Positioned at the very beginning of the pricing software sales cycle, pricing software discovery calls are decisive in painting a vivid picture of a company’s unique pricing problems and steering them to right set of solutions to solve them. Since the discovery call informs the quality of the demo session – and, if things continue, the entire pricing project – prospects and salespeople alike should be well prepared for that conversation.
Here at Pricefx, a cloud-native pricing software vendor obsessed with problem-solving, we believe it’s critical to give ample space to the wishes and concerns of our customers from the very beginning, from the discovery call and beyond.
This article addresses how companies looking for the right pricing software can get the most value out of the discovery call, including the questions they should ask vendors and themselves.
So, let’s dive in!
What Are Pricing Software Discovery Calls?
Before jumping right into questions to ask your pricing vendor, or how to best prepare for their questions for you, let’s revisit what a pricing software discovery call is – and isn’t – to place this discussion in its appropriate context.
What Is a Pricing Discovery Call?
A pricing software discovery call is a chance for the pricing vendor to get to know your business, particularly its pricing goals and challenges, as well as take note of what you expect from the pricing software solution.
Mutual understanding on business objectives around your pricing has a domino effect on the months ahead. It enables custom demos tailored to your issues, rather than generic sessions that cover all possibilities under the sun (and consequently aren’t very helpful), and ultimately, leads to a faster implementation and time to ROI.
What Isn’t a Pricing Discovery Call?
A pricing software discovery call is not a sales pitch, or a time for you to learn about the software and dive into the deep end of its capabilities. This is a chance for the vendor to get to know your business, not the other way around.
Think about it this way: any pricing vendor is likely able to deliver in some shape or form on your company’s laundry list of pricing functions. However, because not every vendor can respond to your unique pain points as a company in the same way, or at all, your issues should take center stage in the beginning of the sales cycle.
Ultimately, a successful discovery call determines whether the partnership is a good match and where to go from there.
What to Ask Pricing Vendors on Discovery Calls
Pricing software discovery is designed to put a spotlight on your organizational needs, so most of the call should be focused on that.
At the same time, discovery calls may be your first human interaction with the pricing vendor, so naturally you’ll have questions. And, of course, you’ll want a chance to assess whether the vendor is a good fit, too.
To support that vetting process, here are a few questions to ask pricing vendors in that 15-minute Q&A session:
1. Do you have clients who have walked in our shoes before? If yes, can we speak with them?
Real reviews from companies like yours carry more weight than anything sales reps can say (even if they do genuinely love the product!). By connecting with industry peers, you’ll have access to real-world examples of how the solution addressed their issues, all the while in a low-stakes environment. Case studies and G2 are good resources here too.
2. What problems do similar customers face that we haven’t considered yet?
When manual and disparate tools obstruct your company’s view of its own pricing, it’s only natural for there to be blind spots in identifying problems. In the spirit of a true partnership, your pricing vendor can in a similar position have tackled in the past, with industry catalogues being ideal for this purpose.
3. Thinking back to the problems we’ve shared with you today, which do you think we should tackle first?
Pricing task prioritization is by no means an exact science, but with tight timelines, budgets, and multiple dependencies, pressure is on to make the right choices in the beginning. The discovery call is one of your earliest chances to ensure your most pressing issues are addressed in the right order and in record time.
4. Our company is struggling with change management and the strategic approach in general – can you or a partner help with that?
The move from manual or homegrown pricing tools to fully automated pricing requires a lot of support. How well the vendor or its partners can assist you in enabling a smooth transition is decisive in how quickly you can start seeing value from the solution.
Business Considerations to Explore When Preparing for a Discovery Call
In the weeks leading up to your first discovery call, consider sitting down with other decision-makers in your company and revisiting your case for buying pricing software in greater depth.
Remember, the goal of the discovery call is to get at the heart of your company’s most urgent pain points and go from there. So, to best prepare for this conversation, ask yourself how you’d answer these larger questions around pain:
What are your company’s issues?
How do these issues impact your organization, and to what degree?
Who exactly in your company is affected by these issues?
What is your timeline for solving them?
A close examination of your organization’s most pressing issues, along with their urgency and scale, is a strong blueprint for determining what you need to achieve with the solution and its must-haves.
But, you might be wondering, why rehash internally what can be covered in a discovery call, anyway? The pricing vendor needs a complete and accurate portrayal of your organization’s issues and goals to understand how their solution can help you, so crafting an aligned response in advance is key.
If you’d like to dive even deeper into what you can expect from a pricing discovery call, here’s a more exhaustive roundup of the questions likely be asked by the vendor:
Discover More Expert Resources and Maximize Impact – from Discovery to Go-Live
We hope that this article has equipped you well for not only acing the pricing software discovery call, but for mastering all future interactions with software sales and customer reps in the coming weeks.
To further support more fruitful conversations during this process, we also encourage you to check our YouTube Channel, a wellspring of expert insights from ourselves and our partners.
As an excellent starting point, discover important points not to be missed prior to executing your pricing project (which will undoubtedly be raised in the future by your vendor) by checking out the video below.
Jochen Schmidt has over a decade of experience in strategy consultancy and advisory in addition to pricing and software. Over 7 years with Pricefx, he held several positions including Solution Strategist Manager for the EMEA region and spearheading the global retail industry team as a subject matter expert. Throughout his career he has held various positions at specialized consulting companies, providing value to clients by advising on pricing strategies and implementing pricing software. In his free time, he is a passionate cook, beach volleyball and volleyball player, spending most of his vacations travelling and hiking.