Selling is no easy feat. Sales managers are constantly looking for the secret sauce to lead their teams to success. And let me tell you, every aspect of your selling process is crucial. A weak link in the chain can seriously dent your closing percentage. But one stage that reigns supreme in the selling process is discovery questioning. Some might call it the needs analysis stage, but simply identifying the need won’t cut it.
As a sales manager, if you’re hungry for improvements in your service/product presentation, stronger relationships with prospects or clients, and more closed deals, then listen up. Channel the majority of your energy into honing the discovery questioning skills of your sales team. Trust me, it’ll make a world of difference. 🚀
Table of Contents
You can use these links to jump straight to the part of the article that interests you most.
> What is discovery in sales.
> Why is discovery important in the sales process.
> 10 reasons why discovery is crucial in closing deals.
> Different types of discovery questions.
> Discovery hints and tips.
What is discovery in sales
Discovery in sales can be defined as the process of uncovering, understanding and addressing a prospect’s or client’s problems, needs, pain points, and goals. This step goes beyond simply identifying what they want to buy. It involves digging deeper to understand their motivations, challenges, and desired outcomes.
Why is discovery important in the sales process
By asking the right discovery questions, salespeople can:
- Gather important information about the prospect’s needs and preferences
- Uncover potential objections or challenges that may hinder the sale
- Build rapport and trust with the prospect by showing genuine interest and understanding
In short, discovery is a crucial step in the sales process, setting the foundation for a successful deal.
10 reasons why discovery is crucial in closing deals
Getting your discovery right will turn you into a leading sales team contender and help give you the edge against competitors. Here are 10 reasons why:
- You will help the prospect to identify problems or challenges they didn’t realise existed and, in turn, broaden your possible solution.
- You can frame the conversation around solutions, and that creates the image that your company solves problems, not just pushes products or services.
- Stong discovery helps you determine how to customise your service/product presentation to ensure you focus on the benefits and solutions that are the most relevant and most important to the customer.
- Through the discovery process, you have an opportunity to establish yourself as credible by demonstrating your understanding of the prospect’s industry or market.
- Discovery allows you to assess the prospect’s buying and communication style, which helps to ensure your presentations and proposals are targeted to how they wish to receive and process information.
- Discovery should result in the identification of the decision criteria and decision-makers.
- If you ask the right questions during discovery, you will establish the consequences of the prospect of not acting.
- Discovery gives you a glimpse of the potential objections and gives you the opportunity to answer them early in the conversation.
- Working with the prospect through the discovery phases means you can explore the value and/or importance of solving the problem.
- Discovery often presents an opportunity for you to begin the closing process very early in the conversation, which means the closing becomes a foregone conclusion.
Different types of discovery questions
The best discovery questions tend to fall into four categories, as follows:
- Circumstance questions collect data and facts
- Challenge questions reveal problems, challenges, and dissatisfactions
- Consequence questions explore the consequences or implications of a problem
- Value – Benefit questions uncover the value of solving the problem and the urgency to do so
Discovery hints and tips
On his Podcast, Jeb Blount states that 80% of the sales process happens in Discovery, and this is when prospects decide to buy. With that in mind, I hope these hints and tips help you maximise your discovery.
Qualify leads first
Mastering the art of sales qualification unlocks a treasure trove of opportunities! Imagine this: when you’ve identified that your prospects are highly qualified, you can dive headfirst into uncovering their deepest pain points. But beware! If you skip this crucial step, you might find yourself wandering aimlessly in the desert of confusion, pitching solutions to problems that aren’t even within your power to solve. Let’s save everyone’s precious time by focusing only on the challenges we can conquer together!
Make it about them, not you
Discovering your prospect’s needs and desires is essential for successful sales, yet it’s a challenge that many sales professionals try to avoid. That’s a hu-uuuuge mistake!
Even if you think the problem and solution are obvious, your prospects may not see it that way. So, instead of just talking about your product’s features, you must dive deep into understanding what your customers truly want and why they’re considering your solution. It’s about aligning your offering with their specific needs.
When you take the time to find out what your prospects really care about, you become their trusted consultant. You become the person who can solve their problems. But here’s the catch: you can only do this if you’re completely selfless during the discovery process.
That means putting aside your own agenda and being genuinely curious. Ask them questions about their business, their challenges, and their goals. This will allow you to craft a tailored proposal that speaks directly to their needs. And having a solid, repeatable sales process that prioritises the prospect will make all the difference.
At the end of the day, selling and building relationships is an uphill battle if you don’t genuinely care. So embrace the power of discovery and watch your sales soar!
Sell solutions, not products
Your prospects aren’t just looking for a product; they’re seeking solutions to their problems. And it’s your chance to make that connection, to show them how your offering is the cure they’ve been longing for.
Vincent Burruano, a renowned sales expert, once said, ‘Facts and logic may not be enough to motivate people. It’s emotions that truly drive change.’ So, if you want to move your customers, you need to help them envision a better future through your product.
Your mission? Unearth their pain points, paint a vivid picture of their struggles, and highlight how your value proposition can bring relief. By making the pain tangible and quantifiable, they will realise that your solution is the key to their happiness.
But here’s the secret ingredient: belief. You must genuinely believe in your product, wholeheartedly. It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many salespeople miss this crucial aspect. When you radiate confidence and passion, your prospects will be drawn to your conviction and trust in your solution.
Focus on the outcome
The key to sales success boils down to whether your solution aligns perfectly with their problems? If you wrap up a discovery call with a crystal-clear understanding of how you can help them, then kudos to you!
You just aced the sales discovery process. But hold up, your prospect may not be aware yet that you’re their problem-solving superhero because you haven’t showcased your amazing offer or validated your solution. So, let’s circle back to the golden rule – It’s not about you, it’s all about them.
In conclusion, the discovery phase of the sales process is crucial for success. It allows sales professionals to identify the prospect’s needs, decision criteria, and objections early on, which can lead to a more targeted and tailored solution.
By asking the right types of questions and focusing on the prospect’s needs, rather than pushing a product, salespeople can become trusted consultants who genuinely care about solving problems.
Additionally, by showcasing the value and benefits of their solution and aligning it with the prospect’s pain points, salespeople can create a strong emotional connection that drives change.
Ultimately, the discovery process is about understanding the prospect and their desired outcome, which sets the foundation for a successful sale.
So, as a sales manager, be sure to channel your energy into honing the discovery questioning skills of your sales team for maximum success.
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