The Ultimate Guide To Writing A B2B SaaS Case Study
Imagine that you’re looking to buy a car. You’ve probably narrowed down your choice to two or three models, but you just can’t quite make up your mind.
Then imagine your best friend telling you about their new car. They start raving about how it has made their life more convenient and how it’s so efficient with gas that they’re practically saving money with the help of that car.
You would be enticed to buy that car too, right?
That’s the effect that a B2B SaaS case study can bring to your potential customers — wherein your SaaS product is the “car” in the analogy and they are the buyers.
But writing a case study is no walk in the park.
That’s why, in this article, we will talk about everything you need to know about writing a B2B SaaS case study.
We will define what it is, the benefits it can bring to your SaaS business, and its different components. What’s more, we will go through a step-by-step rundown on how you can write a compelling B2B case study.
So let’s go.
What Is A B2B SaaS Case Study?
A SaaS case study is an intensive and detailed analysis of how a SaaS product has helped a particular customer solve a specific pain point or reach a certain goal.
A SaaS case study typically starts with a description of the customer’s initial problems, then how they discovered your SaaS product. It would then cover the process of implementing your SaaS product and the results they have achieved afterward.
The best case studies are usually those that are backed up by cold hard numbers.
These could be statistics or metrics of your customer’s performance before and after using your SaaS solution. With these data to back up your claims, you can effectively demonstrate how effective your SaaS product is.
Why Are Case Studies Important For SaaS Businesses?
Based on what we’ve talked about so far, it’s obvious that case studies are important because they can help get people to purchase your SaaS product.
And that’s the biggest thing about it. A case study could be the difference between a lost lead and a new customer.
It can easily be one of the most effective tools to nurture your leads and get them to try out your SaaS product.
But let’s talk about specific reasons why you should include case studies in your marketing and sales arsenal:
They Provide Social Proof
Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy actions made by other people that seem to be favorable in a given situation. And in the world of business, this can be a powerful marketing tool.
Let’s flashback a bit to the analogy we’ve talked about in the introduction part of this blog post. Your best friend bought a car and brought many significant benefits to his life. So you would be more likely to buy the same car.
In the same way, showcasing how other customers have benefited from your SaaS product may also encourage (and even compel) anyone who reads the case study to try it out as well.
They Showcase Your SaaS Product In Action
One of the major concerns a typical potential B2B buyer has when it comes to purchasing a SaaS product (or any product, for that matter) is how the product works in real life.
Sure, there may be a lot of videos and content about how your SaaS solution works. But at the back of their minds, all of that is just marketing.
Remember that we’re referring to businessmen and professionals too. They likely know how this all works.
But SaaS case studies feature real customers, real problems, and real results. Backed up with factual data, you can make a stronger case that your SaaS product is a worthy investment for their own companies.
They Can Help Differentiate Your SaaS Product
The SaaS industry is highly competitive. Chances are you are currently facing off against several, if not tens of direct competitors.
And if you want a large share of the B2B SaaS market pie, you will need to differentiate your SaaS product from what your competitors offer. That usually involves highlighting and communicating the unique features that make your SaaS solution stand out from the crowd.
Again, you wouldn’t just want to throw bold claims into the air. You need solid proof to back up these claims.
And a SaaS case study just might do the trick. Not only will it showcase the unique features or inclusions that make your SaaS product an essential part of their business processes. It also highlights how it became so to other companies similar to theirs.
Key Parts Of A B2B SaaS Case Study
A B2B SaaS case study is essentially a story about how your SaaS product has improved your customer’s business. And just like any riveting story, it comes with a structure. There are distinct parts you should include.
A SaaS case study has the following key parts:
- Executive Summary
- The Solution
- Case Study Conclusion
- Call To Action (CTA)
Let’s talk about these parts one by one.
Your case study headline is the very first thing that your readers will see. So you need to make sure that it catches their attention.
More importantly, the headline should concisely state two things: the name (or a description) of your customer and the benefit they received. You may also add the name of your SaaS product if it makes the headline sound better.
