Leading procurement software company

Selling through storytelling

Challenge

In early 2021, leadership saw that field sales reps were not making an impact with their customers. They leaned on canned corporate messaging and case studies, memorized them and then reguritated them in sales meetings. The experience fell  flat and lacked the critical listener-focus for their target audiences across procurement, IT, and finance. 

To make matters worse, presentation decks reflected the lack of direction. Business reviews or demos consisted of slide-heavy presentations with lots of metrics, but no way to bring the content to life.  

The need was clear: give members across the sales organization storytelling tools to tailor narratives to their customers and bring solutions into focus in a compelling and clear way. They needed a consistent storytelling framework they could apply to existing case studies and their own customer experiences. 

The EVP of global sales was adamant that the learning journey couldn’t stop at just giving the team new stories to tell. They had plenty of case studies already. Instead, he wanted each participant to leave with tools that helped them personalize and continuously create their own effective stories.

Solution

After interviewing sales stakeholders and leadership, Decker deployed a storytelling framework that mapped back to a variety of specific personas and situations that were most relevant to existing customers and prospects. 

In the Art of Storytelling workshop, participants learned a consistent storytelling framework that each sales team member could immediately apply to an existing case study or story of their own. Next, sales team members used the framework to build a narrative focused on a specific customer and situation – one that they were excited to deliver.

It was so hands-on. Decker was very well-prepared with real examples and used cases from our team. That provided more credibility and made the session more understandable.

Next, was practice and feedback in live simulation labs. Each participant delivered their story and key takeaways, getting robust feedback about their messaging and story design from peers and Decker program leaders.

Decker provided great feedback, and specific points to improve on. It allowed me to start tweaking my delivery immediately.

The final piece was a grand finale—a chance to refresh key concepts and hear the top stories from around the organization. Sales teams not only felt more confident about the stories they were telling, but were excited to connect with customers because they knew it would have a tremendous impact.

Impact

Sales leaders saw their teams become excellent storytellers, especially with account executives and inside sales representatives. They are looking to expand the training and tools across the organization—empowering them to drive even stronger storytelling in the future. 

This is very useful for driving deals further in the pipeline and building trust and rapport with prospects while going through deals. It makes us true industry experts and able to acknowledge their challenges and problems and relate to it via stories.
Manager Global Sales Enablement

Services Offered