Discovery Questions To Ask Prospects on a Call (Plus Examples)

Discovery questions are the questions you ask to understand whether or not a prospect is a good fit for your product (and vice versa). They’re normally open-ended questions about the challenges, obstacles, and current processes in a business that relate to what you’re selling.

9 Powerful Sales Discovery Questions (And 12 Essential Follow-ups)

Why is a sales discovery call important?

Because trust is established between the seller and the buyer during the sales discovery call, it sets the tone for the remainder of the negotiation. The seller’s goal is to determine the buyer’s needs and purchasing power. They also want to position themselves as a resource for the buyer who is knowledgeable about their circumstances and capable of coming up with practical solutions.

What is a sales discovery call?

The first interaction a salesperson has with a potential customer who is qualified occurs during sales discovery calls. Because the potential customer has shown some interest, a discovery call is different from a cold call.

During a sales discovery call, the seller calls to elicit information from the buyer in order to close the deal. An exploratory call is being made in order to gather information and advance the seller-potential buyer relationship in the sales pipeline. The salesperson is hoping to accomplish three things:

62 discovery questions with explanations

On a sales discovery call, you can ask the following questions:

What can you tell me about your company?

Before starting your sales call, do some research to find the majority of these questions’ answers. However, starting with gentle inquiries can facilitate developing a rapport with your client. Understanding their daily operations will help you provide them with the best solutions for their business style. Additionally, you might want the client to believe that you are capable of meeting their needs. To learn more about their company and establish a rapport, try these open-ended questions:

I read about a recent change. How has this affected you?

You can demonstrate your interest in the company and your knowledge of the market by asking questions that support the research you did prior to the sales call. Social networking sites may be used by the company to announce recent changes, which can help you understand the situation the company is in and any potential difficulties they may be facing. When you proceed with negotiations, validating your research can also help you clarify any unclear information you discovered and ensure that you have an accurate representation of the company.

You can also put the customer at ease by coming across as knowledgeable about the business and giving them the impression that you have the knowledge necessary to assist them in solving their problem. This can significantly contribute to developing a rapport and trust with the client. Here are some questions you can ask to validate research:

What are your goals?

To find out what the customer wants or what you can do to help them achieve their goals, you can ask them questions. This knowledge will help you position your product as something that will address their problems or assist them in achieving their objectives, which will help you shape your sale.

To the extent possible, try to learn more specifics about any difficulties the prospective buyer faces, what they have done to address them, and what has worked or not so far. The majority of your knowledge about how you can assist them will be developed by asking questions of this nature. Find three to four problems or objectives they have that your product can help them with. You can use the following inquiries to learn more about the objectives and needs of your customers:

.What is your budget?

You can find out the potential client’s spending limit using the exploratory questions you ask. Talk about the options you have for them that are within their price range once you have a firm understanding of their financial restrictions. You can modify your negotiations for the greatest chance of success.

Respecting your client’s budget can help you establish trust with them because it demonstrates your interest in assisting them in resolving their issues or achieving their objectives. You may also only provide solutions that are practical.

To find out more about their spending plans, you can also ask them the following questions:

Who else do you need to involve in order to make this decision?

Asking if your point of contact has the authority to close this deal with you can help you close the sale. You might be in touch with a team member who is conducting research but lacks the power to negotiate with you. The point person with authority, such as the manager or team leader, should be contacted in that situation. Asking the following questions will help you determine your contact’s level of authority:

What obstacles might we face when implementing this solution?

You can probe the potential customer to find out if they have any reservations that might prevent them from completing the transaction. Knowing this before entering into negotiations will help you be ready to counter their arguments or offer solutions that will advance the selling process.

Asking these questions at the beginning of the sales call will help you spot any warning signs that could prevent the potential customer from accepting the offer. For instance, you can determine whether your services are too expensive for the client or whether there is a miscommunication regarding the services you can provide. Knowing these challenges can help you make your phone call more productive. With the help of the following inquiries, you can eliminate any exclusionary conditions:

Are you satisfied with your current situation?

You can focus your questions on the issues a potential client may be experiencing and how you might be able to help them. This is a sales strategy to emphasize how much they require your good or service. You can provide the solutions to address their issues once you determine where they struggle.

Your potential client may feel a sense of urgency and be more motivated to close the deal quickly if you concentrate on the challenges they must overcome. Once you have identified their company’s areas of difficulty, you can probe further by highlighting how those difficulties are preventing them from expanding or achieving their objectives. Sales professionals call this practice amplifying pain points. These issues are the pain points that your product or service is intended to address. Here’s how to use the rapport you’ve built with your customer to close the deal.

The following queries can be used to highlight key points and create urgency:

Have you spoken with any of our competitors?

Additionally, you can use your discovery call to ascertain whether your potential client has spoken with any rival businesses. As your business may want to monitor its top rivals, this information may be helpful for your own business model. Additionally, you can use this data to gauge how serious a potential customer is about closing a deal.

You can inquire about any competitors with the following questions:

How can we move forward?

Asking questions that will clarify the next steps you or the client can take to advance in the sales process can help you conclude your discovery call. You could suggest a good or service that will assist them in overcoming the challenges you discussed during the call.

You might want to request the names and phone numbers of any other experts you might need to speak with in order to proceed with the sale. Additionally, you could inform the customer of your plans to advance the sale and inquire as to whether they have any preferences for how things should go. The following queries can be used to conclude your sales discovery call:


How do you ask great discovery questions?

Discovery Questions
  • Tell me about your company.
  • Tell me about your role. …
  • What metrics are you responsible for?
  • Tell me about your goals (financial, customer-related, operational).
  • When do you need to achieve these goals?
  • What problem are you trying to solve?

How do I prepare for a discovery call?

6 tips for collecting better responses during your sales discovery call
  1. Set the meeting’s tone and purpose up front. …
  2. Ask probing questions instead of yes/no questions. …
  3. Don’t ask multiple questions at once. …
  4. Build rapport and reassure your customer amidst the questions.

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