When it comes to SaaS businesses, trialing your product with customers will look different than in other industries. Trying on clothes or test driving a car can feel much more straightforward than testing out complex business software. But software tests are important for making a final sale. Businesses want assurance that your product will fit their needs, and this is best accomplished with a trial run or POC.
To help address this need, sales POCs have become a significant part of the pre-sale process. Before your sales team gets involved, you’ll want a robust POC sales system in place that allows your clients to be able to trial-run your software and feel more comfortable with their potential purpose and associated benefits. This sales POC will be one of the most significant factors that contribute to sealing a deal, which is why your sales team needs to ensure you have a good sales POC plan in place.
For those businesses who may not have as much experience in this field, you might ask what is a POC? POC stands for Proof of Concept, which is an idea that extends beyond SaaS as mentioned before. So then the question becomes what is POC in business, particularly concerning SaaS companies? Well, sales POC is concerned with demonstrating a software product before a company has to fully invest or implement that product in its ecosystem.
Old limited trial CDs have given way to complex sales POC, meaning in project management plans for SaaS, businesses need to consider how to adopt a reliable POC platform to showcase the full capabilities of their services. Digitization has significantly expanded the capabilities of sales POC, meaning business managers need to understand how to leverage these new and improved tools for their product success.
This post will further break down the meaning and relevance of client POC, meaning that by the end, any SaaS company should have a firm grasp on the concept and understand the essential function that sales POC plays in this current generation of business.
Sales POC Meaning
Increased digitization has revolutionized POC support, meaning businesses now have a much higher bar to pass to compete with the industry standard. It was already convenient enough for businesses to offer free installation of their software for trial periods of their services, but now cloud support offers even further ease of access for companies looking to test software.
This has led to many companies realizing the need to increase their investment in POC marketing, meaning that new roles have been introduced or existing roles have been expanded to provide robust POC demonstrations to clients. Sales engineers and presales teams are now deployed to help manage the process of sales POC, meaning that a typical sales and marketing department will have to accommodate new techniques to maximize their success.
Having a strong software product is not enough in POC sales, meaning that you also need to be able to demonstrate its effectiveness to potential customers. This is the same situation that applies to physical consumer products in regards to POC retail, meaning that you can have the best product in the world. However, if customers can not hold it in their hands and understand its purpose, you effectively have a worthless product.
To accomplish successful sales POC, this means that you need to have competent staff and reliable tools. The software that you use to deploy your product test can become equally as important, if not more so, as your service. Virtual IT labs like those offered by Skytap offer businesses the tech solutions they need to offer a complete hassle-free demonstration of their software through the cloud.
This is important in regards to appealing to and reaching clients, as well as the effectiveness of your demonstration. With Skytap, you can build test environments that closely mimic your customer’s native environment. This goes a long way to prove to clients that your software is viable in their operations. If they can accomplish their tasks in an environment identical to their own, while using your software for greater efficiency, then you have just presented a clear argument for your value in their business.
After a successful POC demonstration, you can then follow up with your more financially concerned sales team, who can advocate for the financial viability of your software service.
What is POC in Software?
The idea of proof of concept is not exclusive to SaaS companies. Proof of concepts is simply how people engage with a new idea, to determine its possible feasibility. When it comes to the question of what is POC in software, we need to address what further requirements are needed to realize a software POC, and what clients are looking for in a POC.
Proof of concept examples outside of the SaaS industry would include things like testing new drugs and running prototype hardware for the first time. Inside the SaaS industry, sales POC is necessary for businesses looking to understand what implementing a software package will mean before fully committing to investing in the service.
For some businesses, this is a fairly new process. In past generations, the software may have been purchased sight-unseen, as trial periods and cloud platforms did not have the infrastructure to appeal to businesses. Nowadays, businesses have many more choices in software packages, and digital tools have advanced far enough that test runs and trial periods are possible even through the cloud.
This presents a radical new dynamic for many businesses, as POC technology now adds another step to their sales and marketing process. It also widens the scope of who is involved with sales and marketing. With POC meaning that your service will have to be explained and thoroughly presented to businesses on a precise technical level, salespeople must have some level of technical knowledge to understand and educate on your product. Or, you can look to do what many businesses do now, and add a technical pre-sales person who can assist with the POC process before a salesperson comes in to finish the deal.
So if you’re asking what is a POC in project management these days, it is important to understand its relevance to your client businesses so you can devise a strategy to deploy a sales POC efficiently.
Skytap offers cloud solutions for creating custom product demos and offering Proof of Concept demonstrations to potential customers. With Skytap offering the capability to mirror real-world application environments, you can showcase your products with maximum clarity and relevance to your client’s business operations. Utilizing the cloud to deliver these POCs also offers maximum efficiency for deployment.
Sales POC allows you to engage with customers at their pace. Considering the customer experience before they are ever your customer is a great way to successfully approach building a POC to retain a long-term client.
Sales Engineer Proof of Concept
In expanding the role of salespeople with the introduction of POC, a new role took the spotlight: sales engineer. Proof of Concept demonstrations should be maximized for simplicity and efficiency, but the person offering them to a client should still have a thorough understanding of the software being demonstrated. This is important to answer any questions that may arise, solve problems with the tech, or help guide the client toward use cases they might not have even been aware of.
You might assume that when you are testing a software package for a company the representative on the other side is fairly tech literate. But depending on the organization, they may have less of a grasp on their needs or solutions than you think. A proof of concept pre-sales person should have a sufficient understanding of your software product so that they may do the most complete job at demonstrating its effectiveness.
Salespeople without more intensive tech or engineering experience can be valuable, as their expertise can be more focused on how your product can fit into a budget and demonstrate financial viability. But questions for POC will often concern the technological capabilities, with financial implications possibly coming later. In that case, it is clear to see why a proof of concept sales engineer is imperative for SaaS companies to have in their staff.
After considering effective sales engineers, however, you also need to consider the viability of your demo platform. When it comes to POC, the tools for deploying trial runs and test cases for business have greatly expanded. This means that the standard has improved, and you need to offer the most capable staff and tools when competing for clients.
Cloud software has made it possible for virtual IT labs to deploy POC demonstrations, offering the chance for companies to reliably test their services in a realistic testing infrastructure. Skytap is one of these businesses deploying cloud-based solutions to offer businesses comprehensive POC demonstrations.
While your software service may be complex, the testing process and deployment should not have to be. Skytap can allow your team to utilize complex demo environments that mirror the client’s own ecosystems, with just a few clicks and an easy-to-understand interface. This doesn’t limit your capabilities for personalization either, as customized demos can be created for any meeting or customer needs.
Sales POC demonstrations may be your strongest first impression for customers. They may like your business’s culture and your outlook on the industry, but you need a reliable way to demonstrate that your product is necessary for their success. Learn more about how Skytap supports sales POCs.
Want to see a virtual IT labs solution in action? Read this case study to see how with Skytap Virtual IT Labs, Commvault can support its sales engineers’ high demand for sales demos and POCs, as well as large-scale seller training events, with easy-to-scale, cost-efficient environment templates.