Ep.5: Setting Up Pilot Programs: How to Sell to Big Companies as a Startup


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In this episode, Scott and Robert discuss how to use pilot projects to sell to big companies as a startup by getting your foot in the door and setting yourself up to understand the logistics of selling to the big boys. Key areas we cover are:

  • Using pilot projects to control the success metrics defining your product.
  • Pilot programs as a customer evaluation tool.
  • Selling the “whole pie” versus pushing for a pilot project.
  • Using pilot programs to understand the different back office processes necessary for a large company to purchase your product.
  • How to design your pilot project to avoid turning your product into something its not.

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Podcast Notes

2:00 – Controlling the success of pilot projects by defining the metrics.

4:20 – Using pilot projects on smaller companies.

5:20 – How pilot projects establish you as a vendor at a large company.

6:20 – Pilot projects as a customer evaluation tool.

9:40 – Pilot projects versus selling the whole suite of features your product offers.

11:40 – Phased rollout of product from the pilot stage to aid with a smoother implementation.

13:00 – Avoiding the pitfalls of selling the entirety of an early stage product.

14:00 – Things to beware when piloting a project within a single department at a company.

15:45 – The benefits of a pilot project putting your company through the Master Services Agreement (MSA) process at a large company.

19:20 – How pilot projects help you understand all the necessary back office processes your company must go through to sell to a large company.

22:20 – The positives and negatives of running a pilot program.

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