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 way:

“XYZ Group Redefines the Word ‘Savings’ and Rocks ABC Corp.’s World”

The wrong way one more time:

“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.

7. 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.

8. Footnotes and 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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