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Sales discovery calls are challenging. It might be intimidating to get to know someone, especially over the phone. 

Building dependable relationships with prospects is essential for lead qualifying so that you may get to know them and expose them to your company. But calling a complete stranger can be difficult, and you want to make a good impression, so where do you begin? 

Discovering this 7-step sales discovery structure will help you adequately prepare for your crucial discussions and present yourself in the best possible light. It will help you qualify or exclude prospects efficiently.

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What advantages do discovery calls offer?

Even though you can now engage with prospects via email, chat, and SMS, phone calls are still the most efficient method of lead qualification. 

Sales discovery calls are still a crucial element of your lead qualification process. Direct communication with customers allows sales representatives to listen to and comprehend their problems without having to wait for an answer. 

This allows them to quickly express empathy when it is required, improving their relationship with the prospect as a whole. Other advantages in addition to this important one include:

  • Prospects are more knowledgeable about their company and goods.
  • Helps representatives understand the needs of prospects.
  • Aids in providing the best appropriate remedy.
  • Establishes the framework for the buyer’s journey.
  • Improved estimation of your chances of obtaining their business.
  • Establishes the credibility of salespeople.

How long should a sales discovery call be? 

The simple answer is that it depends. An average sales discovery call might last for 15 to 60 minutes. The correct response is to define the customer lifetime value (LTV) together with the expected amount of time you think you’ll need to gather the necessary information from the prospect to decide how long your sales discovery call will be. For instance, you can anticipate that a brief 15-minute call will be sufficient if the LTV is less than $2000. To ensure you have enough time to gather information and clarify certain difficulties, you should plan a lengthier 1-hour conversation for complex products and services.

Senior sales executive sitting at a white desk touching her laptop keyboard with one hand and holding her phone with the other hand as she talks. In the background she sees a brown wall and another empty desk.

What is the ideal length for a sales discovery call?

It depends, is the short answer. An average sales discovery call might last for 15 to 60 minutes. The correct response is to define the customer lifetime value (LTV) together with the expected amount of time you think you’ll need to gather the necessary information from the prospect to decide how long your sales discovery call will be. 

For instance, you can anticipate that a brief 15-minute call will be sufficient if the LTV is less than $2000. To ensure you have enough time to gather information and clarify certain difficulties, you should plan a lengthier 1-hour conversation about complex products and services.

Don’t automatically assume that the extreme (longer or shorter) is preferable to the other, though. As it turns out, calls that resulted in closed, won transactions were often between 30 and 40 minutes long.

Maybe you should read How To Research Leads Before a Meeting

The Structure of a 7-Step Sales Discovery Call

Talking only about yourself and your items is a classic sales blunder. Prospects want to know what benefits they will receive, and you want to understand what would satisfy them sufficiently for them to purchase your product.

But how can you expertly determine whether a potential customer wants your product? You adhere to a sales discovery call approach that elicits useful information and gives the impression that you are prioritizing the requirements of the prospect with the best of intentions. 

Discover and swipe the ideal 7-step sales discovery call format below if you want to close more business:

1. Preparation: Research for pre-sales discovery calls

Preparing for each prospect that schedules a call is the first step to a successful sales discovery call. To achieve this, you must know enough about them to establish a rapport, identify challenging issues, and ultimately be as productive as you can during your discovery conversation. 

This is true even for prospects you exclude because it makes it easier for you to recognize them right away during subsequent sales discovery calls.

Senior citizen sitting in a waiting room in an office. The man has a laptop on his lap. He with one hand he types on the laptop keyboard and with the other hand he holds his phone while he talks smiling.

You must complete at least two of these three tasks in order to thoroughly research the prospect and get ready for the discovery call:

On LinkedIn, find and connect with prospects.

Contrary to what many people think, LinkedIn is more than just a job-search tool. Few social media sites provide as big an opportunity to broaden your exposure to potential clients as LinkedIn. 

In particular, if you want to interact with buyers in the B2B arena, LinkedIn is the place to be. Using the LinkedIn advanced search, you can identify your target audience by researching prospects based on their work role, title, area, etc. However, you must first make sure you have a LinkedIn Profile for Sales Professionals before you do this.

You must connect with your target client on LinkedIn once you’ve identified them. The first is trying to connect without sending a message because they probably won’t accept it because they don’t understand how you’re linked. 

The second is to avoid heavy selling or pitching in the contact message. When salesmen send a torrent of PDFs outlining their services and products as their first move, it’s frequently one of the prospects’ top pet peeves. 

Not a LinkedIn user? Googling them

Even if a prospect has a LinkedIn profile, you should still Google them to get essential information like their website or other suitable social media. However, a quick Google search will save you if they don’t have a presence on LinkedIn (it happens).

Please take note of any material on their website concerning current activities they have undertaken during the previous three to five years, as well as any indication of whether they require your solution or whether they have already adopted a similar offering from rivals.

Lead qualification

Finding out if the prospect needs the product or service is the goal of the sales discovery call. To make this happen, though, you must already have a concept of your ideal target market. This is why you should consider the following lead-qualifying questions when evaluating prospects on LinkedIn or the Internet:

  • What sectors do my prospects work in?
  • What positions do my prospects hold?
  • Which budget would be best for my prospects?

