It takes an average of 8 touches to get an initial meeting with a new prospect (and that call may be the rep’s one and only chance to speak with that potential new customer). This is mostly because prospects do a lot of research online and narrow their solution options before speaking to a salesperson. Additionally, B2B buyers spend only 17% of their time speaking with potential suppliers. This is reduced to as little as 4-5% of their decision-making time per sales rep when they’re considering multiple solutions.
That’s why the sales discovery call is so important - a really critical part of your process to nail with the right technique. It’s that one opportunity to make the cut and to keep the buyer considering your solution. But there’s more to know about sales discovery calls and their importance in the sales process than that.
What is a sales discovery call?
The sales discovery call is the first conversation with a prospect in the sales process. This call is a valuable opportunity for a sales rep to get to know the potential customer and understand the buyer’s needs, challenges, priorities, and goals. The insights gained during an effective sales discovery call enable a sales rep to determine if your product or service is a good solution for the specific prospect.
Why is the sales discovery call so important?
Since reps only have one chance to start the sales process with each prospect, it's essential that they get it right. After all, there’s a lot riding on this call. Here are some of the things that reps need to accomplish in order to nail their sales discovery calls.
1) Demonstrate understanding
Buyers want to speak with sales reps who take the time to do their homework. Prospects expect sellers to demonstrate a strong understanding of their company, industry, common challenges and how your solution improves their day-to-day. They don’t want to spend their time educating salespeople on things they should already know. By showing potential customers you already understand them, it puts you in their good graces and sets a positive tone for future engagements.
Being armed with a clear understanding, complete with essential details, enables the creation of a tailor-made solution designed to best meet the customer’s requirements. It also makes it easier for the rep to serve up quality content and insights to better guide the prospect through their buying journey (which is another thing that buyers prefer!)
2) Chance to stand out
There are key characteristics buyers find desirable. Listening, for example, has been shown to be so appealing to buyers that sales reps who make the effort to listen intently have the ability to influence them. Other ways reps can differentiate themselves from their competitors during a discovery call is by uncovering the full set of buyer needs, communicating value, and showing buyers what’s possible.
3) Qualify the prospect
Lead qualification is a key element of the discovery call. Preparing ahead of time, asking the right questions and actively listening enables reps to determine if a prospect matches your ideal customer persona and is a good fit for your product or service.
Disqualifying a prospect at this point is just as important as qualifying. By disqualifying a lead, you free up more time to spend with potential buyers who are more likely to become paying customers, which ultimately increases overall close rates while increasing productivity.
4) Start a trusting relationship
Buyers want a relationship with sellers. They don’t want to be pursued for a sale and then forgotten. The discovery call is the best time to develop rapport with the buyer and build trust by demonstrating understanding, which you can do by listening intently and asking the right questions.
Qualifying the prospect also builds trust by ensuring the sales process won’t be a waste of their time. By gathering all the necessary information during this first call, you show the prospect that solving their problem is important. This all lays the groundwork for a trusting relationship between the sales rep and the prospect.
The discovery call is the one opportunity for the sales rep to demonstrate that they are worthy of the buyer’s valuable time and it’s critical to get right. Not only is it essential that the rep proves themselves during the call, but also to gather deep insights while weeding out prospects who aren’t the right fit. This approach sets them up for increased productivity and an overall better close rate.
Interested in increasing your team’s productivity and close rates with better discovery calls? Book a demo with a member of our team to see how Jiminny can help you improve sales performance across your team.