What is a sales discovery call?

For typical sales people, a sales discovery call is usually the first step in qualifying a lead. On this call, sales people tend to ask a bunch of questions that serve to identify what sort of challenges the prospect has in their business. After discovering those challenges, sales people present their business or service as a solution.

So why put an end to these sales calls?

Simply put, buyers don’t feel like their challenges are being accurately addressed. Only 13% of customers believe a sales person can understand their needs.

These types of experiences don’t present any actual value or put the customer first. They are designed for the salesperson to find an opening into a sales pitch, as opposed to getting to the heart of a customer’s challenges.

Why waste time asking a bunch of questions, if your buyer leaves the phone call feeling totally unheard and overshadowed by your sales pitch?

Discovery calls are needed today because the sales rep knows very little about the prospect’s business and the challenges they are facing. So reps HAVE to ask questions to get this insight and ‘find the pain’. This is where problems start for sales teams.

Each rep has a different ability to ask the RIGHT questions. This requires business expertise, sales experience, domain knowledge, and the ability to do this on the fly. If you don’t navigate this conversation well you will lose the opportunity. The prospect leaves thinking you don’t know their business and can’t help them. There are no second chances.

With so much at stake, why are sales teams letting each rep conduct their own assessment of the prospect? Sales leaders will tell you there is no other way (translate: we have always done it this way).

What do we replace the discovery call with?

While phone calls will always be necessary at some point, there is another step sales people should take before hopping on the phone.

First, you must understand that your buyer already knows (or thinks they know) what their challenges are. Over 70% of buyers fully define their needs on their own before engaging with a sales representative, and 44% identify specific solutions before reaching out to a seller. With this in mind, why not have your buyer tell you about their challenges themselves?

Use your prospect’s insights into their own business to your advantage. Have your prospects complete an interactive assessment BEFORE getting on the call.

In an interactive assessment, a prospect answers 10 to 20 questions divided into 3 to 5 targeted categories and then receives a personalized scorecard highlighting where their organization is performing well, where they can be doing better, and recommendations for improvement.

The assessment provides instant value to the prospect, educates them about their business and their challenges, and lets them experience your firm’s expertise. All this happens before the rep gets on the phone!

Now, the sales rep has detailed knowledge of the prospect’s business and the challenges they face. This positions the rep as a consultant with the ability to tailor the conversation focused on the top pain points. The first call becomes a business discussion, not a Q&A session. Prospects AND sales reps get substantially more value from this discussion! Opportunities are consistently sourced and the discussion ends much further down the sales process.

All your reps should follow this process including your top performers because prospects always benefit. Your new, average and poor performing reps benefit because they have structure to navigate the first call. With the 9Lenses platform, reps also get ‘Sales Insights’ that explain how discussing the results with clients to ensure maximum value is provided!