You need to engage in a Proof of Concept (PoC) with a Corporate Customer to:
i. Validate key business model assumptions by working with real customer data
ii. Quantify in monetary terms the potential impact of your product for the end customer
iii. Gain valuable feedback and learning to further refine your product offering
Here are 5 great tips for helping connect with your new Corporate Customer:
Understand culture differences. Startups and Corporates are fundamentally different animals. Be aware of this, don’t expect Corporates to respond as you would. Be prepared to have to manage a range of stakeholders inside the Corporate Customer and for things to take longer than you would like. Be patient, stick to your plan and just be conscious of the pressures and goals of the people you are dealing with.
What is the end-goal? Before you embark on the proof of concept, be clear about what your startup wants to achieve from it. Whether it is it to test a particular assumption, or to enable to refine the product or ultimately to drive a sale to a Corporate Customer, if you know what you want from the start you are more likely to achieve it.
Definition of mutual success. Be clear what you need from the Corporate Customer for the PoC to be a success, since your startup has limited time and resources. In the meantime, make sure the Corporate Customer pulls his weight around and provides your startup with everything you need to succeed, whatever that may be. Both parties want the PoC to be a success so it is beneficial for both if you’re open about what you need from the start.
Agree on scope and next steps from the beginning, since one of the most common causes of PoC failure is that things are not agreed upfront. Know who is responsible for what, what needs to be delivered and when and have an agreement on what the next steps will be, if it is successful.
Build a relationship with the internal stakeholders, regardless of the outcome of the PoC. You never know how these can be used in the future.
Want to learn more on how-to-do, drop us an email and we will be happy to share our knowledge and insights with you!
Christos Lytras – Managing Partner