new entrants who might fulfil the customers' jobs more effectively.

Optimised positioning

Powerful positioning is a strategic advantage for any product or service in the market, as it establishes a distinctive place in the target audience's minds and differentiates the offering from competitors. Companies can carve out a niche that resonates with their ideal customers by clearly defining your product's unique benefits and the specific customer pain points it addresses.

This focused positioning not only aids in attracting the right customer segments but also facilitates customer loyalty and retention by consistently delivering on the brand's promise. Moreover, effective positioning enables companies to justify their pricing strategy, whether premium or cost-effective, by aligning the perceived value with customer expectations. 

It also provides a framework for the entire organisation to align their efforts, from product development to marketing and sales, ensuring that all actions reinforce the core message and value proposition. Powerful positioning is instrumental in building brand equity, commanding a price premium, and achieving long-term sustainable growth in a crowded marketplace.

Communicate your value proposition.

A strong value proposition is crucial for SaaS and FinTech companies as it is the cornerstone of their market differentiation and customer engagement strategies. A compelling value proposition for SaaS companies clarifies their software's unique benefits and efficiencies, directly addressing their target audience's specific pain points and aspirations. This clarity helps attract the right customers, enhance customer loyalty, and facilitate easier conversions, ultimately improving sales and competitive positioning. 

Similarly, for FinTech companies, a well-articulated value proposition emphasises simplicity, inclusivity, and the unique financial solutions they provide, which are often beyond the capabilities of traditional financial institutions. This helps them distinguish their offerings in a crowded market and builds trust and credibility among users seeking innovative, secure financial services. 

A strong value proposition enables both SaaS and FinTech firms to communicate their unique value effectively, ensuring they attract and retain customers who see the benefits of choosing their solutions over competitors.

A customised messaging framework

A strong messaging framework offers numerous benefits for tech companies, serving as a critical component in establishing a clear and consistent brand identity. It ensures that all employees, regardless of their department, understand and communicate the company's core values, mission, and unique selling points in a unified manner. This internal alignment is crucial as it prevents mixed messages and ensures that every team member can articulate what the company does and why it matters, leading to a coherent brand experience for customers. 

Externally, a well-defined messaging framework helps effectively convey the company's value proposition to the target audience, addressing their specific pain points and aspirations. It also aids in differentiating the company's offerings from competitors by highlighting unique features and benefits, enhancing its competitive edge. 

Moreover, a robust messaging framework supports the content marketing strategy, ensuring that all communications, from social media posts to sales pitches, resonate with the brand's core message. This consistency builds customer trust and loyalty, as they receive the same message across various touchpoints, making the brand more recognisable and reliable. 

Additionally, it empowers employees and partners by providing them with a clear, informative, and persuasive script, enabling them to represent the product confidently and effectively. A well-articulated messaging framework is indispensable for tech companies looking to establish a strong market presence, foster customer engagement, and drive business success.

Storytelling that delivers

Powerful storytelling in the SaaS and FinTech sectors offers significant benefits by enhancing how these companies connect with their audiences and differentiate their offerings in highly competitive markets. 

For SaaS companies, storytelling can transform abstract and complex software functionalities into relatable narratives, making it easier for potential customers to understand and see the value in the software. This approach simplifies the product and helps illustrate the practical applications and benefits, increasing user engagement and adoption rates.

In FinTech, where products often involve intricate financial services, storytelling is crucial for demystifying complex concepts like blockchain or algorithmic trading, making them accessible and understandable to a broader audience. 

Moreover, both sectors can use storytelling to foster emotional connections, build trust, and convey brand values, which are essential in industries known for their intangible and data-driven nature.

By sharing customer success stories or visualising the impact of their services, SaaS and FinTech companies can create compelling narratives that inform and inspire action, leading to increased customer acquisition and loyalty.

The shift in GTM that the ARISE™ Ideation stage delivers

As you can see from the in-depth approach to go-to-market strategy taken during the ideation stage, results and outcomes are a considerable part of success. This framework allows an organisation to pivot as fast as the business holistically allows itself to. 

Customer centricity has been a buzzword in tech for years, and too many people have spent far too long talking about it and not doing much about it. With ARISE™, I want to impact that change. In June 2023, we pivoted BIAS from a service-led organisation to a product-led organisation. We spent time building self-serve tools that could allow you to experience the agency without talking to us.

The service design workshop and framework I developed to enable that shift has been roadtested on our own business and subsequently with several of our clients. The shifts from those clients being the story's heroes to their customers being the reason they exist have been palpable.

I’m constantly figuring out how to become more customer-focused and enabled at BIAS, and those learnings will be the consistent way we update the framework for long-term success. When you think about this, ARISE™ is a customer-centric approach to GTM, which everybody cries out for.

Is your GTM in need of an overhaul? Let’s talk.

Published by Paul Sullivan April 29, 2024
Paul Sullivan