Story mapping allows you to see from the customer’s point of view and paint a picture of how they may interact with your product. A user story is a general explanation of a product from the end user’s perspective. Story mapping is a crucial aspect of product development because it can help you set priorities and visualize objectives.
A Closer Look: What Is a Story Map?
A story map helps you understand customer interaction with your product. Customer involvement begins at their first interaction and ends at the product fulfilling its objectives.
A story map displays user activities in chronological order and their priority. Placed on the X-axis, the key steps of the customer journey are also known as epics. The higher these activities are on the y-axis, the higher their priority. The user persona, pinned to specific epics, are archetypes that represent potential product users.
The core set of epics makes up the backbone of the story map; these make up the two top rows of the story map.
Inbound vs. Outbound Sales
Although it is a common belief that a sale is just a sale, it is important to know what type of sales you are successful in and what needs to be worked on. What is the difference between inbound and outbound sales?
An inbound sale is when the customer makes the first move. A sale is considered inbound when the potential customer comes to you first with an inquiry. Some examples of inbound sales strategies are company blog posts and free consultations.
An outbound sale is directly sought and achieved by the seller. Story mapping can be considered a part of an outbound sales strategy. What many do not consider is how these sales can impact each other. Outbound sales can encourage growth for inbound sales. Outbound interactions can help teach you about your prospects’ personas and journeys.
Outbound strategies can help you find flaws in the internal selling strategies and assist in building more effective user profiles.
How to Effectively Build a Story Map
The first, and very important, step in building a story map is preparation. You should first gather your user profiles and other key materials. These can help predetermine what direction the project should take. You also must select your mapping tool. You can choose the classic pen and paper route or opt for one of the many online tools available. In this step, you will define the goal.
The next step is to build the story’s backbone. Try to avoid diving too deep into details here—in this step, a broad definition of the user journey is crucial. The early steps help prevent discussion of irrelevant product and user features.
You will then begin the mapping, starting with the definition of user activities based on the user personas. After that, you can break down the epics to compile the user stories and prioritize them.
This process will help you gain insights into your customer base and improve your overall product development.
The Benefits of Story Mapping
Story maps can help precede future success. There are various benefits to this product development technique.
One of the biggest benefits of a story map is the process itself. Story mapping is inclusive—mapping a user story encourages collaboration and conversation among teams.
Story maps ensure that the process stays customer-centric. Focusing on user stories and journeys can help sellers better tailor a product.
Story mapping is a highly effective tool in product development. The roadmap that emerges at the end of the process gives the team precious guidance to become successful and achieve the desired goals.