What is a Story Development and Assessment Service

Story Title: 
What is a Story Development and Assessment Service
Episode: 
8
Length: 
4:18

At a high level, our objective is to be great storytellers en route to creating high quality content to educate our buyers and sellers. This episode describes what is a Story Development and Assessment service engagement, which at a high level extracts the best stories from the field and SME expertise and runs the resulting story data through a story analysis. The output of the story analysis is the creation of a story architecture and messaging framework that forms the foundation for all our storytelling.

What is the Story Development and Assessment Service

At a high level, our objective is to be great storytellers en route to creating high quality content to educate our buyers and sellers.

When thinking about how to create and organize our story, one consideration is our content has to answer four fundamental questions asked by all buying organizations:

  • One, why should I care about what you have to say?
  • Two, what is it you do?
  • Three, who else uses it?
  • And, four, how does it work?

Our story also needs to be produced and organized for buyers who are no doubt very busy and are consuming more and more of their content on their mobile devices.

The implication is our story should be told with video, as it’s easier to watch and listen to on mobile devices than reading large text based documents, and these videos should be segmented into shorter episodes that are easier for busy professionals to consume.

As an example, the most popular YouTube videos are 1-9 minutes long, with an average of 4-5 minutes; this provides a good benchmark for how long our videos should be.

We also want to articulate our winning story.

If you already have at least a few wins, then you actually have stories out there that describe why a customer bought and what it is they bought. These customers also represent who else uses what you’re selling.

In other words, these are your best stories from the field: The stories that turned potential buyers into customers.

The trick is turning these stories into data that can be used to derive insights that can drive our storytelling and messaging framework.

We can also leverage our subject matter experts to help with our storytelling. This approach is especially helpful when we don’t have any wins to draw insights from.

With this said, let’s me describe what is a Story Development and Assessment engagement from PrecisionStory

Our primary deliverable is a story architecture with an accompanying messaging framework.

The Story Architecture segments the overall story into smaller modules that each answer why, what and how questions. In addition, the messaging framework provides the additional story elements in text form that are used to drive all collateral implementation.

We also want to create the story architecture and messaging framework from insights derived from your winning stories from the field and expertise drawn from your subject matter experts.

To do this we conduct interviews with the winning sales teams and subject matter experts using a standardized set of questions.

One optional deliverable from interviewing the winning teams is the creation of internal win slides and stories. These includes not only the win summarized on a single slide, but also detailed speaker notes that describe the entire story.

Next we perform a story analysis across the story data.

Think of each question asked as an API and the answer provided the story data. We can then normalize this data to identify patterns, which will become our insights we use to drive the story architecture.

Once you can visualize your overall story, you can assess the quality of it.

This assessment typically involves an in-person workshop, where we attempt to develop an even better story if we think there is room for improvement.

In addition, where we identify gaps in the story, we can conduct additional interviews of winning sales teams and subject matter experts.

Ultimately, we feed the data from the in-person workshop and additional interviews into our story analysis, which in turn creates an updated story architecture and messaging framework.

Once you’re happy with your overall story, we can begin story implementation.

Of course, we believe you should record video for each module described in the story architecture.

We believe you should assign each episode to the person the field would most like in front of their customers discussing the content scoped in the episode.

We can also create all traditional text- and presentation-based content, such as customer presentations, 2-pagers, public case studies, sales accelerators, etc… from the messaging framework.

We can even create books and online classes that repurpose each episode into chapters to educate both buyers and sellers of your overall story.

When you’re done, we will have created your overall story segmented into less than 8-minute episodes. In addition, you can also tell your story in all the traditional marketing collateral formats.

If you’re interested in learning more, I invite you learn how we do it by watching the episode: How to Implement Story Development and Assessment

Vince Vasquez, CEO Precision Story
Connect with him on LinkedIn