What do you normally do when contemplating a major purchase? Like most people, you probably make an effort to see and hear what others have to say about the company you plan to buy from, as well as the quality and benefits of the products or services sold. In other words, you seek out first-hand testimonials, or pay close attention to what a customer case study has to offer (in the form of videos, articles, part of a white paper, etc.).
B2C and B2B customers alike turn to case studies for a better sense of how they, too, might benefit from what you have to sell. Frequently, reading a case study is part of the overall research a prospective customer undertakes prior to making the purchasing decision.
In essence, a case study “revolves around showing people real-life examples of how your product/service satisfied your customer’s needs/solved his problems and ultimately helped them achieve their business goals,” notes Pipefy, a work management platform. A strong case study helps you promote your product or service, but more importantly, it works by “showing your potential customers all the reasons why they should choose to become actual customers.”
Here are tips on how to craft a case study that helps boost sales:
Choose a satisfied customer who’s typical of your client base.
With the proviso that every customer’s story is unique, it’s important to create a case study based on your overall target buyer’s persona. (Of course, you can always produce more than one case study!) Through pinpointed questions to the customer being interviewed, try to emphasize the benefits he or she derived from your product, with less emphasis on the product’s features. Make sure to highlight the pain points your product or service helped to overcome.
Ensure the customer case study offers specifics.
It’s not enough for a satisfied customer to appear on camera and say, “I love the products offered by Company X!” A more effective approach ensures that specific references to your product or service benefits are included.
“Telling [customers] you can cut their processing costs by 25% is one thing,” notes HubSpot. But “hearing that same metric from three of your customers is much more impactful,” and can be that key sales tactic that “converts someone from a prospect to a customer.”
Highlight case studies on your website and in marketing materials.
As noted, prospects often seek out testimonials and case studies in order to better understand how a particular product can help solve business challenges and get desired sales results. The key is making these case studies as visible as possible. Consider these options:
- Make a big splash by featuring one or more case studies on your home page.
- Scatter quotes from these case studies on other website pages.
- Establish a comprehensive archive of first-class customer case studies (like these).
If the case study appears as text, be sure to include a photo of the customer. Also, make sure the website content is professionally designed and easy to “click and view.”
Encourage your sales team to feature case studies as part of their presentation.
It’s often useful for salespeople to include references to case studies as part of their sales presentations to prospects. These case studies boost your company’s credibility and help to overcome “hidden” objections the prospect may be reluctant to share.
Also, as Business2Community notes, case studies “help empower your sales team to focus less on product specs, and more on how and why your product or service adds value, making case studies a powerful tool in your sales enablement toolbox.”
TAB offers a wealth of business success stories, which you can check out here. They provide a first-hand look at what goes into highlighting positive customer experiences and sharing those experiences with “convince me” prospects.