If you try to explore, there's a whole world of potential customers looking for the best fit. And that's why the sales discovery call is essential. But what is it?

Think of the sales discovery call as a casual coffee meeting between you and a potential client. It's important to determine the customer's needs (and pain points), their budget, and whether they fit your products or services well.

Since you can spend up to 20 hours with a customer before closing a deal (according to HubSpot), this discovery call helps you weed out potential leads who aren't actually in the market for your solutions.

A sales discovery call is a good way of qualifying a lead for your sales team to focus on. It can also help you determine the deal's potential value, which is helpful in sales forecasting.

Discovering the sales discovery call

A sales discovery call can differ from a cold call in that you already have made some contact with the lead (in person or online), or they express interest in buying from you.

Here's generally how a sales call comes together, step-by-step:

1. Research your prospect for background information, which can be helpful during the sales call.

You can do some of the research during the initial sales call.

  • "What markets does your company currently serve?"

  • "What products/services does your company hope to offer?"

2. Find out their current projects. Ask them what their significant barriers are.

  • "What are the biggest challenges in reaching your current goals?"

  • "In what ways (if any) does your competition have an advantage? What would bring you to that level or beyond?"

3. Drill down further into the source of their sticking points.

You can help move them forward even before they purchase your services, which they'll appreciate. This is one way to nurture future sales opportunities.

  • "What repetitive tasks does your staff spend the most time on?"

  • "What are some approaches to the issue that haven't worked already?"

  • "In what ways are your current vendors falling short in meeting your needs?"

4. Determine whether you offer specific solutions to their problems based on research and your buyer personas

If so, this is your chance to schedule a follow-up call/meeting to structure a deal.

  • "Can we meet to review our solutions that will fit your needs?"

  • "Who is in charge of purchasing, and can we include them?"

5. The sales discovery call is also an opportunity to disqualify prospects or at least prioritize them

For example, find out if their goal timelines fit your solutions.

  • "When do you hope to institute changes or upgrades?"

  • "Which improvements are a priority to you now?"

  • "What is your approximate budget for third-party solutions?"

Don't overthink the length of a sales discovery call

These calls should be conversational in nature but also gather key information. Use open-ended questions that allow prospects to go into detail—avoid "yes or no" type questions that won't reveal anything.

While some sources suggest sales calls should exceed two minutes and cap at 10 minutes, there's no magic formula. (This LinkedIn article says call length has little influence when furthering a sale.)

It's more important to leave the prospect with a good impression, knowing you have solutions to fix their problems within their budget. Then you can more easily move them through the sales funnel—from meeting to discuss more details to closing the deal. Our Customer Retention & Growth Wrkflow can take it from there.

The discovery stage can help you close more deals

The discovery call helps you lay the groundwork to make a meaningful sale with a client with whom you are likely to do business on an ongoing basis. If you've done your homework, you can tell a prospect exactly how you can solve their problems and provide all the follow-up support they need. (You can also use our Ticket Routing & Escalation Wrkflow to streamline support requests.)

Another advantage of the discovery call is that it helps you move a prospect over the finish line if they hesitate to close a deal. You can reiterate the benefits of your solutions, reminding them why your products are the right fit.

Discover how Wrk can help you automate tasks across several departments by booking a demo today!