The demo experience and POC environment used is an incredibly important opportunity in the SaaS space. If a prospect has a poor demo experience or they fail to see your proof of concept (POC) all the way through, it is incredibly unlikely that they will continue on to become a client. This article will explore the POC environment and tools businesses can utilize to create a positive sales demo experience.
What is a proof of concept, exactly? A proof of concept is a demonstration or test of a concept to determine its success. While there are many proof of concept examples depending on the industry, from 3D modeling to a software trial, POC technology often involves giving prospects limited access to a simplified version of your product or the full product for a limited time. Prospects can use this environment to test their software and determine how functional it would be for their use case.
POC is a widely used acronym in many different spaces, and therefore it can have different contexts. POC is also widely used in project management or professional services. What is POC in project management? In project management, the acronym POC stands for “point of contact.” It’s meant to identify project owners, managers, and the people you should visit when you have a question. However, POC meaning in software development will nearly always stand for proof of concept.
It is vital to wow the prospect with your proof of concept design. Prospects who fail during the test phase are incredibly unlikely to become clients and will likely go with a competitor who did a better job at showing the prospect how their product could solve their problems. POC technology helps prospects assess the software’s performance, usability, and functionality in a real-world context before committing to a full-scale implementation. This can help reduce the risks of investing in a product that does not meet the organization’s needs and reduce the time and cost involved in developing and deploying a new software solution. Sometimes an organization needs help with their POC technology, meaning they might have a great product, but they require assistance in developing a test or play environment for their prospects.
A successful POC environment can help identify potential issues in a full-scale implementation, provide insight into how a product or service might impact their everyday business functions, and help redefine or improve the concept before its full release.
POC In Software Development Example
A software demo may also be called a POC in IT industry spaces. A software demo is a presentation or walkthrough of a software product to showcase its features, capabilities, and functionalities. There are a few different ways that companies can run a POC. Some choose to present slide decks, which are static presentations that rarely apply personalized information to their prospects, and others choose to provide proof of concept software trials.
A POC in software development example might look something like a digital test environment. It is a piece of software with limited features and functionalities of the full product. It is built specifically for the prospect and can be loaded with personalizations and customizations so that it appears as if the implementation has already occurred.
Proof of concept software can also be used purely for the benefit of the developer as test models. For example, suppose a software development team wishes to create an augmented reality application that puts 3D models into a real-time environment. Before investing a significant amount of time and resources into creating and fully launching the app, the team might design a POC to validate the concept and demonstrate its feasibility. The team also might provide a small number of external users with access to the POC software so that they can collect data on how the app would be used in a real-world environment.
POC Environment Examples
There are also multiple ways to run a POC in the SaaS space. POC examples in SaaS or IT could range from a live demonstration, a pre-recorded video, a web-based demo, or a slide presentation. However, not all of these POC modalities present the same opportunities to your prospects. A pre-recorded video rarely offers the ability for personalization, to ask questions, or to see specific aspects of the platform not included in the video. A slide deck can be personalized but offers no live features or functionalities and runs the risk of losing the prospect’s attention. The most comprehensive POC environment is one that is built specifically for your prospect, includes aspects of personalization that speak to their business challenges, and showcases the features of your platform that they need the most. This might not be the same for every prospect, which is why you need software that can help you build new POC environments to wow every prospect, every time.
Proof of concept can also be used in automation and software testing to speed up repeatable processes. What is POC in automation testing? Automation can be used to speed up software tests and improve the final product. However, not every project is a good candidate for automation. In order to demonstrate how automating software testing would work, a proof of concept and POC test plan is necessary. A POC test plan template would include an overview of how a POC is to be conducted. A POC test plan may include an introduction to the project, the requirements of the POC, a test strategy, test scenarios, test data, a test schedule, and more.
Proof Of Concept In Sales
Proof of concept in sales is an important step where the account executive walks a prospect through the product. There are a few outcomes of POC SaaS sales. The client may not participate in the POC and instead choose a competitor. They may try your POC and not find any value in it. A well-designed sales POC should be about the client and what your product can do for them. Trial access to your product can be created through virtual environments for POC use. This hands-off demo allows your prospect to see how your product could truly work for them. In this instance, the prospect can confidently choose your business as their software provider because they’ve already tested it on a small scale, and they know it will work for them.
Sales Demo Software
It’s key for a business to have sales software that can create interactive product demos with little IT intervention. Skytap Virtual IT Labs offers just that. Using Skytap’s Virtual IT labs, sales teams can create a POC demo in just a few clicks using templates.
Virtual lab software can also be integrated with other powerful sales tools like Salesforce to help measure the ROI of the POC. In a virtual lab, prospects can explore your product at their own pace. This allows them to test how your product would work for their use case. An interactive product demo is much more engaging than a pre-recorded video or a live demonstration. Skytap virtual IT labs also allow your sales team to customize demos to your prospects, tailoring and managing demo assets as needed.
Skytap can handle POC demo environments of any size and complexity, as it was built to project complex demo environments with minimal lift from other teams. Skytap can support concurrent virtual machines in the thousands from anywhere in the world. Virtual IT labs can be remotely suspended to halt idle labs and control costs. They can also be optimized for large user bases with single sign-on (SSO) capabilities.
Proving proof of concept is an important step in the sales cycle that cannot be mishandled. Prospects who fail to see the value of your solution will choose a different one. Personalized, hands-off, on-demand demos delivered through Skytap allows prospects to test your product in real time. Learn more about building your POC environment and Skytap’s solution for sales demos and POCs here.