A successful proof of concept (POC) is essential to close a B2B sales deal. It is also a great opportunity for the buyer to evaluate the product before buying. The success of POC is critical for both the buyer and the seller. Both sides spend significant resources in evaluating the product. A failed POC not only hurts revenue numbers of company offering the product, but it also wastes the resources while evaluating the products.
Here are the top five reasons that result in a failed POC.
Every successful project needs sponsor, POCs are not different. Sponsors are key stakeholders. They are the leaders who set forth the need and set a tone of POC success criteria. Sponsors help with resolving issues that causes delay or deflect from the scope. A successful POC keeps teams and decision makers focused and aligned in right direction.
Business needs are the primary drivers. They set the boundary and direction for technical requirements. Business needs and pain points should drive the scope and technical requirements. Real business usecase and pain point should drive the technical requirements otherwise it is very difficult to show value of product. There should be no room for ambiguity between the technical translation of a business need. A product can have lot of features and capabilities but if it cannot fulfill business needs then most likely it won’t get past the finish line.
Open ended scope may happen due to multiple reasons. The top three reasons are:
It is very important to have all the hands on the deck. POCs move quicker with right teams involved. If Sales engineers and project managers end up chasing people to get the information, then it may cause stress and frustration among everyone involved in POC process.
Sales teams run multiple POCs at the same time. Running POC and closing the deal is top priority for sales teams. Updating CRM, emails and spreadsheets becomes overhead for POC engineers. CRM and spreadsheets become bottleneck as they as they are not purposely built to solve POC challenges. To understand when a POC is going from “green” to “red” is critical to take quick remedial actions.
POC communication should not time consuming. Writing emails and phone calls are not efficient. Getting the right type of attention for solving issues and risks is critical for POC success.
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