November 9, 2022

Performing Discovery for Enterprise SaaS Sales

Discovery is the part of the sales process where you try to figure out everything you can about a potential customer. Discovery includes researching the company... what it does, how many employees, their position in the market, etc. Asking questions is a very important part.

What you're trying to figure out, is where is the "pain"?

Many organizations are undergoing a transformation from paper to software. Some employees know their current paper process, but have no idea what can be done digitally. Some organizations have been outsourcing digital operations to consultants. Some simply don't care.

Simple discovery questions about your prospect's level of expertise can help you create the most effective approach to solving their problems.

Your job in this phase is to attach the "problem" to the business. That is, getting your prospect to understand that "his" problem, is really a business problem also.

Understanding their Current Process

Having your prospect verbalize the steps they currently follow is important to understand their process, but also to capture the terminology they use. Later, you'll want to ask follow-on questions using their terminology. This is "controlled vocabulary" – where both parties have the same definition for key words and phrases.

The next questions: What are the deliverables of this workflow?

The answers help you illustrate why their process needs to be improved... by your software solution. If you note that their current output is smaller and weaker than your offering, boom!

Good questions to ask:

  1. What's going well?
  2. What needs to be changed or improved?

It's important to understand certain aspects of their workflow that they are happy with. It's incorrect and costly to assume all prospects want to destroy their current process. In fact, many prospects like certain parts of the process. It's your job to uncover what they like, and what they hate.

The better your understanding of their problems, the more precise your proposed solution will be.

Expand the Importance of the Problem

Who else in the company is impacted? Each business has divisions that rely on each other. If one portion under-delivers or fails, it will impact the entire organization.

This has been successful for PZM because most of our customers have other departments that utilize our asset management software for electric utilities.

What is your situation today? And, what does it need to be? Are two simple questions designed to uncover value.

Sometimes prospects simply want to do the same thing, just faster.