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Founder / Chief Inspiration Officer at Value Inspiration
Ton Dobbe is the founder of Value Inspiration.
In 2017 he saw two fundamental issues:
A) We're living in a world where global problems are just increasing and
B) 90% of startups still fail.
That's where the light went on: Imagine how fast we could solve the world's biggest problems if more SaaS Startups would succeed and gain traction sooner.
Since then he's been on a mission to help fix this. He wrote his book The Remarkable Effect, and established a mastermind/workshop approach to proactively guide B2B SaaS CEOs and their teams in accelerating their mission, and becoming a business the world talks about.
Ton is a strategic product marketing expert with over thirty years of experience in the international enterprise software market. He's the host of the weekly Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission Podcast and global influencer on Entrepreneurship, Startups, Marketing, and Innovation.
Available For: Advising, Consulting, Speaking Travels From: Alicante, Spain Speaking Topics: Success strategies for B2B Software Businesses to stand out and gain predictable traction
Back to the Future - Plan your vision instead of from your present
October 27, 2021
The Remarkable Effect
Remarkable is more than just a word. It’s a vision. It’s the art to create meaningful impact to impact prospects and customers. Being remarkable is something that I believe every software company can achieve. This keynote will give you the inspiration and insights into what it takes to shape a remarkable software business yourself.
How to avoid stagnation of your SaaS business?
September 18, 2023
Stagnation – it’s a complex topic that’s very much driven by factors out of your control. There are the many dynamics that characterize your market: the cyclical shifts, perhaps unexpected economic shocks, structural factors such as demographics and globalization, etcetera. The fact is – these can not be excuses for allowing stagnation to happen in your SaaS business.
The power of surprise to spark momentum in B2B SaaS
August 24, 2023
Remarkable software businesses don’t stop by creating a solid product, being crystal clear, and making their offer hard to resist.
They know their momentum grows when people talk about them, not because you (contractually) ask them, but because they want to.
It works for them in good times but even better in times of crisis.
It goes back to the power of trust: In times of crisis, trust erodes – we shrink ourselves, are more protective, risk-averse, and only trust our inner circle – our peers and friends. But once a peer shares his positive experiences, we listen – and often act.
The big question is: what makes people talk about your SaaS?
And one way to do that is by doing the unexpected, i.e., surprise.
How to create defensible differentiation in your SaaS business?
July 18, 2023
How to create defensible differentiation? It’s one of the most valuable questions to answer for a SaaS founder.
If your product is hard to copy:
You have a market access advantage over alternative solutions
You have a resource advantage over alternative solutions
You have a price advantage over alternative solutions
Defensible differentiation is what I always look for in my (re)positioning projects. Because what’s positioning worth if a competitor can ‘catch up’ just by changing some words?
My golden rule: The most potent positioning is when your ideal customer’s reaction is: “I need this!” and your competitor’s response is: “We’re in trouble…”
The art of demand creation in B2B SaaS
June 01, 2023
Far too often, we’re just capturing demand rather than creating it. That’s OK when the market conditions are favorable, but you’ll be the first to get harmed when the market isn’t favorable.
That doesn’t have to be – as long as you recognize this: When demand weakens,…It is very often not about ‘the market.’ It is very often also not about your product. It is about your ability to refocus on the most valuable problem to solve.
It might very well be that: Your ICP has shifted. The dynamics have shifted their aspirations. The critical problem has shifted – what was hot last quarter doesn’t have to be today. Their options have shifted – you used to be the go-to vendor, but new competition has stolen your edge.
It is what makes running a SaaS business fascinating – there’s so much opportunity to create demand. […]
How to approach SaaS pricing if you want customers to happily pay a premium
March 16, 2023
One of the biggest problems I see B2B SaaS companies struggle with is the wrong debates about their pricing.
The value delivered is often entirely out of sync with the charged price. And with that, the bulk of SaaS companies leave money on the table.
In this blog I address the challenge: how to approach pricing if you want customers to happily pay a premium?
Mastering the art of B2B Positioning
December 10, 2022
Over the past 30 years, I’ve come to experience how powerful positioning is – and how critical the topic is to excel in the B2B software world.
What I do see, however, is that it’s often done away with as ‘that’s marketing fluff,’ or ‘our positioning is clear enough: We’re the only unified [name your] platform that unifies and analyses [name your] data,’ – which, honestly, makes me cringe.
And that’s why I decided to outline what B2B positioning is, why B2B positioning is important, and how to go about creating a positioning strategy that underpins predictable traction and growth of your SaaS startup.
