Top 15 Sales Discovery Questions

Posted by:
Jacob Fleisher

If you had to focus on one powerful skill to develop during sales calls, it would probably be asking the right questions (as well as overcoming objections). The key to sales is specificity and understanding your prospect’s needs. The best way to achieve this is by having an arsenal of questions that apply to almost every kind of call. These fifteen essential questions will help you zero in on your prospect’s pain point, tailor your solution to them, and get them to understand why your product meets their needs. These questions are at the core of a successful sales call. 

Attention can help you train your reps to ask more and better questions. Using the best AI technology, our software tracks metrics like the questions junior reps are asking, helps them stick to their goals, and accelerates them to senior level in a matter of weeks.

1. What Goals are you Trying to Meet?

Before you even get into the specific pain point your product can address, it’s important to know what your prospect wants for their company in general. Your broad focus as a salesperson is always helping the prospect meet their goals, and if you can convince them that your product gets them closer to the big dreams they have half of your work is done. It’s important to always relate your pitches to the big picture of helping the company meet its goals. 

2. What Timeline do you Have in Mind to Meet those Goals?

It is important to know your prospect’s timing. This can help you target your pitch to them and determine if your product is a good fit. If their timeline is impossible for you, you can try to find out if it is elastic, or you may have to move on. 

3. What Problems is your Company Currently Facing?

This is the core of an effective sales call. You need to pinpoint the issues your prospect is facing and frame your product as the specific solution to those problems.  

4. What do You Think is Causing this Problem?

This one helps you get to the root of your client’s frustration. The client might not realize what is really causing their pain point, or they might think it is an inevitable factor. If you can help them understand the heart of the problem and convince them something can be done about it, you’ll have their attention.

5. What would you like to improve in your company?

These are aspects of their company’s process that could be cheaper, more effective, etc… Understanding the aspects of their company that need improvement can be very helpful in formulating a solution that helps them meet their goals. 

6. What Outcome Would Make you Happy?

Knowing the prospect’s ideal outcome is an integral part of the sales process. Pay attention to the words they use and introduce them later when you are discussing their product. The more specific you can get about your client’s ideal outcome, the better.

7. Is Anyone Currently Helping You With this Problem?

After the project’s goals and pain points have been identified, it is important to find out if you have competitors and if they are currently using a different product. You can calibrate your pitch to their answer: if they do have a current solution in place, you need to differentiate your product and emphasize what makes it stand out from the competition. Of course, this involves preliminary research about the other products that are out there.

8. Are You Happy with your Current Solution?

It can be helpful to find out if the client is satisfied with the other product they may be using. If they are not, great! Find out the causes of their dissatisfaction and present a solution to the problems they currently have. If the prospect is satisfied, you can try to distinguish your product or discuss a way in which it could save them time or money or make their lives easier. 

9. What Budget do you Have in Mind?

At this stage, it is fundamental to inquire about the prospect’s budget. You can adjust your offer based on the price they are willing to pay. This is also a step that might lead to an impasse or eliminate some prospects, which is not necessarily a bad thing! That’s why you want to introduce this question as soon as appropriate before moving forward.

10. How Flexible is Your Budget?

You can use this as a follow-up to the previous question if their budget is too low. If it is flexible, you might want to negotiate at a later date.

11. Who Else is Involved in this Process?

Find out if the prospect has the last word or the sale will depend on someone else. If you have gotten this far and no one else is involved, congratulations- you just need to focus on closing the deal! If someone else will play a role in the decision-making process, ask the prospect for their contact info and find out (in a non-pushy way) if the prospect is willing to brief the third party and tell them about your product. The third party will likely be a more senior member of the organization, and the sooner you can involve senior decision-makers in the conversation the better.

12. How Can I Make This Process Easier for You?

If the prospect still seems interested, you want to focus on making the sale frictionless and getting them to move forward. The idea is to reduce the possibility of the prospect changing their mind because of some inconvenience. This also makes the sale sound like a fait accompli, which will make the prospect more likely to buy because they have mentally accepted the purchase.

13. What Obstacles Could Keep You From Implementing our Solution?

You want to be prepared for any issues that might crop up throughout the process. They might like your product but not be able to go through with the purchase for some legal reason or some other unexpected contingency. You want to anticipate these as much as possible and come up with a solution.

14. How Will this Solution Change Things For You?

You want the prospect to visualize how amazing things will be for them when they’ve changed your product! Feel free to ask questions here to get them to explore the positives in depth. This will make the benefits more tangible and may create a positive association for them when they think of your product. Having the prospect come up with the benefits rather than listing them yourself will make them feel that it was their idea, rather than something being pushed on them!

The key to sales is specificity and understanding your prospect’s needs. These fifteen essential questions will help you zero in on your prospect’s pain point, tailor your solution to them, and get them to understand why your product meets their needs. Are you using these 15 powerful questions during every call? Let us know how it goes!

Try Attention to help train your reps to ask the right questions and receive real-time feedback!