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A Comprehensive Guide To An Excellent Sales Discovery Call

Wouldn't it feel great to hear thankful words and sheer interest from a prospect after a pleasant discovery call? Wouldn’t it be great to have a formula that guarantees a perfect sales discovery call? 


While it’s not a simple process that requires impeccable skills, there’s a way to achieve success by asking the right questions. That’s why we’ve come up with a comprehensive guide for you to follow with the helpful sales discovery questions and practices for you to try.


What Is A Discovery Call? 


A discovery call isn’t a sales pitch; it is the process of establishing and developing a relationship between the potential buyer and you in order to proceed with a sale. It can occur at any stage of a buyer's journey; however, it always comes up after a cold call or any other marketing solution. 


For the seller, the call is made to gather lead’s requirements, whereas, for the buyer, it helps identify whether the product or service will solve their problems.


But how long should the discovery call be? 


To be honest, there isn’t an ideal length of a discovery call. However, generally, it takes 15 to 30 minutes for small businesses and up to an hour for large firms.


Why Are Discovery Calls Important? 


A good discovery call sets up the whole buying process as it’s basically the first time a client interacts with your team for the first time. So let’s see, what are the advantages of a discovery call?


  • Building healthy customer relations

A discovery call is your best shot to make a great first impression of your company and spark your lead’s interest. The better you understand your lead, the easier it will be for you to close the deal.


  • Improving your sales cycle

A discovery call is your best chance to find how you can turn the sale in your favor, understand the prospect, and improve the sales cycle. In addition, such a call helps you sooner disqualify your leads so that you can allocate more time to work with the qualified leads.


Steps in Discovery Call Agenda 


Let’s break down the steps you should take to perform a high-quality discovery call. 


Here’s the discovery call checklist:


1. Schedule your call

The first step for your discovery call is to plan the call with your lead. Here are the basic steps to follow before calling them:


  • Explain the call. Give your lead an agenda and the objective for the call so they know what to expect and can prepare some questions or research information upfront. It’s also necessary to mention how long the conversation will take so that your lead can plan time accordingly.

  • Add the call to the calendar. You can use a Google invitation so that it automatically adds it to both of your calendars. As an alternative, you can use the Calendly scheduling tool.

  • Remind your prospect about the call. Send an email letting your lead know you’re looking forward to talking with them to confirm your call and remind them of the time.


2. Conduct a research

Your discovery call script should be personalized to every lead. For that purpose, you need an understanding of your lead, which you can easily acquire by researching the company’s team page, LinkedIn, and other social platforms.


Here’s the information you should obtain before creating your script:


  • The prospect's job responsibility 

  • Details about the prospect's company

  • The prospect's hobbies and interests

  • Any additional information about the prospect


This research is a chance not only to understand your lead and will save you time and effort while performing the discovery call.


3. Make a discovery call script

Your call doesn’t have to be a strict script; think of it like a flowchart mapping your conversation. The main purpose of the discovery call scripting is to make it structured and ensure you don’t miss anything.


Consider using the following script as a template, but feel free to customize it, keeping in mind the main components to cover. Here are the main discovery script components:


  • An opening – a small talk involving something you’ve learned about your lead. 

  • An introduction – tell about your title, your company’s mission, as well as the businesses you help. In addition, make sure to include the agenda for the call.

  • Your questions – pick the questions that can help you discover the right information about your lead.

  • A closing – write a closing for the situation when your lead is qualified and one for when they’re not.


We’ll cover each of these components below in the article.


4. Make introductions

Make sure you use the first five minutes of your discovery call to make the lead feel comfortable and set the right tone for the rest of the call. How can you do it?


  • Be yourself – if you have an interesting remark or a funny reply you’d like to make, but you’re holding yourself back, don’t. Let some slip out and show your lead your humanity.

  • Use their interests – if you checked their LinkedIn or Twitter, bring up their interests and ask questions. Get your prospects talking about themselves.

  • Bring up something you have in common – job positions, past experiences, locations, etc.


Once the introduction is made, you can get to the more formal part of your call with an introduction of yourself and your company. It’s important to give your lead some context about yourself so they can better understand your business and your following questions.


5. Set an agenda

Right after the introduction, you should tell the lead the goal of the call. Typically, the reason should be “to see if we can help you and your company with…” 


Next, tell the lead you have some questions to see if your company is a good fit for them. And to make your lead feel more involved, ask whether they have something specific they want to get out of the call. 


6. Ask the right questions

Questions are the most crucial part of your call. Asking the right questions can help you control the conversation and ensure both you and your lead get value from the call. 


Speaking about time spent, you should be talking less than 45% of the discovery call time, while your lead should take over 55% of the time.


By asking the right questions, you should address one of the following points:


  • Goals
  • Budget
  • Challenges
  • Authority
  • Need
  • Timeline
  • Implication


Here are some of the examples of your sales discovery questions that will help you understand the lead’s problem:


  • How many clients/employees do you have? 

  • Have you tried any other software to automate your tasks? 

  • What are your goals? (Financial/customer-related)

  • Do you have a budget secured for solving this problem?

  • What are the concerns that I can address?

  • How much money could you save by resolving this problem?

  • What is the timeline for implementation?


7. Qualify or disqualify the lead

As you ask the questions, try to interpret the answers and see whether the lead is qualified for your company to help them. Then, pick a few criteria that will help you to either qualify or disqualify your lead from a potential buyer. 


8. Close the call

By this step, you will already have enough information about the lead to make your decision. So let’s take a look at how to close the call in both situations, whether your lead is a good or a bad fit.


How to close the call when the lead is unqualified?


Instead of simply wishing each other best of luck, get something valuable out of your call. Ask if they know anyone who would need or be interested in your product or service. You can additionally give recommendations for other services that might be a better fit for them.


How to close the call when the lead is qualified?


Finish the call by saying your product or service will help them and their needs. State their needs and tell them your solution to get them excited to continue working with you.


Then, proceed with the next steps – set up another meeting or give them a demo presentation. Remember to always be clear to avoid confusion.


9. Follow up

After the call, it’s important to record everything you can remember from a call so that it’s easier to speak with the lead again.


Next, send a follow-up email and an invite for the next meeting if you’ve agreed to set one up.


Bring Your Discovery Call to the Next Level


A sales discovery call is an art. However, using the best practices and a comprehensive guide will facilitate your work, help you better understand your leads, and lead you straight to a successfully closed deal!

Written by

Hanna Karbowski