Trap: Proving without a Concept

Why do some successful Proof of Concepts not lead to sales?

One trap many Sales Engineers (SEs) fall into is to doing the Proof without a Concept.

  • SEs might not have a clear vision of the customer's business challenges, either due to lack of communication or in fact the Sales team as a whole might not understand what the customer really needs.
  • For more established markets and products, people will assume that customers fit into one of their "typical" use cases.
  • Some customers will find after the POC that they don't have the ability to complete on a project.
  • Sometimes people think they have to do a POC just because the competition has.

What should we do to avoid this?

  • Before we agree to the POC, we should agree to the Concept.  What business concept are we looking to resolve
  • Is a POC the way to prove the way forward?
  • Does the customer know enough already to determine what a successful POC looks like?
  • Are there other unresolved needs the customer has before we agree to a POC? Budget? Business Case? Eliminating too many different options?
Getting a tighter definition of the concept, will help you eliminate the wrong kinds of POC activities and focus on winning good quality business.