Last updated: 

October 14, 2021

Leverage Your Customer Conversations to Tell a Story

Rasheed Ahamed

Rasheed Ahamed

Capturing the important moments from Zoom only gets you halfway through. Grain highlights, as mentioned in our 2.0 launch, are a “LEGO-style building block”. Connecting the highlights helps you unlock the true potential of Grain — video narratives.

When you put together the highlights, you can create emotionally rich stories that would have otherwise taken days or weeks to create.

Stories are created to influence the product roadmap, to close more deals, or to rally cross-functional teams around the voice of the customers.

Regardless of your role, you can use Grain to tell powerful Stories and make an impact. Inspired by our conversations with customers, we have curated how teams leverage Grain Stories for a variety of use cases.

First things first. Let’s learn how to create a Grain Story. If you’re familiar with creating new Stories, feel free to skip to the next section.

Creating a Grain Story

You can put together a Story in just three quick steps.

Step 1 — Sign in to Your Grain Workspace

Sign in to your Grain workspace and go to Stories > click on New Story.

Source: Grain.co

Step 2 — Add Sections and Highlights

Once you’re in, you can add the basic details including Title, Description, and Background. Feel free to #tag your Story to access it easily — at a later point in time.

Now comes the fun part: just click on “+ Add New Highlight” to drop the highlights into your Story. You can add as many highlights as you’d like and group the highlights based on the context using Sections.  

Here’s an example:

Step 3 — Share Your Story

Is your Story ready? Just click on ‘Share’ to share it with your team/customers. That’s it!

Pro tip: If you’re looking to convert *all* the highlights from a recording into a Story, then open the recording and hit “+ Story”. All the highlights will be stitched together — ready for you to share.

Leveraging Grain Stories for Your Use Cases

Now that you know how to create a Story, let’s take a look at how you can use it as a tool to make your job easier.

Stories for User Research

Want to get your research insight into the product roadmap? You need to —improve your speed to insight, maximize engagement with your findings, and influence the stakeholders with your presentations.

Here’s how Grain Stories can help.

1. Improve your speed to insight

No one has the time to watch dozens of user interview recordings — including you. With Grain Stories, organize and share the golden nuggets you captured from the research interviews, in a matter of minutes. Neither you nor the product team has to consume and process hours of recordings and extract the insights manually. Improve your speed to insight with Stories.

2. Maximize Engagement

“It doesn’t matter how good the findings are if you aren’t able to communicate them effectively with your team.” — Nikki Anderson, Founder & Managing Director, User Research Academy.

Your research becomes valuable when it reaches the right audience and captures their attention. Unfortunately, research findings — living in a presentation, video recording, or even a repository isn’t enough to make the impact you expect them to.

Amplify your research findings by converting them into an engaging Story — that can be shared via your team’s favorite tools like Slack, Notion, and Miro. Grain Stories play right within the tools — making it extremely easy for your team to consume the insights and engage with them frequently.

3. Influence the Stakeholders

Showing is far better than telling. We’ve seen the research presentations shift from text to visuals — for the better.

“The majority of my presentation is letting these video clips run, watching the reactions on stakeholders' faces and then briefly explaining some context—with any recommendations moving forward.” — Nikki Anderson, User Research Academy.

Embedding Grain Story in your key presentations and documentation can make them at least 10x better.

Stories for Sales

It’s becoming cheaper and easier to build software or roll out a new product feature. As a result, sales isn’t getting any easier. The impact of leveraging the voice of your customers using Grain can’t be understated.

Here’s how the top 1% of sellers are using Grain Stories to sell more

1. Empower Your Champions

Give your customers a Story to sell internally for you. Grain Stories are the best tool to send to prospects and other decision-makers — because they are digestible and personalized down to every second.

Create a Story to walk your prospects through their problems and show how your product could be ideal for their needs — using the highlights from previous meetings.

2. Influence the Product Roadmap

As someone talking to customers every day, you have the opportunity to make valuable contributions to the product roadmap. But it’s easier said than done.

With Grain Stories, you can curate the feedback and insights from your customer conversations and present them to product teams and other stakeholders with conviction.

Rather than coming up with decks, create a Story to let your prospects do the heavy lifting for you.

3. Create Sales Assets

Demo-ing the product is part of your job. But you don’t have to repeat the process every time if you learn to turn the demo into a shareable asset — i.e., a Story. Grain Stories can help your prospect share the demo internally and get buy-in as well.

