Why POC management is crucial for technical wins in enterprise sales

Published on: May 20th, 2021

Technical win is the key deliverable in enterprise presales process. It is a challenging game, where sales engineering teams try to deliver more than what the customer asks for in order to fasten the sales process. Having the right knowledge about the customer business helps in understanding their requirements and guiding them through the complexity of the buying process. Being able to get a technical win from the prospect is a major milestone for closing the proof of concepts (POCs/POVs).

In order to achieve technical wins consistently, a well defined and repeatable process is required. To create and scale winning POC, the presales team needs deep product knowledge and capability to discover customer requirements.

Let’s dive deeper and understand the correlation between enterprise Presales, POC management, and Technical wins separately:

Enterprise Presales:

Enterprise presales is a process of building a relationship with your target customer before they have committed to buying from you. That way, when the time comes, you’re sure to close the deal. It’s often one of the surest ways to demonstrate your worth as a company — this will build trust and make closing deals so much easier.

The process is similar to that of a large company hiring a marketing agency to build a campaign for them, deciding whether to go with that agency and then signing the contract to work with them.

POC Management:

POC is basically a prototype or a mockup of your product or service.

Before you sell a product or a service to prospects, most of the times customers ask for delivering a proof of concept. This helps them testing the waters and identify any risks in production. The proof of concept can be the first step towards closing a massive deal, since it allows you to create your model before you make a final decision about the product to sell.

Every POC is different, but it’s safe to say that POCs are complex processes usually involves many stake holders, multiple technologies and sales cycle of weeks to months. To control the outcome, the management of POCs is the key. The whole execution process and customer engagement plays key roles in the outcome of POCs.

Source: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/proof-of-concept

Technical Wins:

Once a deal goes into proof of concept, the technical win is a mandatory requirement for closing a deal. Since you can control or influence the scope, you can strategize beforehand for technical wins. By conducting the technical product evaluation with customers and actually listening to their feedback, a sales team can close most of the deals.

 Technical win usually means the customer is satisfied with the product features and comes to the conclusion that the product fits their needs at the company level. Now it’s a matter of financial discussion and budget allocation before buying the product.

Proper POC management is a sure-shot way for the technical win:

The biggest challenge in most of the POCs is not having enough visibility to control the experience and outcome of prospective customers. The evaluation of a product is usually a time taking and lengthy procedure. To make the evaluation process smoother and faster, the presales team needs a solution that provides them control for both execution and visibility.

Collaboration with internal teams is needed to get better visibility of who is working on what task and the status of each. Collaboration with customers is needed to get their feedback and provide a definitive solution. This we call proper POC management and a sure-shot way for the technical win.

POC management tools landscape:

The presales tools landscape has evolved significantly. Few years ago, the only tools available to sales engineers were CRM and spreadsheets. But now, teams can have an extraordinary tool in their arsenal to create and manage proof of concepts. They can use these tools to collaborate with their internal teams and external prospective customers and partners.

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POCs are a great tool for closing the sale, but they need to be managed properly. Read our article on 15 questions for sales team before offering a POC.

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