Hey Chris! Thanks for the questions.
Adoption with the first few customers can be a challenge. We don’t sell to the F500, but I would assume the “come back” answer is an excuse. I’d go deep to understand what’s behind that. If they aren’t in a hurry to buy, I’d question whether the problem my product solves is painful enough for the customer. Why don’t they see the value? I’d eliminate all other barriers to entry (price, training, implementation effort) and make it easy for them to buy. If they still don’t buy, my product isn’t good enough and I’ll have to solve for that.
This is a tough one to answer without digging into your business, but ultimately in order to retain customers in the long-term, you’ll have to make the buyer and the user happy. We have a similar challenge, as the buyer and user are often different for us. In your shoes I would do some research to identify a way for end-users to get value from the product. C-level folks likely won’t give the green light for long unless the users are seeing value.
Similar to question #1, assume this is an excuse, because in this case I’m pretty sure it is. You aren’t getting the full, honest feedback. They don’t believe this is a good investment yet. I’d focus 100% on the buyer and closing sales. In my opinion, funding is rocket fuel. It should not be used to prove a concept or fund operations – it should be used as fuel to achieve a certain level of scale and growth. For that reason, I’d forget about any funding until you know you have a great business.