Sales Proof of Concept Template Walkthrough
Who this template is for
Sales engineers, solutions consultants, and account executives who are looking to level up the POC process.
What this template is for
Clarifying the road from idea to implementation and sharing everything from project timelines to success criteria to support documentation.
How to use the template
Outline the POC project, create a timeline, and list the evaluation team. Then, add your success metrics and necessary information like technical documentation or training videos, and set and assign next steps.
What’s in this template?
Proof of Concept Overview
Use the overview section to outline the goals of the proof of concept and the approach taken to achieve them. This section also contains information on the relevant stakeholders on both your and the client’s side.
This section includes a table for information on the inputs and goals of each phase of the POC project. It also has a section for outlining the agreed-upon success criteria for assessing when goals have been met.
This next section is intended to present the value of the product or service provided to the client with relevant sales-oriented materials. Here, you can embed PDFs, videos, or other relevant content.
Why use this sales proof of concept template?
For many complex technical products, companies will run a free proof of concept to show the product’s value. Most teams are still using Google Docs to run these POCs.
Dock takes this process to the next level by providing a collaborative workspace for sales engineers, solutions consultants, and the buying team to collaborate on the project and understand the path to success.
SaaS and B2B sales are all about matching a product’s value to a customer’s needs. But in order to know if your product will work for the customer, you often need to prove it with a thorough proof of concept process. And that means juggling the needs of the startup or SaaS company with the needs of your customers, as well as getting buy-in from the right people and prospects.
With Dock’s proof of concept template, you can take work with design partners and deliver the experience that will make a difference for your customers. The template also facilitates effective project management for the course of the POC.
Here’s what else the sales POC template can do for you:
Make it easy to understand an idea’s value-add
- Establish a clear roadmap for validation of your product’s functionality, use cases, and viability, (including ROI).
- Align your success criteria with business needs.
- House all of the necessary data and market research for POC in one link.
- Generate new leads with an automated sales pilot.
- Increase your POC win rate through template iteration.
- Set transparent expectations around the project scope and positioning in the B2B sales landscape.
Focus on customer needs
- Integrate POC into the sales process to give your customers the products they need.
- Use POC data to better understand your target audience.
- Talk to prospects during the pre-sales phase so your deliverables match expectations.
- Understand what constitutes the minimum viable product (MVP) for your customer base.
- Take advantage of automation to spend more time supporting your existing customers and focusing on business development.
Streamline your POC development process
- Keep everyone on track to assess your business idea's feasibility through assigned workflows.
- Create a clear, step-by-step methodology to establish a successful proof of concept.
- Align your team members’ POC projects with business objectives.
- Reuse and refine the template to save time on future sales POC process setup.
- Identify and address potential issues well before they become pain points.
- Quickly connect project stakeholders and the development team with prospects to get real-time feedback on your idea.
A successful sales POC requires you to show promising results — but to get there, you also need to meet deadlines and get the right people in the loop. That’s where a POC template comes in handy for effective and streamlined project management.
How Dock’s customers use this template
- Outline your sales POC framework: Clarify the POC project scope, timeline, key contacts and project stakeholders, and success criteria like market demand and sales projections.
- Collect all critical POC documentation in one place: Embed recorded meetings, research documents, and more within the template.
- Establish next steps to take you from concept to approval: Get key contacts to complete the relevant steps, build your case, and use the gathered data to get the project go-ahead so you can create the final product.
- Use your proof of concept template to refine the process: Get in-template feedback from users and see what links they click on most to make your POC process as simple — and effective — as possible.
What is a proof of concept (POC) in business and sales?
A POC is a practical implementation of a product or service in a real-life setting to demonstrate its functionality and value.
What is the purpose of a proof of concept (POC) in B2B and Saas Sales?
A POC is a sales tool primarily intended to show the usability and ultimate value of a product to a potential customer. Not only will a POC demonstrate value, but it also functions to develop a working relationship between vendor and client, and provides useful feedback for further product development.
The term “proof of concept” is sometimes used interchangeably with “proof of value”, which gives some further indication of its purpose. A POC may also be used synonymously or in conjunction with concepts like “test drive”, “proof of principle”, “pilot”, or “guided trial”.
As such, the sales team behind a POC aims to communicate the value that the product will provide, while ensuring ease of use and providing continued support.
How do you run a successful sales POC?
The main goal of a proof of concept is to demonstrate the real-life functionality of a product and communicate how it solves a prospective client’s problems.
In order to meet this goal, make sure to follow the following guidelines:
- Fully understand the client’s needs, their use cases for your product, and their problems (or pain points) that are in need of solutions
- Before starting the POC, agree on a set of evaluation criteria. In other words, what will count as success for the client in the demonstration? Make sure to include a timeline and document any changes in project scope as you go.
- Engage in proactive management of the project. Collaborate and communicate with stakeholders and guide the process as it goes.
- At every step, try to demonstrate the value offered by the product. Emphasize what separates your product from other potential solutions. Identify potential product gaps and how they can be filled in or managed.
Remember that these aren’t the only functions that a POC services. A POC also provides useful feedback for continued product development and refinement of the sales process.
A POC is also the first step to building a constructive working relationship with a client. It should establish a belief in your ability to work in support and collaborate as a trusted partner.