How to Execute SaaS POCs that Convert | Heavybit - Deepstash

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Frame your POC as a “Paid Pilot.”

Frame your POC as a “Paid Pilot.”

While many IC-level developer tools offer free trials that let developers take the product for a test drive themselves, enterprise POCs and trial periods address a different kind of buyer pain point: exploring a potential (and likely significant) in a new solution.

A paid pilot sets expectations for what the period is about: evaluating your product as a long-term investment. Asking your customers to pay a token fee is an important qualifier for long-term successful deals


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Start with a Contract

POCs or paid pilots should be framed in the context of a full-year contract, with the ability to terminate at will. Setting the pilot period up this way means you’ve already jumped through the legal and security hoops you’ll inevitably face.

 When the customer decides to convert from the pilot to the full-term contract, you won’t need to slow down to negotiate details. You’ll be able to keep up your momentum and build on the results you’ve shown during the pilot.


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Stick to a Short Time Frame

Stick to a Short Time Frame

Many POCs are set for a 90-day period. But a full quarter feels like a long time, and the task of implementing and evaluating your product can easily get lost among the team’s other priorities for the quarter. Instead, aim for a 30-day paid pilot. A one-month pilot pushes your product to the top of the to-do list and drives urgency for stakeholders.

You can always leave the option open to extend the POC for another 30 days if needed


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Define Clear Goals for the Pilot

Pick a single KPI that will have a measurable business impact (e.g. engineering time saved, increased revenue) and frame the pilot in terms of that goal. Only pick one KPI; the point is to share the sharpest, most focused vision of success you can, and the more goals you have, the less clear your impact will be. It’s okay if you pick aggressive KPIs.

You just have to show that you can move the needle.


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Set Expectations for Shared Responsibility

One of the most common mistakes that companies make during their POCs is doing all the heavy lifting for the customer. Enterprise SaaS POCs are about showing business value, and they require an investment of resources from your customer. In order for a POC to be successful, there has to work on both sides.

Set the expectation that your POC is a partnership between your team and your customer’s team to ensure that they’re ready to commit the time and resources needed to get it off the ground.


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Medical sales representative


A well-run paid pilot, or trial period can be the key to capturing and converting prospects, especially as you move upmarket. But POCs can be challenging to execute well.

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