A ‘test drive’ of a product is critical before the final commitment of a purchase in the software business. Potential buyers will always demand a sales Proof-of-Concept(POC) to gauge if the product is going to offer the required solutions to mitigate their pain points. A stellar sales Proof-of-Concept plays a key role in closing a deal you have been working on for months.
Read this blog to learn the fundamentals for delivering a compelling Proof-of-Concept that will close a deal.
Why is a technical POC so important?
People who want to buy software would like to understand if the product is something that they need, that solves their problem, and finally, something that provides constructive results that can cut down expenses while inherently benefiting them. They have predefined pain points, and they need to envision how your product can become the best fit to solve those.
It is estimated that about 34% of businesses claim that they fail because their products do not fit the market. So, a Proof-of-Concept in sales must be worth the time and money.
The critical part of successful B2B technology sales relies on spinning up realistic environments and integrating customers’ usage scenarios. Your prospects would like to comprehend the product value, and for this, virtual IT labs are an ideal solution.
Running a cloud-based Proof-of-Concept allows vendors to respond to on-the-fly adjusting requirements, and the customers can also get hands-on with this environment without having any effect on the real data. Prospects can readily understand the value of such an environment which also impacts their decision-making.
What points make a great POC?
A whopping 75 percent of buyers want to do their own research instead of speaking to a sales rep. So, you need to be very specific about the practical side of sales Proofs-of-Concept and if it looks like a successful proof of concept. Take care of the following points to create a successful POC:
- What is your target group?
- In which market will the product appear?
- What does the target persona look like?
- How will the end-user benefit from the finished product?
When the first PoC is done, make sure the product is tested. Uninterrupted and impeccable product testing ensures that the product meets the predefined requirements and users’ expectations.
What is the difference between a sales POC and a sales demo?
Sales demonstrations and proofs-of-concept are two different methods of showcasing products and services.
A sales demo provides a brief illustration to potential clients to test and understand what the product or service can accomplish. On the other hand, a POC helps to understand whether a system can effectively fit with the demand in the market. This is typically more detailed and customizable than a demonstration.
A POC helps to know how and why a concept has the potential to fit in real-world applications validating its demand and efficiency to address the problems.
Why do Over 50% of POCs Fail?
Before creating a Proof of concept you need to know that a poorly planned and executed one can be the bane of a sales team. Yet, if a sales POC is deployed correctly, it can squash the concerns the enterprise buyers might have about adopting new technologies and getting deals.
It is a challenging feat. Below are the five essential steps to execute a POC successfully and ensure your sales team’s long-term success with enterprise customers.
- Make a careful move: Make sure your POC adds significantly valuable information to the buyer’s journey. Remember that POCs with the right commitment and executive alignment can become valuable tools to validate your company’s point of view, elevate your product above the competitive noise, and position your solution as an enabler of digital transformation.
A POC paves the path of sales teams, ensuring a high-touch engagement with the decision-makers. Enterprise buyers might hesitate to take the plunge on new technologies, but a POC builds a gateway to close the trust gap. An engaging POC helps your customers to know the nuances of your solution while taking the right technical and business decisions.
- Focus on shorter POCs: POCs require significant time and resources. For efficient progress, agree to a clear deadline with your customer, and implement a system to make sure you both are on the same page.
A POC that runs for a long time can undermine the perceived advantages that customers have of emerging technology vendors. It is estimated that 55% of startup customers cited a faster pace of product delivery which adds the most incredible value to their organization.
Enterprises declared that 60 percent of their POCs run longer than three months. This is genuinely concerning as CIO Innovation Index research also showed that POCs that last less than three months are three times more likely to reap successful commercial implementation. Shorter POCs are great contributors to maintaining sales momentum and offering better commercial conversion rates.
- Add some skin-in-the-game
Running a POC involves hefty resources that need financial commitments. So, you can request financial obligations from your prospective customers. It will signify genuine intent and help focus your customer’s time and energy on the project for a greater chance of success.
A shorter POC is associated with a higher Chance of Success
Why are virtual cloud-based POC solutions important?
77% of buyers experience a complex purchase process. The cloud-based sales POCs are based on a hands-on virtual IT lab environment that simulates the actual production environment and is used within the organization.
Reasons to consider cloud POC solutions include:
- Scalability: Emerging cloud technologies come with countless opportunities to thrive. It is not controlled by the hardware or on-prem structures or configuration of another box. A virtual Proof of Concept offers exponential growth in sales conversions.
- Isolation: A cloud POC keeps other production environments untouched. The sandbox environment makes sure that real data will not be stolen or harmed.
- Analytics: The cloud-based POCs can be tracked through analytics. The built-in analytics helps to see the user’s involvement and take follow up with them to increase the chances of closing a deal.
- Identical Environments: Cloud POCs are based on virtual environments that can be replicated an unlimited number of times. The users using a POC environment remain the same as everyone else.
Do you want to let your prospects experience the true value of your software at their fingertips?
CloudLabs provides immersive Proof of Concepts that will let your prospects decide and try before they buy. Simply spin up the interactive, hands-on labs of CloudLabs for every usage. The compelling POCs can be customized based on the exact and real-world use cases of your prospects.
The average B2B sales cycle lasts for 84 days. CloudLabs helps you shorten your sales cycles, increase ROI, and help sales reps achieve their goals faster. Share your prospects the access to complex hands-on environments that can replicate the real-world software.
Sales POC environments in CloudLabs are simple to deploy, and within a single click, your prospects can get the hands-on experience to test and trial your software. The advanced analytics metrics help to get full visibility of how the prospects are getting engaged with their POC enabling better support in their buying journey.
- It provides real-world examples of how a product will perform and interact with different systems and configurations.
- It offers better insights into the technical requirements and complexities involved in implementing the proof of concept.
- It provides a platform for team collaboration and communication, which is essential for the success of the proof of concept.
- Hands-on lab experience can help to build customer trust and confidence in the product by demonstrating its reliability and effectiveness.
- It enables ISVs to test and validate their proof of concept in a controlled sandbox environment, reducing the risk of disrupting existing systems and processes.
- Hands-on lab experience provides an opportunity to collect data and feedback from end-users, which can be used to improve the product and enhance its functionality.
Simple steps to create a powerful POC environment on CloudLabs:
Once the environments are ready to showcase your proof of concept, only following some easy steps in CloudLabs helps your prospects to test out the Proof-of-Concept.
Follow the steps below:
Step 1. Create a cloud Proof-of-Concept
In the CloudLabs admin portal, you need to create a template while ensuring ROI through strong resource controls. After that, an ODL (On Demand Lab) should be created based on the template that was just created. The registration link will be available in the admin portal corresponding to the ODL once it is created. You can share this bit.ly URL with prospects so that they can register for the Proof-of-Concept. With this, the Proof-of-Concept environment starts to be created and deployed.
Step 2. Track all Proof-of-Concept environment users from a single view
Under on-demand labs, you can get the users button to view and track every prospect. You can utilize easy-to-use filters, at your convenience.
Step 3. Track your Proof-of-Concept Creation with User Analytics
The advanced sales enablement dashboards of CloudLabs continuously track and analyze the level of engagement of every prospect. Generate custom analysis reports as per requirements.
Amit Malik is the COO at Spektra Systems, known for his expertise in Microsoft Cloud and digital transformation. He drives strategic planning and operational initiatives, reshaping the cloud landscape to deliver superior business outcomes. He is a recognized thought leader and speaker on Cloud, AI, and IoT, and holds a position among the Leaders Excellence at Harvard Square.