What We Learned From Analyzing 1,000+ POCs

March 26, 2024
Having a fast and efficient process for creating POCs saves SEs and AEs tons of time, increases win rates, and helps AEs discover and prioritize their most promising deals.
Sam Senior
Table of Contents

In the past, you could get a contract signed just by delivering a great demo. But buyer expectations have changed. 

These days, more buyers than ever are asking for POCs. SMB, mid-market, and enterprise buyers alike all want to be able to try before they buy.

But many sales-led orgs aren't prepared to meet these new buyer expectations. They don't have the technical infrastructure in place to offer POCs to prospects at scale.

Many orgs are solving for this with large teams of SEs focused on building custom POCs. But it's time-consuming work that pulls their attention away from closing deals.

So eventually, these organizations find themselves either 1) hiring ever-increasing numbers of SEs to scale or 2) reserving POC creation for only the largest, most promising deals. 

Neither of these solutions is ideal. Here's why.

Nearly a third of buyers won't access their POCs

We recently analyzed a sample of more than 1,000 POCs that TestBox customers sent to their prospects in the last 12 months.

One thing we learned: Only 72% of buyers access their custom POCs.

Think about that: 28% of the POCs that SE teams spend so much time creating are a complete waste of time.

Let's say that it takes an SE three hours to create a POC (and it often takes much longer), and they create 10 POCs per month. If 28% of buyers don't access it, that SE wasted more than a full work day every month.

At scale, this is much more significant. A team of 10 SEs would waste more than two full weeks of work each month.

This is why many sales-led teams only create POCs for the biggest accounts. 

But that causes another problem. Without POCs, win rates are lower.

Buyers who access POCs are much more likely to purchase

Including POCs in your sales process significantly increases win rates.

In our analysis, we found that buyers who access their POCs are 4.2 times more likely to purchase than those who don't.

We saw this in the data, and we've also heard this from TestBox customers directly.

After Dixa, a traditional sales-led company without a free trial, added TestBox-powered POCs to its sales process, its overall win rates increased by 150%. And Zendesk saw a 23% overall increase in win rates after adopting TestBox. 

POCs are powerful because they allow buying committees to do deep research before making a purchasing decision.

In fact, in deals that win, buyers spend a median of 1.5 hours testing the POC.

Of course, that's just the median time spent. Overall:

  • 40% of buyers spend more than two hours in the POC
  • 21% spend more than five hours in the POC
  • and 7% spend more than 10 hours in the POC!

POCs give buyers confidence that your solution is exactly what they're looking for, making them more likely to become champions for the purchase.

Additionally, buyers need the info they get from testing whether you offer a POC or not. 

That means that the hours buyers spend testing your product represent a significant amount of time your AEs don't have to spend with them doing this work hands-on in calls or workshops.

And that's just one of the ways POCs help AEs save time.

POCs provide AEs with valuable data for prioritizing deals

We know that buyers who access POCs are 420% more likely to close.

We know that serious buyers spend longer testing in their POCs (53 minutes in closed-lost deals versus 94 minutes in closed-won deals).

We also found that win rates are lower when only one stakeholder accesses the POC. Won deals are much more likely to have had at least two engaged stakeholders testing.

Finally, closed-won deals have two times as many engaged sessions from buyers. 

Having access to this data lets your AEs easily determine who is most likely to purchase.

This helps them prioritize which deals to follow up on. 

If multiple stakeholders have accessed the POC several times and spent lots of time testing it, AEs should be following up on those deals daily.

It also saves AEs from wasting time on tire-kickers. 

If buyers aren't accessing the POC, spending little time in it, or not inviting others to test with them, those deals can be deprioritized in favor of those that are more likely to buy.

The solution to the POC problem

Having SEs create POCs manually leads to a lot of wasted time. And only creating POCs for the biggest deals leads to lost revenue and AE inefficiency. 

So what is the solution to this problem? 

Finding a way to create POCs more efficiently.

That might mean it's time to build the infrastructure you need to create POCs quickly at scale. Or it might mean investing in a tool like TestBox that automates the process of creating fully functional, data-filled demo environments and POCs for you.

Related: Build vs. Buy: 6 Questions to Ask to Make a Decision

With a quick and efficient process for creating POCs, teams can increase their win rates, stop wasting time building POCs that won't be used, and better prioritize which deals to focus on.

In essence, it lets you earn more revenue without growing your team (or achieve the same results with a smaller team).

Interested in seeing how TestBox can help you add POCs to your sales process? Let's talk.

Watch our Chief Solutions Officer, James Kaikis, talk about the future of solutions based organizations

Watch the presentation to learn about the change that you can make within your organization.

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