A paradigm shift from traditional POCs to POVs driven Sales engineering

Published on: July 26th, 2021
Updated on: October 18th, 2021

The question that is often discussed in sales engineering strategy discussions is – POC or POV? A Proof of Concept (POC) is an experiment executed with customers in a realistic controlled environment. This proves that the complex product features are simulated and can be useful and profitable. It is essential to understand how POCs work and how pre-sale engineers can improve their POCs to increase customer engagement and sales. Proof of Value (POV) identifies the value of the product depending on the customer’s use cases. It demonstrates the solution with differentiating capabilities relative to the competitors and also how they map to the prospects’ business drivers with unique business value.  

Why POC and the steps in POC 

An effective proof of concept determines whether the proposed project’s goal is viable and successful. It is a powerful sales tool that helps in proving the solution and building trust with the customer. The steps in POC sales management are:

Define the Success Criteria – The use case’s objective helps the sales engineers to get a clear picture of the success criteria and how it should be achieved

Build the POC – A POC solution is analytically built within a customer’s environment that is mutually agreed upon with the customer. 

Test the success criteria – The success criteria of POC are tested to analyze their relevance and performance. The POC outcome is defined to be tangible and measurable. 

Gather results and assess the success of POC – -Based on testing results of use case and success criteria, the POC success is determined. This document denotes the completion of the POC process and its performance.

Why POVs and POCs are significant

Projects can’t proceed ahead without proof that the resources utilized would work efficiently and drive a return. The POV process consists of three primary stages: 

POV Agreement & Planning – Here, the account executive and sales engineer works with relevant clients to discuss, review and document the initial requirements, success criteria, and timelines.  This helps to determine the value and reduce resource needs from both parties. 

POV Execution – During the POV Execution phase, the active testing and evaluation are performed hand-in-hand with the team. The duration of this phase is two to five days after the deployment of the solution. SEs expect the resources availability and active participation to efficiently cover the agreed-to success criteria. 

POV Executive Summary – The summary consists of the success criteria presentation with results. 

What do we opt for – POC or POV?

The implementation of POC or POV depends on the client’s perspective during the presales process. If the client is working with theories, abstracts, and testing concepts triggering scenarios like “what if”, POC is the appropriate choice since it is qualitative. POVs are the lighter versions of POCs that portray the value instead of its functionality. It is executed in a controlled environment that is quantifiable to prove or measure the product. 
Success helps you in both qualitative and quantitative analysis by creating the POCs and POVs for the long run.

Photo byAnnie Spratt onUnsplash

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