ProoVing that your product or solution works on an enterprises ecosystem makes it easier for potential users to asses the value of your product. To do this, startups looking to gain traction often run a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) – one of the best ways to establish validity and showcase the potential of their technology or solution.A Proof-of-Concept establishes validity and showcases a technologies potential Click To Tweet
Prior to embarking on a PoC-pitch campaign, it is important to understand the space you are entering. The startup-enterprise dynamic has shifted in recent years due to enterprises desires to adopt new technologies, which is the reason for the open-to-collaboration, welcoming environment. That being said, it is important to recognize that not all enterprises are so open to working with startups. Despite having great ideas and innovative solutions, many startups have the inability to effectively pitch their PoC idea to enterprises, resulting in a lost opportunity.
As always, we’re here to help and offer our best techniques to help you rock your pitch and score the chance to run a PoC with a major enterprise.
Avoid These Mistakes
Think that signing up for every networking event, conference and meetup will get you the coveted PoC? Think again. If you are looking to get your product or technology in the hands of an enterprise, you need to focus on having the best possible product, one that will speak for itself. While networking and getting to know leaders in your industry is important, depending on a chance encounter and wasting valuable time, energy and money to get there isn’t going to get your PoC rolling. Don’t stalk enterprises – even the decision makers – rather, use the time to better your product.
If we’re telling you not to stalk enterprise decision makers, you’re probably not surprised when we tell you not to spam them with pitches of your idea and how you can improve their technology or solve a problem they may not even know they have. Beyond spamming their inbox, chances are your email will get to a gatekeeper; invest the time to draft a to the point email once an introduction has been made (and only send it to the person you were introduced to).
Lastly, while you may believe that your technology has the ability to completely nullify the existence of a particular enterprise, it is best to keep this sort of information to yourself. If you want to pitch your PoC to an enterprise, don’t come to them as the be-all-end-all solution for their industry. Recognize that they have been in the space you’re trying to enter for longer and know a thing or two about it. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a big difference in their enterprise with your solution – it just means you need to come to them with a collaborative pitch rather than aggressive replacement.
Pitch Your PoC the Right Way
Once your product is tested, your solution fine-tuned and your company ready to take on the endeavor of a full scale PoC, then it’s time to pitch your product to enterprises. Follow these steps to be on your PoC way.
- When pitching your startup to an enterprise, make sure that you understand their unique needs and the space in which they operate. Without an in-depth understanding of their problems, you risk assuming they have problems they may not, or pushing your product seem too aggressively. Take the time to focus on understanding the enterprises solution and their unique needs and recognize how your product can meet them. Also, try to focus on enterprises whose needs suit yours exactly in order to not waste time in both the short and long term.
- Build a relationship with the decision makers (this is where those occasional meetups and conferences can be beneficial). Instead of approaching those events with ferociousness and a one-track-mind, use them as opportunities to build long-lasting relationships with enterprise decision makers. Subtlety is key. By getting to know the enterprises on a personal level and not pitching your PoC at the first hello, you have a much stronger chance of working with them in the future.
- Last, but certainly not least, find a way to connect with potential enterprises that may need your solution. If you are looking to pitch your PoC to enterprises, perhaps enterprises are also looking for startups to collaborate and create new solutions with.
If you’re thinking we’re going to pitch our platform, you’re absolutely right! It’s not that we love tooting our own horn (ok we do), it’s just that there is no other solution out there that can get startups as close to enterprises as ours can.
The way our platform works almost eliminates the need to pitch your idea entirely and focuses on your product and its benefits to the enterprise directly. We’ve worked to create a digital platform where enterprises and startups can connect virtually and focus on what matters most – connection and finding solutions through PoCs.
If you’re not on prooV already, connect with us – we’d love to hear from you!