Imagine being on a discovery call. The conversation flows, but there's a moment of hesitation in the client's voice. With a single well-phrased question, you tap directly into their primary concern, and suddenly, the call's dynamic changes. That's the magic of a powerful inquiry.
Sales is not just about statistics or numbers; it's about genuine human connection. And that connection blossoms when you truly understand your client's unique needs and desires. Sales discovery questions are your compass in this journey, helping you understand what your clients truly seek.
Every chat, every laugh, every shared concern in sales has the potential to unlock a world of opportunities. The line between a missed connection and a blossoming business relationship often lies in your ability to genuinely listen and understand.
In this guide, we won't just throw theory at you. We'll help you understand the human nuances in sales, crafting questions that resonate and bring theory into practice. Join us as we uncover the art and science of asking, listening, and succeeding in sales.
What is sales discovery?
Sales discovery refers to the process of uncovering a prospect's needs, pain points, and goals during the initial sales conversation. It involves asking strategic questions to gather vital information that can be used to tailor your pitch and close the deal.
At its core, sales discovery is an investigative process. It's the phase where sales professionals engage with potential clients to unearth their needs, challenges, and aspirations. Think of it as the foundation upon which successful sales relationships are built.
The purpose? To gain a comprehensive understanding of the prospect's requirements and align your offerings with what they genuinely need.
Importance of discovery questions in the sales process
Every salesperson, seasoned or novice, knows the importance of a solid foundation. The sales process isn't just about presenting a product or service; it's about resonating with a client's unique situation and presenting tailored solutions.
Imagine being in a critical sales meeting and you forget the pivotal questions that could make or break the deal. This is where a playbook comes in. Playbooks, especially when adhered to during the initial stages of the pipeline, serve as a guidepost, ensuring that you cover every essential topic. They act as a silent assistant subtly nudging you to ask the right questions at the right moment.
However, even the best of us can sometimes skip a beat. What happens if playbooks aren't followed? This is where tools like Luru come into play. If there's a deviation from the playbook, Luru ensures it doesn't go unnoticed. Instead, it's monitored and reported, transforming potential oversights into valuable training and coaching opportunities.
That's why we at Luru decided to make discovery questions easy to discover and adopt. Imagine seamlessly integrating your tailored sales playbook into Zoom or other meeting apps. As the conversation flows, you're gently reminded of the right questions to ask, ensuring your sales pitch hits all the right notes.
Types of sales discovery questions
The process of sales discovery is much like navigating through a labyrinth. The right questions can illuminate the path, leading you closer to understanding your prospect's needs and challenges. These questions are grouped into distinct types:
1. Open-ended questions
These are the explorers of the sales discovery world. They don't guide the respondent towards any particular answer. Instead, provide them with the freedom to express their thoughts, needs, or concerns in depth. Such questions are typically framed with 'what', 'how', or 'why', inviting a narrative response.
- "What challenges is your team currently facing?"
- "How do you envision the solution to your problem?"
- "Why is addressing this issue important for your company?"
2. Probing questions
Probing questions are your deep divers. They're designed to delve deeper into a specific topic or area that was touched upon earlier. These questions seek clarity and detail, helping you uncover the layers beneath an initial response.
- "You mentioned issues with your current software. Can you describe a specific instance where it affected your operations?"
- "When you say you need a scalable solution, what growth metrics are you targeting?"
- "Can you elaborate on the feedback your team has given about our product?"
3. Hypothetical questions
These questions allow you to gauge a prospect's reaction or decision-making process in a potential scenario. They're like putting up a mirror to the prospect's aspirations, concerns, or decision-making approach, letting you see reflections of their potential future actions.
- "If you had the perfect solution to your challenge, what would it look like?"
- "Suppose our product reduced your operational time by 30%; how would that impact your bottom line?"
- "Imagine we rolled out a new feature based on your feedback. How would that influence your team's usage patterns?"
Key components of Sales discovery questions
Effective discovery questions target these key areas:
1. Gathering information: Effective sales discovery call questions aim to accumulate vital data about the prospect. They can be company details, operations, and market position, laying the foundation for a meaningful conversation.
