In today's connected world the art of sales has changed dramatically. Online marketing has significantly reduced the need for those awkward cold calls we all used to have to make in the dark ages!
Today, your online marketing has brought prospects to you and reduced the need to search for them.
As prospects move through your sales funnel from awareness to conversion, there comes a point where they have expressed more than a passing interest in your company, service or products. This is where the discovery call comes into play.
The discovery call is the first contact you'll have with a prospect after conversion and it's probably the most important step in the sales process.
A discovery call can set the entire tone of your relationship with that prospect both pre-and post sale. Its the point where you learn about your prospects needs, pain points, and business organization and how you can craft solutions to meet those needs. The key is to dive deep and avoid some common mistakes.
Let's look at the best practices for a successful discovery call and how setting the tone early can help you to develop the type of relationship that results in the kind of business that will help your company to grow!
The Goals Of A Successful Discovery Call
Discovery calls play a major role in the success of your sales team. A well conducted discovery call can perform a positive service for both your sales team and your prospects. Let's look at some things your reps can do to determine if a prospect is a good fit for your company, and how you can develop the solutions they need to close the sale.
Validate Your Pre-Contact Research
Online marketing offers you the ability to know more about a prospect than ever before. Thanks to analytics, you can begin to develop an understanding of a prospect long before initial contact.
You're able to see where they came from, what content they engaged with, where they traveled on your website and much more. Based on their email address, you can conduct a web search and visit their company website to gather information before you ever pick up the phone. This allows you to have a much deeper understanding of their needs and business.
During a discovery call you should ask questions to validate your research to get a deeper understanding of the organization. With validated research you can better tailor a solution to meet their specific needs.
Identify A Prospects Needs and Goals
By delving into their needs and goals, you'll have a better understanding of how to approach a prospect in relation to your product or service. This can open their eyes to the benefits working with you has to offer.
Alternatively, if a prospects goals are not aligned with your solution, you can confidently disqualify the lead and move on to a more appropriate prospect.
Define A Prospects Pain Points
Goals are important, but understanding and clarifying a propects pain points can help you to tailor your pitch and explain how your product or service can turn those pain points into strengths.
By defining their pain points you can hone in on what they are doing to overcome them, the setbacks they've faced and what seems to be working.
Offer Value: Provide A Tactical Solution
Once you understand a prospects goals and pain points the next step is to begin to provide tactical suggestions that illustrate how your product can fit the prospects needs as the strive to reach their goals. A tactical suggestion can also build trust, credibility and authority and shows them the value of having you on their team.
Suggest Solid, Positive Next Steps in The Relationship
By the end of your discovery call, you should have qualified if the prospect is a good fit. Now it's time to take a proactive approach and suggest clear next steps to help them reach the close.
Instead of hanging up and waiting for them to get in touch, you should be suggesting and taking the next step during your initial call, for example scheduling a product demo. Open your calendar and make the appointment before you hang up.
As you can clearly see, the discovery call is a critical first step in building a lasting relationship, trust, authority and value for your prospect. On the flip side, it's the best way to qualify that your prospect is a good fit for your business, which can save a lot of time and effort.
Ask The Right Questions To Get The Right Answers
By asking the right questions, paying attention to the answers and crafting a well thought out response, you can confirm the intentions of your prospect, and begin to develop the solutions they need to address their pain points.
You can also establish if they are the right person in their organization to speak to, their willingness to go to bat for your product and their attitude towards working with your company, or a competitor.
While you won't get to every question in a preliminary call, here are some key questions to work into the conversation that can help you qualify your proaspect and gain the information you need in order to determine the appropriate next steps in the process.
- Tell me about your business, and your role in the organization.
- What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
- Tell me about your goals – financial, customer-related and operational.
- What is your timeline for reaching these goals?
- Are you having problems meeting deadlines and goals? (As in Pain Points as it relates to your product or service)
- What is the source of the problem?
- Have you tried to address it? (This is where you can build trust in a solution using your product)
- What do you see as a possible solution?
- What would a successful resolution look like?
- Do you currently have a plan in place to achieve a solution?
- Do you have the necessary funding to achieve a solution?
- Are there other players involved in making a decision?
- Have you purchased or used a similar product before?
- Will this be a competitive bid situation and will you need a proposal?
- What is the process for making a purchase? Are there any legal or procurement reviews or needs?
- How can I make this process easier for you?
By directing your questions to focus on your prospects needs and pain points you can formulate solutions as you're learning about them. Your discovery call is the key sales element for quickly developing the type of rapport that closes sales.
Gather the information you need and take the actionable steps of validating your research and qualifying your prospect, identifying your their needs and goals, and take concrete steps to continue the relationship and watch your close ratio increase!