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B2B companies typically produce case studies to show how a customer benefited by using their solution. But most organizations miss out on another valuable way to leverage these tools. Here’s a simple way case studies can help your sales team overcome objections early in the sales cycle. 

questionsI recently listened in on an AIPMM-sponsored webinar called Get Inside Your Customer’s Head! The presenter was Steve Rankel of Product180. (If you’re not familiar with Steve, check him out. He’s a master at developing killer value propositions and sales messages, and his site offers lots of useful tools.)

Steve’s presentation focused on interviewing customers to figure out your value proposition. The main idea was to use this information to refine your positioning. But what really caught my attention was when Steve talked about using customer experiences to help address prospect objections.

First you need to understand why your customers’ were initially skeptical of your offering. Let’s assume your company is Docs-R-Us and sells document management software. Perhaps during interviews, you discover that many of your customers were initially hesitant because your solution is offered via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. Companies were concerned that users without Internet connections would be unable to access electronic files – a fear reinforced by their talks with other SaaS providers.

If enough of your customers shared this concern, you’ve got good reason to try to preempt the objection before it scares off other potential customers. Find out what turned these customers’ views around. In this case, let’s assume it’s the fact that you enable users to access files while offline. Then present a story that highlights one customer’s concern with this issue and why your offering ultimately won them over. Instead of producing a case study entitled Docs-R-Us Helps XZY Corporation Locate Records in Half the Time, you could publish one entitled Assessing Your Document Management Options: Why All Software-as-a-Service Offerings Are Not Equal.

Sure, you could produce a stand-alone piece that addresses this concern. But case studies are often a more powerful way to convey your message – after all, prospects tend to believe the veracity of statements made by other customers.