Here are the 10 key questions I like to see asked of potential customers before starting a pilot project. These questions are designed to get new opportunities successfully through the sales pipeline.
- What are the measurable success criteria you will be using to decide if the pilot is a success? (Optional to probe further: Why are these success criteria important to you?)
- In what time frame will you be running the pilot? (Optional to probe further: Why this time frame?)
- Who will be the person at the company responsible for driving the pilot project forward?
- What value would this product/service bring to your company? Can you express that in a monetary form?
- If the pilot is a success, are you committing to purchase the product or service?
- When would you be making the purchase decision?
- Do you have the budget now to make the purchase?
- If the pilot is a success, when would you purchase, how many units | licenses | users | person days, etc., and over what period of time?
- What are the steps necessary to make sure the purchase goes forward once that decision is made?
- Who would be involved in making the final decision to purchase? What is their involvement now on the pilot project?
More information on creating successful pilot projects can be found here and here.
If you have other questions you like to ask or experiences with pilot projects and sales, please join the conversation and share your questions, ideas, and thoughts in the comments below.