Back to home

Week 3 - use of discovery calls in building a B2B startup

Faizan Patankar on 23 July 2020

This post is part of the Building It series where I share my journey building a startup, Amygda. Published weekly and as transparent as our customers, investors, and partners would have us be (read: legally allowed).

This week seems to be forever in preparation.

We had two important customer discovery sessions. One with a large (and critical) airport and the other with one of the largest airlines.

Oh, and we are also one of the few startups selected to exhibit at the World Aviation Festival 2020

What happened?

Discovery calls are important when building a B2B startup. Frankly, discovery calls are helpful in any kind of startup, but when building for enterprise it is super-important.

I had two deep-dive discovery calls this week,

  1. One with a large airport
  2. the other with a large short-haul airline

With the airport, we delivered a 2hr 15 min workshop on how Amygda can help in reducing operational expenditure at the airport by focussing on the assets which already collect and send data. I love talking to customers and helping them see the benefits.

On the airline side, it is always fun to talk to powerplant engineers. This airline wasn't on our list of prospective customers, but through an investor we got a connect to have a discovery call.

And the best thing about discovery calls is that you discover. I know, what a literal definition. We came away from the call knowing more than we knew before we went on the call.

Use of discovery calls in building a B2B startup

it's worthwhile explaining what I mean by discovery calls. because different people use it differently.

In my context, whenever I discuss discovery calls, I mean understanding the pain-points of the customer, explaining what we do, and take feedback and insights on making our startup more purposeful for the customer.

Understanding customer's pain point is super-important.

For example, the discovery call with the airline I mentioned was super-useful.

On the call, we understood their pain points and they were different from what we thought the pain points were. They gave us feedback on how we could do things differently. Not only for them, but for the whole industry.

I realized what they were saying is something we had overlooked. It's a pain point in industry but now we knew no one was looking at it (at least publicly). And we have the capacity to do it.

It's a separate question, whether we do it or not. There's something to be said about product strategy.

Discovery calls feed into product strategy or product roadmap, call it what you may.

If you are building a B2B startup, learn how to do discovery calls.

Oh, and in discovery, calls watch how much you talk. You discover when you listen. Just think about it a bit.

Here are a couple of resources on discovery calls, tweak them for your startup:

This is a good read, 10 sales discovery call questions, and why you should ask them. And the other one is by Hubspot, some of the questions here are very transactional but go beyond the first call. These are more relevant enterprise customers.

I am genuinely looking forward to progressing with the airport in the discussion here. That would be a huge win 🙌🏽

How is the fundraising coming in building your B2B startup?

It's ongoing. Meh, I can say more than that.

Discovery calls with customers was key. Investors can wait.

✌🏾

OK, so tell us about your exhibit on World Aviation Festival 2020

When you write your own blog, you can write your own heading 😅

So here I am boasting about our first event exhibit. At the World Aviation Festival 2020. We are one of the 24 startups at the world aviation festival.

How did we get the spot?

It was thanks to the support of an early-stage accelerator/investor. They haven't invested in us yet, but are supporting me in our journey.

Thanks to them, we got entry to the World Aviation Festival. It gives Amygda more visibility and is a great networking opportunity.

Oh and here are the rest of the startups exhibiting at the world aviation festival.

Amygda is one of 24 startup partners exhibiting on the World Aviation Festival 2020. Credit: World Aviation Festival

OK, what else happened last week?

Lots of discussions with prospects really.

Which brings me to the point of CRM.

CRMs are a nightmare to find at a budget like ours (when I say budget I mean ahem, nothing). And yeah I used a few and used the DIY approach - it's a nightmare.

I am trying one, which works natively in my email client but it is expensive so let's see if we can grab some discount.

But CRM does help, I wish I had used a proper CRM before.

I might actually write a blog about all the tools I use and how I use them. Maybe a separate post on its own so it can be updated. I will figure it out later.

. . .

What do you think of this week? Let me know via messaging me on LinkedIn or tweet me @faizanpatankar. I love talking, just mention you read my blog.