Scaling a B2B SaaS business to create remarkable leverage
December 01, 2022
“One thing that SaaS startups need to think about more is how to get leverage. But, unfortunately, most companies focus on throwing people at the problem and not getting more leverage.”
It’s a quote from Auren Hoffman, CEO of SafeGraph – and it has stuck with me since I heard it.
Here’s the thing.
We often think about growing our SaaS business in terms of increasing ARR and MRR. But is doubling your ARR good if this also means doubling the number of people you need to deliver it?
Auren elaborated on this:
One of the key metrics we focus on is revenue per employee. Unfortunately, for many companies, that number stays the same over time. So often we talk about success, stating we have 1000 people in our company. To me, that’s a failure.
Every time you have to hire someone, it means that you don’t have the systems and that you have to have humans do it. Every time you hire somebody is going to be harder to communicate internally. That’s not sustainable long term.
Just think about it. You’re growing but actually slowing down your business. That’s not what your target customers want, not what your employees want, and not what you want. As they say: it doesn’t scale.
So how to go about it? How do you scale a B2B SaaS business?
Designing your SaaS business to create predictable traction.
October 25, 2022
You started your SaaS business…The goal: Create change that will be noticed…
You spotted this massive problem that was screaming to be solved…. and decided to take that challenge.
But as much as the good intentions drive the start…. sooner rather than later, problems arise… Traction problems.
Getting traction is challenging, in various stages of your business. Keeping it and making it predictable is even harder. And the stress it gives harms our good intentions.
How to avoid getting caught in the vicious cycle of desperately chasing SaaS funding?
September 27, 2022
If you look at the funding needs of your SaaS business – is it driven by desperation or from a source of strength? Answering the question is an easy one. It’s a feeling that’s pretty black or white. For many SaaS founders, unfortunately, the feeling is one of increased desperation. The pressure to meet expectations often forces us to make decisions to fix the short term, that harm our long-term trajectory. How do you avoid this – that’s the big question. That’s what I aim to answer in this blog. Here are the 7 habits to embrace.
The ultimate guide to tuning your B2B SaaS Segmentation
September 01, 2022
Leveraging Segmentation to impact every metric of your SaaS business
I’ve often reflected on the topic of Segmentation. The thought that sparked this blog came after realizing that the bulk of SaaS businesses I spot get it wrong – or better, not perfectly right.
The art is in getting it ‘perfectly right.’ Every inch you’re off harms performance. Just think of:
The unnecessary waste of your marketing budget preaching to a far too broad segment that will never buy
1- Poor quality ‘leads’ in your pipeline that are better off with your competitor, driving down sales performance
2 - The waste of efforts in an attempt to satisfy customers that will never become ambassadors
3 - The pollution of your product roadmap with feature requests that are pure one-offs
4 - Dealing with the wrong customers will eventually result in higher than the average churn rate
These examples negatively impact CAC, MRR, ARR, NRR, NPS, CLTV, and Gross Margin – to name a few metrics.
The problem: Most SaaS startups think they’ve defined their Segmentation deep enough.
“We’re focused on this [industry], in this [region] and in particular on organizations in this [revenue-band] that employ [xxxxx] employees” is what I hear 99%.
At the surface, this seems pretty detailed – but believe it or not, often, it still leads to a funnel that’s loaded with waste, and that’s where all the metric problems start.
Seeing the metrics getting worse often leads to the measures that worsen things even more: Widening the Segmentation to address an even larger market. You can imagine what there this leads to.
So let’s get back to the objective of getting this right: It is to identify high-yield segments- that is, those segments that incorporate your most valuable customers, that are likely to be the most profitable, and/or that have the highest growth potential.
That’s not easy – and a question I, therefore, often get is: How do you segment a market in B2B SaaS?
To address this, I’ve decided to help you solve this problem. The answer is in narrowing down – getting laser-specific across five layers. The magic is not in picking ‘the right layer’ but in how you blend them as a cocktail.
How to turn a market downturn into your tailwind in SaaS
May 19, 2022
What can we do different to grow resilience in periods of crisis?
You might know I am writing my second book, themed “Remarkable Resilience,” and in essence, I aim to answer the key question: What are the secrets SaaS businesses leverage to not only bounce back from adversity but to come out stronger as a whole.
