There's no tinder for software houses, so get informed and prepare your strategy to find your perfect match.

The end of spring and the beginning of summer is symbolically the time of the birth of new hopes and implementation of innovative ideas. Days are getting longer, birds are twittering and couples go out for romantic walks. That might be the best period to conduct a change in your love life company’s strategy. It will lead to new possibilities but also new challenges.

To change his business development for better, Adam decided to create an aesthetically appealing mobile or web application. He’d like to find a partner that will help him to make his dreams come true. The choice of digital houses is as difficult as choosing the right holiday location. All companies, like cities and countries, tempt him with their advantages. But how to choose the one that will meet your various requirements? 

The process of choosing a software house that will take care of the services you need is complicated, so you need to use all possible tools on the market to make it as easy and efficient as possible. At this point, it’s all about choosing the right partner with experienced designers and highly-skilled developers on board. One of the best methods that significantly contributes to making the right decisions is a Discovery Call. Check what questions you should expect from it and what effects it will bring to you.

WHAT IS A DISCOVERY CALL AND WHY YOU NEED IT

Discovery call is the first conversation between you and the software house. It’s like a first date in the park, which should be neither too stiff nor too official but still give you substantial answers on major issues.  It’s a thorough head-to-head talk, the purpose of which is to obtain essential information on the implementation of your IT project. That’s the point when both parties assess whether they’re a good match for each other. Therefore, it requires both asking in-depth questions and providing detailed and substantial answers. 

An excellent digital house will already do the research about you before the discovery call (everybody googles the person before the first date, right?). Nonetheless, it will always be crucial for your potential partner to comprehensively and precisely understand the core of your business and products that you need to create. The aspects of getting to know each other and understanding your concerns and requirements are pivotal for the software house to verify their abilities to fit your demands.

Discovery call is the first step to recognise your needs and move forward. If it appears that you share the same goals and the quality they supply complements your interests, it can only get better. The “helicopter view” of the projects run by your company will lead to the verification of possibilities and resources that a digital house has to offer you.

Discovery call gives you a chance to feel the quality of communication between you and the digital house. After the first talk with a newly met person, we already know if the vibe is good enough to become friends with them (or maybe more than friends!). The same will happen on the discovery call. Just after the talk, you'll know if this is a company full of people with whom you want to cooperate. There’s nothing more important than a common flow that will lead to success and fruitful collaboration. Discovery call allows you to assess whether there’s a perfect (or at least good enough!) match or no.

WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD YOU EXPECT ON A DISCOVERY CALL

A discovery call is a two-way conversation, which constitutes an opportunity both for you and the digital house to collect essential information at the beginning of your “acquaintance”. Use this chance to present your future products and projects in detail and to verify whether the digital house possesses enough experience, technology and resources to meet your needs.

Remember that although it’s a friendly conversation rather than official negotiations, it’s worth preparing for what you might be asked about. In this way, you can provide crucial insights in a more efficient manner. Check what questions and enquiries you can hear while talking to the digital house for the first time.

  • Tell me about your company.

It’s an opening enquiry that allows you to show the core of your business and the values you want to share. It’s essential for your discovery call partner as in this way you may feel what unites you and what common points you might have in the future. It also enables the digital house to take a general view of your company and analyse further what will be the best solutions for your business. 

That’s the point where you can passionately express your ideas and make the other part understand the fundamental values and beliefs about the products you want to create. It’s also the moment where you can indicate how well you know the technical jargon so that the person you talk to can adjust their language to ease the communication and best fit your needs. 

  • What are you looking for?

This is a critical question that you can use to show your partner the direction you want to follow. It’s the best moment to mention why you need a given solution, a design or an application. It also makes sense to talk to your partner about both positive effects and risks that you may encounter when implementing your idea.

Choose a company that has extensive experience in many projects and use their other cases to build the best solution for you. For a digital house, such a question as “what are you looking for” is the best method to verify the supplies and ideas they have. Showing how we solved similar issues is a vital point of the talks that HeroDOT conducts. We strive to be a business advisor that uses our considerable skills and knowledge to guide a business partner on the best "track" and not just sell them a service.

  • How are you planning to monetise your products?

At first glance, this question may seem irrelevant to the software house. However, the reality is that it gives the predominant meaning to your products. As a company, your primary goal is to generate profits. Each investment is made with an aim to trigger a positive return on it.

By understanding how you intend to monetize your product, we can advise you on the best solution according to our experience. In addition, an excellent digital house will be able to verify whether they have already done anything similar to your needs. This once again directs the course of our actions - we begin to realise what general steps we can later propose to help you grow the business.

  • How do you solve your problem right now?

This question helps us to assess the criticality of your project's implementation realistically. It allows us to directly estimate the extent to which this problem must be solved immediately and verify whether our resources in a given period will be sufficient for this issue. Thanks to this, we also learn how to plan our internal resources so that they will be used as efficiently as possible.

This is especially good for you because you can get specific information about where you currently are. Besides, it’s slowly creating a real opportunity to set cooperation dates and verify the possibility of meeting basic needs within a time frame. That strongly facilitates the process of taking the first common steps, which finally might result in realising the project together.

  • What solutions does your competition have?

Checking competition, or so-called benchmarking, is always a good way to evaluate your ideas. This allows both sides of the discovery call to acquire a significantly better understanding of your project. Thanks to such comparison, you can see what the best areas to make an advantage are. From the business perspective, it may also make sense to present your role model (if you have one!) in order to make the digital house realise what the final effect is supposed to be.

