When I think of the term "case study," the medical field comes to mind. The research that goes into it, patient stats, experiments, etc. Those case studies help build upon the credibility that goes into nurturing the success of a medical breakthrough.
The same principle applies in the sales industry. Believe it or not, sales case study development takes the same amount of effort and background to build a case as to whether or not customers should trust in your product. In this scenario, think of case studies as more detailed product reviews.
You’ve devoted so much of your time and energy into building your brand. Now you need to build your company’s credibility with feedback. If your product doesn’t receive reviews, how would people know it exists? Or better yet, how it works and how well it works?
Building a sales case study for your brand expands your audience and increases interest, generating more leads. Here’s how leveraging the power of case studies can help strengthen your business’ development strategy:
Why case studies?
Case studies solidify your brand’s standing in the market, as real people are discussing how your product improved their lives through their success stories. The story is what makes it real. Sure, statistics are still prevalent and important, but what people want to know is, does the product actually work? Customers speak the truth, and sometimes they can be a little brutal, but creating a case study that provides a detailed breakdown of your product’s influence through customer feedback can create a powerful marketing tool.
Case studies tell a story
Creating a sales case study may sound intimidating, but just think of it as a story. People relate more to stories than they do statistics, so format your case study in the way of a narrative. Provide real-world examples to your prospects as a way to start them at the top of funnel. Show them how your brand and services can help them achieve their goals. This will help your leads better connect with you and help them see themselves using your product and feeling good about making the conversion to purchase it.
Case studies help you leverage your customer testimonials
People tend to copy each other; it’s a monkey see, monkey do type of society. If your prospects see your product worked for other people, it’ll work for them. When people are looking to buy something, they’re naturally skeptical. They have their guard up when you’re trying to convince them that your product is the best and that they can’t go wrong with buying it. Including testimonials in your sales case study stresses the fact that your customers really have nothing to lose and it’ll ease their hesitation as to whether or not they can actually benefit.
Sales case studies put you in the catbird seat
Sales case studies give you the upper hand over your competition and make you look like an expert. According to Econsultancy, case studies are poised to be used much more as a way to promote User Generated Content (UGC) in 2020. Taking this into consideration, this is your chance to get ahead of the game and include sales case studies as one of your marketing channels. This will help expand your community among your customers and build trust in your brand, giving you a competitive boost.
Sales case studies give your sales team a place to start
Including case studies in your marketing strategy helps give your sales team a conversation piece, something they can use to initiate contact. Being able to email your prospects a PDF of an organized, detailed description of what your product is, does, and how it has benefitted other customers is a surefire way to provide tangible evidence that your product accomplishes what you say it does. For sales reps, it’s necessary to boast about your product. As a result, potential leads are hesitant to consider their spiel as not just smoke and mirrors or a way to make commission. Giving your sales team a robust marketing tool in the way of a case study further demonstrates the history of your product and how it has built a rapport with existing customers. Sharing success stories, as well as the not-so-successful ones, will help build trust and convince prospects that this case study is indeed legitimate.
Where to start
Thinking ahead is crucial, you always want to be one step in front of your competition. That means you need to start thinking about case studies before you’ve even closed your first sale. This will give you an advantage and an opportunity to create a new case study with fresh stats and feedback. Even just one solid case study will drive your company’s momentum, validate your business model, and build trust when attempting to generate leads. People generally don’t trust start-ups’ products. Head them off at the pass with solid evidence that you collected as you went along, rather than having to go on a wild goose chase to look for numbers and feedback after the fact.
Ask your partners to participate
Your partners are just as invested in your business as you are, so why not ask them to participate in your first case study? They’d be glad to see you’re pursuing an endeavor as noble as such and would also want their name included to build their credibility as well. It’s a two-way street.
Give your customers the five-star treatment
Never miss an opportunity to tell your customers how much you appreciate them. Give them a bonus with their first purchase, something in the way of a BOGO deal or free shipping. Customers who feel prioritized will be more than willing to provide a wonderful review of your service as well as your product, thus contributing to a strong case study where customers came to you with a problem and you in turn presented a solution.
Don’t be afraid to ask customers’ permission to contribute
Be up-front with your customers and ask if they’d be willing to participate in a case study. Giving them the opportunity to say “yes” rather than just using their review will help them feel more bonded to your brand as an ambassador. Encourage them to be as honest as possible, even if it risks a less than ideal review, because let’s face it, you can’t please everybody.
Devoting time to sales case study development adds so much value to your company, demonstrating to your potential leads how invested you are in providing your great product to the world. It also gives your sales team one more legitimate reason to reach out with a solid piece of information that will make potential leads feel better about moving forward with you and adding them to your list of devoted customers.