of concepts (POC) placed but not driving sales home? Perhaps you’re a founder or co-
founding CTO solidifying your pitch to potential buyers but not seeing the traction you were
hoping for. Your technology is the most disruptive, innovative and best in class right?
We see this problem among tech companies of all sizes. Clients demoing but not converting.
Clients raising their hand to test the latest technology, you implement a POC and it sits on
the shelf. Why would any of this happen? The client owes you better attention and respect
than that right? WRONG….
“The most common sales area that needs
improvement for vendors is the discovery
process & empathetic listening. Diving into
features/ benefits before fully understanding
the client’s strategic initiatives minimizes the
ability to create an impactful partnership.”
-Amy Looper, Sales Leader & Founder of
Follow These 6 Steps To Strengthen Your Discovery Process:
1. Set the agenda for your initial discovery call with intention. Ensure that you include the meeting agenda in your calendar invite for easy reference by your client. Most importantly, ensure your agenda brings value.
Example: “The purpose of this call is to learn more about your company’s recent shift into healthcare after the pandemic hit and how you’re adjusting to the influx of business to support. Gaining your feedback on your recent experience growing in this marketplace is helpful so we can best support you in return. If at the end of our call you find our new healthcare management tools of value, a typical next step would be setting up a demo of our solution. Does that sound good to you? Please let me know if there are any other items you’d like to cover during this time.”
2. Show Up Prepared. Press releases, annual reports, online sources such as Crunchbase, Pitchbook, LinkedIn, Twitter are all great ways to understand more about your prospective
clients within the technology industry. The more research you do prior to a call with a
decision-maker the better you’ll have a chance to build rapport, ask questions that they find
insightful instead of the generic sales pitch. Your ultimate goal is to position yourself as an
advisor. Whatever you do, don’t just hop on an in-depth demo without understanding the
client’s business issues which takes me to point #3.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions. You wouldn’t want anyone to assume anything about your business so don’t make an assumption that you understand your potential client’s business.
DO ask them about their vision, their strategic initiatives, confirm info that you may have
seen in a press release but never assume you know their pain because they are similar to another one of your clients. Each client is unique!
4. Focus & Lead With Authentic Questions. Great discovery comes down to the questions
you ask. You’re going to ask more authentic questions if you’re truly dialed into the
conversation and interested in the potential buyer. If the customer mentions that they are
struggling to keep up with the workload in cybersecurity after 2020, you have an
opportunity to empathize and ask them how you can help them. You may be surprised at the
new ways you find to partner with your clients to support them. Need help with empathetic questioning, refer to this list here.
5. Read The Customer & Stay Flexible Without Losing Authority. As noted in
Challenger Selling, there are well over 7 stakeholder personalities involved in every major
technology purchase. Knowing whom you’re talking to, their motives, and reading their
personality is key to keeping the discovery meeting on track. If they are very technical and
are someone who needs to “see it before believing it” then you may just need to give them a
high-level demo while you’re running additional discovery. You may see some buyers not
want to build rapport and just get down to the facts. That’s ok, not everyone is going to be
your happy hour buddy. Staying flexible in working with each personality is critical.
6. Record Discovery Calls. It can be difficult to get all of your discovery questions
answered within the first discovery call. Depending on your sales process, you may have
more than one discovery call with multiple stakeholders. Recording these enables you to
refer back to them for sales detail, use them for market research and practice to improve
future performance. Easy to install apps such as Owler.ai, Fireflies.ai can transcribe your
Zoom call. Enterprise software like Gong and Chorus gives you the ability to record, make
comments on call recordings for future reference and coaching.
Relativity Sells coaches and provides sales enablement to technology companies around the globe. Relativity’s founder, Amy Looper took her passion for helping technically trained business owners and reps connect with their buyers in a more meaningful way during the sales process. Her coaching and sales enablement services are designed to help vendors understand their competitive positioning, customer’s buyer journey to create meaningful impact, driving long-term revenue and increasing win rates within the sales team. Prior to Relativity Sells, Amy spent 17 years in sales leadership, corporate enterprise sales roles (Fortune 500 cybersecurity, healthcare IT SAAS) where she was awarded 4 President’s Club awards and top sales awards from leading equity firm, Vista Equity. For more information please visit www.relativitysells.com