Sandler Techworks
Technology * Workflow * ROI
Storytellling for Success
Categories: Leadership

BusinessWeek shared storytelling tips from Salesforce’s Marc Benioff. Excerpts below.

I want to know what’s your best storytelling tip?

“The co-founder and CEO of the $1 billion company offers advice on how to shape and articulate your vision for your own brand

Software-as-a-service pioneer and salesforce.com (CRM) co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff credits storytelling as one of the primary reasons for his company’s rapid success. “Communication is probably the most essential part of my job”…

Tell classic stories. Most reporters don’t care about a tiny startup, and that’s why Benioff never positioned himself as such. He told a classic David-vs.-Goliath story. “We gave the media something different. We gave them something new. We always positioned ourselves as revolutionaries. We went after the largest competitor in the industry or the industry itself. We made our story about change. We were about something new and different that was good for customers, and good for the community. We talked about the future.” Although the media landscape is changing, Benioff believes there will always be a need for content. The delivery model might be changing, but exchanging and sharing stories and information remains as important as ever.

Make your own metaphors. According to Benioff, simple metaphors are a terrific way to communicate your message. “I spend a lot of time creating metaphors to explain what we do. For example, early on I explained what we did with the metaphor “salesforce.com is Amazon.com (AMZN) meets Siebel Systems.” Later when we launched AppExchange we called it “the eBay (EBAY) of enterprise software.” Anyone can create their own metaphors, says Benioff. “Just remember to test them before you put them out there. Try a few and run them by customers, analysts, and people in your network to make sure they work.”

Posted by Kathy Sandler on Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 12:01 AM

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