Guide to a Discovery Call
At Amsterdam Standard, we understand the complexities of the B2B sector. Whether it's establishing long-term partnerships or understanding our client's unique industry dynamics, we know that building meaningful business relationships requires time, effort, and, most crucially, understanding.
That's why we emphasize the crucial role of a Discovery Call or Discovery Meeting when initiating a new client relationship. We've assembled a comprehensive guide on how we conduct these meetings and their vital importance in our relationship with our esteemed client.
What is a Discovery Meeting?
A Discovery Meeting is an investigative conversation that is our first step in comprehending and defining the project requirements and objectives. This conversation provides the potential client with an opportunity to present their project or product, its current stage, existing solutions, and any challenges they are facing.
This meeting is conducted by our Delivery Managers, who employ a set of questions to fully understand the client's business landscape and propose suitable solutions.
What is the purpose of a Discovery Meeting?
The Discovery Meeting serves a dual purpose. Firstly, it's an exploratory discussion aimed at understanding the client's product and project, identifying problems we need to solve, and gathering critical information about their needs. Secondly, it's an opportunity for the client to learn more about Amsterdam Standard – our services, experience, and project team.
Our Discovery Meetings are structured to extract the most valuable information and insights about the project. We follow a precise process before, during, and after the meeting to ensure that our understanding of the client's project aligns with their vision and expectations.
Before the Discovery Meeting
The process begins when our Sales team shares the information with the Delivery Department. A devoted Delivery Manager then steps in, introducing themselves to the client and outlining the agenda for the upcoming meeting. This Delivery Manager will serve as the client's key account manager, being their primary contact throughout the entire collaboration.
We provide our clients with a list of topics we plan to discuss before the meeting, allowing them to prepare their answers beforehand. This ensures we focus on the most essential elements, detailing what is crucial for both parties. The questions are divided into categories: general business information, application, infrastructure, IT development process, problems (business, technical or process), and recruitment.
We understand that information security is crucial for our clients, hence we are open to signing an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) before the meeting. At any point, but not later than before we start working together, we can also sign an MSA (Master Service Agreement). Clients must also sign an SOW (Statement of Work) when they decide to work with us. We will provide all the drafts for our clients to review and comment on. And if they need clarification on what these are, we'll explain everything before or at the meeting.
We will also inform them about the additional team member joining the discussion to take notes. This will help us select suitable candidates and provide them with information about the product and project.
During the Discovery Meeting
The meeting lasts about an hour. We start by presenting our agenda and allow all to introduce themselves.
We ask a series of discovery questions to gather detailed information about our client's projects, the problems they face, their needs, expected timelines, and more. This allows us to assess and align our capabilities with our client's requirements.
We also share information about our agreements and recruitment processes at this stage. Sometimes it's also worthwhile to analyse the code to assess the project's condition objectively. After the meeting, the client may grant access to our technology expert so they can take a closer look at it. Thanks to this, our client will receive our observations and a report free of charge.
If the Delivery Manager sees the need, they can propose additional solutions and business support, such as UX design, penetration tests, infrastructure, product management and Agile training.
After the Discovery Meeting
Our clients will receive the first proposal within 2 days after our meeting. It includes a tailored recommendation, which lists the names, rates, and CVs of potential team members for the project, a brief explanation for each person's selection, additional services, and the proposal's validity. If the code was checked, we will also arrange a follow-up meeting to discuss the findings.
If we do not have available developers immediately, we will open the recruitment process, which typically takes 1-3 months. In the meantime, we will set up sync calls to inform our clients about the progress.
When the presented person matches their expectations, we arrange an introductory call also to assess the cultural fit.
Once everything goes according to plan, we will sign the appropriate documents, start cooperation, and set team goals for the next 2-3 months. After this time, we verify the actual state of affairs with the arrangements and make improvements if needed.
Knowing how important face-to-face meetings are, if possible, we will organize a business trip to the client's office in the first 2 weeks of cooperation for the team to get to know and integrate with each other personally.
The outcome and ongoing support
In essence, our Discovery Meetings are all about asking clear, straightforward questions to uncover existing challenges and then align these with what our team can provide. Every discovery meeting takes its unique course and typically ends with a clear outline of the next steps in the process.
Remember, we're here to help throughout the entire process, and our client’s assigned Delivery Manager will be happy to answer any questions they may have.