Many times customers ask for Demo or POC (Proof of concept) and dealers provide that. We need to ask ourselves POC – Proof of Concept – is it really required? It may be relevant in some cases, but in most of the cases, it can be avoided. But there are few inherent problems in doing this demo. Much energy and time is wasted in doing the same.
- Doing the entire stuff twice
- Most of the time demo requires doing entire setup to be done. Most of the time it’s done for Free. There are many system Integrators who charge for a POC, but not all.
- This drastically increases the effort and cost of closing a sale, as demo generally requires senior person.
- Count one more thing where does the cost of those unsuccessful demos go ?
- Client is not serious in providing information or infrastructure.
- Since this is a demo, they expect us to come with the equipment and show the demo. In fact many times even SI team is not serious, because this is just a demo.
- Now the problem arises when we are selling something that works in a Eco system (or infrastructure)
- eg a NAS box, which won’t work well without a very fast HDD and a good network.
- Or a thin client which requires a very good server and network, for things to work out pretty well.
- Many times, dealer give demo on their laptop, where as actually a server class PC is required.
- Management is not aware of the demo.
- Many times, The IT person is more interested in upgrading his knowledge, rather than buying something seriously useful for his company. Best way to do this is to get someone do a demo for him, that’s the best and easier way for him.
- The finance or purchase department might not even be aware of this, so the question of buying does not even arise.
Basically the idea of customer is to understand the product before buying it. Some of the SIs have practice of charging for the demo, which I think is the good practice. Alternatively, What if we give him money back offer or ask him to raise a conditional PO (CPO). That solves lots of problem. Here we ask the customer to raise a PO, where he states the condition that if the things don’t work as promised, we pay him back (or if you want to be more liberal, he can make payment once things work our correctly.)
There are lots of advantage to this:
- Chances of success increases drastically.
- Since the final installation is being done, customer and his team are serious about everything.
- Planning and deployment are also done properly (from both the sides).
- If there are any infrastructure (eg Network or slow server) issues they can get resolved
- Serious commitment from the finance and purchase department.
- Since a PO has to be raised, all the concerned departments come into action.
- The buying intention becomes very clear.
- Perfect win win situation
- Client limits his liabilities if things don’t work.
- System Integrators can make sure that their efforts are not wasted and Return on Efforts increases.
This article is inspired from the ideas by Mr. Manohar Malani