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Guide to Running Effective Discovery Calls

1. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the customer by learning about their needs, wants, challenges, processes, current and future opportunity size, and decision-making process.

  • You can schedule the discovery call over email or call to schedule it. If a discovery call is scheduled for a future date, send resources to warm them up and help them get started. If they have 15-20 min at the moment - do it on the spot. 

  • How you position yourself here will dictate the rest of the sales cycle and who leads the process (establish control at the get-go!). 


2. Develop a relationship based on mutual trust - Connect over something, thank them for their time, and explain the reason for the call and why it will give them value:

“I have a lot of experience working with [companies in your industry / x departments], so I’d be happy to learn a bit about what brought you to us and the processes you manage so we can tailor a solution together. How does that sound?” 


3. Pain - Understand the pain points that got the client to look for an alternative tool in the first place. This is your ammunition, which will allow you to drive value, build a business case, and close the deal later in the sales process. 

Once you have the pain points, empathize and be reassured of our ability to solve it!


4. Try to find a negative or positive business impact. The biggest competitor is the status quo.  

I understand that can be frustrating. The good news is you’ve come to the right place. You mentioned tasks aren’t getting done on time and you’re beginning to get customer complaints. What will happen if you don’t have a solution in place for the next project?”

“How much time would you estimate you spend pulling data from different sources to create the report? If the report was automatically updated, what other initiatives would you spend those X hours on?”


5. Keys to Success - what would an ideal solution look like? What needs to happen during the evaluation to make a favorable decision?

6. Decision Making Process - what does the decision making process look like on their end and who else needs to be involved? Get names and do your best to get the other DMs involved in next steps. Avoid unnecessary roadblocks later on by understanding the process now. 


7. Timeline - when are they looking to make a decision? What is the desired go-live date? Is there a compelling event? Buyers don’t buy for your reasons. They buy for theirs.

8. Authority - is the person you are speaking with a decision maker or have access to a decision maker?


9. Budget - was the budget already allocated? Which department does the budget come from?



10. which tools/platforms they are currently using?



11. How looks like the business flow in the department / cross-departments?


Next steps:

  • end the call with a short summary of the conversation and set next steps. It’s always best if both sides commit to something. You should not only agree to a specific time and day but to why you are speaking again. Are they supposed to send you an example project / process so you can prepare for the demo? 

  • Depending on the information you get from this call you must decide if they are qualified and there is potential for growing the account - in other words, weather to continue to the Demo step.

Things to Keep in Mind During a Discovery Call

  • Be confident

  • Use collaborative words like "we," "us," "our," and "together"

  • Uncover 2-4 pains

  • Ask 11-14 questions

  • Aim for 45% talk, 55% listen

  • Spread questions throughout the call

  • LISTEN, let them reply and do not cut them off

Parameters You Should Know After the Discovery Call

  • Core Business

  • Opportunity Size (Direct & Future)

  • Processes and use-cases

  • Current Tools

  • Pains (what’s not working in current tools)

  • Department collaborations

  • Decision Maker(s) & Decision Making Process

  • Keys to Success

  • Next Steps (when & why)

  • Key benefits of interest (ex: transparency, consolidation, ease-of-use)

  • Risks of not closing deal

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