Essential Elements of an Effective Discovery Meeting

Men and women at conference table meeting

Most sales leaders can agree that the most important customer interaction is the first one – the discovery meeting. It can make or break a customer relationship.

The old way to run a discovery call has historically been seller-centric, asking qualifying questions, reading off a list of benefits, and finishing things off with a generic pitch.

But today, customers have more power than ever. They need things to be more about them, understandably so. To run a successful discovery call today, you need to turn the tables a bit, making it about the customer and how your product can help them and less about the countless features your product offers.

What makes a discovery call good is partially the questions, but it’s also what happens in between, which is what too many salespeople lose track of.

In this article, we’re breaking down the most important elements of discovery meetings and discussing the types of questions you should be asking to see more successful, consistent results.

Pre-Meeting Homework

While there’s plenty of opportunity to learn more about a prospect on the discovery call, that also takes up valuable time that could be spent solving pain points with product benefits. To maximize the time a salesperson has with the prospect, it’s important to take the initiative and time to do some preemptive research.

“There is something to be said about taking the time to understand the customer’s lay of the land,” says B-Lynk founder Katie Merrill. “The more homework the sales rep can do prior to the meeting, the better.”

Researching and showing the prospect that you’ve taken the time to learn about their business before the meeting can go a long way, especially when trying to build trust between the customer and the salesperson. Plus, it frees up time on the call to dive deeper into their needs and gives you a chance to illustrate how your solution can help.

Types of Questions to Ask

There are a lot of opinions out there about what questions to ask during a sales discovery meeting, but we recommend a specific two-prong approach.

The first kind of questions we recommend asking on discovery calls are Rapport Building questions. These help the salesperson create a connection to the customer and get to know them better. These include questions around the business, their role in the company, what they’re most happy with about their current UC solution, and what they’re unhappy with.

Next, pivot to what we call Business Impact questions, which are designed to start a larger conversation around their business processes so you can identify where there’s room for improvement. Ultimately, these conversations give the salesperson an opportunity to showcase the benefits of the UC product.

But it’s important to note that a discovery call is not an inquisition. It’s a two-way conversation, and there’s an art to that.

The Art of Asking Questions

When it comes to these questions, it really is a bit of an art. The sales representative’s goal is to get enough information from the prospect to put together a solution that addresses their current needs, overcomes current challenges they’re facing, and provides them with more capabilities than they had before.

The best way to do that is through listening. In fact, we’d say it’s the top skill a good Cloud UC salesperson can have today – listening to their answers enough to use it as context for further questions, never asking something the prospect’s already covered, and showing comprehension by summarizing what they said afterward.

More Effective Discovery Calls Drive Sales

An effective discovery meeting is about the questions and everything in between. It’s about all the work leading up to the discovery meeting, doing your homework and coming to the meeting with a baseline understanding of their business. It’s about connecting on a foundational level before diving into qualifying questions, building a rapport and creating the start of a long-lasting relationship. It’s about listening to their answers and understanding how to showcase your product in light of what they’ve shared.

In addition to our UC end-user training, B-Lynk also offers sales training to get your team up to speed on new product launches, new campaigns, or simply refresh their skills so they can become more effective at closing sales. We offer this training in various formats, from e-learning courses to video training.

To learn more about B-Lynk’s solution selling approach to UC training, get in touch.