Monday, April 1, 2013

Discovery - For Highly Transactional Sales Cycles

Doing sufficient Discovery is clearly critical for mid-size and large software sales opportunities – but what about situations where the sales cycle may be a few days or weeks and the size of the opportunity is on the order of $3K - $12K?  Is Discovery still important?

Yes…!  The challenge is to strike a balance between operating in a transactional mode (read “moving fast”) and enabling the customer to feel that you have invested sufficient time to understand their situation. 

It is not unreasonable to consume 15 minutes in a Discovery conversation with a customer in a 30 minute “demo” call – the end result will be a customer that, typically, feels good about the transaction about to take place.  Investing this time in Discovery will enable you, as the vendor, to focus on the key needs and capabilities, reducing what would typically be a 30 minute rapid “Harbor Tour” to 10-15 minutes of crisper, focused demo.

Should you use a script for your Discovery questions?  Yes and no…!  Yes, you should have a list of questions/topics to cover; no, I don’t recommend following it religiously, but rather be prepared to bounce around in accord with where the customer takes the conversation – but use the list to make sure you cover the key questions and topics needed.

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