2 minute read/430 words
My last article was about how stories have historically been used in selling and why recent technological advancements in story telling by Marketing have or will negate the need for sales people in many industries.
So as a B2B sales person reading this, what can you do to not only survive against this unstoppable force, but to thrive in it?
I’ll tell you; Become a great story teller.
In a B2B relationship, much like in B2C, one company seeks to influence another company’s belief in the value of its product/service offering in improving their business.
B2B Marketing, much like B2C still uses storytelling to build that belief in the value of the company’s product/service offering, but is considered less effective when measured with traditional B2C methods.
In a B2C setting, one single story resonates and influences a large number of existing/prospective consumers , because those consumers have a mutually shared problem that is solved by the marketed product/service and therefore have a greater value retention/gain rate for the company.
In a B2B setting, where in most cases (outside of trade retail) the customer pools are low in volume, high in value and in most cases have unique customer/industry problems that need solving; traditional ‘one to many’ storytelling is ineffective because it fails to personally speak to the individual company issue, whilst a more personalised storytelling approach is cost prohibitive from a Marketing investment point of view.
(Unfortunately, most companies I know still haven’t understood this, so go around in circles each annual budgeting cycle)
In B2C Marketing, the market is made up of individual consumers with a common issue.
In B2B Marketing, the market is made up of individual companies with varying issues.
B2B is therefore more heavily reliant on a more tailored storytelling approach, because the value of your company’s product/service solution, has to be aligned to the unique problem your individual customer is facing on their personal sales journey.
Unless your company has invested in a great Trade Marketing Manager, it is still very much likely to be the role of the B2B sales person to communicate this meaningful and resonating story to the customer themselves, with little direct input from the wider company.
Great sales people know that the alignment of their company’s story to the story of their customer is paramount, because it elicits the most important aspect of Sales; Trust.
With the rise of Digital, Globalisation and Technology in the B2B space, the future is brightest for the truly great storyteller, who understands that they will in all likelihood, be left to write that story on their own.