How to Use AI for Sales Call Discovery Questions

salescalldiscoveryquestions, SalesCred, AI,credibility

Have you been tempted to use AI to improve your sales process? AI-​generated content might seem like the perfect solution when you need to develop great discovery questions for your next prospect meeting. We’ve been experimenting with popular AI tools to see how they well they work for the sales discovery process.  Here’s what we learned.

Generic Sales Call Discovery Questions

To work with AI tools, we identified an account for a hypothetical local media sales rep to prospect. Assuming the initial outreach proved successful, we prepared for an in-​person discovery meeting. Knowing that credibility is key during the sales process, we researched the prospect and their industry. Going into the meeting, we wanted to ask thought-​proving sales call discovery questions that would also reveal opportunity for us.

We posed the following question to an AI tool: Create a list of five discovery questions for my next sales call with OhioHealth about purchasing prosthetic limbs.

In the blink of an eye, the tool returned these questions.

  1. What types of prosthetic limbs does OhioHealth offer and what are their key features?
  2. How does OhioHealth determine the best prosthetic limb for a patient's needs?
  3. Can you provide information on OhioHealth's pricing for prosthetic limbs?
  4. Does OhioHealth have any financing or insurance options available for patients?
  5. Can you tell me about OhioHealth's process for fitting and adjusting prosthetic limbs?

As a seasoned sales professional, I was less than impressed. Here are my reactions to the AI tool’s suggestions.

  1. DUH!
  2. The answer is actually "the one that's the cheapest for us to purchase. You get no choice as the patient." But they're not going to tell you that.
  3. You wish!
  4. Umm
  5. That's actually interesting

Based on this outcome, I could use only one of the suggested discovery questions, the last one.

Editing and Refining AI Results

Because AI is a tool that learns from user interaction, I refined my question: Create a list of 5 discovery questions for my next sales call with OhioHealth about how they purchase prosthetic limbs.

The answers to this query proved far more helpful than the first set.

  1. How does OhioHealth source its prosthetic limbs?
  2. Does OhioHealth have any partnerships or collaborations with prosthetic manufacturers?
  3. What quality control measures does OhioHealth have in place for prosthetic limb purchases?
  4. Can you provide information on OhioHealth's process for evaluating and selecting new prosthetic limb products?
  5. Does OhioHealth have any standards or guidelines in place for prosthetic limb purchases to ensure patient safety and satisfaction?

What I learned in this process is that a tiny change in wording makes a big difference.

Take Time to Personalize the Results

As helpful as these AI-​generated questions are, I prefer to use more specific questions, because as a seller, I need information that will eventually help me close the sale. Sales professionals who take a consultative approach will recognize why I’m asking some of the following questions. Many of them get to the emotion of buying because emotion is what drives buyer to select a specific product or solution. And there is no substitute for matching the questions to a buyer's situation.

  • What is the purchasing process?
  • How does the decision get made?
  • Who is on the committee?
  • What company are you purchasing from now?
  • What do you like about them?
  • Why are you considering replacing them with another brand?
  • What has been the biggest complaint patients have had?
  • Who at OhioHealth is impacted by this buying decision and how?

The bottom line is that AI tools can be excellent idea generators when you need sales call discovery questions. These questions matter, as we've pointed out before. AI will have the most immediate impact on sales of commodities with little product differentiation and on salespeople who are very transactional rather than personal, warm and empathetic. To optimize your credibility, you’ll need to edit or significantly change the content presented to you by one of these tools before meeting with a prospect.

Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.

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C. Lee Smith

C. Lee Smith

CEO and Founder at SalesFuel
C. Lee Smith is the CEO and Founder of SalesFuel - a firm he founded in 1989. He was named one of the 14 Leading Sales Consultants by Selling Power magazine. Lee is the creator of the AdMall® and the TeamTrait™ SaaS platforms. He is also a Gitomer Certified Advisor, C‑Suite Network Advisor and Certified Behavioral Analyst.
C. Lee Smith

@cleesmith

CEO of @SalesFuel | Bestselling Author of "SalesCred" | Keynote Speaker | Certified Behavioral Analyst | Global Sales Credibility Authority
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C. Lee Smith