Although often undervalued, discovery calls could be the most crucial determinant of a Sales Process. With an effective discovery call, you can get deals moved across the line.
A discovery call is a two-way conversation between a company and its leads. In most cases, the discovery call is the first call after connecting with a prospect.
The purpose of a discovery call is a lead qualification, and it is one of the most important parts of the sales process. The goal of a is to either qualify a prospect, or disqualify them so as not to waste further time.
By a discovery call, you can determine whether or not you and your buyer are a good fit for each other, and understand your buyer’s needs, priorities, and goals so you can effectively sell to them.
Through discovery calls, you try to understand your prospect. If you don’t know what your prospects need, yet continue to work on your products and services that do not align with, then you are likely wasting both your time and theirs. Your prospects are never going to turn into customers. Furthermore, discovery calls helps to identify unqualified prospects and allows you to refrain from wasting time on them.
Moreover, a discovery call set the trajectory of your deal and determine how you will do everything else in the sales process. A call with your prospect sets the tone for the entire relationship, both pre- and post-sale. With a successful call, you will be able to build an authoritative relationship with your buyer. Otherwise, you will be stuck playing catch until your prospect ditches you eventually.
We have divided the whole discussion into 3 parts to help you with the perfect call.
Discovery calls require work and effort. There are a few things you must ensure before you pick the phone to call your prospect. These are vital to the process, and you must not ignore them.
If you want your call to be as productive as possible, for every scheduled call, you should know enough about the prospect. Of course, you do not need advanced information. But, you will need to cover the basics — what he or she does, what their company and industry do, where they came from, etc.
Pre-call research provides you with the information you need to ask detailed, situational questions for lead qualification and closing the deal.
It is not a hard deal to find information about your lead; a 5-10 minute research is more than enough.
You can check out their personal website or their LinkedIn profile. You are likely to find the specific information you need including what they have been doing the past 3–5 years. Besides, you can also perform a google search to find out any information you require.
Before you start a discovery call, it is important that you pre-set and agree on the call duration.
So, you have to establish the ideal amount of time for the call that is suitable to you as well as your prospect. It could be anything between 15 minutes to an hour depending on the needs. The ideal time mostly depends on the lifetime value of your average customer.
For instance, if the lifetime value is less than $1500, then a 15-minute call is enough. But, if your lifetime value is $5000, then 30 minutes or more call duration might be needed.
Setting the call duration beforehand helps to plan a conversation and be more prepared.
If you are just starting with discovery calls, a script is very important. You could use a well-drafted script as the framework for your discovery calls and responses. Later, when you get more confident, it can also help you develop a personal style.
A good script is usually based on prospects’ most regularly asked questions and well-defined answers to them to help during the conversation. It helps you to appear as an expert and helps to build a positive impression.
When drafting your script, you must have a clear idea about your prospects as well as your business. In addition to questions about your service or product, you also need to be familiar with the industry you are in. Moreover, you must be aware of the trends and recent events as well.
Your goal here is to know your objectives and the route you need to take to get there. Hence, the script should include basic key milestones you want to reach, and important points you want to cover. You can draft, focusing on points listed in the ideal order you want to talk about them. Once you are done with one, you can then move on to the next.
In this way, you can ensure that you do not leave out on any points or questions during the discovery call , and also manage to appear as a professional to the prospects.
You can prepare a script yourself, or you can also follow demo scripts or templates from the internet.
This is, of course, the most important part, as you are having a conversation with the person. This is where you set the impression and seal the deal.
Here are some steps to follow during the call -
Focusing on building rapport is the most important part of a successful discovery call. If you want to get a positive result from the call, you must be personable.
Because with a pleasant attitude, even if you don’t make a sale, there’s a possibility you can still find commonalities and work together in the future. This is how you break the ice, make an impression on your prospect, and build a relationship.
Of course, the reason for the call is to ultimately get down to business, but it’s important to break the ice first to ease the situation. This helps to make the rest of the call a smooth process.
To build rapport, you can ask some general questions about where they’re from, or where they grew up. You can bring up a commonality you found while researching to talk about it.
We have already mentioned that our main goal from a discovery call is to qualify or disqualify a lead.
So, after breaking the ice, in this step, you ask situational questions to qualify your prospect. Here, you ask questions for background information or facts, and try to get to know more about them.
Your goal in this stage is to qualify whether you and your prospect are a mutual fit or not. From there, you can then decide how to turn the rest of the conversation.
However, try not to overwhelm them with questions; make your prospect feel natural and relaxed.
