The Crowdstory Approach to Enterprise Storytelling
Series: Introducing PrecisionStory | Episode 4 | 5 mins 14 sec | 2019
Learn more about the Crowdstory approach to enterprise storytelling, which utilizes story analytics to extract insights from stories from the field to drive messaging framework creation.
Starring: Vince Vasquez, CEO PrecisionStory | Connect on LinkedIn
Enterprises that want to tell a consistent story across all of their communications channels first build a messaging framework to lay the foundation for all storytelling. In this episode, we describe the Crowdstory approach, which utilizes story analytics to extract insights from stories from the field to drive messaging framework creation.
In this episode, I’ll describe the Crowdstory approach to enterprise storytelling.The best stories are in the field
We begin with underlying belief that the best stories are in the field. This is true whether the end customer, the sales team that won the deal, partner or subject matter expert is telling the story. Put simply, the person in the field has direct experience on why customers buy.Crowdstory Approach to Enterprise Storytelling
At a high level, the Crowdstory approach thinks of each person’s stories as data that we can utilize to ultimately create content.
In order to extract this data, we start with a story architecture that consists of a standardized set of questions. We utilize these questions to interview each identified stakeholder. Their raw responses become our story data. Because no one speaks in complete sentences, we next go through a process to cleanse the interview transcripts to create readable story underneath each question.
If this is a win story, these cleaned stories can be directly used to create Who collateral, such as internal win slides or public-facing case studies.
All individual stories are then fed into our story analysis where we identify patterns. For instance, if we ask 10 sales reps what their customer benefit was, we can aggregate the 10 answers into one place, and then normalize that data by finding the common story line.
This normalized story then gets put into a messaging framework as a Word document. This word document can be sent around to the various stakeholders for feedback until we have an agreed upon messaging framework.
From the messaging framework, we can create a number of pieces of collateral from sales accelerators to at-a-glances to customer facing decks. The creation of this content and approval is fairly quick because we’re utilizing already agreed upon story content. And given, we’re utilizing the messaging framework as the source of data, the story is told consistently across all collateral.
Next, I’ll walk through each step in a bit more detail.Step 1: Standardize the set of questions
In this first step, we need to standardize the set of questions to use. We have templates we can use to start with. It’s important to have a good idea of what type of final collateral we’ll want to ultimately create to ensure we’re asking the right questions needed to create this content.Step 2: Attain the Story Data
Step 2 involves interviewing the identified storytellers. For this step, we do need assistance from the customer in giving us introductions to the people to be interviewed. Once we have the email introductions, we can take it from there.Step 3: Attain the Story Data
In step 3, we take the raw transcripts from the interview and clean the story so the storyteller’s answers are clearly readable under each question. We also summarize major points made.If Story Data is for a Customer Win
If story data is for a customer win, then this cleaned story can be used for what we call “Who” stories. There are many examples of Who story collateral such as public case studies, internal win slides and external win slides.
We can also create other content types such as a chapter in a book or as a module for an online/mobile class.Step 4: Story Analysis
In step 4, we aggregate the answers given and normalize the data. For instance, if we ask 10 sales reps storytelling a customer win what their customers’ organizational challenges were, we can then aggregate the 10 answers into one place and look for patterns. Our “Story Data Scientist” then looks for patterns to identify the major points and supporting text.Step 5: Create Messaging Framework
In Step 5, we create the messaging framework. For the most part, this involves copying and pasting from the story analysis directly into the messaging framework. However, there are other parts such as story in 50 words and overall storyline that we answer by further normalizing the content in the story framework.Step 6: Solicit Feedback
Now that we have the messaging framework in a Word file, we can easily send it around to the identified stakeholders for feedback until we have an agreed upon document.
It’s important to note that the messaging framework is not intended to be a static document that becomes outdated. Over time, such as when new features are being release, we can conduct further interviews to update the messaging framework.Step 7: Create Collateral
In step 7, we utilize the content from the messaging framework to create sales and marketing collateral. There are a number of different types of collateral that can be created such as Sales Accelerators, 2-page At-a-Glances, customer facing decks, partner call guides, etc…Feature-Benefits
There are four core feature benefits to the Crowdstory approach to storytelling.
- First, and perhaps most important, the quality of the storytelling improves because we’re utilizing the stories told from the field. As well, the story is being consistently told across the various collateral. This also means we tend to have quicker sales buy-in because it’s their story being told with the various pieces of resulting collateral.
- Second, our standardized process leads to high levels of efficiencies as we utilize this storytelling engine, which tends to mean we can get content out quicker and at a lower cost than doing bunch of one-off collateral creation projects. Third, the process is scalable as we’ve proven we can go from 3 interviews to 50 or more.
- Finally, as an outsourced service, we take care of all this for you. We just need the first pointers to the people to interview and we take it from there.