How We Run Discovery Calls at Flowla [+ Discovery Call Template]

Elen Udovichenko
February 27, 2024
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discovery call template

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It takes 7 seconds to form a first impression of someone. And even Princeton researchers suggest that people can make accurate judgments about others within 0.1 seconds.

Making a good first impression in sales is even more important because it sets the tone for all subsequent interactions and significantly influences how others perceive and engage with you. So your first in-person interaction with your prospect — usually a discovery call — will lay the foundation for the relationship and can even impact the outcome.

In this post, we will talk about how to prepare for and conduct discovery meetings, including some pro tips, specific questions, and mistakes to avoid.

What is a discovery call?

A discovery call serves as the initial point of contact between a sales rep and a prospective client. Its purpose is to uncover the prospect's needs, challenges, and goals, and to determine if there is a potential fit between the prospect's requirements and the solutions or services offered by the salesperson's company.

However, it’s more than a simple exchange of information within a sales process. It represents an opportunity for both parties to assess the compatibility between the prospect's requirements and the solutions or services offered by the salesperson's company.

Beyond its immediate objective of evaluating fit, successful discovery calls lay the groundwork for long-term customer relationships. From the initial conversation to the eventual contract signing, the focus remains on building rapport and nurturing a partnership grounded in mutual respect, understanding, and shared objectives.

Source: LinkedIn

7 tips to nail your next discovery call

Contrary to popular belief, a strong discovery process is more than just asking specific questions or listening to potential clients.

Pinpointing the particular issues or difficulties the prospect is facing, which may require delving deeper to uncover underlying concerns, is a crucial step and the biggest challenge in the sales discovery process. But there are a few other things you should keep in mind the next time you get on a sales call with a prospective client:

  1. Come well-prepared with thorough research on the topic, the individual, or the organization you're engaging with, and use relevant information to adjust your discovery call script.
  2. Be ready to handle objections, effectively address any doubts or reservations raised by the speaker, show empathy, and offer constructive solutions.
  3. Use open-ended questions that encourage the speaker to share more detailed information, promoting a deeper understanding of their needs and preferences.
  4. Regularly assess the information being shared to ensure understanding and adjust your responses and next questions accordingly.
  5. Clearly communicate your value proposition and solution, including the benefits and advantages of your product in a way that resonates with the speaker's needs and concerns.
  6. Understand the competitive environment to better position your offering effectively and set it apart from alternatives.
  7. Collaboratively plan the next steps to outline a clear and achievable mutual action plan, ensuring alignment and commitment to moving forward effectively.

How we run discovery calls at Flowla — step-by-step guide

According to a recent survey, the average conversion rate from discovery calls to sales is 10% to 30%. We at Flowla understand how important it is to get to that 30% point and beyond.

So here’s our step-by-step discovery process, along with some sales discovery questions you can steal and adapt.

Nail your next discovery call
Get a free copy of our step-by-step discovery call checklist.

Before the call

First, you need to do your homework: Learn as much as you can about your prospect before the discovery call. You can use platforms like Crunchbase for the company and search your prospects on Google or social media (especially LinkedIn).

💡 AI-powered tools like Humanlinker or Crystal can provide you with valuable insights on how to engage with the person, based on various signals from their online presence.

You will find a characteristic you share with them and boom 💥 — there is your icebreaker for a perfect sales discovery call intro!

Setting the agenda

Once you're on the call, set a clear agenda. Start by expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to connect, and then outline the topics you'll cover. This will help keep your discussion focused and productive.

💡 Make sure to keep the intro short — 1-2 minutes.

  • Before we dive in, let's decide which scenario resonates with you: e.g., {use case 1}, {use case 2}, {use case 2}.

Discovery call questions

Make the call a two-way conversation — ask and listen to what your prospective customer has to tell. You need to understand your potential customer clearly and accurately to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and challenges. You'll gain insights into their business, what's working well, what's not, etc.

💡Be sure to spread out your questions throughout the meeting, not frontload them, so the discovery process doesn’t feel like an interrogation.

  • Can you share more about your product and your role?
  • Could you provide insights into your team's size and the current solution you use (if any)?
  • Let's talk about the main hurdles you face in {area of application for your product}.

