If you’re new to case-study writing or customer storytelling, it can be hard to know where to start. With this three-step process, you’ll learn how to create a story for your website or marketing materials that will help sell your B2B product or service with colour, conviction, and clarity.
Ask yourself… do you have a story worth telling? And will your client be happy for us to tell it? Keep in mind that any tale you tell must talk about your best work or the best example of what you stand for.
Most of all, your story must be relatable to your primary decision-maker and if you want to grab their attention, you need to talk about something they really care about. Put yourself in their shoes and try and develop a clear picture of how you want to make your reader feel – right after they’ve finished reading it. Will they feel motivated to get in touch, impressed by your track record, wowed by your attention-to-detail? It’s impossible to be all things to all people so try and focus on one or two key messages or takeaways.
Your chosen story should also highlight any outstanding, head-turning results that can be quantified. If not, your reader may not be motivated enough to make the initial enquiry. Now that you’ve had a good long think and you’re happy that the tale you have in mind ticks all those boxes, you’ve already taken the first and probably hardest step.
So, you’ve got a good story on your hands. Now you need to talk to the people who can help you bring it to life. Sales Reps and Account Managers are the obvious starting point. Great sales professionals are curious by nature and make it their business to know the inside story on every major purchasing decisions made by their customer. They’ll know customer motivations inside-out, and they’ll understand the key metrics and the KPIs that really matter.
In technical sales, while your support engineers and technical teams may not actually sell the solution, they do play a huge role. In many cases, technical or engineering support is the main reason the deal is done in the first place – and will be the reason the contract gets renewed. In high-tech or engineering sectors, you should never underestimate the strength of connection between your service teams and the client.
As a simple rule, where possible you should talk to anyone on your side who was in contact with anyone on their side. Every small detail, every ounce of insight you can gather, will all help to build up your story.
It’s time to tell the story and get it down on paper. But before you type or write anything, try telling this story to a colleague over the space of a couple of minutes. Think of this as a dry run. You might feel a bit silly at first but this exercise will help you get a handle on how the story flows. This way, you’ll iron out any obvious knots or kinks before you start to write.
And by getting someone to listen to the story as stories have always been told, it will feel like you are bringing it to life. It’s only now that you need to put pen to paper. The best way to start is to simply use the four famous headings as your foundation… Client, Challenge, Work, and Results. Yes – it does feel a bit boring or predictable but it will put the building blocks to your customer story in place.
Remember, once you have written up the first draft, you can always replace the four with more specific or active headings. For a little help with the writing bit, find out here how you can put together a case study in just 20 minutes.
Whether you’re a natural storyteller or not, by thinking carefully about how you’ve helped customers in the past, you can create future sales opportunities. The selling really is in the storytelling…