• What Is A Discovery Call?
  • Preparing For A Discovery Call
  • During The Discovery Call
  • Final Thoughts
  • What Is A Discovery Call?

    A discovery call is an essential step in the sales process that allows sales professionals to gather valuable information about potential customers and their needs.

    It is a conversation between the sales rep and the potential customer, to understand their challenges, goals, and pain points.

    During a discovery call, sales reps ask open-ended questions to uncover valuable insights that can help them tailor their sales approach and determine if there is a sales opportunity.

    This initial conversation is crucial for sales teams to qualify leads, build customer relationships, and move prospects through the sales pipeline.

    Why Are Discovery Calls Important?

     These initial phone conversations allow sales reps to understand the prospect's needs, demonstrate their investment in the prospect's success, and gauge the likelihood of winning their business.

    By actively listening and asking open-ended questions, sales professionals can uncover crucial information about the prospect's biggest challenges, business goals, and current processes.

    This helps them tailor their sales pitch and offer relevant solutions that address the prospect's specific pain points.

    Furthermore, discovery calls showcase the sales professional's commitment to the prospect's success.

    By taking the time to understand their needs and challenges, the sales rep demonstrates that they are invested in finding the best solution and building a lasting customer relationship.

    Additionally, discovery calls provide an opportunity for sales professionals to assess the potential of a sales opportunity.

    By asking the right questions, they can gain a deeper understanding of the prospect's level of interest, budget, and decision-making process.

    This allows them to prioritize and allocate resources effectively, focusing on qualified leads that are more likely to convert into customers.

    Preparing For A Discovery Call

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    Photo by Dan Dimmock / Unsplash

    Preparing for a discovery call is essential for sales professionals to maximize the value of their interaction with potential customers.

    Before the call, it is crucial to conduct thorough pre-call research on the prospect and their business.

    This includes gathering insights about their industry, organizational structure, and any recent news or events that may impact their business challenges.

    Armed with this knowledge, sales professionals can tailor their approach and ask relevant discovery questions during the call.

    Additionally, preparing a list of open-ended questions that delve into the prospect's pain points, goals, and current processes enables the sales professional to gather valuable information and understand the prospect's needs more effectively. 

    Research Your Prospects

    Before engaging in a discovery call, it is crucial to invest time in thoroughly researching your prospective clients and their companies.

    This research goes beyond the superficial and enables you to gain a deeper understanding of their business, industry vertical, challenges, and goals.

    By doing so, you arm yourself with valuable background information that will inform the questions you ask during the call and enable you to provide tailored solutions.

    One effective way to research prospects is to utilize LinkedIn's advanced search. This feature allows you to narrow down your target audience based on specific criteria, such as job roles, titles, and geography.

    By leveraging this tool, you can identify individuals who are most likely to benefit from your product or service.

    However, it is important to approach these connections with a genuine interest in learning about their business, rather than attempting a hard sell or pitch.

    By taking the time to research your prospects, you gain a strategic advantage. Understanding their unique challenges and goals allows you to ask insightful, open-ended questions that will uncover their needs and provide valuable insight.

    This information will ultimately shape the trajectory of your sales process and enable you to position your product or service as a tailored solution.

    Set Goals For The Call

    Setting goals for a discovery call is an essential step in the sales process. It establishes the purpose of the call and allows both parties to determine if there is a good fit.

    Without clear goals, the call can become unproductive or lack direction.

    One of the key factors to consider when setting goals for a discovery call is the lifetime value of the average customer.

    Understanding the potential value a customer can bring to your business helps prioritize which prospects to focus on during the call.

    This ensures that both your time and the prospective customer's time are well spent.

    Another important factor is the desired call duration. Setting a specific time limit for the call encourages focus and allows for efficient use of time.

    It helps both parties stay on track and ensures that the conversation remains productive.

    Additionally, setting goals for the call helps in aligning expectations. It allows the sales representative to know exactly what they want to achieve from the call, be it gathering specific information, qualifying the prospect, or scheduling a follow-up.

