šŸ‘‹ Hi, Iā€™m James. Thanks for checking out Building Momentum: a newsletter to help startup founders and marketers accelerate SaaS growth through product marketing.

One of the best sales reps I ever worked with had a secret weapon. He kept it pretty quiet – certainly from the overzealous brand-led marketing director I worked for. But it worked. He closed more customers, bigger deals, and build stronger relationships with every prospect.

At the start of every sales process, he took the time to really understand the metrics that the prospect was be looking to impact: the quantifiable measures of value that would be used to judge success.

This would be used to create a personalized business case spreadsheet that was shared with the prospect, but didn’t have any of the with/without numbers completed. It was just a template – branded with their own logo – that they could use to play around with scenarios and look at the potential outcomes they could achieve.

Then throughout the sales engagement, the sales rep would keep referencing the metrics, the business case, and introducing proof points on our success impacting those numbers for other customers. These proof points would come from the case studies we’d created, our primary data, and his experience working with other customers.

Towards the end of the process, he would then re-introduce the business case and lead a workshop with the prospect to guide them through completing it with the metrics and proof points he’d already introduced. And of course, they ended up with a spreadsheet showing they couldn’t go wrong when choosing our product.

This worked with an astonishingly high close rate.

Why did this work?

I think the business case is extremely clever, for three reasons.

Firstly, it really supports the prospect on their journey and helps them buy – not just selling to them.

Secondly, it introduces unique wisdom and a challenger angle into the process. If buyers are 67% through the process before they speak to someone, now they’re re-evaluating what they already know in a new, but slightly different light.

Lastly, prospects felt more engaged and have more ownership in the business case process. They feel more confident about the potential outcomes after completing the spreadsheets themselves – rather than having something provided pre-filled.

Can you build a business case tool?

Business case tools don’t have to be complex, and are made up of just three components:

  • The input metrics that impact success
  • The expectations of how those input metrics will be improved
  • The output metrics for modelling outcomes

If you like, you can get more complex and map out projections across time, show low/medium/high options, and compare against competitor metrics – and the dreaded status quo too.

Regardless of your ideal customer profile and personas, a business case can help you turn intangible outcomes into concrete projections and expectations, win more business, and build stronger customer relationships too.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you thought – find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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