Case studies are something that every B2B business needs to help their salespeople convert leads into customers. Case studies offer a lot of value for very little effort and are one of the few marketing materials that both marketers and salespeople agree are useful.
What is a case study?
A case study is a document (usually, though they can also be images or videos) that demonstrates how your product/solution helped the end user. Case studies can focus on extreme examples or everyday situations.
The 3 reasons to have case studies.
- Credibility (for you and your solution). Showing that other people are already paying you for your solution is very important if you are a startup or new business trying to bring on new clients as quickly as possible. It can be very hard to convince a prospect to buy from you if you can’t show that other people have already taken that step. Some may embrace the idea of being an early adapter, but it’s much harder if the costs are thousands, if not tens of thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of dollars for something not yet well known.
- Capability. Case studies are a quick way for potential clients to see the scope of your experience and all of the clients you were able to help. While the focus should always be on similar use cases, just the fact that you have dozens of other use cases demonstrates that your business is successful at what it does.
- Convenience. When your salespeople can easily access and share previous use cases it helps them in a few ways. It allows them to quickly share relevant experiences with leads. It helps them to identify and apply for RFP for similar projects. It just makes it easier to sell!
What should a case study include?
Whether you are selling software or an IoT device, there are certain fundamental pieces of information you should include in your case study. Remember, this is a sales tool, so while you want the document to show why your solution is the best on the market, let your solution speak for itself without being too promotional
- Background about the use case and problem at hand
- What unique solution your company provided
- Information about the solution/product (such as product dimensions or specs if you offer multiple solutions)
- Why the client chose you over your competitors
- An image (if relevant)
- A testimonial from the end user
Let’s discuss each part in greater detail.
Background: Here we describe the pain point the client had. This is important to start with as good sales approaches immediately hone in on the user’s pain point. Potential clients with similar pain points will be especially interested to learn how a situation like theirs was solved.
Unique Selling Point: Lots of businesses offer solutions similar to yours. Here we focus on what your company brings to the table that no one else’s does.
Tech specs: If you only offer one product/solution, this may not be necessary. But when you have a variety of solutions we want to make it clear which of the options available were used. This could be a side bar with technical information such as product size, orientation, materials used, year purchased or installed, etc.
Why you won: Aside from the USP there could be other reasons why your solution was chosen. One client of ours said, “We won the bid because we have the best sales guy in the region.” Which is nice for the business, but not a selling point to clients. Reasons could include, pricing, post-sales service, your USP, special features offered, recommendations from other clients, and so on.
Image: If you sell a physical product, then including it is very important. If your solution is less tangible, work with a graphic designer to have the case study look nice (which you should do in any case).
Testimonial: It’s not 100% necessary, but if you can get a sentence or two from your client about how happy they are with your solution, the benefits they’ve received, and other positive comments – get them!
Need help to identify past projects worthy of turning into a case study? Or looking for sales and marketing help in general? Contact us for a consultation to see if we are the right fit for your company.