2. Understanding customer needs: By probing deeper, these questions seek to unravel what the customer genuinely desires. This helps emphasize their preferences and perceived value in a solution.
3. Identifying pain points: One of the primary purposes of sales discovery questions is to pinpoint the challenges and problems the customer faces. This allows for a tailored pitch that addresses these specific concerns.
4. Assessing goals and objectives: Effective questions delve into both the immediate and future aspirations of the customer. They provide insights into where they envision themselves and how a product or service can assist in that trajectory.
5. Building rapport and trust: Great sales discovery meeting questions go beyond business. They help forge a bond, ensuring the client feels valued and that the relationship extends beyond just transactions.
6. Establishing a connection: A genuine connection fosters open communication. By resonating with the client's needs and concerns, discovery questions can pave the way for a fruitful relationship.
7. Active listening techniques: The best sales discovery processes involve not just asking but also listening intently. Being present and responsive in the conversation ensures the client feels understood and valued.
8. Demonstrating empathy: The most impactful discovery questions come from a place of empathy. Understanding the customer's feelings, concerns, and perspective can lead to more genuine interactions and solutions tailored to their unique needs.
When crafted with these aspects in mind, sales discovery questions can be a powerful tool, guiding the conversation toward understanding and effectively addressing the unique needs of each prospect.
20 best sales discovery questions
Here are examples of the 20 best discovery questions for sales for each stage of the conversation:
Questions to set the stage
These initial questions help establish the context and set the tone for the conversation.
1. "Can you give me a brief overview of your company?"
This invites the prospect to provide background, helping you understand their operations and context.
2. "What prompted you to take this call/meeting today?"
This question uncovers the immediate motivations behind their interest.
3. "How familiar are you with our products/services?"
Gaining insight into their existing knowledge helps tailor the conversation's depth and direction.
4. "Who else will be involved in this decision-making process?"
Understanding the decision-making hierarchy aids in targeting the conversation appropriately.
Questions to understand customer needs
These questions delve deeper into what the prospect is looking for in a product or solution.
5. "What are you hoping our product/service can help you achieve?"
This clarifies their expectations and desired outcomes.
6. "Are there specific features or capabilities you're prioritizing?"
Reveals specifics, ensuring you highlight the right aspects of your product.
7. "How do you see our solution fitting into your current operations?"
It helps gauge their integration expectations.
8. "What's the primary challenge you're hoping our solution addresses?"
Pinpoints the core need or problem they're trying to solve.
Questions to identify pain points
Unearth the challenges and issues the prospect faces, tailoring your pitch to address them.
9. "What's the biggest challenge you're facing currently?"
Provides a direct insight into their primary concern.
10. "How does this challenge affect your day-to-day operations?"
Gives context to the scope and impact of their problem.
11."Have you tried any solutions in the past, and what was the outcome?"
Helps identify past failures or gaps in previous solutions.
12. "What would happen if this issue remains unaddressed?"
Gauges the urgency and significance of their pain point.
Questions to assess goals and objectives
Gain insights into their short-term and long-term aspirations.
13."Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?"
Understands their long-term vision and growth targets.
14. "What immediate goals are you focusing on in the next 6 months?"
Clarifies short-term priorities and expectations.
15. "How do you measure success for this particular objective?"
Reveals their success metrics and KPIs.
16. "Are there any specific milestones you're aiming to hit this year?"
Uncovers specific targets and deliverables they're focusing on.
Questions to build rapport and trust
Establish a deeper, more personal connection with the prospect.
17. "How did you get started in this industry/role?"
Invites personal storytelling and connection.
18. "What's been a significant achievement for your team recently?"
Recognizes and celebrates their successes, showing genuine interest.
19. "Outside of work, what are some of your interests or hobbies?"
Encourages personal sharing, and building rapport beyond business topics.
20. "Is there anything you wish vendors/suppliers understood better about your industry or company?"
Shows a genuine interest in understanding their unique challenges and perspectives.
Best practices for effective sales discovery
Navigating the sales discovery process is both an art and a science. While the questions play a pivotal role, the method and approach you adopt equally matter. Here are some best practices to help you ace the discovery process:
- Training: Regularly update your team's training sessions, ensuring they are well-equipped with the latest questioning techniques and have a deep understanding of the product.