A big aspect of addressing this challenge is the question: How can we keep growing ARR momentum and more specifically: How to make a market downturn your tailwind? So this is what I’m addressing in this blog
5 strategies to optimally position your B2B SaaS business
April 21, 2022
In the past weeks I've contributed my posts to different ways of positioning. Today I bring it all together - 5 strategies to optimally position your B2B SaaS business
One thing you'll learn from reading this blog is that it all starts with recognizing what’s creating the traction problem in your business:
...Not getting enough of the right, high-quality leads is often not solved by throwing in yet another campaign
...Long sales cycles or low win rates are often not solved by throwing salespeople out and hiring new
...Challenging product adoption is often not the fault of the quality of your development department
More often than not it comes down to foundational problems – and weak product or brand positioning is one of them.
The second thing to embrace is that positioning is not about you, it’s about your ideal customer. It’s about taking position about what they deeply care about and how that helps to paint the right reference point in the mind of the prospect.
This is about empathy. About deeply understanding the problems that they perceive most valuable and critical to solving. Your positioning goldmine is hidden inside that knowledge.
Thirdly it’s about choosing your positioning angle:
︎ Position yourself around what your ideal customers stand for
︎ Position around what your ideal customers secretly want
︎ Position around the essence of the most valuable problem your customer wants to be solved
︎ Position around the values your customer embraces to stand out
︎ Or any combination of the above
And lastly, it’s about tuning for impact i.e. working on the key ingredients that make your positioning remarkable.
Strengthening your value foundation in this way is extremely valuable and brings numerous results. It's what underpins the SaaS businesses no one can ignore.
What’s stopping B2B SaaS companies from growing traction?
March 15, 2022
I recently asked the question on Linkedin: What do you believe is the prime reason so many B2B SaaS startups fail? I mean, year after year, the statistics keep showing the depressing number that only 10% eventually succeeds, and 90% fail. VCs and Investors are actually calculating their odds on the back of this wisdom…
The #1 reason mentioned: the inability to gain enough traction in MRR and ARR in a given period.
It wasn’t a surprise. But unfortunately, for many of the B2B SaaS I work with, this is not their prime strength – in fact, it’s their weakness for many. So, in this blog, I want to dig deeper into some of the underlying factors that have a leverage effect on helping to create ‘enough’ traction and beat the benchmarks.
Leverage factor 1: Enough Product-Market fit
Leverage factor 2: Being clear which customer group(s) perceive the value of your solution 10x of that of alternatives (segmentation)
Leverage factor 3: Your ability to stand out in front of your ideal customer (positioning)
Leverage factor 4: Your ability to hit the right nerve (Messaging)
Leverage factor 5: Repeat – leverage your traction.
How to avoid losing your edge in B2B SaaS?
February 24, 2022
It hurts my heart when I see high-potential SaaS vendors slowly lose their edge.
I think we’ve all seen the examples. And you wonder: What happened? How could this have gone wrong?
That’s what I aim to explore with this blog.
Let’s start with my own experiences. I know there are many reasons where things can go south. One, however, what I’ve seen particularly hurtful is when a great idea pops up, and then, without even realizing it, we tone it down until it becomes mediocre…
And then, suddenly, ARR growth started to soften..
February 08, 2022
Every week I speak with many saas-entrepreneurs from around the world.
Chit-chatting away, the answer to the question: “How’s business?” is usually ‘Good! We had the best year ever!’
Then the caveats come....
“To reach a goal you’ve never before attained, you must do things you’ve never before done”
January 04, 2022
Avoid ever having to say ‘we wished we’d had the guts to do it, but now it’s too late.’
I believe curiosity is something to cherish in every aspect of a business software company. It’s critical at the start when you develop the big idea and make it a reality, but it’s possibly even more important as your business grows and evolves.
The Remarkable Effect
The Choir Press
February 02, 2020
Remarkable is more than just a word. It's a vision. It's the art to create meaningful impact to prospects and customers. Being remarkable is something that I believe every company can achieve. The Remarkable Effect was written to help tech-entrepreneurs-on-a-mission shape the software business they've always aspired to run: Remarkable and Impactful.
The GC People Leader Series meets…Game Changer Ton Dobbe
August 05, 2020
In this edition of The GC Index People Leader Series Lucy Brown talks to Ton Dobbe, Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at Value Inspiration about what it is to be a leader and how his natural proclivities support his effectiveness as a leader.
Tags: Digital Transformation, Digital Disruption, Innovation
Start planning from your vision, rather than your present
July 14, 2016
Digital Transformation drives the agenda of (m)any organization(s). It's a critical undertaking to stay relevant in a world that's where nothing appears to remain the same as digital innovation is reshaping the markets we operate in, the competition we face, and the business models we've become so familiar with. But how do you go about - what are the do’s and don’ts?
