White papers improve decision-making among stakeholders that matter to you. That’s what makes white papers a powerful sales tool for situations in which a prospect’s decision-making process involves several individuals. If your company offers a product or service that has a high value or will significantly impact your prospect’s organization, your primary contact probably won’t have the authority to make the purchase decision on their own. A white paper can help them support their recommendation and make the case that what you offer is the best solution for their needs.
How do white papers improve decision-making?
Let’s consider a fictional example reflecting the way many companies make decisions. We’ll say your company sells an expensive piece of equipment that makes users far more productive and efficient. In fact, your buyer sees a complete return on their investment within the first year.
The equipment is innovative and impressive, but because it represents a significant capital expense, the sales cycle is always long and complicated. Your primary sales contact is one of the production engineers, and she’s convinced your company has the right solution. Unfortunately, she’s not the primary decision-maker. She’ll have to convince the operations manager and the plant manager that your solution has merit. And because of the investment required, the CFO and the CEO will also have to bless the idea.
White papers improve decision-making around innovations
The process is even more of a challenge than usual, because your equipment is built around an innovative approach that’s drastically different from what your competitors have sold for decades. So all the decision-makers not only have to be sold on your company’s equipment; you’ll need to convince them to take a gamble (as they see it) on something brand-new to them.
White papers help others in the decision-making process
That’s where a white paper can help. You create a white paper that compares the traditional approach to your innovative solution. You include a detailed description of the processes involved to help people like the engineer and the plant manager. You also include a simple diagram to help non-technical decision-makers like the CFO and CEO see the advantages, along with tables comparing efficiency of both approaches. Instead of using sales messages, you share facts and details.
Now the production engineer can use your white paper to help her make her case. When she shares her recommendations with all the decision-makers, she can attach the white paper to help them understand it. She can also give copies of the white paper to the operations team so they can see the advantages and add their support. By using a white paper, you’ve provided the information all the decision-makers need, helping them reach the purchase decision far more quickly.