What is a business case in B2B sales?
A business case in the world of B2B sales is a document that summarizes the key information and goals of a deal or partnership.
In today’s market, most buying teams are growing while budgets are shrinking. This means that every purchase is under scrutiny by executives – which makes aligning stakeholders and effectively reaching key decision makers more important than ever.
Business cases help stakeholders (especially executives) quickly understand the what and why behind a potential partnership, even if they haven’t been deeply involved with the deal. They are also a great tool for arming your champion with all the information they need to sell your solution internally.
Why is it important for sellers to use business cases?
The business case is the main resource you will revisit during the deal or partnership, reminding stakeholders why they’re evaluating your solution and what challenges you will help them solve.
As a seller, you won’t be in the room for every single conversation about your solution. You want to make sure you’re arming your champion and other stakeholders with all the key information they need to make a decision.
If there are important stakeholders or decision makers you need to loop in, the business case helps get them up to speed quickly and covers the most important points of the deal without getting too in the weeds.
By creating a business case with your buyers and aligning on their top priorities and challenges, you can more easily build a strong, trust-filled, long-lasting partnership.
How do you create a business case?
Each business case will be a little different depending on your solution and your buyers’ needs, but there are some best practices to follow every time. We put together this business case template and example to help you get started.
Outline the buyer’s executive-level priorities, challenges, and goals
At the very beginning of the business case, you should state your buyer’s company-level priorities and goals, as well as the gaps or challenges they’re facing. Make sure you identify the impact of those problems on the business and outline their need for a solution.
Questions this section should answer:
- Does it address the most important executive or business-level priorities?
- Does it identify customer pain points / gaps, and clearly articulate the business impact of those pain points / gaps?
- Does it state the need for a solution and outline what an ideal solution would do?
Show how your solution will support key business initiatives (with specific tactics and quantified outcomes)
Next, go a level deeper and identify the top business initiatives that your solution would support (examples might include maximizing customer retention or moving up-market). Alongside each of those initiatives, include specific tactics or use cases for your solution that would help achieve or positively contribute to the initiative.
Finally, identify the success criteria and desired outcomes for each initiative. The more specific and quantified / measurable, the better. This is the ROI that you’re promising your buyer will see from the partnership. Work WITH your buyer on identifying these numbers – don’t just guess!
Questions this section should answer:
- What specific challenges or initiatives will the partnership solve or support? How?
- What outcomes do we expect, and how will they be measured?
Identify all key stakeholders and share helpful resources
Name all the key stakeholders involved in the buying process. Who owns it? Who is the decision maker? Who else needs to be in the loop?
Link or embed any resources that might be used to help the buying team make a decision, but only the most important ones (such as demo call recordings, pitch decks, case studies, etc).
Include validation details and proposed partnership terms
Give an overview of how your buyer is validating your solution. Is there a pilot / trial period? Were any alternatives evaluated, and what are their gaps? How does your buyer know that this is the best path forward?
Then include the proposed partnership terms, including pricing, scope (number of seats, plan/tier, term length, etc), and any other important details.
Final questions to answer
Finally, make sure the answer to all of these questions is “yes”:
- Does the business case make your champion / buyer look good? Will they be excited to share it internally?
- Does it address the questions executives will ask champions when they share it?
- Did you build the business case WITH your buyer, and get buy-in on all of the key points (including ROI)?
- Do you use your buyer’s language throughout, focusing on their challenges and goals (not your features / functionality)?
Get a free business case template & example
Looking for a way to enable your reps to build 10/10 business cases on every deal, or aiming to improve your own deal execution?
We’ve put together a free business case template that you can fill in and customize. It includes tips and best practices, plus a filled-in example using our partner, 30 Minutes to President’s Club, as the buying company.
Get the business case template to start up-leveling your partnerships and nailing key deals today!