In this keynote, I take your audience on a journey and inspire them with examples of successful transformations where the mantra was: Start planning from your vision, instead of from your present.
Reality Check Leadership podcast - E17 - Ton Dobbe
The Reality Check Leadership Podcast
January 19, 2021
This week our incredible guest is Ton Dobbe!
If you don’t know who is Ton Dobbe I’d like to invite you to check on his podcast (Tech Entrepeneur on a mission), his book (The remarkable effect), his company (Value inspiration), and his feed here on Linkedin
We have shared paths a couple of years ago and the first time I saw Ton he was on stage giving an incredible inspiring keynote about ERPs future!!! (normally a not so exciting theme on a keynote format!). Well, guess what… Ton made it exciting and he definitively inspired me to look to that business in a different way. We kept in touch ever since.
Passioned by business he dedicates his life in helping software businesses and their leaders to create remarkable products while working on the transformative ways to get there.
We had a really cool conversation about leadership and the effects of positive and negative leadership on teams and businesses. We also took the opportunity to share our common thoughts about José Duarte, CEO of Infovista who has been for me one of the most inspirational leaders I’ve ever worked with!!
A quote: “A team that works together and collaboratively always wins!”
What Makes a Great Software Business | With Expert Ton Dobbe
January 08, 2021
Ton Dobbe is an author, podcast host, speaker & founder of value inspiration, a growth consultancy focused tech-entrepreneurs where they help B2B software CEO’s grow their businesses.
Ton believes that the future belongs to software businesses that create products worth making a remark about.
Ton is also the founder of the Tech-entrepreneur-on-a-mission tribe, a community focused on delivering the vision behind your software company with more impact and accelerating growth trajectory. He’s also the author of “the remarkable effect”, what he describes as the essential book for tech entrepreneurs on a mission.
How to build a remarkable company with Ton Dobbe, keynote speaker and author (MDE386)
September 05, 2020
Minter Dialogue Episode #386
Ton Dobbe is an expert in developing software companies, founder of the boutique Value Inspiration agency, a keynote speaker, podcaster and the author of The Remarkable Effect: The Essential Book for Tech-Entrepreneurs-on-a-Mission. In this conversation, we discuss how and why Ton wrote his book, what it takes to build a successful software company (where per Ton all companies are going to become at least in part a software company), and how to become a remarkable company.
Please send me your questions -- as an audio file if you'd like -- to firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, below, you’ll find the show notes and, of course, you are invited to comment. If you liked the podcast, please take a moment to rate and/or review it here: https://ratethispodcast.com/mdial.
New Normal: Ton Dobbe of Value Inspiration
Deal Architect - Vinnie Mirchandani
July 09, 2020
Ton Dobbe, Chief Inspiration Officer at Value Inspiration talks to Vinnie Mirchandani of Deal Architect about heroics he has seen acrobatics he has seen during the COVID-19 crisis at startups he follows.
Thought Leader Interview with Ton Dobbe, Chief Inspiration Officer, Value Inspiration
May 28, 2019
Thinkers360 Interviews profile prominent members of the Thinkers360 community who embody the power of ideas in their work. In this edition, we speak with Ton Dobbe, Chief Inspiration Officer, Value Inspiration.
Standing out in a crowded marketplace with Ton Dobbe
Dr. Diane Hamilton
March 08, 2019
As the marketplace becomes more crowded, many organizations find it harder and harder to stand out. If they do not rise above, this will cause for momentum and the creation of products to stop altogether. Recognizing this problem, Ton Dobbe, Chief Inspiration Officer at Value Inspiration, helps CEOs stand out in their category, most especially those in the software industry. Ton talks about getting CEOs to become more innovative. He lays down the common mistakes organizations make when it comes to their foundational ideas and gives out great points to think about in order to overcome those.
#281 – Kelsey Bishop, CEO Candor on making the dreams happen
September 20, 2023
A story about leveraging a bootstrapped mindset inside a funded business creates remarkable value
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to put your team culture on autopilot, share authentically, and discover how to work better together. My guest is Kelsey Bishop, Founder and CEO of Candor.
#280 – Guillaume Moubeche, CEO, Lempire – on nailing Bootstrapped Growth
September 13, 2023
A story about a SaaS entrepreneur who aspired to a salary and then grew a $150M business in 3.5 years.
