Increasing Annual Recurring Revenue
Discover the proven strategies and actionable steps to boost your organization's Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR)

by Alex de Jong

Your Challenges
During the masterclass I asked you what challenges you've faced when it comes to increasing ARR. Here's what you said…
High Marketing Costs
Attracting new customers through aggressive marketing campaigns can be costly and eat into potential revenue growth.
Ineffective Product Training
Inadequate training for sales teams can result in poor product knowledge and an inability to effectively communicate the value to customers.
Sub-Optimal Incentives
Poorly designed compensation and incentive schemes may fail to motivate sales teams to focus on maximizing recurring revenue.
Renewal Challenges
Complex or cumbersome subscription and renewal processes can lead to high churn and loss of recurring revenue.
The Missing Ingredient
Whilst these challenges are important, there's something crucial missing that will directly drive the bottom-line: Focus on the customer
Most CRO's try to improve and fix things internally, which has it's place. However, we should never take our eyes off our buyers.
What's turns a prospect into a customer?
Emotional connection
How can we build this emotional connection?
Storytelling

Here's the Kicker: A storytelling-based sales approach is the missing ingredient to sustainable, predictable, increased ARR.

Why Storytelling?

We're hardwired to hear stories biologically. Back in the caves before written and spoken communication we would draw stories on walls (cave paintings) to teach our tribe how we hunted and what had happened. Today, we still share stories around the campfire and spend weekends binging on Netflix. It connects both hemispheres of the brain (email me at speakwith@alex-dejong.com if you'd like me to send your the source material behind this)

Challenges CRO's face implementing a storytelling-based sales approach…
Here's what you said in the survey at yesterday's masterclass
Why is it so difficult to implement this alone?
Ad-hoc Storytelling
The lack of a structured approach leads to inconsistent, ad-hoc storytelling that fails to resonate with customers.
Team Disparities
Variations in storytelling skills and effectiveness across the sales team undermine the company's messaging and brand.
Inconsistent Narratives
Without a unified framework, sales reps tell different stories, confusing customers and diluting the company's value proposition.
Training is the answer, here's what effective sales storytelling looks like…
The Eight Principles
When I train teams, I ensure that these eight principles are not just learned, but implemented in every sales call and that the people have the tools available to support them afterwards.

Expand these cards below for more detail on why this important in the sales process and what you and your teams can do…

1. Have a Sales Storyline

Craft a compelling narrative with a relatable protagonist facing a common problem, following a clear structure and plot to guide the customer's journey Simple Storyline Use a straightforward, easy-to-follow narrative structure to make your sales story impactful and memorable. Concise Delivery Craft a concise sales story that can be conveyed quickly, as customers have limited attention spans. Adaptive Format Adapt the classic six-sentence story structure to your product, introducing the customer, their problem, and the positive outcome.

2. The Problem Is The Hook

Identify and emphasize the prospect's pressing issue, creating a strong hook that captivates their attention and sparks their interest Identifying the Problem The problem is the initial hook that engages them. It directly reflects their current situation and pain points. Discovery Careful discovery through questions and research helps us uncover the customer's core issues. This alignment is crucial before crafting the right sales story. Urgency with "Why Now" Highlighting the consequences of not addressing the problem can create a sense of urgency, emphasizing the need for a solution.

3. Emotional Triggers and Leadership Levers

Engage customers by tapping into emotional triggers like envy, fear, and altruism, and tie it back to the leadership levers that drive real impact. Emotional Engagement Leverage emotional triggers like fear, altruism, and reward to make your sales story resonate on a deeper level and tap into the customer's intrinsic motivations. Leadership Levers Highlight the key business metrics and outcomes that matter most to executives, such as reduced costs, faster time-to-market, and increased revenue and market share. Data-Backed Emotional Stories Combine an emotional trigger with a compelling data-driven business case to create a powerful narrative that appeals to both the heart and the mind of your customer.

4. Every Story Ends With A Next Step

Every compelling sales story should lead the customer to take a clear next action. It could be a soft close or a hard close, but it needs to be the right close and by crafting the follow through, storytelling directly drives bottom-line revenue. Crafting A Strong Call-to-Action (CTA) Every story must have a resolution that leads to a close, whether that's scheduling a demo or proceeding to the next sales phase. Micro-Commitments Break the sales journey into smaller, incremental steps to guide the customer towards the final decision. Secure these micro-commitments along the way. Ensuring Follow-Through Make the CTA convenient and actionable for the customer. Promptly follow up to maintain momentum and keep the sales process moving forward.

