GTM and Sales

Founder Led Customer Discovery for B2B SaaS companies

Daniela Pico
Mar 24, 2023
min read

Customer discovery calls are crucial for B2B SaaS companies to understand their prospects' needs and determine if there is a genuine fit between their pain points and the offered solution. To conduct successful customer discovery calls, founders need to take a total mindset shift away from pitching their product and focus on understanding the customer's needs. Here are some key points to keep in mind when conducting customer discovery calls:

  1. Discovery is not pitching: Focus on surfacing the prospect's pain points instead of talking about your product or vision. Your goal is to earn the right to sell by understanding their current situation and their desired future state.
  1. Discovery is not customer interrogation: Instead of firing a series of questions at your prospect, engage in a dialogue that feels like a conversation. This will help you understand their experience and build a connection with them. Try to encourage conversation that allows them to tell you about their pain points so you can provide tailored solutions for their problems 
  1. Prepare for the call: Do your research on the prospect, and their company before the call to avoid asking basic questions. This will help you come to the call with empathy and a better understanding of their needs.
  1. Create a clear agenda: Establish a structured agenda for the call that outlines what will be discussed and why it matters. This helps both you and the prospect know what to expect from the conversation and ensures you cover all necessary topics.
  1. Use open-ended questions: Start your questions with phrases like "tell me about" or "what is the experience of" to encourage the prospect to share more about their situation and make the conversation more dimensional.
  1. Focus on relationship-oriented selling: Aim to create a natural, empathetic conversation centered around the prospect's needs. This will help you build a genuine connection and better understand their pain points. 
  1. Establish the current state and desired future state: During the call, focus on understanding the prospect's current situation and the challenges they are facing. Then, explore their desired future state, what improvements they would like to see, and how achieving those improvements would impact their lives or work. This process creates a "bridge" between their current state and their desired future state, allowing you to identify how your product or service can help them get from one side to the other.
  1. Earn the right to sell: Until you have established the prospect's current state and desired future state, you have not earned the right to sell. The purpose of customer discovery calls is to understand the prospect's needs and problems, not to push your solution onto them. Listen empathetically and confirm that the prospect wants to fix their issues before presenting your solution.
  1. Personalize your pitch: Once you have a clear understanding of the prospect's needs, you can tailor your pitch to address their specific concerns. This personalization demonstrates that you have listened to the prospect and that your product can genuinely help them overcome their challenges.  For example, if the prospect is concerned about saving time, you might emphasize how your product can streamline processes and reduce time spent on manual tasks. If they are more concerned about creating an archive of training materials, you might focus on how your product can help them achieve that goal.
  1. Practice empathetic listening: Throughout the call, practice empathetic listening by genuinely trying to understand the prospect's challenges and expressing a desire to help them overcome those issues. This approach will help you build rapport and trust with the prospect, increasing the likelihood that they will see your solution as a valuable investment. Why is integrating with a certain software essential for their business? What else have you tried to do to solve this pain that you have and why hasn’t that worked? 
  1. Teach your customer how to buy: Help your customers understand the buying process and set clear expectations. Stick to your agenda and ensure you're using their time effectively. It's important for you to understand how your customer buys so it's not all about you If they have a clear process, clear guidelines, and things that you need to meet, you want to uncover that.
  1. Communicate value: People don’t buy products, they buy what they can do with the product. Ensure you convey how your product or service can help alleviate their pain points. If you don't communicate this value, you risk getting ghosted by potential clients.
  1. Provide clear next steps: Map out your buyer process and make sure your customers know what to expect after the call. This could include a product demo, a follow-up call, or sending them additional information.
  1. Schedule the next event: Before ending the call, make sure to schedule the next event in your buyer's journey. This will help keep the momentum going and ensure a smooth sales process.
  1. Detach yourself from the outcome: If that person is not a good fit for your product, they're not a good fit for your product. There will be hopefully tons of people who are. And so your job is uncovering whether or not they are a good fit, it's not closing the sale. That’s what makes you and the way you interact with people very different.

In summary, customer discovery calls are essential for understanding your prospects' needs and pain points, allowing you to personalize your pitch and present the right solution. By creating an agenda, establishing the current and desired states, earning the right to sell, personalizing your pitch, and practicing empathetic listening, you can conduct effective customer discovery calls and increase your chances of success in the B2B SaaS sales process.

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