- Make them easily accessible: Integrate your sales discovery questions within your meeting apps. This ensures your team always has the right questions at their fingertips, promoting consistency and efficiency. You can easily achieve this with Luru’s playbook feature.
- Monitor: Monitor adherence to your sales discovery playbook. By tracking how effectively your team employs the recommended questions and approaches, you can offer targeted coaching or training where needed. This is something that you can do once you have integrated Luru with your CRM and meeting apps.
- Open the conversation broadly: Begin with open-ended questions to allow the prospect to share freely. This sets a foundation for the rest of the dialogue, offering a broader view of their needs.
- Probe deeper: Once you have the context, use probing questions to get to the core of their concerns. This helps in understanding the nuances and specific pain points they face.
- Empathetic active listening: Pay attention not just to what is said, but how it's said. You can better address the prospect's needs and show genuine care.
- Avoid yes/no traps: Questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no restrict the flow of information. Aim for questions that invite detailed responses to maintain the conversation's momentum.
- Steer clear of leading: Your questions should offer the prospect freedom to answer without bias. Avoid framing that might influence their response.
- Stay adaptive: Adjust your questions based on the prospect's responses and feedback in real-time. While having a roadmap is helpful, be prepared to navigate spontaneous topics.
- The 80/20 rule: Aim to listen 80% of the time, giving your prospect ample space to express, and talk only 20% of the time. Avoid jumping into the sales pitch prematurely.
- Documentation: Capturing crucial points ensures nothing is missed. These notes are invaluable for follow-ups and further tailoring your pitch.
- Conclude with clarity: Always wrap up your discovery session by summarizing key takeaways and setting clear expectations for the next steps.
Luru: sales discovery questions always at your fingertips
Sales discovery questions are essential tools, not just conversation openers. They unveil a prospect's deeper needs, aspirations, and challenges. By honing this skill, you're set to surpass competitors, tailor pitches effectively, and enhance relationships with clients.
But remembering the right questions at the moment can be challenging.
This is where Luru comes in. Luru seamlessly integrates sales question playbooks into meeting apps like Zoom and Google Meet. This puts the perfect discovery questions right at your fingertips during client conversations. You can also ensure adherence to optimal sales methodologies and consistency in every interaction.
What’s even better? If a respective playbook is not followed during a meeting (one can track this with empty CRM fields a rep is supposed to fill during the meeting), an automated reminder can be sent to the rep on Slack, Teams, or Google Chat with the respective CRM fields. The rep then can instantly log the missing information in CRM right from within the chat apps.
But that’s not Luru’s only feature. It also streamlines workflows and connects platforms for efficient sales execution. Timely alerts, automated post-meeting notes, and instant notifications ensure you never miss a beat.
In a sales landscape that's constantly evolving, Luru empowers you to stay ahead, making the process more efficient and proactive. Ready to optimize your sales journey? Dive into Luru's expansive features today.
- What is a discovery question in sales?
A discovery question in sales is a strategically crafted question that helps salespeople uncover essential information about a prospect. This information can include the prospect's needs, challenges, goals, and pain points. The main aim of these questions is to gain a deeper understanding of the prospect's situation, allowing the salesperson to tailor their pitch or solution to align perfectly with the prospect's requirements.
- What are powerful sales questions?
Powerful sales questions are those that encourage prospects to think deeply and reveal genuine insights about their needs, desires, and challenges. These questions go beyond surface-level inquiries and aim to extract valuable information that can guide the sales process. Examples include, "What has stopped you from solving this issue in the past?" or "How would resolving this challenge impact your business?"
- What are the 3 types of sales questions?
The three types of sales questions are:
- Open-ended questions: These questions are designed to encourage broad and comprehensive answers, offering the prospect the freedom to share more information.
- Probing questions: These dive deeper into specific areas, aiming to uncover detailed insights or clarify certain points.
- Hypothetical questions: These ask the prospect to imagine a situation, helping the salesperson gauge their potential reactions or feelings in certain scenarios.