(You will find a list of questions later in the article, that might be helpful for this step)
Now after you have identified your ideal prospects, the next step is to find our their needs, problems, and demands.
Here, your goal is to find areas of opportunity, where you and your business could be of help to them.
At this stage, you should ask questions to set the agenda, to learn what your prospects are looking to get out of the call. Instead of just focusing on getting a reply to set questions, you should have a detailed conversation here to understand the situation and the problems your prospects are facing.
Besides, sometimes, your prospects may be unaware of their problems, or they might not know what they want. In that case, you should ask in-depth questions, and based on what your prospect shares about his or her business, you can try to figure out the gaps or the problems and how it could be better.
After you have diagnosed the problems, now it is turn for the solutions. So, in this stage, you open up a discussion about the result a solution could deliver.
Without a doubt, here, you reinforce your product’s benefits and explain to your prospects how your products could solve all those problems.
Here, you need to share and explain how specific parts of your solution address each of the problems your customer needs to solve. You must do your best to pursue them, that this indeed is what they need.
At the same time, you need to remember that there are a lot of competitors out there. Hence, make a point about why your product is the best out of all.
At the end of the day, a discovery call is a process, not an event. So,as the process comes to a close, you must conclude your call properly.
At this step, you could attempt to close the deal if both you and your prospect are confident that it is indeed a perfect mutual fit. Importantly, at this step, you summarize the entire call and come to a conclusion.
By the end of the call, you have build some rapport and trust. Now all you need is to get your prospects to say YES. That is, to convince them to buy your products or services.
If you don’t want to be too direct and take things slow, you can also offer to send details of the next steps via email and schedule your next follow-up call.
Last but not least, you must evaluate your call after you hang up. It will help you understand how successful it was, and if and what improvements are needed.
Completing a good discovery call is oftentimes the first step in closing a deal. A prospect is likely to be interested and move down the sales funnel to turn into customers.
However, there is still the possibility that a prospect who just finished a good discovery call will turn into a cold lead. To avoid that, you must follow up often and engage with them to stay at the top of their mind.
We have already discussed the steps during a discovery call and what type of questions to ask in every step. Here are some examples of commonly asked questions in each step to help you set the script for your call.
We have already discussed the process and questions you could ask during your call. Here are some extra tips for you to follow to make the most out of your call.
We already talked about the importance of impression and building rapport through the call. For you to build that impression, you must be enthusiastic and empathetic.
Moreover, being enthusiastic requires you to get into a positive frame of mind. Even if your prospects cannot see you through a call, they can hear your expressions.
From the very opening of a discovery phone call, you must bring excitement and enthusiasm to the conversation. You should make them feel valued. They should feel that you are interested and excited about the call - this will make them excited to move further with the conversation as well.
Being enthusiastic also means being agreeable. You can do that by mimicking or repeating, their words or phrases on the call.
This shows that you are listening, and therefore do value what they have to say. This gets them reciprocating your behavior.
Even though it might sound unusual, having your webcam on during a discovery call can make a huge difference.
Discovery calls can get boring and monotonous very easily - especially if the duration is long. There is nothing to hold the prospects' visual interest.
As a result, they may grow fatigued and disinterested by your questions; which might affect the call as well.
However, by turning the webcam on, you are face to face with your prospect. It automatically gets more interactive and turns into a real conversation.
Moreover, it lets your buyer see the genuine interest in your face, which helps build rapport.
Do not turn a discovery call into an interrogation session to tick off boxes in your checklist. Your goal here is to understand and qualify the lead as well as building a relationship with them.
So, instead of just asking questions you think are necessary, focus on having a conversation.
Listen to what they have to say-let them explain their problems and experiences. Let them ask you questions and try to respond to their queries. Remember, an ideal listen to talk ratio is 55:45.
You must try to make them feel important and valued.
The biggest part of a discovery call is asking questions. You need to know how many questions to ask, and what the right questions are.
Asking too many questions might overwhelm the prospect, or make them disinterested. You should try to stick between 10-15 targeted questions.
It is your goal to get the most out of these questions without making your prospects feel uninterested.
Asking the right questions allows you to control the conversation and get the most information out of it. It also ensures that you and the prospect both get value from what you talk about on the call.
Moreover, focus on questions that encourage a long response. One-word answers aren’t going to give you the information you need.
Finally, perfection comes with patience. You can not master the perfect discovery call in a day - you will get better over time.
Nevertheless, with the right preparation and questions, your discovery calls will not only provide you with better information, but also help set you up for success.
You can use this article as a guideline to help you frame the perfect discovery call and master it over time.