Karen Salay — startup: Roll Call

Important info to driving revenue thru pilots.

Every B2B startup needs to work for their first 10 customers. Do pilots help? The answer lies in the very first question that you should ask yourself.
Why isn’t your prospect buying the software without a pilot? Will the pilot provide metrics that triggers the prospect to buy?

Most companies answer — My buyer wants to make sure it works or wants to try the software first.

This answer typically doesn’t lead to a future sale. The prospect is wishy-washy on their commitment to buy.

Most companies don’t ask themselves and their prospect the next question: What metrics need to occur for the company to pay $2000/month or your monthly rate? If the prospect says they are not sure, then your pilot is a waste of time.

Creating metrics is critical to a successful pilot

A pilot without target metrics is a waste of time for everyone. Make sure your pilot produces metrics that your prospect agrees need to be proven and if proven will result in a sale

How long should pilots be? As short as possible!
The pilot is not the goal. A sale that produces reoccurring revenue is the goal!

Should my pilot be 2 months or 6 months? 2 months. If the metric can’t be proven in 2 months then there are bigger issues.
What could these problems be:
Prospects don’t value the metrics being measured
The software isn’t able to produce metrics that are compelling.

Sales is all about testing your prospect’s commitment to buying your software.

Paying for a pilot is the first test to see how interested a buyer is in your product. It is very simple to say yes to free and more difficult to say yes to paying for something.

If a prospect won’t pay for a pilot, questions that you can ask are:
Did you build enough value for the prospect?
Did you show how you can increase the top line or save money for the customer?

Keys to a successful Pilot:
1. Build value so a prospect pays for the pilot
2. Keep the pilot as short as possible. No 6 months pilot for software that only produces 12k ARR software!
3. Agree on the success metric and the target value that the metric needs to produce in order for the prospect to move from pilot to sale!
4. Make sure there is budget for your software
5. Know who the decisionmaker is for the software. Sometime the people paying for pilot can’t make the bigger decision around paying for the software.



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