Increase Your Win Rates with Better Discovery Calls (Pt. 2)
In part one of our discovery call series, we discussed why these calls are critically important (you can read about it here in case you missed it), but what about preparation? What steps should sales reps take prior to each discovery call to ensure success?
Research shows that preparation makes the rep and your solution more attractive to the buyer if it's a good match for their desired goals. Plus, reps who do their homework can dig deeper to uncover the buyer’s full set of needs. According to another study, this gives sales reps the power to influence the buyer’s decisions. And who doesn’t want that?
How to prepare for an effective discovery call
Although prospects may share attributes, industries, needs, or challenges, each one brings unique characteristics as well. So, it’s important for reps to do their homework in advance of discovery calls to ensure their success.
Research, Research, Research
Start by gathering information about your prospect, their company and their industry. With the vast amount of information available online, this investigation shouldn’t take more than five to fifteen minutes per prospect.
Before researching prospects, reps should check the company CRM. It’s important to determine if anyone in your company has ever engaged with this potential customer previously and what the outcome was. Plus, this may provide additional valuable insights.
It’s helpful to know some personal and professional facts about a prospect before speaking with them. Having this knowledge enables reps to prepare questions that help build rapport and start the conversation off on a positive note.
Look for locations, previous employers, schools, or interests in common. This can help launch the conversation by bringing up identified commonalities.
Next, reps need to confirm the prospect’s job title to determine which buyer persona to refer to. This will reveal which problems the potential customer is likely to be dealing with. Knowing this allows the rep to prepare questions around these possible challenges and determine how your solution might address them.
When seeking insights about a prospect’s company, start by looking at the company website and social media pages. Then search for recent news articles about the company. Information about the prospect’s business that reps should be focusing on include:
· Product or service offering
· Their standing in the marketplace
· Annual sales
· If they’ve had, or are anticipating, a merger or acquisition
· If there are any apparent pain points that your solution would solve
It’s also a good idea to find the company’s competitors and what your company’s relationships are with them. It’s helpful to know if any of these competitors are currently using your solution.
Being current with industry data is always a good idea. If the prospect’s industry is one that isn’t encountered on a routine basis, it might be time to do a quick refresher on what is happening in their sector. Doing a Google search should reveal any key trends or changes occurring in the industry and help guide the line of discovery questions. It’s also beneficial to know which industry the prospect is in because you may already have clients in the industry, providing deeper insights around how the prospect may benefit from your solution.
Pre-qualify the lead before the call
Only 50% of prospects are a good fit for your solution. It’s best to learn this before investing valuable sales time on a call with a lead that is unlikely to become a paying customer. So, taking the time to review the facts uncovered during pre-call research can be a real time-saver. It decreases the number of discovery calls while increasing productivity and close rates. And it’s a result of spending more time with highly qualified prospects.
Identify the gaps
Gathering all this prospect information enables reps to prepare to build rapport and trust. Plus knowing which department and position the lead is in helps identify common needs and challenges ahead of the call. It also makes it possible to have a better conversation with the potential customer instead of interrogating them. This previous knowledge allows reps to share what they know and ask deeper questions from the start to fill in the gaps instead of starting from scratch, which frustrates prospects, potentially alienating them.
Post call preparation
An effective discovery call is only the beginning of the sales process. So, why not keep up the momentum by preparing a “leave behind” content package to be shared with the prospect immediately following the call. Having a selection of relevant blog posts, eBooks, videos, or reports ready makes it easier to send them off without hesitation. This puts valuable insights from your company at the fingertips of your prospect for easy reference as they work through their buying process.
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.