Habits Influence our Execution

When people are involved, there are many human interactions, including; business and personal aspirations, opinions, procedures, processes and politics. They can all collide and add drama during a proof of concept. Your ability as a sales engineer to be mindful of these human interactions and how you orchestrate them will influence your PoC.

Being aware of the many human interactions which occur during a Proof of Concept (PoC) enables a sales engineer to manage a PoC with greater ease, professionalism and trust.

The habits and practices we focus on influence how we manage these human interactions.

As presales professionals, we know that listening, follow-up and having consistent and clear communication are markers of world-class PoC engagement. However, during a PoC, there are many other factors at play.

Even sales engineers experience the human emotions of winning and losing proof of concepts. We feel elated when a customer understands our solution and becomes excited about the possibility of what it can do for them. But we also experience frustration when a customer can’t see beyond the marketing fluff of our competitors. Let’s acknowledge that these emotions are part of our personal and professional experience. 

It takes emotional intelligence to manage the range of human emotions we experience.

The Roller Coaster Experience

A proof of concept can be an emotional roller coaster – the habits and practices you implement will improve the experience for you and your customer.

A sales engineer must recognize the emotional roller coaster that occurs during a Proof of Concept. As such, every sales engineer’s critical skill is being aware of and managing their emotional intelligence.

Investing time in this one area will significantly improve your ability to communicate with your team and customers in an impactful and meaningful way. As well it nurtures the right thinking and emotional management required to deal with people during a PoC. 

The seven habits outlined below and available in ebook format were written with a focus on acknowledging the emotional, human interactions which occur during a proof of concept. Every Proof of Concept requires planning and focus. To improve the human interactions of managing a PoC, leverage these seven habits to improve how you engage with your customer.

Seven Habits to Improve Human Interactions for Proof of Concepts

Here are the seven habits that help improve the human interactions of a proof of concept with a customer while also improving your technical win-rate.  

  1. Take time to document the PoC – there is value in capturing the what, who, when, where and how
  2. Understanding why you consent to a POC – take time to qualify a POC.
  3. Deliver business value take the focus off your technology and place the customer at the center of the PoC
  4. Focus on the essentials that lead to a successful POC – know and complete the required elements for success – avoid doing a partial implementation.
  5. Understand the necessary outcomes of a PoC – understand the bigger picture of your customer requirements
  6. Before starting a PoC, conduct a thorough discovery – just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should
  7. Build the relationship with your customer by nurturing trust- invest time to understand them, walk in their shoes and see life through their eyes

People Not Just Technology

The practice and focus of these seven habits advance the overall success of your PoC. These habits are less about the technology and much more about the human interactions occurring during a PoC. Being aware of these human interactions improves the overall customer experience during a PoC.  

These seven habits are not technology-centric. Instead, they revolve around common-sense best practices of mutual respect, active listening and collaboration.

Learn More By Downloading This Free eBook.

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