How to Write a Case Study that Drives Sales


Case studies can be a deal maker for B2B sales. When done well, case studies provide real-world proof of your capabilities in a way that resonates with a variety of prospects.

While there is no magic formula, there are elements and principles that can make your story much more persuasive.

A Focused Outline Is Crucial

1. Headline
Write it like a newspaper headline. Make your claim to fame but don’t get too cute or too bland.

• The right way: “ABC Corp. Reports Savings of $1.25 million Through Engagement with the XYZ Group”
• The wrong ways: “XYZ Group Redefines the Word ‘Savings’ and Rocks ABC Corp.’s World” or “XYZ Group Case Study #1

2. Executive Summary
Explain the whole story in three or four brief sentences. Some readers may go no further, so hit the problem, solution and results in a very tight, 1-2-3 summary.

3. Situation / Background
Note the actual customer and primary scope of the job.

4. Unique Challenges
Define the elements that made the project particularly challenging.

5. Solution / Process
Be specific: products, services, technology deployed, resources required, reporting, etc.

6. Results
The better quantified, the greater the potential impact on your readers.

Conclusions
Here’s where you can do a little sales job. Describe how the results of the study can be extrapolated to include results for a wider swath of your customer base.

Footnotes & Glossary
List sources of citations. Define technical terms and acronyms. These details can be easy to overlook—but they lend credibility to your cause.

Basic Tips:

Lay Off the Spin
Leave the general statements of company positioning and value propositions in your back pocket—case studies should sell themselves.

Give Numbers
Case studies are weak without “before” and “after” data to support ROI. Convert data into hard financial terms whenever possible.

Advanced Tips:

Look Professional
Layout work from a professional graphic designer can greatly increase the value-perception of your case-study. Designers can also add infographics to help readers visualize your concepts, relationships and data.

Don’t Forget Keywords
An online case study that profiles a unique solution to a common problem can attract traffic—if the right keywords are present.

Make It Scannable
Break up long paragraphs of dense copy by using subheads, enumerated steps, lists, and tables whenever appropriate. An experienced commercial writer can help to polish your message and presentation.
 

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