JCDecaux – The Story-Selling Academy

The Brief:

The UK’s most successful Out Of Home player and one of the worlds most recognised media brands, JCDecaux is consistently looking for ways to improve their portfolio and their people. To develop the “most inspiring team in UK media”, they wanted to empower their team to go beyond what they knew, to develop a new style of selling that would make them stand out in the marketplace, deliver impressive growth, focus on audience over assets, and win awards. The team was aware that an experienced and exceptional sales team needed a development programme that went beyond the ordinary, pushed them out of their comfort zones, and taught them new skills that could be applied in the real world.

The Programme:

The “Story-Selling” Academy was inspired by a conversation with Rory Sutherland, and developed into a modular progamme, delivered over 8 months to a team of 50. In developing the programme Inspire also developed a 4 step Story-Selling process, that could be used at JCDecaux to prepare for meetings and deliver outstanding presentation and sales propositions.

Four classroom modules covered:

  • Understanding Marketing Strategy – thinking like your customer
  • The Art of Story-Selling & the 4 Step Story- Selling Process
  • Preparing for Success – Using the process to give better responses to briefs
  • Building Agreement and the Art of influence

An additional two large-format theatre workshops built the team’s confidence and presentation presence, using an acclaimed acting school and improvisation experts.

To enable the programme to live in the business long after the initial delivery, 4 “Expression sessions” were developed, that covered the key content in one hour bite-sized chunks. Internal Story-Selling champions were trained to deliver this content to new starters as refreshers in the future.


“Inspire were the only company that really inspired us. I think the reputation of our sales team has gone to another level …. and we wouldn’t have achieved this without the training. The programme has been a great success”

Paul Carolan, UK Sales Director, JCDecaux

The Results:

The Story Selling Academy has achieved its main objective of transforming the way JCDecaux communicate with brands and agencies. Rather than selling assets and products, they have developed a more strategic approach to identify their client’s needs, defined and understood these client’s core challenges, used outstanding insight and research to develop solutions that are fit for purpose, and then communicated with client’s using new and creative techniques. The Sales Team have transformed their performance and are working at a higher and more effective level.

What they said:

“I used a story selling technique to pitch for business at a key client. I used my sister and her standard week as my story. This caught my audience off guard, made them sit up, listen and pay attention. They loved the idea.”

Louise Nevitt – Account Director