White papers support a robust sales approach, particularly in scenarios where the decision-making process involves multiple stakeholders. If your company provides a high-value product or service that significantly influences a prospect’s organization, the primary contact may lack the authority to make the purchase decision independently. Using a white paper can assist them in reinforcing their recommendation and asserting that your offering is the optimal solution for their requirements.

How does a white paper contribute to this support? Let’s examine a hypothetical scenario that mirrors the decision-making processes of many companies. Suppose your company specializes in selling a costly piece of equipment that greatly enhances user productivity and efficiency, yielding a complete return on investment within the first year.

While the equipment is innovative and impressive, the extended and intricate sales cycle is attributed to its substantial capital expense. Your main sales contact, a production engineer, is convinced that your company offers the right solution. Unfortunately, she lacks decision-making authority. Convincing the operations manager, plant manager, CFO, and CEO of the solution’s merit becomes imperative due to the significant investment involved.

The situation is further complicated by the innovative approach of your equipment, which deviates drastically from what competitors have sold for decades. All decision-makers must not only be persuaded about your company’s equipment but also need to embrace the idea of taking a risk on something entirely new to them.

This is where a white paper becomes instrumental. Develop a white paper that contrasts the traditional approach with your innovative solution. Provide a detailed description of the processes, catering to individuals like the engineer and the plant manager. Include a straightforward diagram to illustrate advantages for non-technical decision-makers such as the CFO and CEO, along with tables comparing the efficiency of both approaches. Rather than employing overt sales messages, share objective facts and details.

Now, the production engineer can leverage the white paper to strengthen her case. When presenting recommendations to decision-makers, she can attach the white paper to facilitate understanding. Copies of the white paper can also be distributed to the operations team, allowing them to recognize the advantages and lend their support. Through the use of a white paper, you’ve equipped all decision-makers with the necessary information, expediting the purchase decision-making process.