Monday morning, you open your iPad, fire up your email, and there they come – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,…12 “leads” from your website.
Since time is crucial, the next thing you do is inform the Sales team: “Hey, here are 12 new requests from our website, people interested in our products.” Before you know it, they’re on the phone, making appointments to schedule a demo.
It’s a familiar story I hear a lot. And not because it’s so working so well.
It’s not, to be fair.
Just because someone showed an interest in your company or product doesn’t mean they’re asking for a demo.
That’s what we might think.
The first problem with this is: What will you show to someone who just ‘showed interest’?
It typically results in the first mistake: We do the ‘harbor tour’ – i.e., an overview of how the product works and its excellent functionality.
Remember: Your prospect didn’t ask for training – they didn’t even buy the software yet!
They reached out because they struggle with something – and it’s that ‘something’ that we need to focus our next steps on.
Here’s where the Discovery comes in.
Done well, Discovery can grow your advantage in unexpected ways.
One well-performing sales executive in my network outlined the advantage it has started to provide her the moment she switched from ‘demos’ to ‘Discovery: Here’s what she said: “It helps me…
1) …to have a meaningful conversation
2)…to get an understanding of what’s actually going on
3) …to make the conversation about the customer, not about us
4) …to grow momentum towards the next phase (or to qualify early)
5) …to grow my confidence
6) …to build a better relationship
7) …to accelerate the sales cycle
8) …to win more
9) …to stop the urge for giving discounts
So the question is: how do you perform a great discovery call?
Long story short – what I’ve seen working well to get started is these three questions:
1) What’s the situation? – and then listen
2) What’s changing? – and then listen
3) What’s most challenging? – and then listen
With the insights from these three questions, you should get a pretty good overview of the following three things:
1) What are the most valuable problems to solve for your customer
2) Which ones are most critical on their agenda and why
3) Where can you help them make the biggest difference
Then either qualify in (and lead with confidence) or qualify out fast.