Successfully scheduling a call with a lead is no easy feat. After all, not everyone can manage to secure a time slot in someone’s busy schedule. However, lead generation is only the first step of the sales process.

At this stage, you still don’t know whether or not the prospect is the right fit for your business. What can really spell the difference between starting a brand-new relationship with a customer or revisiting the prospecting process for another potential client is the discovery call.

What is a discovery call?

The discovery call is the stage in the sales process where you’ll qualify or disqualify a prospect. It’s during this call where you’ll find out if the lead is a good fit for you. You’ll also learn if your company could actually serve the prospects with their needs.

Simply saying, the discovery call’s primary objective is to discover the level of desire a prospect has for reaching their ideal outcomes. It’s like a doctor diagnosing a patient. So imagine yourself as a physician seeking to uncover someone’s problems. That way, you can prescribe the correct medication.

Depending on what you’re selling, a discovery call can only take anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour. That’s why you have to make the most out of it. It’s essential to learn as much information as possible about your buyer. You can do it by being spot on with your questions. The next time you go on a call check Refract or similar resources for some good discovery questions to ask your potential customers.

A sales discovery call sounds daunting to many marketers and business owners. However, it’s actually a pretty straightforward process as long as you prepare for it. That’s why in this post, you’ll learn how to plan and run sales discovery calls effectively. Let’s get started!

Things to do prior to the discovery call

Marketers need to be efficient with their time in a discovery call. They also have to provide a positive experience for potential clients. Note that effective discovery call planning is required to achieve both. That’s why before jumping on to the call, it’s essential to ensure that you’re aware of how the process will go. That way, you can avoid positioning yourself as someone unprofessional. Here’s what you can do:

Research your prospect


Each lead is unique. That’s why you have to optimize your upcoming conversation by tailoring your approach to each customer. Do it by researching your prospect. It’s the first step to planning out your discovery strategy.

The good news is that there are many ways to research your lead, and here are some of them:

A quick search on Google or social media platforms, such as Facebook or LinkedIn will allow you to gain a lot of insight into a specific lead’s interests and personal values.
Skim through the About Us page and blog articles of the lead’s website. Doing this is especially essential if you’re a B2B business.

That’s because you have to get a sense of your prospect company’s organizational structure. Visiting the lead’s website will allow you to learn about their overarching goals, too. Check the customer reporting tools of your CRM.

Take a look at your CRM software for any available information. Maybe you already have had previous interactions with the prospect. Therefore, you should review emails, tracked conversations, and other possible points of contact.

While researching, keep your eyes open for red flags or information that might disqualify a prospect. It can save you time and effort that you can use for qualifying other potential clients.

Structure a discovery call

After doing your research and gathering necessary information, it’s time to structure the discovery strategy. Here, you’ll decide what the call will look like. It means that you have to prepare what you’ll say and ask during the call.

It’s essential to go into the sales discovery call with a clear vision. What are you hoping to accomplish within the call’s time frame? Lay out the path to success based on your goals. Of course, don’t forget to tailor your strategy to fit your and your client’s needs.

Discovery calls typically involve the following:

  • Introductions
  • Setting of expectations
  • Diving into discovery
  • Sharing the solution

This step-by-step process can help you close more clients consistently. Read on for a walk through each of these steps.

Running successful discovery calls: Step-by-step process

A sales methodology is the most vital ingredient of a discovery call. It’s a step-by-step system that’ll help you close more sales. It’ll also help you guide potential clients to sell themselves. As a result, there won’t be hard selling on your part.

It’s highly recommended to take the following steps when running a discovery call to be more effective:

Introduce yourself to build rapport


Recent consumer trends will tell you that people buy from individuals that they like and trust. That’s why the first step in effective discovery calls is to build rapport with your prospect.

The homework you’ve done before the call can offer great help as you take this step. Use the intelligence you found to find something to talk about that can help build familiarity quickly.

Let the prospect know how the call will go

Once you’ve built rapport, it’s essential to set call expectations. Let the customer know how long the call will take. You also have to tell them what types of questions they can expect in your conversation. One thing to keep in mind here is the importance of letting the prospect know that you’re asking questions to ensure that you can, in fact, help solve their problems.

Qualify/disqualify the buyer


It’s time to learn about the prospect’s needs and goals. Here, you’ll need to prepare a list of questions that can help you dive into discovery. Again, there are many resources available online for discovery call questions. A good example is the one provided in this article.

When asking questions, ensure that you’re paying close attention to whatever the prospect says. Consider what those things might mean for the deal. The potential client’s tone of voice is also something that you have to take into account.

Share a solution to the prospect’s pain

The previous step will allow you to find out the prospect’s pains or needs. Now, it’s time to demonstrate how your product or service can be the solution they’re looking for to their pain points.

Discuss your solution by explaining your product or service while touching on the needs of the potential buyer. Of course, don’t forget to address any objections and share other clients’ success stories after experiencing problems similar to that of the prospect.

The final step is to wrap up everything with a shared understanding of the things that will happen next.

Final Thoughts

Congratulations on learning how to plan and run sales discovery calls effectively! Now it’s time to nail an actual discovery call. Are you ready? Remember that flexibility is the key to your success. If you have to break the script and ask questions outside your original list to stay relevant, then by all means do so. Don’t be afraid to go with the flow. As long as you keep your eye on the goal of qualifying prospects and learning about their pain points, you’ll be fine.