Episode 5: NO OUTDATED CONTENT
In the previous episode, NOT ANONYMOUS 3RD PARTY STORYTELLERS, we advised NOT to rely on people who aren’t regularly in the field to create your story, like third-party contracted writers, because you already have great star sellers and subject matter experts in house.
So, rather than using third-party writers, the best approach is to leverage your star sellers and subject matter experts as the stars, which simply means enabling and leveraging the people you'd most like to tell particular aspects of your story to be your storytellers.
The benefits of this approach are:
- Better enablement and leveraging of your best storytellers to tell your story consistently for all sales engagements, ultimately enhancing story credibility and quality
- Creating your story with the field as the storytellers means it will better reflect the story that is working to close business, improving acceptance of the story by the entire sales organization
- Acceptance of the story content by the sales force means they will spend less time creating content and more time selling
- If assigned storytellers discover a better way to tell their story, they can simply re-record their episodes without impacting the rest of the overall story, which leads to greater agility in the storytelling process.
In this episode will discuss Step 4 of the traditional sales motion: trying to ensure that the potential buyer’s internal conversations around your offering accurately reflect your entire story.
We suggest to NOT have a content strategy that isn't operationalized and agile, meaning you need to put in place the people, process and software to ensure your story is always kept up to date.
Today, often the collateral made available to sales teams is out of date or becomes out of date during the long sales cycle. I’ve heard the same story from a number of sales reps: “I almost wish marketing didn’t write whitepapers because I never know whether they are accurate and up to date or not. So I never use them.”
Outdated collateral runs the risk of not enabling sales to tell their best story, or worse, communicating the wrong story to potential customers, which can only hurt sales engagements.
Furthermore, this makes it extremely difficult to ensure that the potential buyer’s internal conversations around your offering accurately reflect your entire story.
So put your foot down and insist on NO more Outdated Content.
Text-based content like whitepapers typically become outdated because it’s expensive and time consuming to update these large, complex documents. Meanwhile, we can update our software as a service on a daily basis. So, why not operationalize your storytelling and ensure the agility to easily update your story, daily if need be?
Operationalizing your storytelling means putting in place the people, process and software to ensure story architecture and individual story modules are also kept up to date.
As such, marketing has an on-going workflow that helps keep content up to date, providing story agility and ensuring the story shared with the sales force, partners and customers is always kept up to date.
How this works utilizing Precision Storytelling, a Story Release Manager is assigned a set of storytellers to check in with to see if there is a better story to be told. This person is also available to help with re-recording stories if applicable. We call this minor bug fixing.
For major “bug” fixes, for instance when a new set of features have been added to the product or service, the workflow ensures the story architecture is updated and assigned storytellers update their applicable recordings.
Ultimately, operationalizing marketing’s storytelling workflow not only ensures that story content is always kept up to date, but it also provides the foundation for assigned storytellers to improve upon their stories should they discover a better way to tell it.
A story that is kept up to date improves the education of customers regarding your offering, which should translate into shorter sales cycles and additional closed business.
This concludes the Why Insight episodes. If you’d like to learn more, watch or read the first What episode: Story is Software. Here we explore how applying the lessons learned in software development can prove integral in improving story development with the overall objective of better educating customers, sales and partners.