What if you could turn your experience and success into powerful conversion tool, leaving your prospects inspired by the results you achieve, and confident that you can do the same for them.
This means delivering the outcome for them, amplifying the result you have promised while also amplifying their confidence they have in you.
Here, we are giving you and your team a well-defined process that anyone could use, even if they aren’t a marketer.
For any Partner organisation, winning new business can feel like a never-ending challenge.
Partners tell us daily that they’re wasting time on unqualified leads, that they’re relying on current customers for new opportunities, and as a result are getting distracted by the need to find new lead sources. What they’d rather is to spend time converting more qualified leads (not qualifying them from the first touch), and they want their sales generated from a mix of existing customers and new business.
Salespeople need the ability to spend time with their highest probability prospects, and this means there is an expectation that the marketing team hands over leads that are already qualified and ready to buy.
We know that this is much easier said than done. Creating a funnel that delivers steady lead generation is no easy feat – and requires a specific approach to how you structure and deliver content through each stage of your funnel.
So, what comes after you have your offer, lead magnet and lead follow up sequence in place?
Why case study creation is non-negotiable
There is nothing more powerful to include in the sales process than proof that you can do what you say.
Simply telling your prospects about the amazing benefits your product or service offers will not communicate the value of the outcomes that you provide. We often fall into the trap of enthusiastically sharing products, solutions or even benefits without linking these to real outcomes. When this happens, the value behind what you offer and how you’re different is lost.
Prospects want proof, especially when you’re selling longer commitment periods, or services at a higher price point.
But, if you don’t take the time to document and record that great work you have done in the past, you will find yourself scrambling at the last minute to come up with referees or reference articles when your prospect inevitably asks.
Key problems case studies solve
1. Lack of confidence
Whenever you begin a sales journey with a new prospect, if you don’t have evidence to support your claims, you will lose confidence in the way you sell, and your prospect will lose confidence in what you have to say.
2. Unfinished conversations
When you don’t come armed with proof of previous execution, you leave conversations open to interpretation. Clearly linking what you say you can do with proof of where you’ve done it before, there are no assumptions that are open to interpretation.
3. Scrambling to find proof
There is always the last-minute scramble when putting together a quote or responding to a tender – the references section. While creating a reference is a simply process, it’s not what you need to be scrambling to complete at the 11th hour.
Simple & streamlined case study creation
The importance of case studies in the sales process is not (or shouldn’t be) new information. We are sure this is not the first time you’ve heard it.
What we are here to do is help you understand some of the key mistakes you might be making right now when it comes to their creation – and the things you can do to streamline the process. Even if you don’t have a marketing team.
Key mistakes you might be making right now
1. Credibility is built after the sale
Wrong! You must provide proof and build the credibility of not just your solution, but you as a person and your business too – right from the get-go. This could make or break your sale.
2. Using technical jargon to articulate what you do
No! The best way to share ‘what you do’ is show real world examples and outcomes of where you’ve done it before. Prospects will get lost in your technical jargon, and assumptions are made about how those technical features result it the outcome they need.
3. No marketing team to do it
Not to worry – you don’t need a marketing team to create a case study. We will show you are simple 8-step process that should take you no longer than 3 hours in total to complete a case study.
8-steps to case study creation
1. Prepare your template
It’s important to be prepared from the outset – and that includes knowing the structure of what you’re about to create. Take your case study template, and turn the headings (likely problem, solution, outcomes etc) into questions.
Addressing their problem, you might ask “Before working with ABC Consulting, what were some of the things you were struggling with?”
Work through your template and turn it into a question sheet, this will make your interview process run seamlessly and allow you to focus on their answers when you need them to elaborate.
2. Book interview call
Rather than writing the case study yourself according to how you think the project unfolded and then asking for approval, you have a higher chance of gaining approval if you use your customer’s words. The content will be more impactful when read as if spoken by your customer – not you.
Reach out to them and request 20 minutes of their time to ask 5-8 questions about the project. Keeping the case study process simple and not onerous on their time will mean they say yes to helping you create one in the first place.
When booking this call, make it part of your project wrap process. If it sounds to them like standard process that they are ‘obliged’ to complete, even better. Also, attach the template so they know how simple this will be for them.
3. Record the meeting
Don’t try and take notes during the call, you will get distracted. Simply explain that recording means you won’t have to take notes and can focus on the questions themselves. Explain the recording is simply so you can have it transcribed (see step 4) which means you don’t miss a thing, and makes the content creation process quicker and easier for everyone!
4. Transcribe the meeting
At Partner Elevate we use Otter.ai to either transcribe on the fly, upload an mp4 or audio file to be transcribed. Upload your file and watch the content land on the page without you having to lift a finger!
NB. Don’t just use Otter.ai for case studies. Recording voice memos, content ideas or opinions is a great, low effort way to create blog content too.
5. Fill in your template
Because you asked the questions during the meeting according to your template, you will see the information flow in the transcript in the same way. Copy and paste the content from your transcript into your template.
You don’t need to be a content writer to finesse the content. Read through the populated template and ensure it simply makes sense. Remove the ‘uhm’s’ and ‘ahh’s’ and create appropriate sentences. The good news is that the content itself is what you need, you simply need to make it easily consumable by the reader.
NB. If you really don’t have time to do this step, you could hand you template and your transcription over to a content editor to finesse for you. If they charge by the hour, you would have dramatically decreased their time by providing the content and only needing edits.
7. Send for approval
As we mentioned, this part should be easy because it’s the words of the customer you are using. We find customers are generally happy and comfortable with the content because it’s nothing they haven’t heard or thought about themselves before. Suggest they make any relevant changes in the document itself with tracking so you can see where they are.
Just let them know you will be uploading to your website, sharing on social and referencing where needed. Gather their approval for the different items. It’s also great to seek approval to use their logo.
Once approved it’s time to go! Share your story in your newsletter, as an eDM to your database, upload to a blog or testimonials page, share on your social media and make sure it’s accessible for your sales team to easily download or access to update their sales pitches.
- While you might have a better product or service than your competitors, lack of credibility - perceived or otherwise - chances are you won’t make the sale.
- You don’t need a marketing team to build credibility, you just need a well-defined process.
Case Study Advantage™
If you need help creating your next case study using the Case Study Advantage™ - download our template and get started today.