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Discovery call checklist

What does a discovery call checklist look like? What should be in it? How should I prepare for one? These are all important questions to ask when trying to get the job done.

We’ve compiled a list of things you can do before, during, and after your next discovery call to help ensure success. Read on to find out more.

What is a discovery call checklist?

A discovery call checklist is a list of items that need to be completed before, during, and after a discovery call within the sales process.

This includes tasks such as preparing for the call, gathering information beforehand, taking notes during it, and following up afterwards.

Having a checklist can help ensure that nothing is missed and that you make the most of your time while qualifying a prospective buyer.

The importance of a discovery call checklist

It is important to have a discovery call checklist because it helps you prepare for the call and to make sure that you have the sales skills to get the most out of it.

Following a discovery call checklist allows you to be organized and efficient during your time with the prospect. Thanks to that, you will be able to spend less time preparing and more time selling.

Furthermore, you can avoid missing out on important information that may be relevant to the discovery call.
Who can benefit from a discovery call checklist

  • sales marketing team members

First, sales marketing team members can benefit from following a discovery call checklist. They are the people who usually make such calls to prospects and so they need to be prepared in order to give their best performance during each conversation.

  • sales manager

Second, sales leaders can also benefit from a discovery call checklist. Managing a team of people who make these phone calls to prospects is no easy task, so time management is essential. It enables them to launch sales tactics efficiently and become successful salespeople who achieve their business goals.

  • sales professionals

Last but not least, sales reps can also use a discovery call checklist to their advantage. By being prepared for each call and knowing what is expected of them, they will be able to focus on selling rather than on the logistics of the call.

Explore the discovery call checklist

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Discovery call checklist

The first step in preparing for a discovery call is to plan the call. This includes deciding who will be on the call, what the agenda will be, and what information needs to be gathered beforehand.

Why is it important to plan the call?

First of all, it is important to plan because you need to know who will be on the other end of the phone and what information they have before making a discovery call.
Moreover, having an agenda for the call will help you stay focused and ensure that you cover all of the important topics. Finally, gathering information in advance will allow you to spend more time on the call asking sales discovery questions and getting to know the prospect.

^Discovery call^ checklist
Professionals always plan ahead (source: nerdynaut.com)

How to handle planning the call?

Before initiating a new sales discovery process with prospects, make sure your contact list is up-to-date so that there are no surprises during the call.

You should also check if any new information has been added to the company’s website or social media pages, so that you are able to ask relevant questions during the conversation.

Finally, consider having a professional script writer create an agenda for your discovery calls.

Which tools to use for planning a call?

  • spreadsheets containing data
  • contact management software
  • email marketing software with automated drip sequences for nurturing leads
  • social media listening tools
  • prospect research tools

Once you have planned the call, it is time to qualify your potential buyer. This includes determining whether or not they are a good fit for what you offer and deciding on the next steps after the client discovery process has been completed.

Why is qualifying your buyer important?

Qualifying your buyer is important because it allows you to focus on those who are a good fit for your product or service. This saves both you and the prospect time and energy, as neither of you will have to go through the process of discussing something that is not a good match.

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Finding professional buyers

How to handle qualifying your buyer?

The best way to qualify a buyer is to ask questions that will help you understand their needs and whether or not your product or service can meet them. Some of the questions you can ask are:

  • What are your current business challenges?
  • What are your goals for the future?
  • How is your company currently generating leads?
  • What type of current solution are you considering?

What tools to use for qualifying your buyer?

  • prospect questionnaires
  • buyer persona templates
  • qualification matrices

Once you have qualified your buyer, it is time to diagnose their needs. You need to determine what problems they are currently facing and understand the solutions that will best fit them.

Why is diagnosing the prospect’s needs important?

Diagnosing the prospect’s needs is important because it ensures that you are able to give them a solution that will truly meet their business challenges.

Moreover, knowing exactly what they are looking for allows you to position your product or service in an efficient way when speaking with them. Asking about their needs gives you an advantage because you already know what will work and what won’t.

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It’s best to meet prospect needs

How to handle diagnosing the prospect’s needs?

The best way to diagnose a buyer’s needs is by asking questions that will help you understand their specific challenges and how they can be addressed with your product or service.

The more specific the questions are, the better you will be able to understand the prospect’s needs.

What tools to use for diagnosing the prospect’s needs?

  • surveys (e.g. NPS)
  • sales pipeline assessment tools
  • competitor analysis
  • persona templates

The SPIN model is a sales technique that can be used to determine the prospect’s buying status and help close more deals. It stands for Situation, Problem, Implication, and Needs.

Why is using the SPIN model important?

