Alli McKee
Dec 6, 2017 · 5 min read

Every sales deck has one.

Maybe it’s Slide 9. Maybe as early as Slide 3. But no matter where it falls in the deck, you know it’ll be there…

The Logo Slide.

Excerpt from LeadCrunch’s B2B Sales Deck

Yes, it might build your credibility, but it also bores your audience. Because as an experienced buyer, once you’ve seen 1, you’ve seen 20…

…just this week.

Soon, they all start to look the same. After analyzing dozens of B2B sales decks at Stick, we’ve come to the conclusion:

In the Attention Economy, the Logo Slide is dead.

Breadth has become too overwhelming, and your buyers are seeking more depth than the Logo List or the One-Quote Case Study. In its place, the Customer Story is rising. To learn how, let’s look at how Salesforce does it.


The Customer Story Blueprint that works

Most logo slides are impersonal, but Customer Stories are human. Details of a logo slide are hard to remember, while a Customer Story sticks.

Here’s the blueprint:

Our Customer achieved [Outcome] by doing [Action], because of [Benefit].

Note the order— Customer first, your product last. To see these three components in action, here’s what they look like in three Salesforce Customer Stories: (RED), Adidas, and Burberry.

Overview of three Salesforce Customer Stories, discussed below

See the Video at https://www.salesforce.com/customer-success-stories/red/

1) OUTCOME: (RED) saved 20 Million Lives

What did they achieve? (RED) saved 20 Million Lives through their work fighting HIV. By anchoring on (RED)’s success, Salesforce makes it their own.

The more relatable and quantifiable, the deeper it resonates. To make it relatable, the dives into the stories behind the statistics, before dropping the 20 Million number. Twenty Million. Wow.

Now, did Salesforce really save all of those 20 Million individuals? Of course not. But did they help? Certainly.

It doesn’t matter how many lives were “Salesforce-saved” vs. “(RED)-saved” — where their work ends and Salesforce’s begins. The point is, it doesn’t matter.

Salesforce is not the hero of the story. (RED) is. Salesforce is simply the background, the environment, that made the story possible (literally):

Make your brand an environment, not a focus. If you do it well, your Customers won’t help but associate you, even subconsciously, with the success of your Customers.

To multiple your own success, celebrate theirs.


Watch 0:24 through 2:54 for the Adidas Customer Success Story Video

2) ACTION: Adidas uses Salesforce to Interact with Consumers Instantly

Salesforce didn’t grow Adidas’ revenue 20%+ for them. Adidas did it themselves, but how? What Action did they take?

In this new digital world, “We need to be able to respond to these consumer expectations immediately,” Jacqueline Smith-Dubendorfer explains. Success relies on their ability to respond to customers faster than ever before.

What’s Salesforce’s role? Halfway into the video, Adidas CEO finally mentions, “That’s where Salesforce helped us to enable that proactive interaction with the consumer.”

Note the word choice. He doesn’t say, “Salesforce interacted with our customers.” Adidas’s team is the one doing it. Salesforce is just enabling it.

Accompanying visuals solidify this idea, with Adidas as an Athlete, the Hero running the race alongside Salesforce characters, in Salesforce’s world:

And when it comes time to acknowledge the role Salesforce played, Adidas isn’t just called a “Salesforce customer.” Instead, Adidas is a Trailblazer.

Frame what they can do with you as part of who they are.


The Burberry Case Study from 2014 (note: bit outdated, but outstanding)

3) BENEFIT: Salesforce’s Social integrations make Burberry social, too

Salesforce has loads of benefits. It’s one of the most extensive product suites on the planet. Yet, when telling a Customer Story, they focus on just one.

With Burberry, it’s Social.“Salesforce understands today that it’s customer first,” says (now former) Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts. “They speak Social.”

Nothing else.

The (RED) story focused on the Efficiency Salesforce brought to their non-profit. The Adidas story focused on the Speed that Salesforce brought to their online retail business. The Burberry story focuses on the mobile-first Social approach Salesforce brings. Had these been combined, the impact would be diluted.

The more focused your story, the greater its power.

In Conclusion: Customer First, Customer First, Customer First

If you really believe that your Customer, not your product, is first, it shows up everywhere. Beyond Customer Story videos, it shows up in…

Slides:

Slide from Dreamforce

What you say:

*Directional* data from audio of Salesforce Customer Story videos

And even in ‘Swag’:

Still from the (RED) Customer Story

Move that Logo Slide to the Appendix, and replace it with a Customer Story. It might change more than just your sales deck.

It could change your entire business.


About the Author: Alli McKee is the CEO and Founder of Stick. For go-to-market teams who need to earn customer attention quickly, Stick is a visual communication tool that builds more effective sales materials instantly. Unlike standard slide tools, Stick turns text into on-brand visual content automatically. Sign up for our beta at www.stick.ai.

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Show and Sell

Storytelling is the new Selling. Show and Sell brings together the best of strategy, storytelling, and design to show companies how to sell more, faster with stories that stick. Brought to you by stick.ai.

Alli McKee

Written by

CEO and Founder, Stick.ai - Illustrating Ideas in real time with NLP + ML. Painting and Improv on the side. TEDx Stanford.

Show and Sell

Storytelling is the new Selling. Show and Sell brings together the best of strategy, storytelling, and design to show companies how to sell more, faster with stories that stick. Brought to you by stick.ai.

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