How to Build Case Study SOPs

BY Sam Harrison
February 2, 2023

By our estimates, only 1% of companies manage to publish a steady stream of customer stories. 

Want to join them? 

To build case studies at scale, you need to set up a systematic, step-by-step process for surfacing good candidates, making the ask, and producing a study that will convince prospects and wow leads. 

In other words, you need some standard operating procedures (SOPs) for your case study production process. 

1. What is a case study SOP?

A standard operating procedure is a set of easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions to help everyone in an organization perform a task. It can look like a checklist, a flowchart, or even an interactive questionnaire. 

SOPs should be part of your case study strategy. They serve as a single source of truth for all things case study-related at your organization. 

Case study SOPs should include: 

  • Coverage gaps: What customer success stories does your organization need to empower different teams? 
  • Roles and responsibilities: Who owns what piece of the process?
  • Templates: Links to templates for making the ask, following up with candidates, or sharing published stories
  • Plus, much, much more

2. Why are SOPs important for your case study creation process? 

Case study SOPs accomplish four goals: 

  1. They align all teams and team members around process and strategy
  2. They create accountabilities for roles and make it clear who owns what parts of the process
  3. They simplify access to templates, permission docs, etc.
  4. They communicate the value and importance of the program

Without this easily-accessible central source of truth, your case study program can start to feel nebulous. It’ll be harder to find new success stories and keep the process moving forward. 

3. Who needs to be involved in creating these SOPs? 

In one word: Everyone

One of the challenges for people in marketing—particularly customer advocacy, customer marketing, and product marketing—is that to be successful, you have to get other teams involved. 

By demonstrating you have a process and involving other teams in shaping that process, you are more likely to keep them involved going forward.

Customer success teams are closest to the customer, leadership sets the strategy, sales reps may be most attuned to what customers want and need. They each have valuable insights to contribute. If their priorities are taken into account from the start, you’ll produce better, more valuable assets for everyone.

By demonstrating you have a process and involving other teams in shaping that process, you are more likely to keep them involved going forward.

4. Should every company have these SOPs?

The short answer is yes. Every company, no matter what size, needs case study SOPs if they want to produce studies at scale. Yet it’s surprising how few companies have SOPs in place to help them execute. 

If you’re building any kind of customer referral program, advocacy program, or case study program, SOPs will help those programs scale with you as your company grows. They can help you train new hires faster and more efficiently. The earlier you get this in place, the better it can be woven into other conversations, documentation, and meetings, so that your SOPs can evolve alongside your company. 

Every company, no matter what size, needs case study SOPs if they want to produce studies at scale.

5. Why is it important to keep SOPs up to date?

If your SOPs aren’t live, accessible, and regularly updated, they’ll lose relevance and quickly be forgotten—which defeats the purpose of creating them in the first place. 

An SOP not only brings us all into focus, but it should be something that you refer back to, update, and share. Make it a central point of discussion so your program stays relevant and useful.

Let us help you build your case study SOPs 

If building your SOPs from scratch feels overwhelming, we can help. We’ve helped hundreds of companies through the case study creation process, and we’ve seen firsthand what works—and what doesn’t.

Contact us to start the conversation.

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