  • Why did you decide to write to us?

If it was the first date with a newly met girl, you could think she’s asking it to tickle her ego. However, fortunately, it’s the business partners' talk when you don’t need to lie to make a positive impression. By answering it honestly, you’ll indicate to the digital house your awareness of their possibilities. 

Moreover, there exists a relatively high probability that you “bumped into” this software house because you were browsing one of their projects, and you admired some specific features they created. This is the perfect moment to tell about it and find out if they think it would be just as useful and practical for your project.

  • Have you previously had any similar project/solution?

A date discovery call might not be the best place to talk about your ex. If you’re no longer together, it means something certainly didn’t work out. But remember - what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Even the worst experience might be a good hint on what you need to avoid with your new business partner not to repeat the same mistakes. 

This question allows software houses to determine what your cooperation should look like to meet your requirements. It also allows both parties to quickly identify good practices that you would like to introduce in cooperation with a digital house. 

Besides, it gives a direct hint on your closeness to the technologies used by the designers and developers and the ease of use technology-related vocabulary. Don’t forget that you don’t need to know by heart all the industry-specific terms such as UX, UI, look & feel, brand identity or design system to create a wonderful product with the help of a software house.

  • Tell me about your decision-making process and required timeline for implementation.

Medieval times are long behind us, but at some points, it’s still worth asking the girl's parents for permission to meet and marry. Surprisingly, the same rule might sometimes apply to a discovery call. Both parties must assess their availability and potential for cooperation. Naturally, very often without the bosses’ permission, it’s simply impossible.

The key to this is determining the time frame within which the project must be necessarily completed and finding out who must accept the decision to begin the cooperation. Once you define it, you can eventually realistically predict the next stages, such as the presentation of a specific offer.

  • What budget do you have for this project? How to best use it?

Transparency and full openness in all issues, including also the ones such as the budget for a given project, makes the situation clear and explicit from the very beginning. HeroDOT, as a digital house, needs such information to precisely determine what solutions are possible in the price ranges you provide. That’s a critical point where we get to know the scale. Remember that even if we don’t meet here perfectly, by talking about previous points, we might be already able to offer you a satisfying alternative. 

A digital house on a discovery call shouldn’t act only as your potential vendor, but primarily as a business partner that will help you to make the best possible decisions. What can also be of great importance here is the process of defining the key products that generate your revenue. It’ll help to clarify how important this project is and how much you should invest in it to stay ahead of the curve.

  • What internal resources do you have?

Even if your budget doesn’t meet the financial expectations of your ideal digital house, it’s worth discussing the issue of your internal resources. It may turn out that your company has people who have additional work capacity that can be used to speed up or facilitate the implementation of your IT project. It will help your discovery call partner to assess the chance to compensate for the part of the budget you have.

What's more, your employees who have accurate knowledge of the product can significantly simplify the work of software house designers and developers (such cooperation can bring great benefits!).  Also, don't forget that the new project should be in line with your previous products. Providing the digital house with components you used earlier to make up your brand identity is always a good move.

WHAT RESULTS WILL A DISCOVERY CALL BRING TO YOU

Imagine that you are just after a long and exciting conversation with a newly-met person. You already know their interests, best traits, limitations and skills. But primarily, you already feel whether this group has a vibe that will make them the right partners for long-lasting romantic relationship. At least the same you’ll get from a discovery call. And usually much more...

At the end of a discovery call, you’ll already receive the proposition of first solutions. An excellent digital house will prepare a comprehensive summary of all the topics you mentioned. It will concern your problem, your idea of solving it, the methods used by competition and the plan on what the next steps of your potential cooperation will look like.

Extensive experience gained from various projects allows digital houses such as HeroDOT to be a business partner that advises the best solutions for the participant of our discovery call. This is not only a sales conversation but, above all, a kind of consultancy at a strategic level for your product creation and development. Eventually, in case of a successful agreement, the discovery call is the initial direction in which our collaboration will go.

The results that a discovery call will bring to you may vary from getting to know each other, through receiving additional pieces of advice and information on your ideas concerning future projects, up to making the first steps starting long-lasting and successful cooperation.

WHAT WILL THE NEXT STEPS LOOK LIKE

Prior to writing this article, I needed to consult a few people. I talked with my colleague, the marketing manager, who conducts discovery calls regularly, to understand what values she wants this blog post to represent and our designers to match the graphic materials to my ideas. All of these actions took place just to create a final product in the form of an article.

Similarly, all the questions, enquiries and issues you discuss during the discovery call have one aim - they want to lead you to receive an offer precisely tailored to your needs and possibilities. 

A digital house may ask you to send all the necessary components to create the first look & feel of the solutions for the week following your discovery call. It will certainly show you all the future steps that will take place soon. Usually, the first move is to prepare an offer in the form of a presentation that will be explained in detail to you next time you meet to talk, which should be in the period of next seven days.

Thanks to the discovery call the digital house will be able to assess the level of tech-vocabulary that should be used in the presentation and offer. It’ll also be possible for them to create more than one offer to you, depending on your needs. It may happen that not only will they show you the process of implementing your idea but also a satisfying (or sometimes even better) alternative.

CONCLUSION:

A discovery call is a moment when you can start conducting an immense change in your life company development. Prepare with us to the questions and results you may expect from it. Maximise your chances of choosing the right business partner that will meet your various needs and requirements. Select a company that will guarantee you the greatest chance for long-lasting and successful relationship cooperation!