Welcome!

CMS Authors: Mehdi Daoudi, Rishi Bhargava, Harry Trott, Xenia von Wedel, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: CMS

CMS: Article

Getting Short-Listed & Winning Work: Include Case Studies in Each Proposal

Add customer success stories for punch in your sales proposals

It's clear that customer case studies and success stories are integral to the sales process. But how many organizations actually use them in every proposal?

According to Robyn Haydon, Australian proposal-writing expert and author of the book The Shredder Test, companies don't integrate customer evidence nearly enough in actual sales proposals. But those that do, see the payoff.

"I know that a lot of my clients get short-listed because they have pushed hard to include evidence in their proposals, and case studies are really part of that," she said.

How do you bring your customer stories into your sales proposals?

Here, Haydon shares her tips from years of consulting with organizations on how to create bids, pitches and sales proposals that get results.

What is the role of a customer case study in a proposal?

Haydon: The customer case study provides proof or evidence that you can do for a new customer what you say you can. It shows evidence of what you have done before by showing results for other customers. A lot of proposals that I review after the fact - that are not successful - seem to be missing that.

How many case studies do you recommend a company include in a proposal?

Haydon: It's about the number of claims you want to make. Maybe there are three - it's important to match specific evidence to each of these claims. For example. ‘extensive experience' is often something a company wants to claim. To do that, it's best to provide at least 2-3 good case studies relevant to the client and their industry, where you spell out in detail what you did and what the results were, and then go on to show a longer list of other similar projects that prove the ‘extensive' claim.

You recommend including a "vignette" of the customer's story in the body of the proposal and then the full case study at the back. How long should vignettes be?

Haydon: Two to three sentences, but a lot goes into getting those sentences right. It can't just be off the top of your head. You need good material before summarizing it. Then the full case study may have a lot of technical description or photos to be included in the back.

In some industries, including just a vignette is enough, especially in competitive tendering where the objective is to get shortlisted. Give them enough information to show results and get them interested enough to want to know more.

How important is it that customer evidence in proposals has actual customer names?

Haydon: It's almost essential in a proposal to have customer names. You can't always publicly name companies that you work with, but it's worth the effort to get permission to share those names in internal documents like proposals. If you can't include hard results, then there are other ways of representing the results of your work, even if not in actual dollars saved.

Any anecdotes of a company seeing better results using case studies in proposals?

Haydon: One company I worked with didn't have any government business and was going after that. We looked at what they did for private-sector clients and adapted case study materials to show that the way they worked in the private sector would be applicable to government. Now almost 100% of their revenue is from government business.

Other tips for organizations thinking of adding case studies to their proposals?

Haydon: It's something that companies need to take seriously. It's quite a big job and an important job - not something that should be an afterthought. You have to set up an internal project to collect these materials. It's not OK to say, ‘we have two weeks, what can we pull out of a hat?'

Customers want to buy sure things. That's why case studies are so important. You have been there and done it before and you can do it again.

More Stories By Casey Hibbard

Casey Hibbard is the founder and president of Compelling Cases, Inc. and author of "Stories That Sell: Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Asset." She has helped dozens of companies create and manage nearly 500 customer case studies and success stories over the past decade. Casey is featured in numerous books, articles, and teleclasses. She consults with organizations one-on-one and conducts online customer-story classes.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...