White Paper Process
You have a new, expensive, or complex medical device. You’ve just spent 5 years to receive FDA approval. You need leads and you need sales. So, you want a white paper to generate new leads or accelerate buyers through your sales funnel. How does my white paper process work? There are seven steps.
- Determine the proper flavor for your white paper. The correct flavor allows your white paper to be more effective. Together, we will answer 3 key questions.
- What is the purpose for your white paper? Not the editorial purpose, but it’s business purpose. For example, where in the sales funnel are the buyers you are wanting to reach? Do you need to generate leads for a new solution your company provides? Or, do you need to address the benefits your solution provides to buyers or patients that are already deep into the sales cycle?
- Who is the intended audience? What’s their role and demographics. Are they familiar with white papers?
- What about your industry? Is it fast moving and/or highly competitive? Are white papers common?
Answers to these questions will determine if a problem/solution (Chocolate), listicle (Strawberry), or features and benefits (Vanilla) white paper is the best style for your situation.
- Conduct extensive research. We must build trust with your buyers. Anyone can say or write anything. But, that doesn’t make it true. Your buyers want proof. So, we’ll give it to them.
Gather a mountain of evidence, build an open and shut case, and connect each with solid logic that will persuade your potential buyers.
What makes strong evidence?
- Indisputable facts, especially numbers.
- Specifics no one else can copy.
- Expert opinion from trusted sources.
Good research takes time and effort. The strategy is to gather more than needed and select the best proofs. Blogs, Wikipedia, and forums are unacceptable sources. Every claim must be proven by credible sources such as industry analysts, industry associations, government reports, and trade magazines. Buyers’ questions and doubts must be anticipated and successfully addressed. Research makes or breaks a white paper so the proper emphasis must be placed on this step.
Each source’s relevance, authority, proximity, and timeliness will be evaluated.
- Relevance – How well does the source match our argument?
- Authority – How much influence does this source have with your buyers?
- Proximity – How much do your buyers have in common with this source? Same industry, role or problem?
- Timeliness – How long ago was the information published. More recent data is preferred.
- Write and submit an Executive Summary. This is a brief one-page summary of the most important points in the white paper. A time crunched executive would be able to read this and learn about your solution to their problem. Then, they can determine if they will read the entire white paper or give it to someone else. This saves time for everyone.
- Write and submit the complete white paper for approval.
- Review the white paper and make revisions, as necessary.
- Collaborate with your graphic designer regarding the actual design of the white paper.
- Approve final design.
That’s it… my white paper process. You now have a tool that is ready to generate new leads and increase revenues and profitability.
“Bob is an excellent manager and a pleasure to work for. He excels at keeping a balance between satisfying the customer while keeping an eye on the big picture and protecting corporate policy.”
Sumitomo Bakelite High Performance Plastics