Educating and informing

Once you understand their business needs and situation in general, share your product that can address their specific needs and business challenges (rather than talking about product features). Include real-life examples and customer stories. These can help illustrate how your product has helped others with similar challenges and show them the potential benefits for their business.

💡Use only relevant case studies and research to support your value proposition.

  • Did you know that {relevant stat that highlights the pain point}?
  • {Product}’s triumph lies in the fact that {value proposition}.
  • By working with us, Company X {concrete results from a relevant case study}.

Crafting the perfect fit

It's important to ensure that your product offering seamlessly aligns with their needs. You need to clarify how the solution can effectively solve their problems and improve their operations.

Your goal should be to provide not just a product, but a customized solution that fits your prospect's unique circumstances.

💡Discovery is the most important part of the qualification process. But you should be ready to disqualify a sales opportunity if you see that there's no actual fit.

  • We often find {persona} unhappy about {common challenge}. Has this been a concern for your team too?
  • Next, let's delve into why {product} could be a strong contender for your requirements.
  • Our objective is to ensure that {product}’s capabilities align seamlessly with your specific needs.
Source: LinkedIn

Next steps and beyond

As you wrap up the call, discuss the next steps. Whether it's scheduling another meeting, sharing additional resources, or arranging a demo, make sure the action plan is aligned with your prospect's expectations and needs.

The goal is to keep the momentum going and effectively move forward together.

  • We can also organize a workshop to solidify a mutual action plan based on best practices.
  • Let's set a date for our next meeting in 2-3 weeks.
  • Consider inviting additional stakeholders to the next meeting.

💡Even if you see that there’s no fit, it makes sense to ask a person for a referral at the end of your discovery call.

  • As we wrap up, may I ask for a favor? Could you introduce us to another company that might benefit from {product}’s capabilities?
  • To sweeten the deal, if your reference signs up, we're happy to offer you {product perk}.
Nail your next discovery call
Get a free copy of our step-by-step discovery call checklist.

The worst discovery process mistakes to avoid

During discovery calls, it's easy to fall into habits that alienate prospects instead of attracting them. Here are five common bad habits that can result in losing prospects, along with effective solutions to fix them:

  • Entering calls with the intent to sell

Entering a call with the sole intention of making a sale can come across as pushy and self-serving.

Solution: Offer an alternative by giving the prospect an easy way out. Acknowledge that your solution may not be right for everyone and invite them to opt out if it doesn't meet their needs or expectations.

  • Being caught off guard when asked for a demo

Being unprepared or nervous when the prospect requests a demo can signal a lack of readiness and confidence.

Solution: Anticipate the request for a product demo by thoroughly understanding the prospect's problem and use case beforehand. Redirect the conversation to ensure that the demo addresses their specific needs and challenges.

  • Focusing too much on your company

Launching into a presentation about your company without addressing the prospect's interests or needs can come across as tone-deaf and irrelevant.

Solution: Instead of starting with company information, start the conversation with a thought-provoking question that demonstrates your understanding of their strategic priorities and challenges. Make the call more about them and less about you.

  • Ignoring the signals during the call

Disregarding key indicators of prospect interest or disengagement can lead to misunderstandings and lost opportunities.

Solution: Pay close attention to subtle cues and signals from the prospect, adjusting the approach accordingly to maintain momentum and interest.

  • Putting your best interests before your prospect

Focusing solely on your agenda and objectives during the call can leave the prospect feeling undervalued and disengaged.

Solution: Prioritize the prospect's needs and interests by allowing them to opt out if the conversation or demo doesn't align with their priorities. Respect their time and choices, even if it means walking away from the sale.

  • Lack of follow-up after the meeting

Failure to maintain regular and timely communication with prospects can result in missed opportunities and stalled deals.

Solution: Implementing a structured follow-up plan to stay engaged and responsive, ensuring that prospects feel valued and supported throughout the process.

Embrace the journey, do not focus on the end

First impressions are powerful. The initial interaction, often through a discovery call, shapes the entire customer journey. At Flowla, we recognize the key role of the discovery process in the sales process. They are not just about pitching; they are about uncovering needs, building trust, and tailoring solutions.

We hope this discovery call template (including the list of questions we shared) will equip you to conduct productive discovery calls, emphasizing genuine curiosity and empathy.

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