🔑 Key Takeaways
- Don't just solve a problem, define a movement. Craft a strategic narrative to align your team and communicate why your product is the best solution in the new game.
- By using screenwriting techniques to structure their pitches, CEOs can create a compelling story for investors and align their team around a cohesive vision. Solving one's own problems can lead to new opportunities in their career.
- Define a movement and offer a solution for new game, don’t just highlight problem and solution. Focus on the shift in the world narrative to create a powerful pitch.
- Sales leaders can gain valuable insights from AI-driven sales tools like Gong. Similarly, writers can use mediums like LinkedIn and Medium to shape opinions, build their personal brand and even change their career path.
- Consistent hard work, a strategic narrative framework, and creating unique content are essential for achieving success in content creation. Avoiding imitation and tailoring your message or brand is crucial.
- Creating a buyer mission statement that is emotionally charged, with a clear object of the game and difficult obstacles to overcome, can motivate teams and customers to work towards a common goal. Use the hero's journey as inspiration to name the objective, define obstacles, and describe ways to overcome them.
- Focus on the structure of one story, make your listener the main character, identify obstacles and solutions, phrase the object as a question, balance storytelling with concrete guidance.
- Transform corporate training through internal upskilling, making employees champions of learning, and creating a culture of our own people as educators to improve overall training programs for better upskilling and growth.
- Creating a strategic narrative can help companies move beyond just selling a product and provide a strategic north star that guides decision-making and prioritizes features. It allows companies to create a movement and focus on audience impact, leading to long-term growth success.
- Naming a category isn't enough, a strategic narrative about the movement and transformation from old to new is essential. B2B companies must resonate with the buyer group for the product to succeed and a powerful narrative helps unite them. Category names are just shorthand for this movement, not the main focus.
- Developing a strategic narrative story pitch is essential for B2B enterprise technology companies as they mature in their success. Founders can't be in every meeting and sales call, and using a qualitative approach can help gauge the effectiveness of the pitch. The framework can be tested through sales calls and The Greatest Sales Deck I've Ever Seen can serve as a helpful guide. Contact Andy Raskin for assistance in pivoting from an old story or scaling-out whole product units.
- When creating a shift presentation, focus on principles rather than a template. The second session may be discouraging, but a rough draft can be more valuable than great ideas. Setting expectations and emphasizing the team's contribution can lead to valuable insights.
- A strong narrative should be led by the CEO, providing support and air cover in all aspects of business. It serves as a guiding light, and its effectiveness can be measured by its impact on the CEO's leadership.
- Titles should summarize the message of the slide and help the audience absorb the information. Andy Raskin encourages engagement and feedback on his presentation techniques.
📝 Podcast Summary
How to Pitch Your Product in the New Game
The traditional way of pitching a product as a solution to a problem is no longer effective. Instead, companies should focus on defining a movement and building a strategic narrative that aligns their team and helps people understand why they need their product. This framework, as explained by Andy Raskin, has been used successfully by many successful companies including Gong, Dropbox, and Salesforce to grow and align their sales, marketing, and product teams. Additionally, the pitch should focus on the shift from the old game to the new game and why the company's product is the best solution in this new game rather than just solving a pain point.
The Power of Storytelling in Investor Pitches
A compelling story can make all the difference while trying to get investors interested in a business idea. Reading screenwriting books helped Andy understand the importance of structuring a pitch like a movie plot to create a strong narrative. Eventually, he used this concept to create a strategic narrative for CEOs to present their company in a captivating way to investors. Solving one's own problem can lead to new opportunities in one's career. CEOs can benefit from articulating a coherent story for their business, which will excite investors and form a cohesive vision for the team to align around.
Structuring a Successful Pitch using Shift in the World Narrative
In order to create a successful pitch, it's important to structure it around a shift in the world, from the old game to the new game, rather than just highlighting the problem and solution like the typical 'arrogant doctor' pitch. The shift defines a movement and creates a strategic north star for product roadmap, fundraising, and recruiting. Examples of successful pitches using this structure include Benioff's Salesforce and Tien Tzuo's Zuora. Both focused on the shift to a new economy - the cloud and the subscription economy respectively. It's important to create a story that defines a movement and offers a solution for the new game, rather than just comparing oneself to competitors.
Leveraging AI-driven Sales Tools and the Power of Writing to Drive Success in Sales.
Sales is no longer run on opinions, but on reality. AI-driven tools like Gong are giving a new mindset to sales leaders by providing data-driven insights from sales calls. For instance, Gong initially started as a sales operation tool but later realized its potential as a sales leadership tool. Writing and content creation have immense power in today's world. The timely blog post by Andy Raskin on creating a story-based sales deck was a game-changer, giving him a new career path. The advent of platforms like Medium and LinkedIn has opened up new opportunities for writers to have a direct audience. Writing great content can shape opinions, create a movement, build a brand, and even change one's life and career.