Additionally, it’s crucial to keep in mind that rejecting prospects is just as crucial because selling is all about reaching the appropriate customer at the right moment. You need to be aware of any excluded candidates since they might later qualify.

Sales executive sitting at a round desk taking notes in her diary while talking on the phone with a client. The desk is right next to a large window that lets sunlight through the glass.

2. Establish an upbeat tone

Your discovery call’s opening five minutes will determine how the remainder of the conversation will go. As a result, if you’re not sufficiently enthusiastic about the possibility of working together, it will be obvious, put the prospect off, and most likely upset them.

Prospects can hear your expressions and passion even if they can’t see you. To demonstrate that you are really interested in your prospects’ needs, you must approach every sales discovery call with a cheerful attitude and plenty of energy.

It’s important to be patient with the prospect and go at their pace when it comes to setting the correct tone, too. You can also demonstrate your amenability by imitating or restating key phrases from their speech to demonstrate that you are paying attention to them.

3. Quickly establish rapport

By building and maintaining relationships, you may frequently work together later on at a time that fits them, even if you ultimately eliminate the idea. Building rapport with consumers is therefore one of the most important aspects of the sales process because doing so frequently results in mutual trust and a long-lasting relationship that can result in repeat business. People do business with people they know, like, and trust, as the adage goes, therefore it’s imperative that you establish a rapport right away during the discovery call. You can accomplish this over the phone in a number of ways, including:

  • Use their name and be sure to pronounce it correctly. It makes it easier for you to relate to them and for them to feel heard and included in the conversation.
  • Keep etiquette in mind: Be considerate of your prospect and any particular cultural business protocol.
  • Don’t use a robot voice: Avoid speaking in a robotic, overly rehearsed manner; instead, speak clearly and with the same friend-like characteristics.
  • Prospects can hear your smile, so smile and laugh a little while remembering to enjoy yourself.
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4. Verify the discovery call’s schedule.

Describe your identity, your company, and your position inside the company. Then, to make sure you’re fostering a two-way dialogue, confirm the sales discovery call agenda with the prospect. You may achieve this by letting prospects know what to expect during the call and giving them the option to add or delete anything from the conversation. For instance, you could query potential clients about:

  • I want to talk about X, Y, and Z today. Do you have any extra subjects you’d like to bring up or avoid?
  • What goals do you have for this call?
  • Do you want to ask me any questions specifically?

After posing these queries, salespeople frequently share a finding from their first investigation into the prospect. The conversation could then move forward, for instance, if you mention something you both have in common. By doing this, you’ve validated the agenda and laid a solid framework for the remainder of the call.

5. Clarify the prospect’s pain points and ask the right questions.

Your potential consumers’ present concerns are known as their “customer pain points”. Pain points are essential issues that your prospect has, such as annoyances, threats, barriers, and inefficiencies that restrict their ability to grow or succeed. 

Because of this, you must assist prospects in making a diagnosis of their problems, much like a doctor or mechanic would do before prescribing a remedy or providing an estimate. 

These questions must be asked of potential clients in order to swiftly assess their demands (and pain spots) and offer them a worthwhile solution. For instance, you may elicit useful information from prospects by asking them the following questions:

  • What objective is your company now attempting to achieve?
  • How does your present method operate?
  • Which specific areas want to go better?
  • What is keeping you from achieving that objective?
  • How did you attempt to overcome the obstacle preventing you from achieving your objective?
  • How much time do you need to decide [X]?
  • What is at risk if your company fails to meet this goal?
  • What is your projected spending to accomplish this?
  • How many people make decisions?
  • Do you have any issues or queries regarding our product that I can help with?
  • Why did you think about buying our product?
  • What do you need from a solution the most?
  • To what degree do you approve of X?
  • What’s the main obstacle you face in relation to x?
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6. Create a vision and offer a resolution.

The time has come to pivot to your prospect’s problems and pain areas in order to show the value of how your creative ideas can help address them. You must identify the customer’s present real-world issue and detail how your solution would address it in the most effective way. 

Because customers still require the assistance of salespeople to prepare for, contextualize, and use the options available to them.

It’s important that you also know How to sell your new product or service 

7. Before closing, schedule your following call.

Keep the conversation moving, and before you do anything else, make sure to provide prospects with the next steps and arrange a follow-up meeting. Always get their input on what they’d like to talk about or cover during the demonstration phase when doing this.

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Finally, assess your accomplishments and think back.

The first step in completing a contract is frequently to conduct a strong discovery call since it gives you, as the salesman, the opportunity to create a favourable picture of your business and product. 

It all starts with assessing your current discovery call success and considering what could be improved. We are all aware that leads frequently go cold, but we typically are unable to determine why.

Naturally, salespeople hitting quota and rising customer success are indicators of a strong discovery call process. It’s important to take note of the signs of a poor discovery process, such as prospects cancelling at the last minute or requesting you to explain the specifics of the offer.