Your business needs a web application, so you’ve spent the time to find a software house that you consider a good fit. But how can you be sure that the vendor will understand your business needs? The answer is a discovery call.
As a client you have hopes that the software house will help you achieve your goals. Naturally, before you sign any contract you want to make sure that the vendor will meet your business needs, objectives, challenges, budget, deadline, and many more things. Is it possible to determine all the things during one call?
It is, but only when it’s more than just the first conversation. And it is hidden under the term discovery call.
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What is a discovery call?
A discovery call can be the most important conversation, as you only get one chance to make a first impression. Both you and the software house can assess whether you’re a good fit for each other.
During the call both of you have a chance to know each other better, understand your pain points, business needs, and biggest concerns. It helps a software house to build deeper relationships with you and identify what it has for you.
The anatomy of a discovery call
It’s good to have a plan before the discovery call starts. A software house should research your company to prepare the right questions to get the most relevant information from you, other than ones that can be found on your website.
So, what should the perfect discovery call consist of?
- Getting to know each other
First things first, it’s time to learn something about what you do. Help the software house understand where your company is now and what you want to achieve with their know-how and experience.
Bearing this in mind, expect questions that will help the software house to know your company inside out. The more precise you are, the easier it will be to take concrete steps toward your goals.
- Understanding your concerns
Understanding your problems and requirements is what helps to see how the software house can potentially help. Addressing top priorities, the biggest concerns, and main challenges before starting the collaboration gives the software house a broader perspective on your project so that they can estimate potential risks and evaluate expected benefits.
By asking probing questions a software house gets the full scope of your hopes that their solution will help you achieve. This is why you should give much longer answers than “yes” or “no”. Open questions bring more value and success depends on the quality of both the questions and the answers.
If you both agree that you are a good fit for each other, then you can discuss the next steps.
- Addressing your needs
Another step is discussing how a software house can help you address each of the pain points you’ve mentioned before. Now it’s time to determine what the software house can do to solve your problems and meet your expectations.
Based on the discovery call, the software house aligns its services to your needs, so you’ll be assured that they’ll work smarter and be able to address your pains.
- Moving onwards
Expect the vendor to guide you through the next steps, help you evaluate the project, and discuss the general terms of collaboration.
After this part, you should know the details of the product based on the extra information that you provided to the software house.
What is a discovery call for?
The purpose of the discovery call is to see whether you and the software house share goals.
Speaking on the phone or having a video call is far more effective than email correspondence. It’s an opportunity for you to verify the software house and talk about prospective collaboration.
You can ask for a relevant use case if you want to make sure that the vendor has experience with similar projects. The same goes for the industries and markets the software house operates in, the technologies they use, etc.
Perhaps you’re looking for a company that will provide you with comprehensive services and manage your complex business scenario that requires both web and mobile applications and maintenance. You need to make sure that they have solid experience in applying leading technologies to be a reliable technological partner.
What can also be important is the methodology their work is based on. For instance, when a software house operates based on the Agile approach, it’s information for you that you’ll be actively involved in the process. So ask about the work culture, technology, and approach to remote collaboration.
It also helps to verify the quality of communication between you and the dev team. After all, you’re going to work together for at least several months, so effective communication is what will make it smooth.
A discovery call is a two-way conversation
As you can see, the discovery call is an opportunity to collect actionable data for both you and the software house. You can verify whether the software house you consider has trusted developers, expertise in sophisticated technology, and a solid background.
Even though it’s better when it’s more like a friendly conversation than an official call, it’s good to be prepared. Take time to gather all the information that can help a software house to better understand your company with all its challenges and objectives.