How to Improve Your Discovery Call Technique
A discovery call is a first chance to gain information from a sales prospect. The idea is to verify information, helping you decide whether your lead should become a qualified prospect that you can push into your sales pipeline. You can think of it as a reconnaissance mission for your business.
Historically, many discovery calls havebeen conducted over the phone, although face-to-face conversations in the flesh also count. These days, sales reps are just as likely to use video calls to conduct their initial contact. Whichever medium is used, you need to focus on what you want to get out of your discovery call, which means planning before you begin.
The Four Steps For a Successful Discovery Call
It is tempting to think that you can simply strike up a conversation with anyone to discover more about them and their organization. However, this unstructured approach rarely yields strong results and will often lead to wasted time. Instead, here are the four stages you need to have in mind when conducting any discovery call.
Do Your Research Before Calling
Preparation is key in discovery callmaking. The bare minimum you should know about the business you are calling is what its brand stands for, who its customer base is, and who are the likelydecision-makers. Much of what you need to know will be freely available on the company's website, but you need to read it and not assume you know.
Take Control of the Structure of the Call
Discovery calls should not be open-ended conversations that ramble on. If they are unstructured, the caller will appear unprofessional, which makes subsequent calls harder. Work out what you want to say, the information you want to gather, and some questions you will ask in advance. A script often helps, even if you give yourself the freedom to stray from it alittle. Try to keep the call relatively concise.
Ask Clear Questions and Listen to the Answers
Put easy-to-understand and straightforward questions to your lead. Questions that are too technical or long-winded mayelicit a response, but they won't give you the kind of information you'reafter. Once you have asked a question, listen to the answer. This means active listening that engages with the response. Try to build your next question based on what has been said and encourage the lead to do the majority of the talking.
Wrap Your Discovery Call Up Well
Set yourself a target time to finish the call within. The length will depend on the sort of sector you are working in. The important thing to remember is that if you wrap up the call – not the lead– then you remain in control. You don't want to make unnecessary demands ofyour lead. Ideally, you'll leave them curious and wanting to know more.
Three Question Types That Work Well With Discovery Calls
As you have read, a well-executed discoverycall takes planning and structure. Part of this will involve asking open questions. Closed ones that elicit 'yes' or 'no' answers are not good forkeeping the conversation flowing. Read on to find out which sorts of questions work well in discovery calls.
Ice-Breaker Questions From Research
Your research will undoubtedly lead you to make certain opinions about your lead. Ask open questions that verify the information you've gathered thus far. "Can you tell me more about your process for X?" or "Why do you target Y in your business?" are both open inquiries that help to flesh out what you may already think you know.
Ask About Challenges and Obstacles
If your business makes products or offers services that will benefit multiple enterprises, you'll want to know how you can introduce them as potential solutions. Ask about the difficulties or challenges your lead faces in their day-to-day workload.
For example, you could ask what causes their customers most problems with their services or what issues they have with their current supplier. If you were to ask something like, "In a perfectw orld, what would the ideal solution look like?" then you may well find you gain valuable insights into how to sell your business proposition(s) down the line.
Qualification Questions You Should Ask
Information gathering on a discovery call is not done just for the sake of it but to help keep your sales pipeline ful lof qualified leads. Although you may find out helpful information that means you are better able to tailor your sales pitches to your leads' needs, you will also want to know whether to rule them out.
For example, you might want to know your lead's available budget for dealing with a business problem – if it is too low, you may well decide not to waste time trying to sell your solution. Qualifying leads according to the project(s) timeline is also important information to have – depending on the lead's preferred deadline(s), you might need to consider ruling them out too.