5. It's a Two-Way Street

Effective sales storytelling is a dialogue, not a monologue. Interactive Storytelling Engage the customer by asking questions and involving them in the narrative. Listening and Adapting Pay attention to the customer's verbal and non-verbal responses, and adapt your story and presentation based on their feedback and concerns. Building Empathy Use the 'Feel, Felt, Found' method to show empathy, build trust, and demonstrate how your solution can benefit the customer.

6. Your Customer Is Always The Hero

Top Tip: Use the hero's journey framework to map out your customer's transformation. George Lucas used this framework to turn Star Wars into a multi-billion dollar franchise. It simply sells. Positioning the Customer Your customers are the central characters of your story. Demonstrate how your solution transforms their life for the better. You are NEVER the Hero Position yourself as a mentor who provides valuable insights and a magical solution to guide the customer (the hero) through their journey. Showcase Their Success Showcase success stories of customers who overcame similar challenges with your help.

7. The Salesperson Is The Guide

Train your sales team to view themselves as guides and trusted advisors. Empower Your Sales Team Equip your sellers and leaders with skills to listen, empathize, and lead customers through their journey. Mentor Role Just as Gandalf guides Frodo and Yoda trained Luke Skywalker, your team provides the expertise and the means to overcome the customer's challenges. Your Product is Magic Present your solution as a tool or key that will help the customer succeed. Luke Skywalker had a lightsaber. Your customers have your solution as their tool.

8. Storytelling builds authentic, genuine, long-lasting relationships

The most powerful benefit of storytelling is that it creates connection and commonality. We've been hard-wired for stories since our days in the caves and we're still stimulated by them today. A good sales stories floods your customer's brains with feel-good hormones and helps cultivate meaningful relationships based on empathy. Genuine Connection Build lasting, trust-based relationships by using stories to make personal connections and relate to the customer's experiences. Consistency and Follow-Up Maintain consistent contact, sharing additional success stories to keep the customer engaged throughout their journey. Customer Success Stories Regularly update your storytelling with new customer success stories, showcasing ongoing value and reinforcing the relationship.

Book A Storytelling Training Tailored For Your Organisation
Email
speakwith@alex-dejong.com
Schedule
Book your sessions today
How It Works

1

Right Fit
Take the next step by booking a free 20-minute consultation to see how storytelling could help increase your organization's ARR.

2

Discovery
We speak about your organisation, your sales teams and if we believe that and these trainings are a good fit for your needs and challenges, I'll brainstorm specific outcomes tailored to you.

3

Creation
I'll create tailored training content and collateral to ensure that the techniques are a perfect fit for you using a 360 degree approach.

4

Execution
I'll deliver the session(s) via Zoom or on-site, gather feedback, and enable your leaders to coach their teams

5

Continuous Improvement
Analyse the metrics to see what's changed in the pilot engagement and iterate to increase the bottom line and drive revenue growth.

6

Enablement
Train your leaders to coach their teams without me being there continuously by showing you how to implement storytelling directly in your CRM and sharing tools like The Storyfile

Cal.com

20 Minute Strategy Call

If you want more tailored guidance on how you and your company, can do more with less, book a 20 Min Call by clicking here and we'll put all the above into place with an action plan

In case you forgot who I am and how I fell in love with helping CROs...
I started out my sales career working in call centers, pitching people over the phone while I was still a student, before I entered a graduate scheme with PwC where I began working with executive leaders on projects.
I started my first coaching and training business in 2018, while living in Vienna, Austria, until Meta asked me to manage sales enablement programs for them, working full-time on both the design and delivery of their skills training, onboarding, and CRM transition. This included a data-driven storytelling training the helped thousands of sales representatives.
Over a year later, I joined HiBob, where I revamped the sales methodology to put storytelling front and centre and trained all of their Account Executives (AEs), Business Development Representatives (BDRs) and other teams globally.
At both companies, ARR increased by 43% on average and >90% of participants in my trainings hit their quotas.
So I started this business because I wanted to introduce bring a storytelling-based sales approach to revenue teams globally.
I'm also writing my personal story in two books right now due to be self-published next year and split my year between Peru and Europe.

Cal.com

20 Minute Strategy Call

If you want more tailored guidance on how you and your company, can do more with less, book a 20 Min Call by clicking here and we'll put all the above into place with an action plan