The Hidden Cost of Poor Discovery

The 80-20 rule holds firmly true in B2B subscription selling: 20% of salespeople are responsible for 80% of sales. That 20% is able to consistently win sales and start long-lasting customer relationships. These rockstar sellers invest early on in aligning with the customer on driving their success outcomes by solving specific challenges.

In other words, they do great discovery.

The problem is that every sales rep will confidently claim: “I do discovery.” So why do only the rockstars consistently achieve consistent sales?

Because most salespeople do poor discovery.

If your discovery is poor, you won’t have the foundation to deliver value. This results in:

  • A declining number of customers
  • Higher customer acquisition cost
  • Reduced predictability, lower win rates, smaller initial deals
  • Reduced visibility and reliability of revenue
  • Stifled account expansion due to a lack of credible results, reduced retention

Ultimately, poor discovery costs your business money. It wastes your sales team’s time and resources and makes your entire business less efficient.

Why the Cost of Poor Discovery Is Hard to Spot

The problem is that many businesses aren’t aware that poor discovery is costing them money. There are three reasons for this.

1. It’s difficult to connect discovery with business outcomes

It’s difficult for companies to measure the revenue leakage from the sales process, as a consequence of not uncovering customer pains effectively. As a result, outcomes like high churn and low satisfaction are rarely traced back to the sales process.

2. Sales teams need the right mindset

When asked about discovery, salespeople will say “I did/did not do discovery” (most will say the former). This binary view is impossible to measure. Instead, salespeople need to reflect on the quality of their discovery.

3. Measuring the quality of discovery is hard

Discovery is difficult to measure, even when sales teams focus on its quality. They need a system that can efficiently track, support and scale a high-quality discovery process across all sales reps, accounts and opportunities.

This gives sales managers the data they need to see who is doing good discovery and who needs to improve. It also allows them to see the impact that discovery is having on other parts of the business. In turn, this enables them to measure how it affects outcomes like customer satisfaction and churn.

Good vs Bad Discovery

As we mentioned, most sales teams think of discovery in binary terms. They focus on whether discovery was or was not done.

They might discover the customer’s challenges, but they don’t uncover deeper, more useful information. Instead, sales managers should ask their team what level of discovery they have done and whether they have got critical information from the prospect.

There are seven levels of discovery skills. Anything above a level four is considered great discovery. So how can you tell if you have done good discovery? There are three key elements that you must uncover:

  • The KPI success outcomes that are relevant to the customer
  • What a good result looks like and how it will be measured
  • The timeframe the improvement needs to happen in to make it a good result

If executives and salespeople don’t measure the quality of discovery and treat it as a binary issue, the cost of discovery will remain hidden. They won’t have the information they need to analyse and improve their sales process.

If you have not managed to uncover all three of the elements listed above, discovery is not complete and you need to ask more and deeper questions—otherwise, you might create further hidden discovery costs.

Ultimately, only your customer can tell you if you have done good discovery. You should regularly check in with the customer to ensure you are asking the right questions, and let them see you record their answers.

Get your new sellers to perform like rockstars with Cuvama

Each sales team has one or two rockstar sellers. They are the reps that do win deals and hit their targets consistently. They are experienced and skilled, but more importantly they perform good discovery as a habit.

Cuvama allows anyone, even brand-new salespeople, to sell like a rockstar and routinely conduct great deep discovery. It also allows sales managers to analyse the quality of each rep’s discovery.

  1. A simple visual interface guides the salesperson through each stage of discovery collaboratively with their customer.
  2. Cuvama creates a series of SMART outcomes that cover all three elements of good discovery. This is automatically shared with the customer at the end of the discovery via a summary email. Here the customer is also invited to view, share or edit the discovery record.
  3. The customer then confirms these outcomes, or can make or request changes to them.
    The SMART outcomes agreed by the customer are then used to generate a personalised value hypothesis.
  4. All the discovery information listed above is then stored in a single digital record. This is made accessible to all departments and is used to drive customer satisfaction across the business. You can experience the Cuvama platform yourself here.

Making Cuvama part of your sales team’s process allows you to conduct world-class discovery. This benefits your entire business by improving:

  • Revenue growth
  • Revenue predictability
  • Efficiency and profitability

Discover Cuvama for yourself

Avoiding the cost of poor discovery will transform your business. Cuvama provides the solution infrastructure and advisory services to achieve this.

If you’d like to learn more about how we help B2B subscription-based companies to become discovery-centric, contact us at or experience the Cuvama platform yourself here.

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