Discovery Call

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Discovery Call

Definition: A Discovery Call is an initial conversation between the seller and a buyer with the intention of obtaining the necessary information that would help the seller to focus on the problems, needs, and business objectives of the buyer. The basic objective of this call is to find out whether the product/service of the salesperson meets the requirement of the prospect and to set a preliminary groundwork for a prospective sales relationship.

Detailed Explanation

In a discovery call, the sales rep asks pointed questions to extract crucial information from the prospect. This will enable him to assess the customer’s pains, budget, timeline for a decision to be made, and when the buying process will be initiated. Insights from the call would therefore be very critical for the customization of the subsequent sales presentations, proposals, and negotiations to best meet the needs of the customer.
Some key elements of a successful discovery call are:

  • Preparation: Do the research required on your prospect’s business and the latest news or trends in his/her industry to ask informed questions.
  • Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate.
  • Open-Ended Questions: Questions that will elicit narrative responses, which will help to get broad information regarding the business of the customer.
  • Value Proposition: Clearly articulate how the salesperson’s product or service will help resolve the customer’s specific challenges and, by that, add value to their business.
  • Next Steps: Conclude the call with a clear set of next steps agreed upon by the participants, which might include scheduling follow-up meetings or sending information to the other party.

Relevance to the Sales Process

  • Qualifying Leads: Discovery calls reveal if a prospect is the right fit for your product or service, hence saving you a lot of time and resources by just focusing on viable leads.
  • Building Relationships: Such calls help to provide a setup for building a strong relationship as it places the customer into meaningful conversation about their needs.
  • Customizing Solutions: Use information gathered from the discovery calls and customize a solution that fits the needs of the customer best, hence maximizing a sale.
  • Setting the Stage for Sales: This is an effective discovery call. It sets the stage for sales, further leading up to successful negotiations and converting the customers.

Real-World Example

Example: A salesperson for a software company is scheduled to have a discovery call with the marketing manager of a retail company. The salesperson then inquires about what challenges the manager has in tracking customer engagement and return on investment from the marketing campaign.

By listening and probing, the representative understands that the manager is struggling with some issues around data silos and manual work. The sales representative then goes ahead to make a brief explanation of how their marketing automation tool combines data across platforms and reports automatically to meet the needs of the manager. The call ended with the sales representative setting up a detailed demo for the team, targeted to features that address the specific challenges mentioned. This targeted approach is far likelier to result in a successful sale, informed by the discovery call.

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