Ever heard a great story? What are the characteristics that you remember? Great middle? Awesome dialogue? Hilarious? Full of drama? Did it lead you to the conclusion, or are you still wondering the outcome?
Before I go deeper into how story telling leads to effective SaaS selling, have a listen to this Ted Talks video - awesome deconstruction of story telling by the Filmmaker of Toy Story and Wall-E.
So what about a great story during a sales pitch? To start, telling a great sales story is what the best sales reps do. In my humble opinion, if you're not engaging, full of drama, and dripping with humor (or at least not afraid to add a little in), get off the phone!
Especially when it comes to selling SaaS products, the story matters! A sales rep is talking process change, and that means changing behaviors. I really like the story of the vitamin vs the pill story.
A guy trying to get healthy in 2013 takes a vitamin because he is committed to getting better-faster-stronger. He starts to shed the pounds and finally runs that marathon.The point with this story is to highlight the "most optimal" path - vitamins or pills. Obviously, one could layer in a lot of details to the story, but you get the idea. Creating a process-change narrative based on working towards a "healthy" goal is one way demonstrate process change. The vitamin is the new process. We could all probably look to the diet industry to see how they sell process change - food for thought, eh?
Another guy starts taking pills. He feels better, but has to take more pills. He doesn't run a marathon, he just takes more pills.
The story helps one envision their future self, a better self. This is what a great story can do: it places the listener deep into an ideal. The trick is to build off of it, and understand where to add scaffolding. Looking for what motivates a person can be really helpful to get to this point. Is it intrinsic - a sense of personal pride; or is it extrinsic - money. Once you understand this, you can craft a story about how this solution will help drive their career growth, or they won't look stupid.
I'll leave you with this last video on story-telling, yep... You'll probably guess what it is...