Here are some examples of attention-catching case study headlines you could examine:
- “Drift Uses Gong’s ‘Goldmine Of Data’ To Increase Sales Productivity”
- “Thinx Uses Heap To Drive Growth And Retention”
- “How Reply.io Helped Demio Find Their Ideal Customers”
These headlines are short and to the point.
Because of the clear descriptions, companies who are looking to increase sales productivity, drive growth and retention, or find their ideal customers may be interested in clicking through.
However, you may also add specific numbers about the benefit that your customer experienced after using your SaaS product.
This makes your case study headline more authoritative and convincing to your target audience.
Let’s look at some examples of case study headlines that include such numbers:
- “How ClearPivot Saves 40 Hours On Client Reporting Every Month (& How That Improves Performance”
- “How a typeform cut an agency’s lead-to-client time by 40%”
- “How Apollo Used Chili Piper to Increase Revenue By 300%”
Do you see how these numbers could help give your SaaS case study headlines more power? Who wouldn’t want to save 40 hours a month, optimize their sales cycle by 40%, or increase revenue by 300%?
The more specific you are with your headline, the more attractive it can be to your potential customer. But of course, not at the cost of an overly long headline that gives all the details away. Remember that your goal is to catch your readers’ attention and make them click through.
The Executive Summary is a brief overview of your entire case study.
It’s sort of an elevator pitch for your SaaS case study. It should include a description of the necessary key details, such as the problem, the solution, and the result.
If you didn’t include particular details in your headline, such as your customer’s name, your SaaS product’s name, and/or specific numbers for the results, this is the place to do so.
However, another purpose for your Executive Summary is to usher your readers into reading the rest of your article.
While it gives away more details than the headline might not have, it should also compel your potential customer to read further down to the body of your case study.
Let’s have a look at a good example of an Executive Summary from Typeform’s case study:
“What if we told you that making sales calls is a waste of time? And that talking to people through a typeform can slash the time it takes to turn a lead into a client by 40%? You’d think this was the start of a corny sales pitch, right? Well, it’s not (but please, do buy a Typeform subscription).
In fact, this advice comes from DeAnna McIntosh, Chief Global Strategist at The Affinity Group International. She used Typeform to create an interactive, engaging booking form for her brand strategy consultancy – and the results are impressive.”
What’s really good about this case study example is that it does really well on both fronts — providing more details and subtly encouraging people to read further.
It even starts with a “what if” question, which is a classic sales pitch opener. What’s more, it also includes a hint of a call-to-action there in the middle. But don’t worry, that’s not really necessary in an executive summary.
If you notice, the example shifts your attention to the customer and the specific steps they took to achieve the 40% reduction in lead-to-client time. And hinting at the result, it ushers you to the rest of the case study.
“An evil empire is imposing tyrannical rule all throughout the galaxy.”
“A dark lord has returned to take over Middle Earth.”
“AI has taken over the Earth and is harvesting energy from enslaved human bodies.”
Every good story starts with a tough challenge. While the challenges for typical B2B SaaS buyers don’t typically involve evil empires, or dark lords, or AI overlords, they do involve scenarios that can be pretty scary to other business owners.
This section of your SaaS case study should include a detailed description of your customer’s problems and challenges before they discovered your SaaS product.
Your goal for this section is to get your reader to relate or identify with your featured customer. They are probably experiencing the same problem and may be wondering how to solve it.
In this section, you need to get your prospective customers to see themselves in your featured customer’s shoes. If you do, then the succeeding parts of your SaaS case study will have a better impact on them as well.
One good example of a well-written Challenges section is this case study by Zylo. On it, they list their customer’s three main challenges, which include the following:
Insights into SaaS usage and spend
Ensuring SaaS compliance and security
Drive IT efficiency and productivity
Below each key challenge, the case study explains further details about it. This can be a good practice if your featured customer has experienced multiple challenges before using your SaaS product.
Once you have laid out the specific challenges that your customer faced, it’s time to tell the story of how your SaaS solution became THE solution to those problems.
This section should include a detailed account of the implementation process.
It has to specify the specific steps your customer took to set up your SaaS product and incorporate it into their business.
If applicable, it also needs to contain the specific settings that your customer had in place for each feature. Were they able to customize the layout of your SaaS product’s interface? Were there any access restrictions for specific types of users?
