Why Many Discovery Calls Go Wrong (And the Vendor Doesn’t Realize It!) – Part 2

Here’s the short list of why so many discovery calls fail to accomplish their actual objectives:

  • Not even getting job titles
  • Only gets job titles
  • Too few questions
  • Only uncovers Pain
  • Only uncovers Pain and a bit about the tech stack/environment
  • No discussion of Impact
  • No discussion of Value
  • Didn’t uncover tangible value elements (no Deltas)
  • Not helping your prospect build their business case
  • No discussion of Specific Capabilities
  • No Vision Reengineering – prospect vision of a solution is limited
  • Vendor assumes they already know the prospect’s situation
  • Vendor uncovers pain and immediately starts talking about their offering
  • Vendor starts with corporate overview and never gets to discovery
  • Vendor starts with an overview demo and never gets to discovery
  • Vendor starts with a corporate overview, followed by a product overview, followed by an overview demo and never gets to discovery
  • Vendor doesn’t know what information needs to be captured
  • Vendor doesn’t know what questions need to be asked
  • Too many questions – feels like an inquisition
  • Nothing given back for the prospect – no give, no quid pro quo
  • Used “discovery on the fly” but ended up only showing an overview demo
  • Used “discovery on the fly” but only confirmed that the prospect liked a few features
  • Used discovery on the fly but only uncovered pain and a bit about the tech stack/environment
  • Used discovery on the fly, showed a ton of features, but ended up “buying it back”
  • Prospect is “just browsing” and not ready for a deeper discovery conversation
  • Started too low in the prospect organization
  • Not learning the members of the buying team
  • Not understanding the prospect’s buying process
  • Not identifying a champion
  • Not enabling your champion
  • Prospect is in pain, but still isn’t willing to change
  • Prospect is in pain, but still isn’t willing to change – no Critical Business Issue identified
  • Prospect is in pain, but still isn’t willing to change – no or insufficient value identified
  • Prospect is in pain, but still isn’t willing to change – no Critical Date identified

This is just a starter list…! Any others to add?

What about solutions? 

Here’s a 27-minute webinar with Larson Stair, the CEO of Gondola, where we explored several of the 7 Levels of Doing Discovery in an example discovery conversation interspersed with brief analysis.

Learn more about these skills in the new book, Doing Discovery or (even better) learn how to apply these skills in a Great Demo! Doing Discovery Workshop.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top