Step by Step to Nail Every Sales Discovery Call

barista editorial board

June 13, 2022 / 6 Min Read

Discovery call set the tone for the whole deal and will determine how each and every call in the sales process will look from that call on. It’s the first impression your client will have with you and is crucial for establishing your relationship. Get it right, you’ll gain your buyer’s trust and get crucial information on how to conduct the rest of the deal. Get it wrong, and any further interaction with your prospect will be in vain, as eventually, she’ll ditch you. So, you better read barista AI editorial board tips to nail every single discovery call from the get-go. 


What is a discovery call?

The discovery call is the most important call in the sales process. Apart from the important qualification process that discovery questions can uncover, the sales discovery call is all about understanding the buyer’s needs and making sure you can actually help them solve a specific problem or pain. In addition, the discovery call is an opportunity for the seller to understand what the buying process looks like in the prospect’s organization. Who needs to be involved? What needs to be approved? What KPIs are they focusing on and so on and so forth? If successful, you’ll leave the discovery call armed with how to demonstrate best your solution and with a map to navigate the deal. 

Understanding how to execute a discovery call properly is key for the rest of the deal. After all, you only have one shot of making a remarkable first impression on your prospect. 


Define a goal for the discovery call

Like always, you cannot expect to have a good meeting without defining a meeting goal

  • Qualify the client 
  • Reveal the client’s main problems and build trust
  • Demonstrate how client’s problems can be solved 

In order to know what is the most suitable goal for the call, a good preparation is required.


How to prepare for a discovery call?

In order to have a meaningful sales discovery call, you need to prepare for it properly. The most important part of the preparation is researching your prospects. Your buyers hate to be asked questions that could be found easily online.

To nail a discovery call you need to nail every question. Good preparation will help you ask detailed questions that will reveal your client’s day to day and most urgent needs. You can prepare slides to structure the call, but carefully decide whether to use them or not, depend on your meeting goal.

A good way to start is with Linkedin. Learn about the company and what are its main priorities these days. You can also go to their website’s ‘press release’ tab that includes funding status, news product, updates, and new key people that they’ve hired. Then, map out the the organization in terms of buying process. Who are the decision-makers and gatekeepers? Who needs to be involved in the sales cycle? Once you’ve mapped out the decision-makers, Google them and try to learn more about them on a deeper level. 

In addition, you can take a look at the careers page, to see what are their main focus in terms of hiring. Typically based on who they’re hiring, you can hypothesize what is the direction they’re looking to go into. For instance, if they’re looking to hire a lot of sales reps, that means the revenue number has increased. If they’re hiring a lot of people for product, that probably means that there may be product updates coming out soon. So the indicators of hiring can tell you where the company’s going.

The goal is getting to know the prospect as much as you can before the call. Any findings of your research should be related to helping the business solve a problem with your product. 


Qualification part of the discovery call

Even if you’ve prepared properly, it is still possible that you’ll question whether the prospect is qualified or not. Therefore, there are some situational questions you prospects ask your client to qualify them (but make sure that the answers for those questions couldn’t be found online):

  • How do you solve [this problem] today?
  • Why do you do so that way?
  • What is your process [for solving this problem]?
  • What’s prompting you to do something about this challenge/opportunity now?
  • Did you consider other solutions?
  • How much budget do you have [for solving this problem]?
  • What is the impact [of this problem on your business]?
  • Do you anticipate any pushback from your colleagues or superiors against this solution?


Coming prepared for a call is not an excuse to exhausted your prospects with too many questions or making her feel like she is interviewed. Remember, it is not about you asking questions, it is about the prospect sharing her pains. Distribute the questions evenly throughout the call and conduct and an engaging and interesting conversation. That is key for the customer on the other side to share as much as possible on her pains.


Uncovering pains in the discovery call

After you learned enough about the prospect to assume that you are able to solve her problems, that is where selling begins. But have no mistake, it is not about pitching yet. It is about deeper questions around real pain points of the prospect’s day to day, so you could tailor her the most suitable solution. It may be that the prospect is unaware of few problems she has, nevertheless, you should still ask problems that will surface key priorities and common ground for their needs and your solution:

  • What are your biggest challenges this year?
  • What is your main priorities for this year?
  • What does quantitative success look like for your business?
  • One of the most common issues we keep hearing about is [blank]. Is this an issue for you?
  • What are your normal daily tasks so I can better understand how we could help you? 
  • What spillover benefits or qualitative results would you like to see from this deal?


The more your prospect will spill out the better you could draw an attractive partnership later on and handle objections better.


Envision a mutual future

Now, it is time to intensify the pains of your client to the point you can draw a vision of rainbows and unicorns when partnering with you, compared to the nightmare of a life without you. It starts with mapping the prospect’s pains. It’s time to discover how big those pains are, and if they are not, make them big. You can do so by asking questions that talk about the consequences of the cost of inaction. Ask question that will lead to a conversation around the life without addressing those problem:

  • How [this problem] is impacting the entire team?
  • How much money are you wasting [when trying to solve this problem]?
  • What happens if you fail to achieve [your goals]?


When you’re shedding more light on the prospects’ pains implications, they become exposed. This is your best chance to become a trustworthy consultant, and map for them the best route to a safe shore. That way, they’ll feel understood and will be open to hear how you can partner together.

After intensifying the pains, it is time to instruct their imagination and help them see a mutual vision. This is when social proof case studies comes very handy. A lot of reps runaway to social proof too soon in the call, before the prospect understand that she has a problem. But after building discovering the most significant pains, and creating urgency around their implications, examples of real ROI from real stories increase the prospect’s intent to buy.


 Commit to a next step

The best way to know if the discovery call was successful, is trying to push for another event in the calendar on spot. If you did a good job in making the prospect feel understood and build real intent to partner together, there is no reason why she won’t schedule another call to talk about your solution more in detailed. If things go well, you’ll have in the calendar a product demo where you can demonstrate solution for each and every pain the prospect shared with you.