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#59: Why You Should Separate Discovery And Demo Calls In B2B Sales

This is why deals ghost.

#59: Why You Should Separate Discovery And Demo Calls In B2B Sales

Read Time: 3 min

📣 Big Announcement

With 4,287 founders reading this newsletter weekly, we thought we would do something special this summer to give back to the community, something we've never done before and will probably never do again.

We are offering a 6-week intensive founder-led sales training cohort for only $6,000. So what's the catch? We are limiting it to only 20 companies. The cohort will begin on July 18 and run through the end of August.

So what does it include? 

  1. Weekly group coaching calls.

  2. A shared individual and group slack channel.

  3. You will have a fully fleshed-out playbook that includes lead gen, discovery, demo, scoping, and closing process.

  4. Call reviews

  5. 1.1 office hours

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How do you apply for a spot? It’s simple, fill in this form, We will select 20 companies that we think would be the best fit for the program based on your answers.

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Today, I will discuss why you should separate discovery and demo calls in almost all circumstances. This is a hot topic, and for good reason.

I will unpack the various reasons why, but there is one that is most important. Customer-centric > product-centric.

The goal of a sales process is to understand the source of the prospect's pain deeply and to deliver a solution to solve it. This is done by understanding the experience the customer wants to have and delivering that experience through a process. This is customer-centric. When you do a brief discovery and start pitching, you focus on the product, selling it for you, not on the customer’s real needs. In almost 100% of cases, the customer will not close on one call, specifically in B2B SaaS sales. We don’t sell products. We solve problems.

However, after 3-4 calls, the probability of them closing increases exponentially. This issue shares why.

Before we begin, let’s discuss the goal of a discovery and demo call.

A discovery call identifies whether or not they have use cases that apply to what your product can solve and gauges their motivation to solve those use cases. The more pain, the more motivated they are.

A simple framework to understand this is the past, present, and future. What have you done in the past to try to solve this problem, if anything? How are you currently managing this workflow? What does that look like? Ideally, how would you like to be managing this workflow? Once you understand all three, you begin to see where holes exist, which leads to the demo.

A demo is designed to showcase how your product can solve the unique use cases they conveyed on the discovery by showing them how it will do so. This must be tailored specifically to their use cases. Trying to achieve both of these on one call is very difficult, and it is product-centric vs customer-centric.

Here are 3 reasons you should always separate discovery and demo calls.

  1. The more touch points (calls) you have with a prospect, the higher the likelihood they close. Why? People wouldn’t move forward in the process if they were not interested. If they continuously progress in the process, it’s because they are motivated to solve a problem and believe you have the solution. There is also a big component of relationship building and building rapport. People buy people. For ex, If you were to buy Tesla stock are you buying the stock, or are you buying Elon Musk’s mind? Most likely, the latter.

  2. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. You convey your care by listening, asking great questions, and creating a multi-step customized buying experience that caters to their unique use cases. You deliver an experience. I define sales as identifying pain and empowering people to take action. You empower people to act by identifying pain (discovery) and then showing them a path out of it (demo).

  3. As I alluded to earlier, the probability of closing a B2B sale on one call is virtually zero. What happens if you try to do a disco and demo on one call is that the prospect walks away believing they have all the information to make a decision and most likely has a ton of unanswered questions. Now, you have to chase them for a follow-up call to potentially come to a yes or no on proceeding. This is one of the main culprits of why deals ghost.

When is it appropriate to do a discovery and demo on one call?

In certain situations where the annual or total contract value (ACV, TCV) is really small. Ideally, below $300 MRR. You normally see this type of transactional, small ticket sales in SMB or B2C sales. Also understanding if the prospect is in deep pain and prepared to pull the trigger, if so close the deal. Even then, you would benefit greatly from separating calls. Maybe deal velocity wouldn’t be as fast, but over the long run, you would close more revenue, and customer retention would be stronger.

It’s the process you deliver throughout the customer’s buying experience that will help you win deals predictably.

That’s it for today!

See you all next week.


P.S. If finding PMF and scaling to $1M in ARR through founder-led sales is on your radar, book a call with me here

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