Using Storytelling to Unlock Your Team’s Potential

by Adam Altman on Oct 13, 2015 6:00:00 PM DRTV, Support Services

You probably already know how valuable storytelling is in your marketing arsenal. But when was the last time you used it where the intended audience were your colleagues?

Proper storytelling improves communication. At my company, we recently began storytelling to explain new projects internally. The results are dramatic, in terms of alignment and understanding.

A good story has a character you can relate to…

We recently began an initiative to better understand our users and their needs, which starts with mastering the fundamentals of billing practices. To get this project started, I created a five-minute video through the point of view of a user who needs to find a billing system to invoice her company’s customers. The fictional character in the video was given a name (Adella), a face, and a real-world company where she worked so that the team could better visualize the context of her situation, her motivations, her goals, and pain points.

A good story reveals a conflict that needs to be resolved…

Adella’s conflict in the video is unveiled similarly to many conflicts in direct response storytelling ads. “I have a problem. I need a solution. There’s got to be a better way!” Adella needed a billing system that could handle her complex invoice needs. The better way is our company, but only if our team can master fundamental billing practices in an effort to help our product fit the needs of potential users like Adella. And that is the true conflict—making sure our team understands what our users’ needs are and how to address them.

A good story teaches you a lesson...

This five-minute video was the intro to a weeklong, self-taught course on invoices here at our company. The story told in the video communicated quickly and easily the importance of what our team would be learning that week. The invoices course had a 100 percent completion rate, but the results went beyond just finishing the course. Our team unified, created study groups, and learned together. Storytelling not only helped motivate our company to learn about our users’ needs, but it also led us to confirm if assumptions being made were valid. Ultimately, it helped us develop new features to help add value to our product. It’s impressive what a good story can teach you.

Photo by Arvind Balaraman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Adam Altman is the founder of Rebilly.

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