Discovery – Fail Early, Fail Cheaply


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Far too many sales opportunities run far too long, for arange of reasons. One simple example is not asking questions about”show-stopper” requirements early enough.
A show-stopper issue is exactly that – is it an issue orrequirement on the part of the customer that is:

1. Absolutely required
2. Non-negotiable
3. Not available from you, the vendor (and there isnot reasonable work-around)
A simple example of this is a customer who absolutely,positively desires an in-house implementation installed on their own servers(and you only offer SaaS, with no possibility for installation on customers’servers). For some customers, this mightbe a objection that can be overcome, but for others their position may be fixedand unchangeable.

It is best to understand this early in the sales process,during Discovery, rather than later on, to avoid unnecessary investment by boththe customer and the vendor in demos, additional meetings and otherdiscussions. Imagine how the customerChampion would feel, after organizing a series of demo meetings for key playersin multiple departments, to learn that the solution simply won’t fit! (Very angry). And then imagine what that ex-Champion would tell his or her peers atthe next conference about that vendor…!

Contemplate making a list of show-stopper questions orissues to add to your Discovery documents and outlines – and be prepared to askthese questions during Discovery.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peter Cohan
Have you ever seen a bad software demonstration? Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of Great Demo!, focused on helping software organizations improve the success rates of their demos. He authored Great Demo! - how to prepare and deliver surprisingly compelling software demonstrations. Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development. He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.


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