    It also helps the potential customer understand the purpose of the call and what they can expect from the sales representative.

    Prepare Your Questions Ahead Of Time

    Here are the key steps for effectively preparing your questions:

    1. Conduct pre-call research: Before the discovery call, research the potential customer and their organization. This will help you tailor your questions to their specific needs and challenges.

    2. Define the purpose of the call: Identify what you hope to achieve from the discovery call. Are you looking to gather information, qualify the prospect, address objections, or uncover potential opportunities?

    3. Determine the information you need: Make a list of the specific information you need to gather during the call.

    This could include details about the prospect's current process, business challenges, goals, and any potential roadblocks they may face.

    4. Use open-ended questions: Craft open-ended questions that encourage the potential customer to share valuable insights.

    Avoid questions that elicit yes or no answers, as they limit the depth of the conversation.

    5. Address objections and potential concerns: Anticipate potential objections or areas of concern and develop questions that help address them.

    This shows the prospect that you understand their challenges and are prepared to provide solutions.

    6. Tailor your questions to the prospect: Personalize your questions based on the information you gathered during your pre-call research.

    This demonstrates that you have taken the time to understand their unique situation and build rapport.

    Having a well-thought-out list of questions ready for your discovery call is crucial for several reasons.

    Firstly, it ensures that you gather the necessary information to appropriately qualify the prospect and determine if they are a good fit for your product or service.

    It also allows you to effectively address any objections or concerns they may have, demonstrating your expertise and providing reassurance.

    Tailoring your questions to the specific needs and challenges of the potential customer shows that you are genuinely interested in their success.

    It fosters a sense of trust and rapport, making the prospect more likely to engage in a productive conversation.

    Gather Relevant Information And Documents

    During a discovery call, gathering relevant information and documents is crucial for a successful sales process.

    By collecting pertinent details about the prospect's needs, challenges, and goals, sales reps can tailor their solutions to meet those specific requirements.

    This enables them to effectively qualify the prospect and determine if their product or service is a good fit.

    Additionally, promising to provide additional information during the call and delivering on that promise strengthens the follow-up email.

    By offering valuable resources such as case studies, whitepapers, or product demos, sales reps demonstrate their commitment to addressing the prospect's concerns and providing solutions.

    This not only reinforces their expertise but also shows that they have listened and understood the prospect's needs, adding credibility to their follow-up communication.

    Moreover, sharing relevant insights and statistics during the discovery call can be highly impactful.

    By presenting data that supports the potential benefits of the product, sales reps can alleviate the prospect's doubts and reservations.

    Sharing success stories and relevant industry statistics helps the prospect visualize how their own business can thrive by implementing the proposed solution.

    This not only builds trust but also positions the sales rep as a knowledgeable partner who can help the prospect achieve their goals.

    Practice The Call Ahead Of Time

    To effectively practice the discovery call ahead of time, sales professionals can follow these steps:

    1. Review the call outline: Start by thoroughly reviewing the call outline and questions that have been prepared.

    Familiarize yourself with the flow of the conversation and the key points to cover.

    2. Simulate the call: Practice the call with a colleague or mentor to simulate a real-life scenario.

    Act out both the sales rep and prospect roles, allowing for a realistic exchange. This will help identify any areas that need improvement or clarification.

    3. Record a mock call: If a colleague or mentor is not available, record a mock call using call recording software.

    This allows you to assess your performance objectively and identify areas for improvement.

    4. Assess your performance: Listen to or review the recorded mock call to evaluate your performance.

    Pay attention to your tone of voice, pacing, and clarity of communication. Also, assess your ability to ask open-ended questions, actively listen, and address the prospect's concerns.

    5. Make adjustments: Based on the practice session, make any necessary adjustments to the call outline and questions.

    Consider areas where you could be more concise, add more value, or improve your delivery. Incorporate feedback from colleagues or mentors to refine your approach.

