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The 10 Questions to Ask in Your Next Sales Discovery Call (and How to Bake Them into Your Deck)

Samantha Pratt Lile
 | 
August 18, 2022
 | 
6
 min read
The 10 Questions to Ask in Your Next Sales Discovery Call (and How to Bake Them into Your Deck)The 10 Questions to Ask in Your Next Sales Discovery Call (and How to Bake Them into Your Deck)

How do sales teams learn more about their prospects? Where do they identify pivotal information about prospects’ organizations and their business needs? Sales reps uncover this and other useful information by asking discovery questions early in the sales process. The answers to these discovery questions help determine if the prospect is a qualified sales opportunity, while also helping to establish trust and build rapport with prospects to encourage their buying decisions.

What is the sales discovery process?

Of course, the sales discovery process encompasses more than a simple question-and-answer session with leads. While often taking place in the form of a discovery call, the process can be any open and honest conversation about a prospect’s needs and buying intent.

Generally, the first discussion following a prospect’s initial expression of interest, a discovery call presents an opportunity to learn more about the potential customer and determine if their sales potential is a good fit. Vetting prospects during the discovery process is integral to creating an effective sales funnel since studies have found that half of all prospects are not good fits for the product being sold.

The sales discovery process also helps sales reps as they progress further through the sales process. Rather than giving a generic pitch prepared for any random lead, the information obtained during a discovery call can be used to personalize the sales message, explaining how a product or service helps solve a prospect’s specific problems or needs.

What makes a good sales discovery call?

All too often, teams rush through the discovery portion of the sales process, hurrying through the conversation while asking questions that are anything but useful. But the discovery process is too important to complete with such haste. To ensure your discovery calls are powerful and effective, be sure they include the following elements:

  • Qualified leads – The discovery process is easier when leads have been properly qualified in advance. Sales reps can take a deep dive into pain points and solutions when speaking with a qualified lead. Otherwise, everyone’s time and resources can be wasted.
  • Preparation – Successful sales reps will learn everything they can about potential clients before a discovery call, and they’ll use their research to create an agenda for their call, including questions chosen for the specific person and company.
  • Clear agenda – Not only should a sales rep prepare a specific agenda for their discovery call, but they should share those objectives with their prospects. Sharing a clear agenda not only shows your prospects that you respect their time, but it helps set realistic expectations for what they can expect.
  • Two-sided dialogue – A successful sales rep will listen as much as they talk during a sales discovery call. How do you ensure a two-way conversation? Ask your prospects open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Acknowledge each prospect’s pain points so they feel understood, which will encourage them to speak more.
  • Solutions – No matter how skilled the sales rep, a prospect is less interested in a product’s features and more focused on the solutions it provides. It’s easier to forge a productive connection with a sales prospect when you can align those solutions with their problems and pain points.
  • Targeted questions – An effective discovery call will feature the right sales discovery questions to gather the necessary information from the prospect. Compose questions that drive a business-related conversation with decision makers that both generates needed details and demonstrates your own understanding of their business and its needs.

What sales discovery questions can be integrated into a sales pitch deck?

A dynamic sales deck is a great way to make sure prospects stay engaged with a discovery call. But how do you integrate discovery questions into your presentation? It’s important that a sales pitch deck be short and concise while relaying a story that’s relatable to the prospect. The deck – like this customizable sales proposal template from Beautiful.ai – also should take prospects on a journey of self-discovery as they learn about the possible solution to their problems. Therefore, the questions chosen to feature in the sales deck should support those communication objectives.

What sales discovery questions can be woven into a sales pitch deck presentation? The following 10 examples can serve as a guide:

  • What goal is your business trying to achieve?
  • What prompted you to seek our solution?
  • What other solutions has your company tried in the past?
  • What might happen if you continue your current process? 
  • What factors are most important when making your decision?
  • What is your timeline for finding a solution?
  • What other products are you considering?
  • Who is involved in your purchasing decisions?
  • What concerns can I address?
  • Can we schedule a follow-up interview with a sales rep?

Avoid the mistake of quickly firing off a series of questions that loses your prospect’s interest. Be sure you don’t repeat your questions in too many successive slides when designing your presentation. Instead, gently disperse your discovery questions throughout the slide deck while mixing in plenty of other data and solution-based product information.

Samantha Pratt Lile

Samantha Pratt Lile

Samantha is an independent journalist, editor, blogger and content manager. Examples of her published work can be found at sites including the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and Buzzfeed.