What’s more, if your customer applied any third-party software integrations to your SaaS product, your case study should also feature what those integrations are and how they integrated them into your platform. Was it a direct integration, a customized API setting, or was it through other third-party platforms like Zapier and IFTTT?
Your goal for this section is to help your prospective customers see themselves doing the same implementation process being described.
That way, they can also see themselves being successful in using your SaaS product to solve their own challenges.
And having these nitty-gritty details can help you make your readers further identify with your featured customer. That’s especially true if they are using the same software that your customer integrated with your SaaS product.
For example, let’s say your SaaS case study explains how your customer seamlessly integrated your SaaS product with HubSpot and Mailchimp. If the reader is also using those same tools, they will be more likely to relate to your customer’s story and become more interested in your SaaS product.
Now, we’re on to the meatiest part of your B2B case study, which is the results section. This part should be devoted to highlighting the success that your customer experienced after using your SaaS product.
This section is where most of the social proof phenomenon happens. The results or outcomes of using your SaaS product need to amaze them and get them to want the same benefits for their businesses.
And there are three powerful types of data and content you can present here: metrics, graphics, and testimonials.
As we mentioned earlier, having cold hard numbers to back up your bold claims can go a really long way in convincing your prospects that your SaaS product can truly provide impressive results.
But what metrics should you feature in this section?
You need to include metrics that measure how much your SaaS product has addressed the challenges you presented earlier.
For example, if one of your featured customer’s main challenges is reducing sales cycle length, you should include how long it took for them to close deals before and after using your SaaS product. If it’s increasing their revenue, you should include their exact revenue increase (if they’re okay to disclose it).
As you may have observed from our examples earlier, presenting results in terms of percentages can also help you make your case stronger.
Showing that your customer was able to save 70% on their operational costs or increase their revenue by 300% will have a bigger impact than just speaking in plain numbers.
Visuals can also be really helpful in displaying the impact of your SaaS product on your customers’ businesses.
You can include real-time graphs, charts, and diagrams that illustrate how their key performance indicators (KPIs) have changed before and after using your product.
When it comes to case studies, visuals are especially important since prospective customers usually make their purchasing decisions based on real data. And having a visual representation of the results makes it more clearer for them and easier to understand.
Aside from impressive metrics accompanied by graphics, having your customer’s own words to back up the results you presented in your SaaS case study can make it even more convincing for potential B2B buyers.
You can ask them to provide their own quotes or short blurbs about what they think of your product and how its performance has exceeded their expectations.
These testimonials should focus on your customer’s experience with your product, as well as its tangible benefits that have been made clear throughout the SaaS case study.
For example, let’s go back to Typeform’s case study. At the Result section, it features this quote from the customer’s Chief Global Strategist:
“The typeform helps me to qualify the client upfront so I can get straight to the proposal. Using Typeform has decreased my lead to client journey timeline by 40% due to the drastic reduction of the amount of initial consultation requests!”
If you want to further increase the impact of this section, you can also include a video testimonial from your customer instead of (or in addition to) a written one.
A video testimonial will add a personal touch and make your case study even more engaging for potential customers.
Case Study Conclusion
Once you’ve presented all the results, it’s time to wrap up your B2B SaaS case study.
Your conclusion should be fairly straightforward and concise. It should sum up the main points of the story and reiterate what benefits or outcomes your customer experienced after using your SaaS product.
Your conclusion should leave your reader with a good impression of your SaaS solution.
You want to make sure that they remember these results you just presented and wonder how your SaaS product might benefit them as well.
Call To Action (CTA)
At the very end of your case study, you should include a call to action (CTA). This CTA should invite your reader to take their own steps towards experiencing similar results for their business.
Let’s look at our favorite example (the one made by Typeform). Its CTA section literally explains the step-by-step process of creating an online form using Typeform and invites the reader to try it.
From that example, we can learn that you can be creative with your CTA section, as long as it does the job (leading your reader closer to signing up for your SaaS product).
Your CTA can be anything from signing up for a free trial or scheduling a demo with your sales team. Whatever it is, it should build from the momentum you’ve created with your SaaS case study.
