Most customers won’t use a product without knowing that someone is benefiting from it. I often receive questions like:
I dare to say that without solid use cases, the B2B business model will only have mediocre product adoption, but when it does, sales will skyrocket.
In this article, you’ll learn what a case study is, what it can do for you, and how to create one.
A case study isn’t a 500-slide deck pitch nor a 100-page comprehensive document. Doing that will just bore your prospects to death. A simple and concise case study shows what your product or service did for your audience. In other words, how your product improved someone’s life.
A study case format can vary. It can be a blog on your company’s website, available for everyone, or it can be a brief slide deck with multiple cases. The best option is being available on the company website.
A bad study case will confuse people and leave them with more questions than answers.
A good study case demonstrates the value created in simple ways. It’s generally a one-pager with enough substance to build trust.
When working for B2B companies, the struggle is always the same. Acquiring customers requires trust, and you build trust by determining who you serve and how well you do that.
Getting the case studies right enables customers to open doors to you. It’s proof that you can deliver value for them. Without case studies, you may need to “buy” the customers to get a case study available for potential customers.
Let’s understand what valuable case studies should have. Then, we will evaluate two highly successful companies and review how case studies help them get customers.
In one of the B2B companies I worked with, the salespeople complained about how hard it was to persuade clients to listen to them. I learned that the company hadn’t pursued any case studies. That was a surprise to me. Then, I talked to the leadership team, and they flipped when I mentioned it.
Sometimes, companies perceive study cases as arduous and cumbersome to create. I wouldn’t say it’s the easiest thing in the world, but it’s not that hard. You have to cover:
That’s all you need. Five steps to thrive. No more, no less. Sometimes, the challenge is getting the first done and finding a suitable format.
Personio is a German scale-up, positioning itself as an all-in HR system. They were founded in 2015 and, since then, grew steadily. Now, spread over Europe with over ten thousand customers, they have a valuation of eight billion EUR.
What Personio does well is using its customers’ satisfaction to boost sales. Looking at their use cases, the first thing I stumbled upon was the following:
Personio shares many use cases in a simple and engaging way. The headline of each case gives an idea of what the customer achieved, and the blurbs show the industry and its size:
Each case follows a simple structure:
The cases take no more than four minutes to read, and understanding the value created happens in the first minute.
Have you ever heard about Stripe? Maybe you don’t know them, but chances are high that you use them indirectly when paying for something.
Stripe is a major payment platform used by many companies like Amazon, Google, Airbnb, Booking.com, Slack, Zoom, and many others.
Success stories are something Stripe masters. When you look at their customers, they first present results, which creates authority:
Stripe understands the value of case studies so well that it organizes them beautifully. Potential customers can search for various cases related to company size, use case, solution, and region. This way, customers can find relatable stories.
Let’s take e-commerce as an example. The first visualization puts the customer as the hero with a short result description:
When you go to the case study itself, you find a simple and solid structure to understand the value created. First, you learn about the customer, and then the challenge is presented with the achieved results by its side. After that, you can read how the solution was implemented and, finally, the achieved results.
Each case is well written in simple language, easy to read, and straightforward with the results. The cases have customer quotes emphasizing the partnership and what Stripe enabled the customer to achieve.
Stripe keeps the study cases consistent in format, size, style, and readability. That facilitates grasping the essence and deciding whether they are the ideal partner or not.
Without study cases, acquiring customers will be more complex than you can estimate. Case studies can be simple and yet remain highly valuable. All you need to present is what the challenge was, how your product helped the customer overcome it, and which results it created
Great study cases have a reading time no longer than a few minutes, and understanding the value created should take a maximum of one minute. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to create beautiful cases. Visit brands you identify with and understand how they craft their study cases. Create case studies now and thrive next. You will see a massive sales improvement once your case studies are convincing and valuable.
Featured image source: IconScout
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