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The difference between being good at sales and being great at sales is storytelling. People buy with emotion and justify through logic. They connect with stories, and will remember how the stories made them feel far more than facts about features and capabilities. Stories are a great way to build trust, providing social proof that is essential for buyers.

Some salespeople and marketers are naturally gifted storytellers. As you scale, it’s important that you hone in on the right stories to tell the right way, at the right time. The key is for sellers to share your value – not market your company – through stories. There are a lot of amazing stories out there, but not all of them are going to help you sell your product. So, how do you know which stories to tell? And how do you get your teams to start integrating them into their sales process?

Our Scale GTM team has put together some resources that focus on the skill of storytelling in 30 to 60 second or two to three minute snippets to help buyers connect to stories of others with similar needs and how they used the solution to solve similar business problems. The output of these resources is marketing driven collateral for customer use case stories and reference story assets that provide essential content for buyers to help them make a decision during the buying process.

How to scale storytelling


  1. Efficiently scale story development and sales storytelling skills across sales and marketing orgs
  2. Produce and teach sellers the lowest number of stories that covers the most situations.

Step 1: Brainstorm

Write down the top 2-3 industries you serve, your 2-3 best-selling products, and the top 2-3 use cases you solve – all of which should be aligned to your ‘Ideal Customer Profile’ (ICP).

Step 2: Narrow down options

Choose three target stories related to your top industries, products and use cases that cover the broadest number of likely scenarios.

Step 3: Research, research, research.

Capture the full story from internal sales, product management, pre-sales, and customer success people familiar with the sale and the customer. Details matter!

Step 4: Structure the story.

Translate the story into bullet points for the sales story framework. The example below is a real use case of this tool from a Scale portfolio company that builds AI-powered inventory optimization.


Story Arc Section Components Example Best Practice
Act 1: Setting the scene Protagonist The hero of the story (name and role) Brian, maintenance coordinator Focus on the person, not just an ‘account’. People relate more to characters and people than organizations
The company and relevant attributes Multibillion dollar Fortune 500 company in the Pulp and Paper Industry
A personal anecdote about the protagonist Known as the go-to-guy to fix things
Responsible for preventative maintenance on factory lines
Spends time inspecting equipment and supplies and fixing problems
Act 2: Pain / Confrontation The Challenge The business problem Millions of dollars over inventory budget- CFO handed down $5M savings target for spare parts Love the problem, not the solution. Spend as much if not more time on the problem so that the buyer can visualize themselves in the picture and relate to the issue
Ordering lots of spare parts from 3rd-party vendors that sister plants already possessed
The barrier: why the problem existed No single view into inventory of all plants nationwide
Manually asked sister plants for spare parts via email
Plant maintenance coordinators didn’t always read or act upon email requests or determine if they had enough to share. When they did find manual parts, they had to manually transfer them to Brian
The personal impact on the protagonist Frustration. Lots of wasted time trying to find parts
Act 3: Resolution The Solution The turning point/trigger for change Meeting the new CFO target Make the protagonist- not your company or solution the hero of the story; tie back to the challenge focusing more on the approach than the details of the product and product features.
How the hero solved the challenge Brian leveraged the Scale portfolio company’s optimization solution to get a holistic view of materials across all US locations on his own. This view empowered him to contact the appropriate plant managers directly and tell them where they could find the spare parts.
The Payoff The impact on the business The company saved over $40M in the first year using the product Personal impacts and benefits trump always trump corporate benefits. Stories that have a surprising twist, if there is one, remain very memorable (‘The Sixth Sense’ effect)
Personal benefit Senior management asked Brian to train all plants on the process
His new nickname in the company is “Mr. Can Do” and he’s viewed as an inventory optimization expert
Surprising twist The sister plants liked the new approach so much that they now use the Scale portfolio company  solution in their own facilities.

Step 5: Get the most out of the story. 

The immediate objective is to inject storytelling into your sellers’ DNA so they wield more influence on buyer decision-making. Longterm, aim to turn these stories into more evergreen assets. Leverage the interviews and recordings to produce short-form stories, videos, and quotes, and long-form (1-2 page) customer stories.

Best practices

  • Don’t let perfect get in the way of good. People often let the details get in the way of them sharing stories. Can’t give a name? Share their persona. Can’t divulge the name of the account? Refer to them as a Fortune 500 company in a specific vertical. 
  • Start small. Develop, share, practice telling and perfect 2-3 stories first, then expand. Evaluate your team using our selling through stories scorecard.
  • Enable easy access. Host in one central location that is part of sellers’ workflow, ideally a CMS.
  • Cross reference. Tag stories so they can be used for multiple topics (e.g., industry, geography and challenge).
  • Add stories by persona & geography. After the entire sales team can effectively tell the first three stories at a deep level, add and tag stories by buyer persona and geography as well.
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