9 Powerful Sales Discovery Questions (And 12 Essential Follow-ups) | Selling Made Simple
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We all know the stereotype of the dodgy used car salesman. But contrary to popular belief, sales isn’t about tricking people into buying. Instead, it’s about giving customers the solution to their problem (whether they know they have the problem or not). The tricky part for salespeople is finding out if their solution is a good fit for their buyer’s needs. Is that buyer actually struggling with a problem you can solve? Do their needs align with what you can provide? Are they equipped with the resources to use your solution correctly? Discovery calls are designed to provide this invaluable information and more. With this discovery info, you can better qualify leads, craft the perfect sales pitch and close more deals. This guide will help you uncover your buyer’s actual needs and home in on their underlying business problem with a simple step-by-step sales process. We’ll be looking at nine open-ended discovery questions along with 12 powerful follow-up questions. What Are Discovery Questions? Discovery questions are the questions you ask sales leads during a discovery call. Of course, you’ve likely already learned a bit about the prospect before jumping on the phone. But your discovery call will help you fill in the details about their situation and create a clearer picture of their needs. The answers to your discovery questions let you determine several things. * If your product offering can solve the needs of a sales lead. * If you can deliver your product within the buyer’s constraints (i.e., timeline, budget, etc.). * The best way to pitch your product. If the prospect’s answers line up well during your discovery call, then they’ll move on to the next phase of the sales process. If not, you can redirect them through another nurturing campaign. Or they’ll drop out from your sales funnel entirely. So, what makes a sales discovery question effective at uncovering your sales lead’s genuine business problems? Principles of Great Sales Discovery Questions The types of discovery questions (and how you ask them) determine the quality of the information you extract on your call. With the right discovery call questions, you can get to the heart of your prospect’s needs. The wrong one? You may lose the buyer’s trust and sink the deal entirely. So, what do great sales discovery calls look like? * They’re Open-Ended – Avoiding “yes or no’s” gets the sales lead talking and lets them avoid feeling “trapped” into an answer. * They’re Informed – Do your research beforehand. Novice-level questions torpedo your credibility in an instant. But informed ones prove you’re a professional worthy of trust. * They Move the Needle – Each question you ask should always take you one step closer to qualifying or disqualifying. They allow sales reps to dig deeper and move the entire sales process forward. There’s value in building rapport, but time is precious. So don’t waste it on filler. Try to keep questions in line with proven frameworks like MEDDPICC. * They’re Ripe for Follow-Up Questions – A discovery call should be a conversation, not an interrogation for your prospect. They should add value to the potential buyer. Asking relevant follow-up questions lets you naturally uncover pain points and hints for creating a perfectly catered sales pitch. Plus, it helps build rapport which will help your deals close faster. 9 Qualifying Discovery Questions for Sales Asking the right discovery call questions is key to uncovering the information you need to create an irresistible sales pitch. So lets get practical.
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