Storytelling is the new Selling

From a talk at the Relay Ventures CEO Summit

Once upon a time, we lived in the Golden Age of Advertising
Where Advertisements were full of information. Scientific claims, even.
Everyday, everyone would get the same information, in the same way, at the same time.

But then one day…

Everything shifted.
Suddenly, we had control over the information we consumed.
And because of that, we started to crave more and more control. We didn’t have to watch ads anymore, we could skip through them — with TiVo.
Until finally, we didn’t have to look at Ads anymore at all. Netflix killed traditional TV advertising as we knew it.
Ever since, we’ve been living in the golden age of Storytelling.

But Storytelling is difficult. So how do you do it?

Start with your Value.
Know where your product falls on the B2B needs stack. Pick ONE.
Then tell a story that takes the character (your customer) from pain to pleasure.
Decks are linear lists. Stories are dynamic.
Structure the story around your customer’s emotions, not your product’s features.
Be like Salesforce, not Microsoft.
Take your text-heavy materials and convert them into visuals that stick.
Case Study 1: Salesforce creating a movement with a simple symbol.
Case Study 2: Zuora creating a new world (and need) with a simple visual comparison.
Case Study 3. Drift using Visual metaphor to bring the problem to light.
Story isn’t just for selling. It’s for everything you do as a company. Make it a core competency.
In Summary: (1) Start with Values, (2) Structure around your Customer, (3) Bring it to life with Visual Content.

About the Author: Alli McKee is the CEO and Founder of, a communication visualization platform built for B2B Sales and Success teams so that you can actually connect with your customers. For more, visit