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Discovery is the First Step to a Successful Relationship

We often forget that the first interaction with our customer is not the handover or the onboarding:

It’s actually the discovery call. The discovery call is the first call your new client gets from the Sales team – and the goal is always the same: Find out if we are a fit, and establish a winning relationship for both sides.

So discovery is the very first step to a relationship with a good-fit client. 

The shocking thing: Customer Success is rarely involved in designing a customer discovery call that leads to a good-fit client. So today, let’s dive into discovery calls and how we can help make them better.

Here are my 5 key tips to establish a healthy discovery with Sales.

1. Healthy customer, healthy discovery

I might state the obvious, but you have to first figure out who the healthy and successful clients are. Define the firmographic and demographic, even if just roughly. And once you’ve done that, check the discovery script. Does the discovery call ask for these parameters? And if they are fulfilled (or not fulfilled), what does Sales do? Get a good idea of how they handle passing on good and bad-fit clients.

2. Improve your Sales collaboration with software

You can just use your CRM, but if you are selling high-ARR contracts, you want to make sure that every client gets the perfect experience. Collaboration tools like recapped.io help bridge that gap – they close the void between discovery and onboarding. It’s like a dedicated notes- and to-do-app just for that purpose.

3. Have handover meetings about Tier A clients

This is an easy fix. Often enough, we simply receive a handover document and start the journey with our customer. But for your best new customers, you should actually have a handover meeting! Yes, we all hate meetings… But in a personal conversation you can actually go through the handover in person, and then address things that went well or went wrong in the discovery phase.

4. Link Sales’ compensation to onboarding success

You might not have that much decision making power in your business, but pitch it to your CEO! I’ve seen first hand how sales discovery and handover quality improves when Sales compensation is linked to a successful onboarding. 50% of variable pay being paid out only if the customer is successfully onboarded is almost like the magic Customer Success pill you’re looking for.

5. Flag bad-fit clients in specific meetings

Another meeting, but just as necessary – if a bad-fit client is hard to service, flag them and have a 15-minute update with Sales of what went wrong and how you can discover similar issues in the Sales process. This is the single meeting that will have the most impact on serving better-fit clients in the future.