Proof of concept demonstrations are a key part of any successful SaaS vendor’s sales process. They not only allow you to showcase your software’s key features, but also demonstrate how those features solve a prospective client’s problems. Better yet, with the right POC environment, you can provide a compelling, hands-on demo experience that simultaneously onboards and converts.
As with most things in sales enablement, creating a killer POC doesn’t start with tools or technology. It begins with planning and documentation. Whether you’re looking to drive sales or validate a project that’s still in its conceptual stages, you need to start with a POC template.
Proof of concept templates are strategic documents that define the purpose, scope, and core criteria of a proof of concept. They’re particularly helpful for early-stage products or services that still need to secure leadership support and stakeholder buy-in. They’re equally valuable, however, as part of the sales process.
The benefits of using a proof of concept document include:
An effective POC document template must define:
Your POC project overview should cover the following ground:
If relevant, you may also want to consider how you’d describe the POC to someone with no involvement in the project in order to pique their interest. This description should include a graphical representation or diagram detailing both the software and what you’ll be testing it for.
Having already defined the overall purpose of your POC, your next step is to narrow that purpose down to a specific goal. If your software is still in an early stage of development, this could involve identifying potential integration issues, testing whether the software can be used to achieve a particular outcome, or assess the software’s overall user experience. If you’re using the POC as part of the sales process, on the other hand, your goal will almost always be the same — to help your sales team convert.
Alongside goals, you should also identify the KPIs you’ll use to track progress, then monitor them throughout the POC.
With your goals and purpose defined, it’s time to drill down to specifics. To put it another way, you know what you want to achieve. It’s time to determine how you’re going to achieve it — what scenarios will your POC focus on, and why?
For each scenario, you’ll want to define:
This section identifies what needs to hold true in order for the POC to succeed, and any potential roadblocks or obstacles to success. That includes, but is not limited to:
You’ve defined your KPIs and goals already. How will you use those KPIs to verify that you’ve fulfilled your goals? What concrete deliverables or outcomes are necessary for you to consider the POC a success?
Ideally, you’ll want to divide your criteria into a few distinct categories, which may include but are not limited to:
Last but certainly not least, the last stage in your proof of concept is evaluation. Your template should therefore make it easy for you to compare your goals against your success criteria and document each comparison. This serves two purposes.
First, it allows you to present the results of your POC to stakeholders, demonstrating both its results and the overall return on investment. Second, it allows you to flag and assess potential weaknesses and improvements in your overall process.
There are many reasons to host a proof of concept demonstration. Maybe you want to improve the onboarding process or control costs. Perhaps you want to test out real-world scenarios or validate a particular hypothesis.
Regardless of your reasons for running a POC, the first step is to lay out the what, how, and why of the project. The second step is to secure the right tools for the job. That’s where CloudShare comes in.
Request a demo today, and we’ll show you how our cloud-based platform can help you improve onboarding, POCs, and much, much more.