Coaching and learning
Case studies are designed to help attract more prospects, shorten the sales cycle and increase customer wins, so they’re usually aimed at an external audience. But adapting them for an internal audience can also be a powerful way of driving sales — by highlighting how and where success happens and motivating the sales team. To do this, the traditional customer-facing case study often needs to be taken a step further for the internal audience, focusing more on the sales or implementation process. Xerox’s customer reference programme takes this into account.
For example, Xerox identified executive sponsorship as critical to winning a number of deals. This involved a director or other senior executive putting their weight behind the bid, maybe by helping the sales team overcome hurdles within the company; or by strengthening a peer relationship within the customer organisation.
Xerox decided to run an internal programme to raise awareness and understanding of how senior Xerox executives can support the deal pursuit process. As part of this programme Ian asked HN to develop a number of case studies that would capture the executive sponsor’s role and demonstrate their contribution to sealing the deal. These case studies proved a successful knowledge-sharing tool, and Ian has now asked HN to work with him to create internal case studies for sales that offer more
insight into the deal and its implementation.
Ian wants to arm sales with enough information about important wins to be able to have an in-depth discussion with prospects and, ultimately, win more deals. He wants to ensure that when a customer conversation based around a case study really gets going, sales don’t find themselves unable to answer questions such as: how fast was the payback? how much did the customer have to do during the implementation? how long did that take?
“I talked through with HN what I wanted to achieve,” he says. “They put forward a considered proposal for creating these internal knowledge case studies that meets my objectives, and we’ll be starting on the project in the very near future. HN was so instrumental in the success of our executive sponsorship project that I’m confident they’ll do an equally great job on this new initiative.”