Acing The Discovery Call

Approaches To Acing The Discovery Call Every Salesperson Needs To Know

Zurab Samushia
Sep 25, 2021

What is the most essential key in conducting a discovery call? Below, we also explain what a discovery call is, how to prepare for it correctly, lead it effectively, and why it is important.

Discovery call definition and actual meaning

A discovery call is the first call you’re making to your potential customer or lead to find out whether you match each other. This may happen when a person or company has signed up for your demo, e-mail, free trial, or left their contact information expressing an interest in being contacted. The first consideration is to find out if your offer (of product/service) matches the pain points of a potential lead and if you are capable of helping them. According to one of the latest studies, around 50% of potential clients won’t fit you.

Without adding too much pressure: a discovery call is the most important contact, which defines whether you will be working together or not and what relations you will be having in the future. Although this is not a call for sales, it can bring deals, depending on circumstances, as well as a cold call.

A list of sales discovery questions

Before making a discovery call, you should thoroughly prepare. First, find out everything you can about your potential customer through the data retrieved from your CRM (if any) and by Googling, using social media, a lead’s website, and any other source of possible information. As studies show, over 70% of customers want a caller to know them, at least basically. If you have the e-data of a lead, you could schedule a call beforehand so after doing your homework to avoid calling out of the blue.

After you've finished preparing, now you go straight to the most critical part of the sales process: personalize your offer, make a list of questions to ask and the ways of overcoming future negations.

Below, we’re considering a typical process of your conversation. You can easily implement and alter depending on the situation:

1. Set an agenda.

Introduce yourself and your company and explain briefly what your company does. Inform a lead about the purpose of your call and be concise to save time for both of you.

2. Find common ground.

By asking, find out who the lead is and what pain points they have. During this, it is advisable to ask questions according to the list of sales discovery questions. They might sound like:

  • What is your role in the company and your goals?
  • What challenges do you face? How have you addressed them before, and what are you planning to do this time?
  • How are you using X product now, and why do you dislike it or want to improve it?
  • How are you planning to achieve your goals?
  • What solutions are you looking for?
  • What are your budget limitations and other constraints, including timeline?
  • What benefits of the introduction of solution X do you expect?
  • What are your current obstacles in making your decision?
  • What are your criteria for choosing, and how could I help you in adopting it?

Surely, you shan't ask them in those exact words or order – alter their shape to your needs, tone of the conversation, language preferences, etc. Also, remember that the best salespeople casually insert the questions through the entire discussion – exactly to make it feel like a conversation, not an FBI interrogation.

Do not hope to convert all discovery calls into sales! However, calling a lead should be made by a professional salesman with a batch of proactive techniques to improve the possibility of a good outcome.

3. Be personal.

Make your conversation flow. Be positive and add jokes occasionally to break the ice. Find the pains of a lead and reveal how your offer can respond to them. Try to be helpful and act like a friend. Be a good listener, form a rapport.

4. Use clear and universal language

Refrain from jargon and professional slang. Try making your words as clear to people as possible, without dubious or ambiguous expressions and phrases. Try to clearly express yourself when telling how your product/service works. For the best outcome, you must know about the usage of phone sales techniques.

5. Explain the benefits

After you have found out their struggles, show how your service could help. Insert success stories of other customers to elevate the level of trust.

6. Highlight your uniqueness

Explain why a lead should buy from you: what makes you better than the market competition?

7. Stay flexible

Build your conversation based on the time constraints, interest of a person you’re talking to, and other factors affecting your call for sales.

8. Plan your next steps

If you’re not selling at this stage, plan your future actions (meetings, presentations, tests, other calls, mailing a product test, etc.) to hook the time for future sales.


Now you know that discovery calls and sales calls are not the same things. The first, however, can effectively translate into the second if you’re using time-tested sales techniques and do the proper preparation before making the call. Furthermore, if a client relationship is discontinued as a result of this conversation – this is a good result, too, as you save time and effort for yourself first and foremost.
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