Using the SPIN model is important because it allows you to identify key information about your prospect and how they are currently responding to salespeople
If a buyer’s status does not match up with your own, you need to find out why this is the case so that you can address any issues before moving forward.

Spin selling
SPIN model for better selling (source: lucidchart.com)

How to handle using the SPIN model?

The best way to use the SPIN model is by asking questions that will help you understand how your prospect is currently responding and what information they are looking for. This allows you to adapt quickly and approach them in a more effective way.

What tools to use for the SPIN model?

  • prospect surveys
  • spreadsheets
  • software for managing your sales process
  • CRM software

Preparing a list of questions gives you the sales opportunity to research the company and understand the business challenges of your prospects so that you can ask relevant questions.

Why is preparing a list of questions in advance important?

Preparing a list of questions in advance is important because it allows you to be more prepared when speaking with a prospect.

How to handle preparing a list of questions in advance?

The best way to prepare a list of questions in advance is by putting together a questionnaire that will help you understand the buyer’s needs and how they are currently responding.

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Preparing the right questions

Asking these types of questions can be difficult so it’s important to know what type of information you need before speaking with them.

What tools to use for preparing a list of questions in advance?

  • contact forms and surveys
  • an FAQ page on your website
  • buying cycle templates
  • sales call cheat sheets

The call duration can determine how much time you have with your prospects to learn about their needs during the purchase process.

Why is it important to set a call duration?

Setting a call duration is important because it allows you to plan your time effectively and know what you need to accomplish during the call. This also gives the prospect an idea of how long the call will be and when they can expect to hear back from you.

Setting a call duration is important because it allows you to plan your sales pitch accordingly. You need to make sure that you are able to address all of the buyer’s questions and concerns in the allotted time.

Call Center Templates
Deciding call duration

How to handle setting the call duration?

The best way to set the call duration is by finding out when the prospect is available and what their preferred calling times are. It’s also good to know whether they prefer speaking on the phone or via email. This allows you to plan accordingly so that you do not interrupt them at an inconvenient time or contact them via an inappropriate method.

What tools can be used for setting the call duration?

  • calendar scheduling tools
  • call recording software
  • time tracking apps

A call script is a sales technique that helps you prepare for a conversation by outlining a guide for what to say and when.

Why is using a call script important?

Using call scripts allows you to be more prepared during your discovery calls because it will highlight exactly what needs to be said at certain points of the discussion.
This saves time because you won’t have to worry about what to say next and it allows you to focus on the prospect’s needs.

Call center scripting
Call centre scripting (source: knowmax.ai)

How to handle following a call script?

The best way to use a call script is by reading it verbatim so that you are able to stay focused on the conversation. It’s important not to deviate from the script because this can cause the conversation to go off-topic and you won’t be able to learn about what the prospect wants.

What tools can be used for following a call script?

  • call scripts
  • videotaping yourself during calls
  • voice recognition software

The use of tools can help you to streamline your calls workflow and make the purchasing process more efficient. Tools are a great way to make things easier on yourself so you can focus on the prospect’s needs.

Call center in help desk software - LiveAgent
Live Agent has the right call tools and integrations

Why is it important to use tools to streamline call workflow?

Using tools to streamline your call workflow is important because it allows you to record all of the necessary information and notes so that you can refer back to them later during follow-ups.

This also makes it easier for you to track metrics, analyze data, and identify patterns within your sales process. Tools are vital for establishing call workflows because they allow you to automate certain tasks that would normally take up time during calls.

This includes things like recording calls or sending follow-up emails, just to mention a few examples.

How to handle using tools to streamline the call workflow?

The best way to use tools to streamline your call workflow is by determining which ones will work best for you and then integrating them into your processes.

LiveAgent is one of the natural choices since it integrates with most CRMs and is a great way to manage customer support.

What tools are available for streamlining the calling process?

  • customer support software (LiveAgent)
  • call recording software
  • time tracking apps
  • meeting schedulers
  • voice recognition software

Matching questions to the customer journey means finding out certain answers during specific stages or phases in their buying process.

Why is matching questions to the buyer’s journey important?

When you match your questioning with a prospect’s stage in the sales cycle, it allows them to feel more comfortable and provides an opportunity for you to gain their trust.
It also allows you to get a better understanding of what they are looking for and how that aligns with your product/service offering.

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Finding the best answers for customer

How to handle matching questions to the buyer’s journey?

The best way is by following up on previous conversations, asking where they are in the buying process, and then tailoring your questions accordingly.

You should also be prepared to ask the same question in different ways so that you can get a variety of answers. Make sure you ask open-ended questions.

Avoid yes or no questions as they may give you little feedback. Using probing questions is also recommended in this stage.