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help B2B professionals build powerful relationships for their businesses. My guest is Guillaume Moubeche, Founder and CEO of Lempire.
#277 – Tony Hohlbein, CEO Growthblocks – on making revenue growth predictable
August 23, 2023
A story about solving the disconnect between planning growth and the operational reality of driving it
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give revenue teams a scientific approach to revenue and stop flying in the dark. My guest is Toni Hohlbein, Co-founder and CEO of Growthblocks.
#273 – Matt Danna, CEO Boulevard – on gaining pricing power
July 19, 2023
A story about building a SaaS business that customers want to belong to
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give self-care businesses give their clients more of the magical moments that matter. My guest is Matt Danna, CEO of Boulevard.
#272 – Barrett King, Sr. Manager Global GTM Strategy, Partner Ecosystem at Hubspot – on SaaS Partner Ecosystem Mindset
July 12, 2023
A story about what it takes to build an ecosystem that drives remarkable results
This podcast interview focuses on what it takes to scale the growth of your SaaS business by establishing a remarkable ecosystem. My guest is Barrett King, Sr. Manager – Global GTM Strategy, Partner Ecosystem at Hubspot, and host of the Outcomes Podcast.
#270 – Gijs van Lookeren Campagne & Jan Borghuis, CEOs, Ease2pay – on making Build & Buy work
June 28, 2023
A story about creating a serious head start and dominating a market without external funding
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to ensure everyone with an electric car to always have access to services on the go. My guests are Gijs van Lookeren Campagne and Jan Borghuis, co-CEOs at Ease2pay.
#266 – Jonathan Anderson, CEO Candu – on rethinking PLG software development
May 31, 2023
A story about empowering non-technical users to participate in the software development process to reduce costs and accelerate innovation.
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that helps product & growth teams build product-led experiences, experiment, and validate results, fast. And my guest is Jonathan Anderson, Co-founder and CEO of Candu.
#263 – Nayan Ratandhayara, CEO Shipyaari – on succeeding in bootstrapping a SaaS business
May 10, 2023
A story about building a SaaS business that lasts by blending technology, empathy and novice thinking
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help logistic providers make their shipments cost-friendly and effective. My guest is Nayan Ratandhayara, co-founder and CEO of Shipyaari.
#261 – Neta Meidav, CEO Vault Platform – on stepping up and making change happen
April 26, 2023
A story about leveraging tech to rid the world of misconduct and ESG violations.
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help your business resolve and prevent misconduct and ESG violations and, with that, create flawless integrity. My guest is Neta Meidav, Co-founder and CEO of Vault Platform.
#259 – Dror Talisman, CEO NeuroBrave – the art of creating disruptive technology
April 12, 2023
A story about outperforming massive engineering teams by approaching a problem differently
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help us all better understand ourselves and control our productivity. My guest is Dror Talisman, Co-founder and CEO of NeuroBrave.
#258 – James Malley, CEO Paccurate – on shaking up the packaging market
April 05, 2023
A story about creating a compelling mission - and delivering it with focus
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help companies achieve both cost-efficient AND environmentally sustainable packing. My guest is James Malley, Co-founder and CEO of Paccurate.
#253 – Lars van Wieren, CEO Starred – on the secrets to dominating a niche
March 01, 2023
A story about killing 90% of your SaaS business to become a dominating force in the market
This podcast interview focuses on the fact candidates will remember how you made them feel – and why we should make it an experience that matters. My guest is Lars van Wieren, Founder and CEO of Starred.
How to Differentiate from the Competition - with Ton Dobbe
March 07, 2023
In this week’s episode of Scale Your SaaS with B2B SaaS sales coach Matt Wolach, we sit down with Ton Dobbe, author of the book "The Remarkable Effect" and Chief Inspiration Officer and Founder at Value Inspiration, to discuss the importance of customer segmentation and creating loyal fans for your software product.
A key takeaway from my interview with Ofer Tziperman, CEO of Anagog
July 13, 2020
Espresso moment with Ton!
It's time for a short break so here's a quick take away that inspired me from my interview with Ofer Tziperman, CEO of Anagog (link to the full interview: https://lnkd.in/dZfZxNs)
The problem is not the tools – The problem is our message. In 2020 deep empathy will win. Marketers that will rise to the surface will be the ones that make the effort to truly resonate with their ideal customers and create urgency to change and act. Their ability to cut through the noise will be noticed because it’s remarkable. They’ll use technology to amplify their advantage and create an unstoppable flywheel.