How To Create A B2B SaaS Case Study
Now we’ve gone through the important parts you need to include in a SaaS case study, let’s talk about the process of researching, writing, and distributing it.
It involves these several steps:
1) Identify Which Customer To Feature
If you’ve been in the B2B SaaS industry for quite a while you probably have hundreds (if not thousands) of customers. And let’s say at least 60% of them have success stories that you can share using a case study.
How do you choose which one to feature?
The answer: it depends on your target audience.
Look for customers who are similar to the target audience you want to reach. That can be a matter of industry, company size, company structure, or other firmographic factors.
For example, let’s say you have a customer relationship management (CRM) platform and you want to target small real estate brokerages. You should look for a small real estate brokerage within your customer base to feature in your case study.
2) Reach Out To Your Chosen Customer And Propose The Case Study
Even if you’re left with only a few choices on which customers to feature, you can’t just start writing a SaaS case study without their consent.
You need to give them a heads-up, explain the value of such a study for them, and schedule an interview with them.
Here are some tips to help you do this in the best way possible:
Ask When They Are Happy With Your SaaS Product
Make sure that your chosen customer is happy with your product before you approach them. Otherwise, they might not want to cooperate with you. Or worse, they might provide a negative review, which can be disastrous for you.
One way you can know the right timing is by regularly sending out feedback forms or surveys, such as customer satisfaction (CSAT) or net promoter score (NPS) surveys. This will help you get a general feel of how your customer feels and when they are most receptive to you.
Another way would be to track their usage of your SaaS product.
Once you see a period where they have reached one of their goals with the help of your SaaS solution, that might be a good time to approach them.
Present What’s In It For them
It’s not like the SaaS case study is for your benefit alone. In truth, a case study is a win-win between you and your customer.
On your end, it’s a showcase of how effective your SaaS product is at solving real-world problems. On your customer’s end, it’s an opportunity to build brand awareness. Even better, telling their success story may even attract investors and partners.
Whatever benefit you think a case study will give your customer, make sure you explain it well.
Your customer is probably busy and may not have the time to talk. That’s why you should offer an incentive for their cooperation.
It could be a free month of subscription, some free credits, or even just something as small as a thank-you note or shoutout on social media. It doesn’t have to be much, but it will show your customers that you appreciate them taking the time out to speak with you.
3) Conduct Your Interview
Your interview with your customer will be the main source of information for the SaaS case study you’re going to write. So make sure you cover all your bases and build your relationship with your customer.
Here are some pointers you may want to keep in mind as you craft your interview questions:
Build A Rapport With Your Interviewee
Your interview isn’t just about getting information from your customer. It’s also about building your relationship with them.
When it comes to building rapport, the best practice is to ask open-ended questions not necessarily meant for the company as a whole, but for the interviewee. These questions should allow your interviewee to share their experiences, thoughts, and opinions.
However, be careful not to make these questions too personal. Otherwise, the interview could get very awkward real quick.
With that, here are a few rapport-building questions you may want to ask:
- What do you love about working in your company?
- How did you start working in this industry/profession?
- How do you usually stay up to date on industry trends and developments?
Ask About Their Challenges
Since one of the major parts of your case study is the challenge your customer had before using your SaaS product, you need to find out everything you can about what it was like for them.
For example, you can ask questions like the following:
- What were the biggest challenges you had before using our platform?
- What specific workflows or processes were affected by these problems?
- How did you initially respond to these challenges?
- How did these problems impact your overall business performance?
If your customer can provide specific metrics to paint a more detailed picture, even better.
Ask About Their Implementation Of Your SaaS Product
You also need to ask questions about how they started using your SaaS product. This would be your main source of content to put in the “Solution” part of your SaaS case study.
Here are some questions that may prove useful in this area:
- How does our software fit into your overall workflow?
- Which particular features do you find most useful and why?
- Are there other SaaS platforms that you integrate with ours? If yes, what are they? How do they work together with our software?
Ask About The Results
And of course, you also need to ask about the results your customer got from using your SaaS product.
Below are some questions you may want to ask:
- How has our SaaS product impacted your overall business performance?
- How has it helped you achieve your goals?
- How has it impacted your bottom line?
