Fire Up Your Sales Staff with Case Studies

A graphic T-rex skeleton in the sky with a young boy reaching up to touch a tooth

Jack Horner and Nathan Myhrvold cornered the market on T-rex skeletons.

From 1999 until 2008, their expeditions discovered 9 Tyrannosaurus specimens.

That might not seem like a lot. But, in the 100-years from 1909 until 1999, only 18 dinosaur skeletons were discovered.

Finding 9 skeletons in 9 years was phenomenal.

Before Horner and Myhrvold’s discoveries, people assumed dinosaur skeletons were rare. That’s not the case.

What was happening was a faulty method of searching. People looking for dinosaur bones weren’t looking hard enough.

Horner and Myhrvold changed that system. Their improved system inspired budding paleontologists around the world.

It fired up dinosaur hunters to work smarter.

Searching for bones is hot, dry work.

So is selling—any type of selling.

Sales managers are always on the lookout for ways to stimulate their staff. In reality, they may be sitting on a chest full of treasure: a wealth of case studies.

Case Studies Fire Up your Sales Staff in Three Ways:

  1. Appreciation of client problems.
  2. Understanding product nuances.
  3. Accelerating sales.


Let’s start with #1: Appreciation of client problems

Your staff probably thinks they understand client problems. But do they?

Do they know how a typical project plays out? Do they appreciate the different challenges each customer faces?

Each customer’s situation is unique.

These particular factors are what case studies highlight. They give your staff an appreciation and empathy for the various problems faced by your customers.

Case studies help your sales staff “personalize” their approach for each company.

The 2018 B2B Buyers Survey asserts industry understanding is crucial. Of those surveyed:

62% noted a desire for sales to demonstrate experience with or knowledge of their industry. . . More than half (64%) of respondents noted that one of the most important variables when evaluating solution providers was a sales team that demonstrated knowledge of their company and had insights into their problems

The best way to gain knowledge for each industry and company is to understand the fine details of your product.

#2. Understanding product nuances

Each customer uses your product in their own way. So each case study provides a peek into real-world practices.

A case study will often reveal ways to use your product that isn’t in any sales manual.

Other case studies discuss implementation challenges. And some show customers calling on your excellent customer service department.

Reading case studies as part of ongoing sales training keeps your staff current on real-life issues.

Case studies demonstrate the benefits of what you sell.

So – how many case studies do you need?

You can never have too many case studies. A good rule of thumb is to have a case study for every industry you target. It’s also good to have case studies that discuss implementation, add-on features, and customer service.

If that’s too complex, think about the size of your company.

Small firms can start with 4-6 case studies a year. Larger companies might want to produce a case study every month or once a quarter.

Besides educating your staff, case studies can also motivate them.

#3. Accelerating sales

First, case studies are fun to read. They’re written from your customers’ points of view and in their own words.

Usually, case studies have pictures, which make them enjoyable to scan.

Secondly, case studies give social proof. Learning how real people use your product improves understanding of your product.

These two things let your staff see your solution through customers’ eyes.

As a result, your team is “sold” on what you do. This understanding creates a core of evangelists.

Evangelists don’t work for money.

They work to help people – which is a better motivator.

Enthusiastic teams work smarter, faster, and longer. They won’t be bringing in sales – they’ll be changing customers’ lives.

Jack Horner and Nathan Myhrvold changed the system paleontologists use for finding dinosaur bones.

You can do the same with staff training. You can fire them up with case studies.

Feel you don’t have time to create case studies?

Use an outside writer – and you’ll get better results.