Two or three years back I went to a B2B event on Innovation. The panel had all sorts of grand ideas about 'ideation' - which is thankfully still not actually a real word. But one of the panelists, the Global CMO for a major Professional Services company, was a good deal more down to earth.
All he wanted to do, he claimed, was to market and sell just like the Waitrose deli counter. After you ask for a bit of pie or cheese, you are asked:
"Would you like anything else?"
You look at the other items in the counter and, often, the answer is 'yes'.
This is clearly easier to do on a deli counter than at a major professional services or software firm but the point is the same. You are a customer. You trust this firm enough to buy one product and if you can be introduced to another product or service at the right time, you often will buy that too.
The bigger the firm, the more powerful this can be. Major software firms, like major services firms have dozens of products that could help you. The trouble is - they don't know what those products are themselves - or rather they don't know enough to eloquently introduce their colleagues who can help.
This is where stories can help. We simply can not understand the detail across these different sectors but we can understand the tale. Simple, short communications ensure that different silo'd teams can understand the message, the value, if not the detail, of their colleagues' offering and explain that value to their clients.
If that can be done at scale, the value is truly enormous.