What tools to use for matching questions to the buyer’s journey?

  • CRMs
  • lead scoring
  • marketing automation software
  • questionnaires/surveys

When setting up a meeting with a prospect, it is important to consider the best time and location for both parties. This will help you avoid rescheduling or having to cancel on them at the last minute.

Why is arranging sales meetings important?

Arranging your sales meeting in advance shows that you respect their time and allows for more productive conversations. You will also be able to manage your schedule more effectively and make the most of potential opportunities that come up for you.

By spending more of your resources on setting up a sales meeting with them, you are showing that their needs are your priority and that you care about what they want or need.

It’s important to take the time and effort to set up a meeting because you will be able to better connect with your prospect face-to-face. This gives you an opportunity to gain their trust, admiration, and respect, which will help you immensely when it comes to closing the deal.

Meeting
Preparation is for the best (source: jobsfore.com)

How to handle arranging sales meetings?

One important thing to keep in mind when scheduling a sales meeting is that people will often say no at first due to lack of time or not feeling like they meet your requirements, so it’s worthwhile being persistent.

And if one person can’t make it, then see if there’s someone else who can attend instead. If all else fails, then offer a virtual meeting.

Timing-wise, weekday mornings or afternoons work well because people tend to be less busy then. Try to avoid meeting on Fridays as it is typically seen as the end of the working week. The best locations vary depending on your prospects, but generally an office or cafe works well.

What tools to use for arranging sales meetings?

  • customer support software (LiveAgent)
  • meetings schedulers
  • videoconferencing or conference calling software
  • time tracking apps

Following up with your prospects is a crucial part of the sales process, but it can be tricky to know what to say and when to say it.

Why is planning follow-ups important?

Planning your follow-ups in advance allows you enough time to properly prepare for each conversation. It also shows that you are serious about doing business with them.
Lastly, it allows you to manage your schedule more effectively and helps you make the most of all potential opportunities that arise.

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Importance of following up (source: counterpath.com)

How to handle planning follow-ups?

The best way is by sending an email within 24 hours after a call with certain questions or requests listed in it, like asking about their business pain points (if not already discussed on the call) and their availability for another meeting.

Then, follow up with another email within 48 hours after that asking them to schedule a time for your next conversation.

What tools to use for planning follow-ups?

  • email templates or canned responses
  • email automation tools
  • CRMs
  • videoconferencing or conference calling software

Once you have arranged a sales meeting and followed up with your prospect, it’s time to finish the decision-making process and close the deal. This may seem to be difficult at first, yet it can be done more easily with the right techniques.

Why is closing a deal important?

Closing a deal allows you to move on to the next step in the sales cycle and make a sale. It also helps you increase your chances of getting repeat business from them in the future. Lastly, it builds up your confidence as a salesperson and allows you to see your progress over time.

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Closing the deal

How to handle closing a deal?

One way is by asking the prospect if they’re interested in going ahead with the product or service that you offer, discussing what it can do for their business, and asking about any concerns that they may have, etc.

You should also try giving a discount as an incentive. If they’re still not convinced about purchasing, ask them if they know anyone else who may be interested in what you have to offer.

What tools to use for closing a deal?

  • proposal templates
  • sales scripts
  • email templates or canned responses
  • phone scripts
  • video calling software
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What makes a good discovery call?

  • Listen carefully to what the prospect is saying

Ask discovery call questions to further your understanding of their needs and pain points. Establish rapport with the buyer by demonstrating empathy, understanding, and being friendly towards them.
Plan a follow-up sales meeting based on what was discussed during the call. This allows you to confirm that both parties are interested in moving forward together before any further commitments are made.

  • Take care of a healthy talk-listen ratio

This step is really important. You could just keep talking, but that’s not what sales calls are about. The best discovery call tip for you to remember is that the buyer should be doing a lot of the talking too, since it needs to be a two-way conversation.

Also, be sure to ask the right questions. By asking more open-ended, non-leading types of questions, you can gather important information about what they need and where you might be able to help them out.

  • Phrase your questions to get long answers

The best discovery call questions are those that can be answered with long comments. This means they should start broad and open-ended so that you’ll have room to dig in deeper if needed.

  • Focus on listening if there’s silence during calls

If your prospect is quiet for a bit too long while you’re talking or asking them questions, then that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A lot of people are conditioned to believe that silence is uncomfortable, but it could actually mean they’re processing the information you’re giving to them and thinking about how they can best respond or use your product/service in their business.

  • Keep asking questions until you fully understand your prospect’s needs

It’s really important that you don’t stop asking questions until you feel like you have a complete understanding of their needs. This way you can be sure that whatever product or service you offer is actually a good fit for them, and importantly they’ll know it too.

