Just communicating the core Value Proposition is not enough. We need to engage the customer in our value delivery with a memorable brand story. Customers often need to experience the benefits provided by our product. In this Convey phase we choose how to support the customers buying our product, and how we support the sales organization to sell our products. For that, we will use some relevant tools, and storytelling is surely among them.
Storytelling is way to tie all parts of a well-engineered Value Communication together. It is a tool to convey the values in a way that helps the customer take in your value argumentation.
As a product manager within the B2B sphere you might think it is not for you. Personal values are second to business values. Business values appeals to your customers’ logic and reason. Most of your customers are engineers after all – and engineers make rational decisions.
If you think like this, you are wrong. But definitely not alone.
Storytelling is a way to communicate both business values and personal values. It combines intuition with your logical framework. Humans find stories compelling in a way that a simple presentation of the facts cannot match (McGregor & Holmes, 1999).
The B2B sales process is not as simple as a seller influencing a buyer, exploiting a power imbalance. The Value Creation should not be viewed as being embedded in the product, linearly created by uncovering need, devising solutions etc. It is rather a value co-creation process between you and your customer (Grönroos, 2012). It is not a tool to trick someone into buying, but rather a tool for conveying your values and the potential Value Creation embedded in the supplier-customer relationship.
To create a story is simple. The common structure is used in everything from TV-shows for children to marketing material for high tech products.
The six steps to create a well-told story are:
- Create a hero
- Create empathy for your hero
- Create the threats – the villains
- Show the tool – your product or offering
- Follow your hero’s journey, struggling using the tool – fighting the threats
- Show your hero’s success as he finds the treasure on top of the mountain
To know more about storytelling and these 6 steps, download our white paper