Discovery Call - Tips & Best Practices

How to successfully go through a discovery call.
discovery call cover photo
Are you clued up on the process of a discovery call? Whether it's to facilitate problem-solving, develop relationships, or to get a new customer, these calls are essential in many situations.

While this may seem challenging at first, with the right information and know-how, having successful discovery calls can be a breeze.

In this blog post we are going to discuss some tips and best practices when it comes to having effective discovery calls.

If you are looking for advice on how to make your next discovery call yield positive results then this is definitely worth a read!

What is a Discovery Call?

A discovery call is an initial communication or conversation between a company or service provider and a potential client or customer. This call is a crucial step in the sales or client acquisition process, typically occurring early in the relationship-building phase.

Its primary purpose is to uncover and understand the potential client's specific needs, challenges, and objectives, enabling the business or service provider to determine if their offerings align with the client's requirements.

During a discovery call, both parties exchange information, ask questions, and evaluate whether a deeper partnership or engagement is mutually beneficial before proceeding further.

This call often lays the foundation for a more tailored and effective proposal or solution tailored to the client's unique circumstances.

What's the Difference Between a Discovery Call & a Product Demo?

A sales demonstration call or in short, a sales demo, is a detailed presentation of a product or service to a potential customer.

This is the following step after having a sales discovery call and the main concept of the sales demo call is to show the features, functionality, value, and benefit of the whole solution.

In B2B sales, this crucial step holds immense significance. Its primary purpose is to foster a deeper understanding between salespeople and potential customers, exploring the mutual benefits at stake.

It serves to determine the next course of action, paving the way for a promising future collaboration.

Discovery Call Process

Avoiding a common sales mistake involves shifting the focus from yourself and your products to what prospects truly desire.

By skillfully navigating a sales discovery call structure, you can extract valuable information and prioritize their needs with genuine intent.

Research Your Prospect Thoroughly

Before initiating a meeting or making a phone call, sales reps must conduct thorough research on their prospects. This entails gathering information about the prospect's job position, location, and the key activities of their company.

It is essential to obtain details and insights to tailor the conversation effectively.

One simple way to achieve this is by performing a Google search using the prospect's company name.

Additionally, LinkedIn can be a valuable resource for getting comprehensive details about the prospect's role in the company, their responsibilities, and their professional interests through social selling.

Remember, engaging in diligent research can significantly enhance the effectiveness of discovery call and allow for more personalized communication with prospects.

Prepare a Customized Agenda

To ensure a productive and engaging discovery call, it is important to not only conduct thorough research but also establish a clear structure for the conversation.

This will help both you and the prospects understand the agenda and what to expect during the call.

However, this structure doesn't have to be complex or lengthy. Just a few key points that need to be covered during the meeting will be fine.

From a salesperson's perspective, it is always beneficial to come prepared with some questions for the prospect. But more on that later.

By establishing a structured and engaging approach, you can effectively present your solution while keeping your prospects actively involved throughout the call.

Frame Thoughtful Questions

Asking effective questions is key to uncovering valuable insights about your prospect and their goals.

The art of asking the right questions not only empowers you to steer the conversation but also guarantees mutual value during the call. If your prospect veers off track by discussing irrelevant topics like their cousin's wedding, it's essential to refocus the conversation.

By obtaining useful and productive answers, you can identify their pain points and determine if your product or service offers an efficient solution.

Highlight Value Proposition Early

Prospects don't just purchase product features; they seek solutions to their problems.

It's your responsibility to establish a strong connection between your product and their pain points. Uncovering and quantifying their pain, ensuring its recognition, and showcasing how your unique value proposition early relieves or eliminates it is all part of your role.

Needless to say, having a genuine belief in your product is crucial. This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised by the number of SDRs who overlook this fundamental aspect.

Practice Active Listening

Engaging in a discovery call requires more than just talking. The key is to steer the conversation and encourage your prospect to share. By doing so, you can guide the discussion in the desired direction.

Actively listen to their objections and inquiries, responding accordingly. It's important to develop active listening skills, not simply regurgitating rehearsed responses.

Instead, listen and learn about your prospects as you converse, tailoring your replies to fit their specific needs.

This approach fosters a sense of comfort, bringing them closer to the buying phase.

Ask Qualifying Questions

Customer pain points refer to the specific problems that prospects are currently facing.

These pain points encompass frustrations, obstacles, threats, and inefficiencies that hinder their growth or impede their success in various ways.

To effectively address these issues, it is crucial to help prospects diagnose their problems, much like a doctor or mechanic would before prescribing a solution or providing an estimate.

By asking prospective customers targeted questions, you can swiftly analyze their needs and pain points, and offer them a valuable solution.