    During The Discovery Call

    During the discovery call, sales professionals have the opportunity to engage with potential customers and gather valuable insight into their business challenges, goals, and buying process.

    This crucial step in the sales process allows sales reps to build customer relationships, establish trust, and uncover sales opportunities.

    By asking open-ended questions and actively listening to the prospect's responses, sales professionals can gain a deeper understanding of the prospect's needs and pain points.

    The discovery call also serves as a platform to showcase the value of the product or service being offered and to demonstrate how it can address the prospect's specific challenges.

    It is during this call that sales professionals can qualify the prospect and determine if they are a good fit for the company's offerings, ultimately helping to move them further along the sales cycle and into the sales pipeline.

    Following the discovery call, a follow-up call may be scheduled to provide additional information or a product demo, solidifying the sales pitch and progressing the sales process.

    Introduce Yourself And Explain The Purpose Of The Call


    My name is [Your Name], and I am a representative from [Your Company]. I hope this message finds you well.

    I wanted to reach out and introduce myself because I have a genuine interest in learning more about your business and how we might be able to assist you.

    The purpose of this call is to gather information about your company's needs, challenges, and goals. By understanding your unique situation, we can determine if there is a potential fit for us to work together.

    At [Your Company], we specialize in [describe your company's expertise or services]. We have a proven track record of helping businesses like yours achieve their objectives and overcome their biggest challenges.

    I believe that a discovery call is crucial in establishing a strong foundation for an effective partnership. It allows us to gather valuable insights and ensure that we tailor our approach to address your specific requirements.

    Please let me know if you have a convenient time to chat further. I look forward to learning more about your business and exploring how we can potentially collaborate to drive your success.

    Have a great day!


    [Your Name]

    Ask Open-End Questions To Gather Insight

    These questions probe into the prospect's business goals, challenges they are facing, their current process for dealing with those challenges, and what success would look like for them with a new solution.

    Here are some example open-ended questions that sales reps can use to elicit in-depth responses and provide a deeper understanding of the prospect's needs:

    1. "What are the main goals and objectives your company is striving to achieve in the next year?"

    2. "What are the biggest challenges or pain points your business is currently facing?"

    3. "How are you currently addressing these challenges? Can you walk me through your current process?"

    4. "What is the impact of these challenges on your business? How does it affect your team, customers, or revenue?"

    5. "If you were able to overcome these challenges, what would the result or success look like for you?"

    6. "How does your organization measure success or track progress towards your business goals?"

    7. "Can you provide any specific examples or situations where these challenges have had a significant impact on your operations?"

    8. "What would be the ideal outcome of partnering with a solution provider like us?"

    9. "How would solving these challenges positively impact your team, customers, and overall business performance?"

    Listen Carefully And Take Notes

    During a discovery call, one of the most important skills for sales reps is the ability to listen carefully and take notes.

    This practice allows them to gather valuable information about the potential client and tailor their approach accordingly.
    Active listening is crucial during a discovery call. By genuinely paying attention to the prospect's responses, sales reps can gain a deeper understanding of their needs and pain points.

    Making notes helps to capture and remember key points, ensuring that the conversation remains focused and purposeful.

    By actively listening and taking notes, sales reps can gather valuable insight into the potential client's goals, challenges, and desired outcomes.

    This information can then be used to craft a tailored and compelling sales pitch, addressing the specific needs of the prospect.

    Furthermore, notes taken during the discovery call serve as a reference for future follow-up conversations and provide a means to track the progress of the sales cycle. 

    Ask Questions About Objections Or Concerns

    During a discovery call, sales reps need to ask thoughtful and probing questions to address any objections or concerns raised by the prospect.

    These questions help the sales rep understand the prospect's roadblocks, timeline, budget, funding source, and executive sponsorship. Here are some key questions to ask:

    1. Objections:

    - Can you share any concerns or hesitations you have about our solution?

    - What factors do you believe may prevent you from moving forward with our product/service?

    - Are there any specific objections you'd like us to address before we proceed?

