This is more of a continuing series of tips for B2B startups that are trying to develop pilot projects.
Not all organizations are created equally. Some are new, some are old. Some are big, some are small. Some are conservative in their approach to business, some are more experimental. One of the best reference points for this is Moore’s technology adoption lifecycle which indicates that organizations are on a continuum.
With this theory, some organizations are early adopters and will experiment while others are later adopters who won’t try something until everyone else has. Note that this is not equally applied the same in any organization. Some units within the same organization may have more flexibility and be earlier (or later) adopters than other units. Consider divisions, geographic regions and even smaller units such as departments and then assess them independently. Additionally, some large companies have innovation departments that may be open to listening to you just purely out of their curiosity and openness to new ideas which could lead to interesting opportunities.
You also will want to consider the overall health of the company. It is very important to find out if company is struggling financially, potentially making their buying decisions a struggle unless your solution is focused on saving them money in the short-term. They will have much bigger issues to deal with during a time of struggle so consider your timing and research your potential client before spinning your wheels on trying to get a pilot project that will be better run another time.
Do your research and don’t make assumptions about which organizations you think are ideal candidate for your pilot project.