Discovery calls are necessary to keep sub-par prospects out of your pipeline. Despite their importance, many reps don’t prepare to make these calls, preferring to wing it. “It’s strange because the discovery call is how we uncover critical information early in the sales cycle,” writes Bardia Shahali in an article for Sales Hacker.
Shahali offers advice by sharing six questions that reps should ask during these calls.
Each question is designed to determine whether or not a prospect is truly a good fit and worth the time and effort. Below are a couple from his list:
“What initially piqued your interest?”
This question works for both inbound and outbound leads and is a great starter question. You’ll uncover both the prospect’s motivations and their challenges. It may even encourage a deeper response, which will eliminate the need for more complex questions later. Not sure how to integrate this question if it’s an outbound lead? Ask what prompted the prospect to accept your call, request a demo, etc. Inquiring about his or her interests will shed light on how to position your offering. Or, if the interest doesn’t align with what you’re selling, you might not need to take the call much further.
“How are you addressing your problem today?”
Ask this question to uncover the prospect’s internal process and find out what, if anything, he or she is doing to remedy the challenge. Is there a current solution that’s not panning out? If so, why not? Is it a budget issue? “You’ll want to find out their current setup and what would be required to make your solution work,” Shahali explains. “The last thing you want is to spend time forcing a square peg into a round hole.”
These questions, along with the other four in the article, combine to make your discovery call a powerful tool. By uncovering specific insights, you can quickly and efficiently determine if a prospect is a good match. This, in turn, prevents future holdups in your pipeline. Don’t make your next discovery call without having these questions on hand!