  • Have a positive sign-off

A positive sign-off is a way for you to remind your prospect that there are still things they can do to take action, but also show them that you’re confident in what it is that you have to offer. A good positive sign-off would be something along the lines of "I’m looking forward to our next meeting."

Discovery questions to ask every prospect

Discovery questions can be quite a tricky part of the process because you want to make sure you’re asking the right ones that will give you the most information. Not all prospects are created equal, so it’s important to tailor your questions specifically for them.

  • What goal is your business trying to achieve right now?
  • What are the main roadblocks to achieving that goal?
  • How can our company help you achieve that goal?
  • What’s your biggest challenge right now?
  • In which areas of the sales process are you struggling the most?
  • If a customer spends more money, what kind of problems would they run into next?
  • When do you need to have this problem solved? Can we help accelerate that timeline for you in any way?
  • Are you looking for a short-term solution or long-term collaboration?
  • What are your thoughts on our pricing?

Of course these are just a few ideas and it all depends on the product or service you’re selling, but getting to know your prospect and what their business is all about is a crucial part of the discovery process. Without doing so, you’ll be selling blindly and that’s a recipe for disaster.

Sales are all about asking the right questions at the right time in order to get the information you need to make a sale. And discovery calls are here to help you get that information.

What are your biggest challenges right now? You should be asking this question until you feel like you have a complete understanding of what it is they’re struggling with and how you can help them overcome those obstacles in their business. This will also give you an idea of whether or not they need your product/service and if there’s a potential fit.

Summary of discovery call checklist

  • Plan the call
  • Qualify your buyer
  • Diagnose the prospect’s needs
  • Use the SPIN model
  • Prepare a list of questions in advance
  • Set the call duration
  • Follow a call script
  • Use tools to streamline the call workflow
  • Match questions to the buyer’s journey
  • Arrange a sales meeting
  • Plan follow-ups
  • Close the deal

FAQ

How do I prepare for a discovery call?

Generally, you'll want to have a couple of key points or talking points prepared that you'd like to cover with the potential client. It might be helpful to think about what pain points the client is experiencing that your product or service can address. You'll also want to be prepared to answer any questions the client may have.

How many questions should you ask on a discovery call?

It's important to ask enough questions on the phone so that you fully understand your prospect. This means knowing what their pain points are, how they're currently trying to solve them, and if/how you can help them more effectively. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to keep asking follow-up questions until you've gotten through most of the topics you wanted to cover. You should also be prepared to answer questions about your company, including who you are as a business, what makes you unique, and what kinds of results you have been able to achieve for past clients.

What is a strategy call?

A strategy call is a discovery-style phone conversation during which the prospect is trying to understand your business and how it can help them. You don't necessarily have to use a script during your discovery calls with a potential customer, but it's often easier if you do. Having some talking points and questions prepared in advance can help ensure that you cover all of the important topics. You may also want to use a tool like LiveAgent to help manage your calls and keep track of your progress.

What should I do if the prospect asks me about pricing?

If the prospect asks about pricing, it's important to be prepared with an answer. You can tell them that you'll discuss pricing further once they've decided to become a customer, or it may be helpful to give them some prices for different packages in advance.

What are some good discovery questions?

Some good questions to ask during a discovery call were already covered above. However, you should always remember to tailor your questions specifically to the prospect and their business. A set of questions that may be perfect for one prospect may be completely off-base for another. You'll need to really get to know your prospects in order to ask the right questions during discovery calls.

How do I follow up after a discovery call?

After a discovery call, it's important to follow up with the prospect. You can send them an email thanking them for their time and let them know that you'll be sending over some more information in the near future. You may also want to set up a meeting or send them a proposal outlining your services. Again, you should always personalize the way you follow up with a particular prospect because not everyone will require the same amount of attention.

How do I know if a discovery call has gone well?

If you feel like your sales conversation went really well, it's probably safe to assume that it did. You'll want to make sure that the prospect has an understanding of how your product or service can help them solve their pain points and that they are interested in learning more. It's also a good idea to keep track of your progress during discovery calls. There are tools that can help you do this by allowing you to easily keep track of all of your conversations with prospects as well as the status of each call. This way, you'll be able to quickly see if a lead has responded and take the necessary actions in response to their feedback.

Should I charge for a discovery call?

Generally, you'll have to charge for discovery calls in some way. You can either ask the prospect to pay after they've decided that your company is able to help them solve their pain points or offer alternative payment options like monthly retainer fees. However, it's important to be upfront about how you'll charge for your services, and make sure the prospect is aware of what they're paying for.

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