Aside from demos, you can use Grain Stories to spin out more sales enablement content and close more deals in less time.

For example, sales calls can last anywhere from 30-minutes to an hour. So, the important insights you have shared and answers to your prospects’ questions are typically spread throughout the call. Create a follow-up Story with a reel of important moments (captured as Grain highlights) that could help your prospects to take away the essential info.

Stories for Customer Success

Grain Stories enable seamless handoffs from sales to customer success, help you to create effective onboarding assets, and shed light on product problems. Here’s how.

1. Handoff from Sales (without losing the context)

Customer success can use the Grain Stories from sales to understand the customer’s journey from discovery to decision in one go!

Sales can take a few minutes to create a Story for CS hand-off to transfer the important information and the moments that matter, which in turn, can help CS teams to successfully manage the account and increase CLTV.

The other option is to watch hours of recordings and parse the information manually.

2. Onboarding Stories

It’s important to ensure that the users who need your product know how to use it. When you turn your onboarding calls into a Grain Story and send it back to your customers, the intended users will have a resource handy — 24x7.

3. Solve Product Problems

While product teams tend to conduct user research interviews to get feedback and identify problems, customer success can receive unsolicited feedback that is equally (and often more) valuable.

It’s difficult for research teams to reproduce the environment that the customer success or sales teams have — when they talk to customers, which results in a completely different type of feedback.

Grain Stories can help you capture the feedback from a range of customers, perhaps on a newly released feature, and compress it into a few-minute story that your product team can watch. The same could be applied for reporting a problem faced by users.

Stories for Marketing

Marketing teams have the opportunity to create several content assets — just by translating the customer conversation into compelling Stories.

1. Create Product Marketing Assets

From product walk-throughs to sales calls, the Grain workspace provides you access to all the customer conversations your company has ever had. In a matter of minutes, you can create a Story that addresses the most common objections from customers.

Here’s an example from SupplyCompass.

You can use Stories to showcase your product features or benefits in different environments including social media, newsletters, and more.

2. Improve Content Marketing

Grain Stories (and highlights) can help you publish visually appealing content. For example, our post on category creation has a Grain Story embedded at the top — summarizing the advice from Brain Balfour of Reforge.

Every time you interview customers for a case study or an expert for a piece of content, you can capture the attention of your target readers and more importantly, enable them to consume the information with Stories.  

3. Breakdown Silos

Collaborating regularly with cross-functional teams can have a substantial impact on the way you do marketing. But it’s next to impossible to get everyone onboard, find the time, and plan the agenda, and make it happen — consistently.

Grain Stories can break down the silos. A story can help you transfer the information locked inside a product or a sales meeting, to GTM teams without having to waste time on logistics (and hour long recordings).

Need your content marketing team to come up with better messaging? Work with a salesperson to create a Story that highlights why customers pick you over the competitors.

Want to work on content for an upcoming feature release? Get the Story that encapsulates everything from how the product team identified the need, came up with a solution, and how beta users reacted after seeing it.

Stories for Hiring and Recruitment

Grain Stories can keep your entire hiring panel in sync and have fewer meetings — speeding up the hiring process and getting better candidates onboard lightning fast. Here’s how:

1. Evaluate Candidates Faster

If you want to assess a candidate, you either have to take part in the interview process or spend hours watching recordings. With Stories, you can save time and evaluate a candidate faster.

For instance, thanks to Grain Stories, Launch Potato shares interview answers in an accessible and easily digested format that keeps teams informed without having to watch the whole video or listen in to scheduled calls.

As you’re hearing directly from the candidates recreating the whole interview experience, you are removing personal bias from the process.  

2. Selecting the Perfect Candidate

If you're hiring for a cross-functional role, you need to get executives/managers from different teams in the same room and help them to make a final decision.

In today’s remote work environment, this means you have to find a time that works for *all* the managers and the candidates. And once the interviews are over, you have to again get them together to unanimously pick the right candidate. The process sounds exhausting because it is exhausting.

With Grain Stories, everything can happen asynchronously. For instance, we managed to hire a great product specialist (welcome, Katie!) — after interviewing dozens of candidates across different time zones and presenting the highlights from the interviews to the hiring panel.

3. Employee Onboarding

It’s hard for someone new to truly understand the company’s culture and values (especially while remote).

Grain Stories — capturing all the important moments and discussions from previous “All Hands” meetings can tell a cohesive narrative around the company's direction and values that help the new hires to hit the ground running.

How are you using Grain Stories? Send your answers to @GrainHQ!

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