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How do you handle trials/pilots in a deal cycle?

Every company treats trials/pilots/POCs, differently. Some are meant to be a true simulation of how the platform works, complete with data and integrations, and other companies treat the process as a point-validation of a specific feature of business use-case.


I feel that most companies dive right into the process and get too many cooks involved. You have an AE (you), an SA/SE, sometimes a VP fo Engineering or CTO depending on complexity or deal size...and the list can grow from there. In the end, the AE can be drowned out if they aren't empowered to run point on the deal, which can cause delays and prolonged deal cycles.


In any case, how do you handle trials? Are you the captain of the ship and everyone else is your crew, or do you relinquish control and see everyone on the other side?

During a trial I like to...
Attached poll
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๐Ÿ‘‘ Sales Strategy
9
Rallier
Politicker
+10
Account Executive
I always try to avoid giving trials. It just isn't a realistic experience and you won't get real results if you aren't 100% onboard
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
100% agree, and I coach reps on avoiding trials, but we still get a few each month. Our process is far tighter today than even 3 months ago, and starting to see trial win rates increase.
slaydie
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
This is what I am learning as well. Used to just default to running trials but they involve so much work and lift so I really try and avoid them. I'm impressed to see that it hasn't hurt my deals, I am still selling and happy to do multiple in depth demos with the team if that makes them feel more comfortable.ย 
funcoupons
WR Officer
+12
that's queen coups to u
No trials for me, it wouldn't work with our product.
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
It's definitely hard to trial HW or Services tools, but I'd imagine at that point you'd go with an ROI exercise to demonstrate long-term value?
funcoupons
WR Officer
+12
that's queen coups to u
Yes, part of my process is to prepare comparison documents that compare what the prospect is currently using to what we would be able to offer, and hot much it will save them (not just money, but time as well.)
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
Our structure is a bit different. But for the technical stuff I let the team do their thing.ย 
Beans
Politicker
+9
Account Executive
We don't offer pilots/trials - if they want short term it's a 1 year commitment.ย 

The implementation itself, especially for large/complex orgs is weeks of work alone.ย 
2
Follow client's process, or risk blowing up the deal?
Question
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6
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Question
14
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km
+23
kmelnichenka , ย  User1234567 , ย  verbalzzzzzz ย  and 23 people voted
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6
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Advice
10