Customer Discovery Interview: An Emergent Process for Sales and Marketing

A successful product launch involves not just a strong marketing strategy and appealing product design but also the team that is responsible for finding new customers. The ideal solution for this challenge is an emergent sales and marketing process that can be executed at different times, on different teams, and in different locations. However, while many implementations of such processes have varying benefits, they fail to meet their full potential due to a lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities. With a clear understanding of your organization’s challenges and insights into how other organizations have solved them, you will be able to develop your digital discovery process. It should be adaptive enough to identify customer needs without becoming so prescriptive that it becomes difficult to test new assumptions or ideas.

Know who you’re talking to:  To build an adaptive process, it’s vital to identify your customer base and what they need from you. Some of the questions you can ask in this step include: -Who do I want as my customers? -What are their pain points/needs? -What are their buying habits? -What are the challenges they face when interacting with my brand? -How do they find me today?

Define your objectives:  Before you can begin to define your process, determine what you need it to achieve. What are the objectives of your process? Are you trying to find out how many potential customers you have in a specific geographic location? Is it necessary for the marketing team to be able to speak with potential customers directly and simultaneously with the sales team? Is there a need to provide quick feedback on which emails are effective in reaching customers and which should be deleted?

Set up your research framework:  It can be challenging to figure out precisely what is going on in your business.

  1. What are the most important customer needs?
  2. What are their motivations for buying from you?
  3. How much of each need can you satisfy with your product or service?
  4. How does the competitive landscape change over time?

Your first step should be to set up a research framework that will provide a foundation for building your digital discovery process. One example of a successful framework is an “ABC” approach. It starts with defining the company’s ideal customer, who they want to attract, and why they want to reach them. The next step is figuring out the buyer personas, which will help identify how customers might feel about your product or service, how they may engage with it, and what they might care about while using it. With this knowledge, you’ll know where to focus your user research efforts and digital discovery process.

Develop your hypotheses:  One of the most valuable aspects of a discovery process is its ability to be flexible enough to accommodate new opportunities that may arise. This means that you should develop your hypotheses based on what you know about your current customer base rather than solely on experience. Although it can take time for hypotheses to be proven or disproven, it’s important to start with a hypothesis that is likely to lead to success and avoid being too deterministic in the beginning.

Test, analyze, and improve:  The digital discovery process will help you test, analyze and improve your product, marketing strategy, and sales process. As a result, it will not just increase your revenue but also the efficiency of all key resources involved in the process. To achieve this goal, effective digital discovery should have three core components:

  1. Test – a focus on testing assumptions and ideas without making decisions that could lead to an expensive marketing campaign or damage product-market fit
  2. Analyze – using metrics to identify areas for improvement that can be quickly implemented for maximum impact
  3. Improve – the continuous improvement that guides decision-making based on data analysis

Conclusion:  When it comes to finding prospects, your goal should be to find out who they are, what they want, and how they are going to purchase or use your products or services. It would be best to start by understanding your audience’s needs and wants, build a research framework with your company’s goals, and conduct research to test and improve your hypotheses.