Dec 6, 2022

What is a POC? Our Guide to Writing a Successful Proof of Concept

Mark Fershteyn
CEO & Co-founder

Today's buyers are skeptics. They're experienced and have the world at their fingertips to conduct hours of due diligence before buying into anything.

They compare features and benefits across customers, read reviews, watch YouTube videos, and talk to trusted friends and co-workers.

In most cases, 50-70% of the journey is complete before a buyer interacts with a sales rep making it critical that you're arming your sales organization with the right toolset and content to close the deal.

So, how can you get them to quickly understand the value of your solution, product, or service 

How do you stand out when every solution claims to have 20x ROI?

Enter the Proof of Concept (PoC).

Also known as a Technical Evaluation, Pilot, or Proof of Value.

The Proof of Concept is your opportunity to address their skepticism by showing them that your product can do what you say it can. A PoC is a trial period that typically runs for several weeks or months within a small team designed to look at a product's feasibility, cost, and ROI.

With B2B sales processes becoming increasingly complex, including more stakeholders, longer decision-making cycles, and higher expectations, Proof of Concepts have become an essential tool for sales teams.

They're a key driver for success today, and with powerful tools like Recapped at your disposal to quickly implement and manage them at scale, it's an excellent time to start running Proof of Concepts with your customers.

Yet, many businesses fail to implement them into their sales process or need help understanding how Proof of Concepts can help them. Today, we'll help share why Proof of Concepts have become necessary for every B2B business to win over new customers.

Help customers determine feasibility, cost, and ROI

First and foremost, Proof of Concepts help customers determine feasibility, cost, and ROI. There's no better way than to let the product or service speak for itself.

A PoC period allows potential customers to test out the product, solution, or service in their own environment with their own data to see if it's a good fit. The hands-on trial of the product builds trust and confidence that your solution can do what you say it can while providing a compelling business case for adoption.

It enables the buyer to experience the benefits of your platform without a significant up-front investment from either side.

Not only does it help the customer identify a fit, but your business will be able to decide if it's a customer you'd like to invest time and money in full implementation and onboarding.

Proof of Concepts eliminate the risk of customers buying into a solution that doesn't work for them, which can often happen when relying on vendor demos and case studies alone.

By the end of a Proof of Concept, customers should clearly understand how your solution will impact their business and what the return on investment will be. It solidifies their understanding of implementation costs, efforts, and requirements, the ease of use, and all associated risks - giving prospects the data they need to make an informed decision.

Get buy-in from all key stakeholders

B2B sales processes have become increasingly challenging to navigate. Today, an average of 11 individual stakeholders are involved in a B2B purchase, a number that can occasionally flex up to nearly 20.

Getting all of these stakeholders on the same page can be a challenge. Proof of Concepts are a medium to get everyone excited about a new solution and on board with trying it out.

If the front line, or those who use the product daily, see value in it and are on board with integrating it into their workflows, you have a much higher chance of successfully reaching the key decision-makers.

Then, if the PoC shows that feasibility, costs, and ROI can meet or exceed expectations, you're much more likely to get sign-off from their superiors.

This process must be adopted when selling into larger enterprises that have to go through several rounds of decision-making and various groups of stakeholders.

The PoC is a quick way to differentiate your solution from the competition or alternative solutions.

Consistent feedback from customers for future development

An added perk of Proof of Concepts with potential customers is the feedback loop that occurs whether they sign up or not.

If a Proof of Concept is unsuccessful, you now have the opportunity to receive direct feedback from customers about what went wrong and why they decided not to choose your solution.

It's priceless information that can help you make changes to the product before iterating and improving to meet the needs of the market.

On the other hand, if a Proof of Concept is successful, you gain direct customer feedback on how they're using the product, what features they love, or what areas could be improved.

It allows you to quickly adapt to the changing markets and demands of today's fast-paced world.

Iteration and adaptation separate the leaders from the laggards regardless of the product or service, and Proof of Concept programs offer a great opportunity to accelerate your product's development.

Getting your Proof of Concepts in Place

Now is the time to start if you're not already running Proof of Concepts as part of your sales process. They offer an incredible opportunity to close more business while getting customer feedback that can help improve your product and establish trust and confidence in the buyer-seller relationship.

When launching your PoC program, you must create a Proof of Concept checklist or template that will help you run a successful program that includes:

  • clear timelines and milestones
  • leadership buy-in
  • defining success criteria
  • and getting commitment to move forward

Organizing a PoC and all the necessary information can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be.

How Recapped can help

Recapped offers a centralized workspace to operate your PoCs at scale. Using the Mutual Action Plan platform, you can document requirements for all stakeholders, build transparent checklists of everything that needs to be done for mutual success, loop in relevant stakeholders, and much more.

Isn't every sales team’s goal to boost sales conversion rates, accelerate customer feedback and product development, and create a more predictable revenue pipeline? Learn more about how the Recapped solution can help you reach new levels of success.

Ready to simplify your Proof of Concept process with Recapped, it’s possible. Request a demo today.

Recapped, a digital sales room and mutual action plan all in one place!

Want a free resource right away? Get access to our Ultimate Guide for Managing Proof of Concepts. It's a great start.