The importance of consistency and strategic narrative for successful content creation
Consistent writing and gradual growth is key for success in content creation. It takes time and effort to make something popular and there are usually multiple pieces that gain traction before a breakout hit. A strategic narrative framework can help by naming the old game and stakes to show the winners who are already playing it. Naming the stakes also helps create urgency and make the situation feel like a life and death scenario. Overall, it's important to stay away from just copying other people's work and create something unique and tailored to your specific message or brand.
The Power of Emotionally Charged Buyer Mission Statements
When creating a buyer mission statement or rallying cry, it's important to have a clear object of the game that is emotionally charged and split between a very negative outcome and a potentially positive one. The mission should be difficult to achieve with obstacles that take on an emotional meaning. The hero's journey can be a source of inspiration for this approach, which includes naming the object of the new game, defining obstacles that need to be overcome, and describing the ways to overcome them. By having a mission statement that resonates emotionally, companies can motivate their teams and customers to work towards a common goal.
Crafting a Compelling Pitch Using Story Structure
When pitching, it's important to focus on the structure of one story and make the person you are pitching to the main character. By identifying and naming a new movement, naming the object of the new game, showing the obstacles, and outlining how to overcome them, you can create a compelling pitch. It's also helpful to phrase the object as a question to make the person feel like they are on a journey with you. However, relying too heavily on the hero's journey can be too theoretical and fail to provide concrete guidance. Instead, learn how to tell stories better while also applying the structure of one story to your pitch.
Shifting Corporate Training Approach
360Learning, a company that provides corporate training software, shifted from pitching collaborative learning to upskilling from within through turning internal experts into champions of learning. The shift is from top-down learning to getting skills to people from within the company. This turned out to be more effective for 360Learning, as they stopped getting questions about how they were different from other learning platforms. The shift helped them make their pitch more effective in creating a culture of our own people as educators. Therefore, companies can adopt this approach to improve their overall training programs and make their employees champions of learning leading to better upskilling and growth.
How Creating a Strategic Narrative Can Help Companies Create a Movement and Guide Strategic Decision Making
Creating a strategic narrative helps companies move away from selling just a product towards creating a movement, which becomes the focus of conversation. CEOs confirm that it serves as a strategic north star within their companies, guiding decision making. For instance, at Gong and 360Learning, they prioritize features that fit within their strategic narrative, filtering out requests that do not help achieve that goal. Companies like Drift have achieved success by creating a movement or category, such as conversational marketing, focusing on how trends impact their audiences. Overall, creating a strategic narrative is a less salesy way to provide content to customers, allowing companies to create a strategic north star that guides their growth strategy.
Creating a Strategic Narrative for a Successful Category
Category creation should not just focus on naming but also on telling a narrative or story about how the world was to how it is. The movement and strategic narrative are more important than the category name alone. B2B companies, especially in enterprise sales and technology, tend to resonate more with strategic narratives because the product is complicated and requires a uniting story for the whole group buyer. The category name is just shorthand for this movement, not the main focus. Therefore, companies should focus on creating a strategic narrative and movement rather than just naming a category, and if the movement becomes a category, it's a bonus.
Why B2B Enterprise Technology Companies Need A Strategic Narrative Story Pitch
Having a strategic narrative story pitch is crucial for B2B enterprise technology companies. A sign that something is broken in the pitch is when the company is maturing from a point where they've been successful. At this point, founders cannot be in every meeting, every product discussion, and every sales call. Also, contact Andy Raskin when there's a pivot from the old story, or when scaling-out whole product units. Founders can lay out the structure and try the framework through sales calls to see if it's resonating. Anyone can do it provided they use a qualitative approach. The closest guide is The Greatest Sales Deck I've Ever Seen post.
Creating a Shift Presentation: Tips and Challenges
There is no fixed template for creating a shift presentation. Every team is different, and the principles for building it are more important than any prescribed formula. The second session of a working session is usually the low point, where the team can get discouraged and pained. However, this is also the time where the team gets to weigh in, and having a rough draft is more valuable than having great ideas. While it can be painful for everyone, the feedback obtained during this session provides valuable insights and helps in improving the content. It is essential to set expectations about the process, highlight the challenges, and focus on the team's contribution. Reach out to Andy Raskin on LinkedIn to learn more about such experiences.
The CEO's Role in Crafting a True North Star Narrative
Having a true north star narrative is important for any product or company, and it is best led by the CEO who can provide air cover and support it in marketing, sales, recruiting and everything else. While product leaders can also drive it, having the CEO support it can make a significant difference. Andy Raskin emphasizes that the reason he insists on the CEO leading it is that it is the true north star for everything, and he has seen it in successful engagements. When interviewing CEOs, he likes to ask them what role this narrative has played in their leadership, as it provides insights into its effectiveness.
Create Meaningful Titles to Improve Audience Retention
Make the title the takeaway of the slide, not just a label on every single slide. This will make the content flow better and enable the audience to take away the message with no effort. Andy Raskin recently got a Fitbit and loves it, he preferred it over Polar because it was less clunky. He recommends connecting with him on LinkedIn and checking his website, which has a podcast called The Bigger Narrative. Lastly, Andy would appreciate it if people tried his presentations techniques and took the time to provide feedback.