Sales Enablement

How to create a template for your Discovery calls

Larson Stair

When you're in software sales, it's important to have a process for every step of the sales cycle. One of the most important steps of any sales cycle is the Discovery call. This is your opportunity to learn more about the prospect, the business pains they are experiencing, and find out if they are a good fit for your product or service. In order to make sure that you get the most out of each call, it's helpful to create a template that you can use as a guide. In this blog post, we will show you how to create a template for your discovery calls to make the most of this important step in the sales process!

Also, if you're interested, here is a link to our generalized discovery call template!

Identify the segments of your Discovery call.

The first step in creating your Discovery call template is to identify the segments of your call. Of course, every org is different and will have some variability here, but we've divided our discovery calls into five segments. Creating segmentation will allow you to think through the information you need to present to your team and organize it logically.

  • Pre-Call Research
  • POV & Power Questions
  • Current State/Future State
  • Why us?
  • Next steps and follow-up

Standardize the opening

The second step to standardizing any Discovery call is creating consistency in how calls are opened. The first step to having a great Discovery call is starting the call off on the right foot. You want to establish that you're a subject matter expert who has done their background research on the company and person you're meeting with. And you have about 5 minutes to establish this and that you'll provide value on this call before your prospect tunes out. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Creating a consistent process for precall research -  This is critical to the success of the call and will be unique for each company and prospect you meet with. We recommend sources like LinkedIn, news articles, quarterly earning reports, etc. Getting an overarching understanding of the business and this prospect's roles and responsibilities will help you craft a POV and what they could be focused on.
  • Generating a unique POV - Opening with a strong hook - The first few minutes of the call are crucial. This is your opportunity to establish yourself as an expert and build rapport with the prospect. I like to walk the prospect through the research I did and articulate the POV that I've crafted and my hypothesis on the business.
  • Power questions - On the back of articulating your background research and unique POV, you want to have 1-2 power questions to help transition into the Current State/Future state discussion. If the research and questions are well crafted, even if I'm wrong, the prospect will appreciate my diligence and politely guide me in the right direction toward a fruitful conversation.  

Tie Current/Future State use-case questions

The third step in creating a great Discovery call template is to make sure you're tying your Current/Future State use-case questions into your product. It's important to understand the buyer's journey and how your product or service solves their specific problem. In this segment, you'll want to ask probing questions about their current state.

  • Minimal open-ended questions - I like to start the Current State analysis with a few generic and very open-ended questions. Something like, "So Jane, tell me a bit more about what you're focused on for H2 of this year?".
  • Variable roadmap use-cases and digging questions - It's important to have a handful of use-cases that a rep can keep their line of questioning focused to. Providing 2-3 questions per use-case and allowing reps to select the use-case they want to take is critical.
  • Rule of 3's (Why, what, why?) - Once a use-case is identified, a rep will want to use the rule of threes to dig into a few critical pieces of information, Why, What, Why - Why are you focused on this? What do you expect to achieve from fixing this? Why is this so important to solve right now? This will give you a deeper understanding of this use case and the overarching business objectives.

Free E-Book here! 5 steps to enabling discovery calls.

Know your Customer Stories

The fourth step in scripting a great discovery call is being able to share customer stories that are relevant to the buyer and the use-cases/pain that was uncovered. It's important that you're not just regurgitating features of your product but rather articulating a story of where this similar customer was before your prospect, where they saw value in your solution, and the outcomes that were achieved after some time. To that note, here is how we bake this into the Discovery call templates we built.

  • Provide a variable roadmap for customer stories - Given that you've provided reps a roadmap of use-cases to dig into above, you'll need to tie those use-cases to relevant customer stories. Reps should have access to a library of use-case-specific customer stories during their calls.
  • "You remind me of XYX customer" - When I've connected a current prospect's use-case/pain and a relevant customer story, I transition into that story by saying. "You know what, you remind me of XYZ customer. They were struggling with the same thing." People love to hear stories about people like themselves and how they overcame their problems.
  • Articulate the outcome achieved and Transition to close - Ending that customer story with the results they achieved is critical. People remember the first and last things that are said. Make sure the last things you say are impactful and articulate the impact of what your solution can do.

Standardize the Close

The fifth and final step in creating a great discovery call template is to standardize the way you close your calls. Just as it's important to start your calls on the right foot, it's equally important to end them on a high note. You want to make sure that you've accomplished everything you set out to do and that your prospect can articulate why there is a good fit with your solution. Here is what we recommend in any template for Discovery calls.

  • Summarize the business case - You'll want to begin the closing of the call with a summary of their business case and why there is alignment to your solution.
  • Review Next Steps and Questions - Never miss this. You need to have documented the next steps/questions discussed and have concrete steps that you'd like to take next. Your job is to help them get to the promised land so know the right next steps to help them get there.
  • Set the follow-up - This one is easy but frequently missed. Pull open your calendar and suggest a time to connect within a week. It's much harder to cancel a scheduled meeting vs ignore a follow-up email to "set a time".

Discovery can be one of the most challenging parts of the sales cycle. If you find a way to master it, it will be your biggest asset, and your customer will love you for it. You'll save your customers time and money and ensure you help them find a solution that fits their needs. By following these steps, you can be sure that you're making the most of your discovery calls and qualifying leads that will convert into paying customers!

Oh and don't forget, here is a link to our discovery call template!

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