    2. Roadblocks:

    - Can you walk me through the existing challenges or roadblocks your organization is experiencing?

    - What internal or external barriers might hinder the successful implementation of our solution?

    - Have there been any past attempts to address similar roadblocks? If so, what were the outcomes?

    3. Timeline:

    - What is the timeframe within which you would like to see results or have this solution implemented?

    - Are there any specific deadlines or milestones that we need to be aware of?

    - How soon are you looking to make a decision and start the implementation process?

    4. Budget:

    - Could you provide some insights into the budget allocation for this project/initiative?

    - Are there any specific budgetary constraints or considerations we should be mindful of?

    - How do you typically evaluate the ROI or financial impact of implementing a solution like ours?

    5. Funding Source and Executive Sponsorship:

    - Who holds the authority to allocate resources and approve this project?

    - Could you tell me more about the decision-making process and the key stakeholders involved?

    - Do you have executive sponsorship or support for this initiative?

    Follow Up On Any Helpful Information Discovered

    Following up on any helpful information discovered during a discovery call is crucial for building trust and moving the sales process forward.

    It shows that you are actively listening and genuinely interested in addressing the potential customer's needs and challenges.

    To effectively follow up on the information gathered, it's important to set clear next steps with the potential customer.

    This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands what actions will be taken moving forward.

    Make sure to document these next steps and schedule any necessary follow-up actions, such as product demos or additional meetings, to keep the sales process progressing smoothly.

    Sending a follow-up email is a valuable way to summarize the key points discussed during the discovery call and provide any additional promised information.

    The email should include a brief recap of the conversation, highlighting the main pain points and challenges identified, as well as any potential solutions or benefits your product/service can offer.

    This reinforces your understanding of the potential customer's needs and showcases your expertise in addressing their specific challenges.

    Offer Solutions And Next Steps As Necessary

    During a discovery call, it's essential to not only understand the prospect's pain points and challenges but also to offer solutions and determine the next steps.

    One way to achieve this is by pivoting their pain points and struggles to demonstrate the value of your innovative solutions.

    To begin, actively listen to the prospect's challenges and pinpoint the real-world problems they are facing.

    Once you understand their pain points, explain how your product or service can solve their specific problems.

    Highlight the unique features and benefits that set your solution apart and make it the ideal fit for them.

    After presenting your solution, it's crucial to discuss the next steps with the potential customer.

    Collaboratively decide on the actions required to address their needs effectively.

    This could include scheduling a product demo, further meetings, or sharing additional resources. Be sure to diary these next steps and follow through accordingly.

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    Photo by Solen Feyissa / Unsplash

    Final Thoughts

    The discovery call process is all about understanding the customer's needs and pain points before jumping into feature-based solutions.

    It is essential to actively listen and pinpoint the real-world problems they are facing. By gaining a deep understanding of their challenges, you can guide them toward the best solution.

    It's important to remember that not all solutions are a perfect fit for every customer. Evaluating trade-offs is crucial in determining the most effective course of action.

    Sometimes, it may require compromising on certain features to meet specific needs or budget constraints. This evaluation process ensures that the customer receives the best possible outcome.

    Discovery Call FAQ

    What is the purpose of a discovery call?

    A discovery call is an initial conversation between a sales representative and a potential customer. Its purpose is to gather information about the customer's needs, challenges, and goals, as well as to assess the fit between the customer's requirements and the seller's solution.

    How should I prepare for a discovery call?

    Before a discovery call, research the potential customer's industry, business challenges, and competitors. Familiarize yourself with the company's website, social media profiles, and any available case studies or success stories. Prepare a list of open-ended questions to ask during the call to gain a deep understanding of the customer's needs.

    What should I do after a discovery call?

    After a discovery call, evaluate the information gathered and determine if the customer is a good fit for your solution. If the fit is strong, schedule a follow-up call to discuss the next steps, such as a product demo or further exploration of the customer's requirements. If the fit is not ideal, graciously thank the customer for their time and move on to other potential clients.