In the B2B world, discovery calls are an essential part of the sales process. During these calls, you learn about your prospects, their needs, and how your product or service can help them.
Based on Chorus’ analysis of sales calls, it was found that 19% of discovery calls result in closed-won deals.
However, not all questions are created equal, and if you want to make the most of your sales discovery calls, you need to ask the right ones.
Want to close more deals and build better relationships with your prospects? Then you need to read this article about the top discovery call questions.
Understanding your prospect’s needs and challenges enables you to tailor your solution to their specific requirements and provide value throughout the sales process.
The Best Sales Discovery Call Questions
Let’s see the must-ask questions for your sales discovery calls that can make all the difference in your sales success.
Fun fact: Successful sales discovery calls are 30-40 minutes long.
1. What are your top business challenges?
This is a great question to start with, as it sets the tone for the rest of the call. You can also quickly identify areas where your product or service could help and shows that you’re interested in learning about their business, which helps build rapport and establish trust.
For example, 'What are the biggest challenges your business is facing right now?'
This question is open-ended, which means your prospect can give a detailed answer, and it allows them to focus on what’s most important to them.
Once you know your lead’s top business challenges, you need to understand how they’re currently addressing them.
2. How are you currently addressing these challenges?
This question helps you learn more about their current processes, workflows, and tools. It also provides insight into the potential roadblocks that might prevent them from adopting your solution.
For example, ask, 'How are you currently addressing these challenges? Are you using any specific tools or workflows?'
This open-ended question allows your prospect to share as much detail as they want.
3. What are your goals for the next 6-12 months?
Understanding your prospect’s goals is critical as it helps you align your solution with their business objectives. This question showcases your genuine interest and care in their long-term success.
For example, 'What are your goals for the next 6-12 months? Are there any specific metrics you're trying to hit?'
As a solution provider, your goal lies in helping them achieve their business goals, from one aspect or the other.
4. How do you measure success?
Knowing how your prospect measures success is important as it helps you understand what they consider valuable. Gauge what metrics they think are vanity ones, and which ones useful.
This question will help you understand their mindset, positioning based on their metrics, and execute a directed gap analysis for your solutions.
For example, you could ask, 'How do you measure success in your business? Are there any specific metrics or KPIs you track?'
As they are sharing their metrics, you can cross-check them with the ones listed in our marketing KPIs and CX KPIs.
5. What’s your budget for this project?
Asking about your prospect’s budget is important as it helps you understand what’s feasible for them. This question can also help you identify potential roadblocks early in the sales process.
For example, you could ask something like, 'What's your budget for this project? Are you open to discussing budget ranges?'
This question is direct and concise, showing that you value their time.
6. Who else is involved in the decision-making process?
Knowing who else is involved in the decision-making process is important as it helps you understand the buying process and determine your sales funnel.
This question can also help you identify potential dead ends and stakeholders you might need to engage with later in the sales process.
For example, you could ask, 'Who else is involved in the decision-making process? Are there any stakeholders I should be aware of?'
This question is direct and allows them to talk about their organizational structure, hierarchy and your possible reporting ends during service time.
7. What are your biggest concerns about implementing a solution like ours?
Understanding any concerns or objections your lead may have about your solution is important. This question allows you to address possible challenges early in the sales process and provide solutions addressing your prospect’s concerns.
For example, you could ask something like, 'What are your biggest concerns about implementing a solution like ours? Are there any potential roadblocks you see?'
This question shows that you value their perspective and are interested in understanding their concerns.
8. What’s the next step in the process?
Asking about the next steps in the process is important as it helps you understand which stage is your prospect at in their buying journey. This question also allows you to establish a timeline and ensure that you both are on the same page.
For example, ask, 'What's the next step in the process? Are there any specific actions I should take?'
This question shows that you’re interested in moving the sales process forward and are ready to take action.
What are the common mistakes to avoid during a discovery call?
While there are many best practices for conducting successful sales discovery calls, there are also several common mistakes to avoid.
Here are a few mistakes to keep in mind during your next call.
1. Talking too much and not listening enough
One of the biggest mistakes you can make during a discovery call during sales is talking too much and needing to listen more.
It’s important to remember that the goal of the call is to learn as much as possible about your prospect’s business and needs, so make sure you’re giving them plenty of time to talk.
2. Focusing too much on your product or solution
When making presales calls, it’s crucial to avoid fixating solely on your product or solution. Although it’s necessary to comprehend the needs and pain points of your potential customers, emphasizing too much on your offering can be counterproductive.
The key is to concentrate on demonstrating how your solution can benefit your prospect by assisting them in attaining their specific objectives and overcoming their distinct obstacles.
3. Asking too many closed-ended questions
Closed-ended questions, such as yes or no questions, can limit the amount of information your prospect is able to provide.
Instead, focus on asking open-ended questions that encourage your prospect to share more details and insights.
Fun fact: Salespeople talk a little less (46%) than prospects (54%) in a discovery call.
4. Not preparing enough beforehand
One of the most common mistakes during a discovery call is not preparing enough beforehand.
Make sure you’ve done your research on the prospect’s business and industry, and have a clear understanding of their pain points and goals.
5. Not following up after the call
Following up after a discovery call is essential for building a relationship with your prospect and moving the sales process forward. Make sure you follow up promptly and provide any additional information or resources that were discussed during the call.
Want to learn more about effective sales strategies and take your sales game to the next level? Click here.
What is a discovery call?
A discovery call is an initial conversation held between a service provider or salesperson and a potential client. Its purpose is to understand the client’s needs, challenges, and goals, helping to identify how the provider’s solutions may align with the client’s situation. By offering insights and determining fit, a discovery call sets the foundation for a productive business relationship, and is a crucial step in the sales cycle. Optimizing these calls can lead to increased conversion rates and customer satisfaction.
What is an ideal customer profile?
An Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) refers to the comprehensive representation of the perfect customer for your business. It encompasses demographic details, company information for B2B, buying preferences, and behavioral characteristics. Crafting a precise ICP allows businesses to align their marketing and sales efforts, leading to optimized resource utilization, enhanced customer acquisition, and a boost in return on investment.
What is lead profiling?
Lead profiling is a vital marketing strategy that involves analyzing potential customers’ attributes and behaviors to understand their needs better. It’s about identifying characteristics such as demographics, online behavior, purchasing history, and preferences. By performing lead profiling, businesses can develop tailored marketing campaigns, increase conversion rates, and build more valuable customer relationships. Understanding your leads helps deliver the right content at the right time, significantly boosting your SEO strategy.
What is the definition and meaning of prospecting?
Prospecting is a sales strategy where businesses identify and engage potential customers, also known as prospects, with the goal to convert them into clients. It involves researching, networking, and communicating to locate potential customers who might be interested in your products or services. The ultimate objective is to create a sales pipeline, thereby facilitating steady business growth.
Asking the right questions during discovery calls is essential for a successful sales process. By understanding your prospect’s top business challenges, current workflows and processes, goals, and budget, you can provide a personalized experience and solution.
Knowing who else is involved in the decision-making process, any concerns or objections your prospect may have, and the next steps in the process can help you move the sales process forward and close more deals.
Remember, pre-sales or discovery calls are all about the start of a relationship. They are like a first date, where you don’t want to indulge them with more information, rather, you want to try to know them better.
But, what happens after the discovery call? How do you follow up and keep the momentum going? Check out my gold-studded sales follow up tips.