Sales · · 6 min read

Covert Leads with These 9 Sales Discovery Call Questions

Asking the proper sales discovery call questions leads to a better understanding of your prospects' needs. Here are nine questions you need to try.

sales discovery call questions

Email marketing campaigns book meetings with qualified prospects. At that point, you’re a few steps away from closing a sale. All you need to do is nudge prospects toward a sale with the proper sales discovery call questions.

The answers to these sales discovery questions will help your SDRs identify what your prospects genuinely need and will persuade them to take urgent action.

So, stick around if you want to make the most of your sales discovery calls! In this article, we’ll be going over: 

  • The fundamentals of sales discovery calls
  • Sales discovery questions vs scripts
  • Fundamentals of excellent discovery call questions
  • Nine sales discovery call questions that close

What is a Sales Discovery Call? 

sales calls

One of the biggest fumbles you could make when you finally get on a meeting with a prospect is to re-pitch your product/services. You already did that during nurturing campaigns. 

Instead, focus on understanding your prospects’ needs beyond the surface level. We do this through strategic persuasion techniques through sales discovery questions. 

You get to understand your prospects’ goals, the underlying pain points that are in the way of their goals, and how your product/service can help reach those goals. 

Sales Discovery Call Questions Vs. Scripts

Sales scripts are great for building fundamentals. However, we can’t always predict how prospects respond to scripts. It’s not that flexible a tool in modern sales. 

The better alternative is to iterate on dynamic systems or sales closing techniques that can consistently land new clients. For this to be effective, we need deeper data. 

That’s where sales discovery questions come in. It gives SDRs the right insights, enabling them to provide the most value as the conversations deepen.

The Fundamentals of a Great Discovery Call Question

As a rule of thumb, discovery questions should be open-ended. These questions get your prospects talking. The more they talk, the more you learn how to provide value.

The questions also have to move the needle. It should help inform you on whether a prospect is qualified or not to purchase what you’re offering. 

Finally, excellent discovery call questions prime prospects for follow-ups. You get to keep the conversation going, allowing you to uncover deep-rooted pain points. 

Sales Discovery Call Questions That Help You Close Deals

Sales questions should be asked when the conversation demands them. Be flexible, give your prospects time to answer, and don’t be afraid of a little bit of awkward silence.

Here are nine high-converting sales discovery call questions you should be using in 2024: 

Can You Tell Me More About Your Company and Your Role?

Before asking this question, make sure you’ve done your due diligence. Research everything you can about your prospect first. The question is meant to fill in the gaps you can find online. 

Think of it as a rapport-building question. But, be mindful of little nuggets of information, like if your prospect’s role has any purchasing power. 

Remember, different roles can have other metrics for what makes an excellent product/service. So, after this question, you can follow up with “What KPIs are you responsible for in your role?”

Asking this question provides insight into the areas of business a prospect might be overseeing and the long and short-term challenges they face. 

What Are Your Immediate and Long-Term Goals?

Identifying your prospects’ goals during probing calls is a sales fundamental. As mentioned earlier, different roles can have other goals. 

Is your prospect seeking solutions to cut overhead costs, streamline labor-intensive tasks, or improve their overall customer experience?

These answers can be for the next week, quarter, or year. You get a sense of urgency from the prospect’s side.

This helps you position your pitch as a solution for reaching their goals within their timeline.  

What Is Your Ideal Goal and Implementation Timeline?

Implementing or onboarding your product/service takes time. But does it align with your prospect’s internal timelines, goals, or deadlines? 

Learning timelines provides insights into when a prospect can realistically start implementing a solution. You can ask follow-up questions like, “If you work with us, how long do you think it would take to finish the contract?”

Knowing when people can make a decision, by nature, aligns well with their goals. On your end, you benefit from better sales forecasting and future pacing.

Think of it as working in reverse. Once you know the timelines, you can determine the challenges preventing your prospects from hitting their goals. 

What Challenges Prevent You from Hitting Your Goals?

This question allows prospects to get into a challenge-oriented state of mind. The more precise the challenges are, the better your product looks if it can provide the proper solutions. 

Follow-ups should nudge prospects into thinking about real, specific problems. But remember, it’s a two-way street.

Your SDRs need the right sales enablement tools to seamlessly position your product/service as the ultimate solution to their issues. So, try out follow-up questions like:

“Why do you think you’re experiencing these problems? When did these issues start? Or What solutions have you tried to solve the issues?”

Add a sense of urgency once you get your prospects in that challenge-oriented mindset. Ask them what would happen if challenges aren’t resolved. 

What Happens If These Challenges Aren’t Resolved?

Re-iterating a sense of urgency can make prospects want immediate solutions to their problems. If the challenges or issues continue, would they miss quotas, spend a fortune on overhead, or waste time on non-dollar-productive tasks? 

Asking what would happen if the challenges aren’t resolved puts prospects into a “what-if scenario” wherein underlying issues are materialized. You must make them realize that keeping these issues on the back burner can lead to dire results. 

The next follow-up question could be: “What would success look like for you?” Success is measured differently, depending on who you’re talking to. Different stakeholders can have vastly different metrics or criteria for their ideal solution. 

Do You Already Have a Criteria For Your Ideal Solution?

Prospects won’t give up their criteria for choosing a new product quickly. But, if they do, the discovery call becomes as easy as a checklist. 

It almost acts as a guideline or a cheat sheet that sales personnel can use to highlight their products or services. You can follow up this question with “Who created those criteria?” 

If the prospect says it was them, you’re already talking to the right person. If not, you can ask who else should be involved in the call. 

Who Else Do You Think Should Be Involved In This Call?

There will be times when you’ve been talking to and nurturing prospects who don’t have the authority to make a purchase. That doesn’t necessarily mean it's time wasted. 

If the call has been going well, you’ve got a champion who already sees how beneficial your offer can be. All that’s left is to be pointed to the right person with the authority to make the sale. 

Once you’re talking to the right person, facilitating your prospect's budget and finding a middle ground becomes much more accessible. 

What is Your Ideal Budget For a Solution?

Conversations about budgets can be challenging to navigate. Before jumping to this topic, be sure you’ve built rapport, offered value, and positioned your product as a solid solution to their issue. 

At the same time, learning your prospects’ budget should happen during the early stages of the sales process, such as discovery the discovery call. 

Inquiring about the budget is necessary. You don’t want to waste time nurturing prospects, going through meetings and demos just to find that prospects don’t have the budget for your product. 

If We Can Solve X, Would You Commit to Y?

Let’s say your prospect has the budget to purchase your solution, already knows the value you bring to their business, and has the authority to buy—what’s next? 

You bring them into another hypothetical situation. “If we can solve your issues, would you commit to working with us?” 

When prospects say yes to this question, that’s hours of further nurturing and back-and-forth communications saved—essentially creating a one-call-close. 

If the prospect can’t commit, follow up with, “What can we do to make this process easier for you?” This way, you get actionable information to help close the deal.

Key Takeaways

Sales discovery calls are necessary during the early stages of the sales funnel. They help you better understand your prospect's needs and how you can better provide value. 

The questions you ask during discovery calls qualify prospects, position your product as the ultimate solution to pain points, and help facilitate the early stages of the sales process. 

As a quick recap, here are some best practices to consider when asking sales discovery questions:

  • Ask open-ended questions. You want prospects to take the lead. 
  • Use the questions about authority, budget, and timeline to qualify prospects further.
  • Prime prospects for follow-ups that allow you to uncover deeply-rooted issues.

If you want to book more meetings and sales discovery calls, you need the right outreach tool for nurturing prospects. That’s where Instantly comes in. Try it out today! 

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