By Rod Griffith
June 30, 2016
Most B2B marketers understand that gaining customer attention and mindshare can be significantly improved by shifting away from “pitching products”—and instead—telling your story. Compelling sales stories can serve to better educate your potential customers, illustrate your key strategic value and differentiation, provide important credibility and proof points, or simply help you be more memorable.
It’s no surprise that when it comes to creating good sales stories, content is still king. [See my article, “Content is King,” from 2014.]
Here, we define three key attributes of an effective, impactful sales story:
There is a tendency to develop messaging and content by committee. At larger companies, there can be two dozen or more people trying to influence content to include their specific product, industry, or area of focus. In an effort to please everyone, content developers often include much more material than originally intended. And the resulting sales tools are often far too lengthy and too detailed.
It’s important to keep your stories concise and purposeful. Your audience doesn’t want to spend all day consuming your content. Find a way to tell your story with fewer words. “When in doubt, take it out” is a smart rule.
In addition, look for opportunities to replace text with an infographic, illustration, or photo. (“A picture is worth a thousand words,” right?)
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s report on 2016 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America, B2B marketers indicated their biggest content marketing challenge was producing engaging content. It’s easy to simply write about the features and benefits of your products or services—but that’s not what typically gets customers to first engage with you. You need to tell a story—not pitch a product. And that takes a commitment of time and resources—and the talent to make it engaging, relevant, and actionable.
Rod cofounded MarketReach in 1994, after working as a Marketing Manager at DEC, and brings a wealth of B2B technology marketing strategies and tactics to the table. Rod enjoys working with customers and sharing his vast experience of marketing initiatives, programs, events, and sales tools. If you’re a Beatles fan, plan to set aside a solid week when you chat with Rod.View our Team