This is also a good time to ask for KPIs and graphics that they may have used on their own reports. What’s more, you also need to actively look out for exact quotes that you may use as testimonials.
As we mentioned earlier, these are powerful types of content that can help make your SaaS case study more compelling to potential customers.
4) Write Your First Draft
Once you have all the information you need, it’s time to write your B2B SaaS case study. And just like any written piece of content, you start with a first draft.
Let’s talk about some pointers that may help you as you write your case study:
Keep It Concise
Remember that your case study’s goal is to attract potential customers to sign up or at least try out your SaaS product. That’s not going to happen if you bore them with lengthy, rambling narratives.
SaaS case studies are not meant to be long. Your goal is to make sure that your prospects get the information they need without having to read a lot of text.
On top of that, keep your sentences short and clear, avoiding flowery or overly technical language. You have to assume that your reader doesn’t know the jargon you may use in your industry.
If you do have to use jargon or technical terms, be sure to define or explain them.
Focus On The Customer’s Perspective
Keep in mind that this is your customer’s story, not yours.
Sure, one of the main purposes of your case study is to showcase how effective your SaaS product is. But you do that by letting your customer and their story speak for you.
So make sure that you keep the focus on your customer’s perspective and describing things from their point of view.
Keep Your Target Audience In Mind
As you write your B2B SaaS case study, it’s also important to remember why it exists in the first place.
It’s not just about showing off how awesome your product is. But more importantly, it’s about helping potential customers like them make the right decision about buying your SaaS product.
That’s why you need to keep your target audience in mind. Think of their specific challenges and how they can benefit from using your SaaS product.
This will help shape how you craft your story and the message that you want to deliver through your case study. You can do this by using words and examples that are likely to resonate with their needs and challenges.
5) Edit & Revise As Needed
Once you have your first draft, it’s time to go through the editing and revision process.
Below are a few things to do in this step:
Fact Check & Review The Messaging
Editing isn’t just about proofreading for spelling or grammatical errors. This is also where you make sure that all the facts are as accurate as possible and that you haven’t missed any important details.
You also want to make sure that the content is written in a concise yet compelling way — basically making sure that it follows all the pointers we’ve discussed above.
If things don’t feel quite right or if something isn’t working, don’t hesitate to re-write whole sections or even start from scratch if necessary. Take your time with this step so you can get it right.
Get Feedback From Your Featured Customer
Before you publish your case study, it’s always a good idea to get feedback from your featured customer.
After all, it’s their story. It’s about how their experience was with your SaaS product. So if there are any inaccuracies or changes that need to be made, they’re the ones who can point it out.
6) Publish and Promote Your Case Study
Once everything is in order, it’s time to get the word out.
So how do you publish your case study and make sure it reaches the right ears (or eyes)?
Here are a few tips:
Choose The Right Distribution Channel
There are a lot of different marketing channels that you can use to publish and distribute your case study. And just as with any marketing campaign, this ultimately depends on your target audience.
The most popular choice would be to post it on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and of course, LinkedIn.
You can also send it to your email marketing lists. After all, case studies are often lead nurturing tools, so you want to make sure that your existing leads get a chance to read them. And hopefully, it would be the final push for them to finally buy your SaaS product.
Track Engagement Metrics
To know whether or not your case study is reaching the right audience, you need to track engagement metrics related to your case study.
As for which specific metrics to track, it mostly depends on which marketing channels you’ve used.
For example, if you share your case study on social media, you may want to track the number of likes, comments, and shares that your post gets. Or if you’re using email, be sure to track open rates and click-through rates.
If you publish your SaaS case study as a downloadable file — say, a PDF — it would also be best to track how many downloads you get.
Not only will this data show you how well your case study is doing. It can also help inform your future B2B SaaS marketing strategy.
Final Thoughts About Writing A B2B SaaS Case Study
Writing a B2B SaaS case study is one of the most effective ways to showcase the success of your product and help potential customers make
But it’s not enough to just throw together some facts. You need to craft a compelling story that would resonate with their needs and challenges.
It’s a lot of work, but it can pay off immensely in terms of lead generation, nurturing, and (eventually) conversion. So take your time researching, writing, and getting creative with your B2B SaaS case study.
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