Establish Next Steps

When you reach this step, you'll already have enough information to make your decision about the lead. Now, let's dive into how to close the call in both situations: when the lead is unqualified and when the lead is qualified.

Closing the call with an unqualified lead:

Instead of simply exchanging good luck wishes, strive to extract value from the conversation. Ask if they know anyone who might be interested in your product or service. You can also offer recommendations for other services that may be a better fit for them.

Closing the call with a qualified lead:

Wrap up the call by highlighting how your product or service will meet their needs. Utilize the mirroring technique, where you repeat the key arguments from your conversation, to leave a lasting impression. Then, move forward with the next steps, whether setting up another meeting or providing a demo presentation. Remember to be clear and concise to avoid any confusion.

Discovery Call Questions

Engage prospects by asking them insightful questions to uncover helpful information such as:

Tell me About Your Company

What Problem Are You Trying to Solve?

What Are Your Most-Important KPIs?

What Are Your Goals?

Are You Having Problems With {Current-Solution}?

What Would a Successful Outcome Look Like?

Are You the Decision-Maker in This Project?

What is Your Budget For this Project?

Have You Used a Similar Solution Before?

Are You Considering Other Options/Competitors?

Possible Objections During a Discovery Call

Trust Objections

Trust objections can be challenging to handle, as they can have a negative impact. When faced with objections like "I haven't heard of you" or "I've read bad things about you," it's important not to take them personally and resist the temptation to go into full-on sales mode.

Instead, approach these objections as an opportunity to provide more information and instill confidence in what you offer and your ability to deliver it.

Start by giving a brief summary of how you can add value to their needs, and highlight the positive experiences of other customers you have assisted.

If the objection revolves around negative feedback, take the time to understand the root of the issue as presented by the customer.

Authority Objections

When it comes to dealing with well-established companies, facing a common sales objection like a lack of authority is not uncommon. Prospects may suggest that they are not the ones who call the shots when it comes to purchasing.

In order to tackle this objection, there are a number of strategies you can employ.

It's important to inquire further about the person mentioned. Gathering as much information as possible about them will be instrumental in your efforts to close the sale.

Ask about the department they work in, how you can reach out to them, their availability, and whether they also have to answer to a 'higher' authority.

Need Objections

Buyers often express skepticism about a product:

"I don't see how your product can help me."

"I don't think you can help me."

But here's the thing: it's actually a hidden opportunity. The prospect isn't rejecting you, they simply don't understand how your offering can meet their needs. They lack knowledge about the problems your product can solve.

This gives you a chance to provide more information and learn more about the prospect in return.

Price Objections

Timing Objections

Time objections are a common challenge in sales conversations. When a prospect raises objections related to time, it's crucial to address them effectively. Here are some strategies for handling different time-related objections:

"I need to think about it."

When prospects say they need time to think, it often indicates uncertainty. Take this opportunity to understand their concerns and clarify any uncertainties. Additionally, assess if the decision-maker is involved or if they are hesitant due to the investment or scope of change required.

"Maybe for our next budget round."

This objection hints at an underlying requirement or pending change that must be addressed before a decision can be made. It's essential to identify and address this requirement. In some cases, it may make sense to proceed in the next budget cycle.

Stay in touch, remain top of mind, and document these dates in your CRM system.

Solution Objections

To successfully qualify a lead, two key factors matter: their recognition of a need for a solution and their readiness to invest. If a prospect reveals they're already with a competitor, consider it a huge step toward success. This is where your tactics come into play.

Start by understanding the weaknesses of your competitor's product compared to yours. Use this knowledge to climb one step closer to victory.

Prepare to share compelling examples of customers who have switched from the competitor to you, including relevant collateral highlighting the areas where your competitor falls short.

Your next task is to eliminate any potential barriers that may arise when it comes to changing contracts and initiating training among staff. It's unfortunate, but in the SaaS space, long contracts are often the norm.

In this case, be sure to maintain regular contact with updates and reminders, and be prepared for a lengthy sales process unless you have deep pockets to acquire them.


With the help of discovery calls, businesses can increase their sales figures and overall revenue.

However, it takes commitment and strategic planning to be successful. Although it may seem overwhelming, setting aside time for a discovery call is highly beneficial and essential in tackling even the toughest demands of any business.

By using best practices such as comprehensive questionnaires, thorough customer research and listening actively during the call, you can ensure that no stone is left unturned which will lead to positive results for everybody involved. You can also build lasting relationships with customers from these calls not only bringing them closer but also increasing the value of your company.

And if you need the best outsourced SDRs for Startups to drive discovery calls, get in touch!
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