There is no doubt about it – Sales teams absolutely need quality content to use as backup and support, particularly when they are building relationships and generating interest with new prospects. I have been in sales roles before where my leads were literally begging for content to better understand my product after our initial connection. Without those materials handy, both of us were very disappointed. They didn’t get the information they needed to move forward in the sales cycle, and I lost the deal because my business had nothing to show for its successes.
Give Your Team What They Need
Your company can instantly benefit from having a physical—or digital—case study to help prospects gain a deeper understanding of your product, service, and company culture. Here are a few groups that can utilize case studies the most:
- Cold Callers/Lead Generators: Your cold callers should already be well versed on previous or current customers. They should have at their fingertips reasons why other customers needed your product and how it helped once they made the investment. Back-up evidence to support these claims—with engaging testimonials—adds an extra oomph to the conversation.
- Account Managers: Account managers can leverage past successes with other clients—preferably those with semi-recognizable names and/or industry knowhow—as a way of upselling a product or service. A basic package can achieve these results, but a more expansive package can change a company altogether.
- Recruiters:A collection of case studies may even help your HR department. If a potential candidate wants to learn more about how your company works and the results it produces, having a case study handy can do wonders for painting a picture of your business
- Executives: Want to build relationships with key influencers or partnerships with other companies? Use your accomplishments as tokens to get you through the gate. Case studies can also help you in the fundraising process.
Create Your Own Case Study
A great case study should tell an effective story
- Define the Objective: Define the problem or challenge your client was trying to overcome. This is your case study’s objective. Try to keep your objectives to a minimum—the more succinct you are, the more dynamic the case study will be.
- Show What You Actually Did: Outline the steps your business took for your client, and be very detailed. Make sure each step directly correlates to your objective(s).
- Produce Measurable Results: This is the clincher. Provide detailed analysis and results on what you accomplished. Use numbers, percentages and graphs—the kind of vibrant outcomes people like to read.
Find Success with Freelancers
OpenView Partners has had great success working with freelancers . Consider using outside contractors to interview your customers and to draft your case study. There are a lot of freelancers on the market who have dropped their hourly rates for new business. (And you never know—your next freelancer may be a future full-time hire)
Here are some places to find freelancers:
- Craigslist: The “jobs — > writing/editing” section of Craigslist is teeming with eager freelancers looking to build relationships with companies or just crank out quality material.
- Yahoo Groups: Find over 600 groups dedicated to distributing leads on freelance writing jobs . Build relationships with members of these groups and maybe next time you won’t have to do any searching at all.
- Other Sources: There’s no shortage of job-posting sites on the Internet specifically geared towards freelancers. Some examples:
- Guru Employer : Not only does Guru allow you to post your listings by category and sort through 250,000 potential clients, it also allows you to pay your freelancers through the website itself—a one-stop shop!
- iFreelance : iFreelance has a unique bidding system for your projects, which allows you to be selective and save money at the same time.
- Media Bistro: Media Bistro focuses more so on the freelancer or prospective employee than it does the employer, but it also has a flourishing news section and many high-profile job postings.
- Elance : Much like Guru, Elance allows you to pay freelancers directly through the website. It also has a Workroom that allows you to track your project’s progress. The freelancer profiles are streamlined and informative; they feel a lot like LinkedIn.
Additionally, if you are looking for some exceptional external contractors for this type of initiative, I’d be happy to make some introductions to some great writers, designers, etc. that OpenView has worked with over the last year. Shoot me an email at [email protected] for more information!