What Does It Mean to Get Proof of Concept in Software?

by | Mar 9, 2022

When shopping around for software, it’s important to get proof that it works. That’s to say, whatever problem the software promises to fix, it actually meets expectations. This Proof of Concept takes a number of forms. Organizations who’ve done their homework will know what to look for to get the evidence they need and make an informed purchase.

In our 15 years assisting companies to manage commissions, we learned how to help software buyers make the right choice. Through trial and error, we found the best way to prove our software works for our customers. However other software providers use different methods.

A good Proof of Concept program will help a potential buyer make an informed software purchase.

Proof of Concept may look like:

  • A free trial: Depending on the type of software, a potential customer could get a free trial. Trials such as this run between two weeks and 60 days. Occasionally it may be longer but it’s rare when it comes to high-cost software. In the case of software that requires a lot of implementation, such as commission software, a couple of weeks of free use without any setup won’t give you much insight into how the tools will work for a company.
  • Discount on early subscription: When a free trial doesn’t make sense, a software provider can offer a promotion or discount on subscription for the first month or two. This time often goes into setup and implementation. The customer will get a better idea of how the software will work but if they’ve already agreed to a subscription, they’ll be stuck for the duration of the contract even if they discover the software doesn’t provide the service needed.
  • An initial short-term project: In another scenario, potential buyers might get access to the software to develop and execute a single short-term project. This could be a payment cycle or a campaign, depending on the type of software. In some circumstances, this project offers enough information for a buyer to understand how the software will work for them.
  • Trial period & initial implementation for a small price: For our purposes, this is the method that works best. Our Quick Start program gives a potential subscriber both a trial period to use the system as well as a set number of implementation hours for a small price. There is no additional commitment required after the trial ends. It allows customers to work directly with our implementers, train on the system, and get to know how Core will work for them. In our opinion, Quick Start showcases how well our team and our application solve the problem of commission management.

No matter which proof-of-concept method a potential buyer chooses, they need to collect information that will inform a purchase. A well-informed customer will look for the following pieces in order to make the right choice.

The Software Solves Your Problem

If a business wants to purchase software, it’s typically because there’s a problem that needs to be solved. In our case, the problem we solve is the difficulty and complexity of sales commission management. When we administer our Proof of Concept, we demonstrate how our software offers the best option — for most sales organizations — in achieving that.

The hope is that when a potential customer completes a proof of concept, they fully understand the benefits. If that isn’t the case, the program has failed. A customer who doesn’t get that insight from a proof of concept should consider that not only a failing of the program but also a red flag for the software provider in general.

Administrators Can Reasonably Use the Software Without Extensive Training

In the course of the proof of concept program, the buyer should get a sense that the software can be reasonably operated. It shouldn’t require extensive technical training for someone to figure out how to work the application. If it does, it likely means the software still needs work and that it’s not quite ready for use. It’s probably not a good fit.

The Price Makes Sense for your Organization

Software costs range from very high to low. The price level is often dictated by the industry and the type of software so a buyer needs to take that into account. However, if an organization decides to invest in software, the price needs to make sense for their budget when factoring in how much time, money, and resources the tools will save the team overall. A good proof of concept provides insight into those time, money, and resource savings.

Want to get started on a Proof of Concept for commission software? We’d be happy to share more information about Quick Start. Contact us or set up a free demo today. We look forward to working with you and proving that our software can solve your commission management problems.

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