A case study matrix supports sales

We all know how important case studies are. Nothing says “we can do it” better than “we have done it”, especially if you can add “for a company like yours”.

Despite their importance, here’s how 90% businesses develop case studies:

  1. They have a prospective customer who asks about their experience.
  2. They scrabble around for an existing customer who’s i) vaguely similar and ii) still on good terms with them.
  3. They produce a case study that only really suits this prospective customer and is too late to help the sale.

There’s a better way.

A case study matrix tells you in advance which case studies you’re going to need. It gives you the strategic overview that produces a case study to support every sales proposal.

And it’s really simple.

 

The case study matrix

A case study matrix tells you what you need to support sales

A case study matrix tells you what you need to support sales

Each column represents one of your target markets. Normally, these will be industry names like “Manufacturing” or “Oil & Gas”. You might want to be a bit more lateral with titles like “Enterprise” and “SME”.

Each row represents what you’re trying to sell. This includes products like “Workwear”, services like “Conveyancing” and maybe upsell items like “Warranties”. But the rows should also include the brand attributes you’re trying to promote. These attributes are some of the most important factors that persuade customers to buy from you instead of your competitors. Having a case study that says “yes, they really do have the expertise they claim” makes your pitch infinitely more powerful.

Once you have the matrix, go through your customer list to decide which customers fit in which cells.

 

How many case studies?

Don’t be scared by the number of empty cells the matrix generates. You don’t have to have a different company in each box. The company that says you do great workwear might also say you’re expert and fast.

 

Benefits of a case study matrix

The advantages of the case study matrix are:

  1. You have a case study to support every sales proposal. You know which markets you target. You know the products/services you sell and the attributes you promote. The matrix proposes a case study for every one.
  2. You have case studies before you need them. There’s no last minute scrabble.
  3. You don’t duplicate case studies. It’s far more useful to have two case studies that promote different qualities than two case studies that promote the same quality. The matrix guides you to develop the case studies you need, not the ones that are easy.
  4. The case study matrix blends in with other strategies. When you want to target a new market, you just add a new column to the matrix. You instantly know what you need to do to support sales operations in that market.

 

Your next steps

  • Download a sample case study matrix and blank template from this page.
  • Add your row and column headings.
  • Produce your case studies.