The goal of any customer interaction is to help move the relationship forward. To make sure that it is during your pilot project, it’s essential to include terms for a conditional purchase of software.
To avoid endless periods of pilot trial, it’s best to build in the acceptance criteria for the pilot. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the company and your startup can help crystallize an intended common line of action.
Perhaps the pilot needs to move core metrics, a certain level of ROI needs to be reached or the solution must just function as promised. In any case, there has to be a pre-determined way to evaluate the success of the pilot project.
If you hit certain core metrics, then the company will buy the product. After 60 days of the solution doing what is expected, the company will buy.
The prospect needs to validate that the product is worth the price you’re asking. Offering a risk-free (not free) pilot can help solve that problem.
Start the clock on their bill from day one of usage, not after the trial. If they reject the service during the trial, then they pay nothing.