woman sitting on city sidewalk talking on phone

Discovery calls are a great way to learn more about new prospects and get them into your startup’s sales pipeline. But if you want to get the most out of these conversations, you need to know which sales discovery questions you should be asking.

We’ve put together the following article to provide helpful intel on how to optimize your startup’s discovery calls and make the most of your new opportunities. Keep reading to learn more.

Understanding Discovery Calls And How They Lead To New Opportunities

A discovery call is the first phone conversation you have with a new prospect. They’re an opportunity to connect with the lead in a personal way and figure out whether they’re a good fit for your startup’s offerings.

Data shows that up to 50% of prospects won’t be a good fit for what you’re selling. That means it’s imperative to have a good process for separating those that are a fit from those that aren’t. Discovery calls are perfect for this.

A roundup of some of the best sales discovery questions geared toward startups – and how to optimize your calls.

Optimize Your Startup’s Discovery Calls

Always do your homework

Doing your homework is essential for a great discovery call with a new prospect. The research you perform will arm you with the information to ask insightful questions and position your startup’s services in ways that appeal to the lead’s unique goals.

There are a few different types of research you can tackle before a call. Dig around on Google, social media, and LinkedIn. Try to find something you share in common with them to connect and build a rapport.

After that, it’ll be worth your time to do some research on the company that the prospect works for. What industry are they in? What are their major products or services? Generally, the more information you have, the better. You never know which part of your research will have the biggest impact on your sales process until you get into the call.

Set your agenda before the call takes place

It’s important to go into your sales discovery call with a plan in place. The first five minutes of your call will set the tone for the rest of the conversation. Begin by nailing down what you want to talk about during your time.

Tell the lead who you are, what your company does, and what your role is. Try to throw in an ice breaker or two to get the prospect on your side.

Share your goals and what you hope to get out of the meeting. Don’t be afraid to be explicit about these. Your counterparty will generally appreciate you setting the stage for the meeting, and you’ll get the chance to make sure that you’re both on the same page.

Make sure you’re not doing all of the talking

Statistics covering top-performing salespeople have shown that the best reps talk about 50% of the time during a discovery call. That’s a strategy you’ll want to emulate during your phone conversation. By refraining from talking too much, you ensure that you give the prospect time to bring up important topics that you might not have asked about yourself.

End the call the right way

It’s important to have a good closing process for your discovery calls. You want to make sure that you’re leaving the prospect with a positive feeling about your company. That way, even if they don’t end up buying from you immediately, they’ll hopefully still keep you in mind for future needs.

There are a few options you might want to consider. First, you could share some of your startup successes while partnering with related companies.

You can also end the phone call by showing that you took what the lead said to heart. For example, you might end with a summary of the prospect’s pain points and reiterate what makes your startup the right company to address those issues.

Eight Sales Discovery Questions Startups Should Always Ask

What problem are you trying to solve?

This is a great question to kick off your discovery calls off with. You can use the answer you receive from the prospect to shape how you talk about your startup throughout the rest of the conversation.

For example, Chime is a banking startup that offers a ton of different services. If a sales rep with them led with this question, they would know which of their services they should spend the most time talking about throughout the phone call.

What would a successful outcome look like?

Asking a sales discovery question like this one is essential at some point during your call. That’s because having a good understanding of what the lead’s end goal is will shape the way you pitch your startup’s products or services to them.

For example, perhaps you make software that helps companies optimize how they run various aspects of their business. If you ask this question, you would be able to frame the services you offer in terms that appeal directly to the goal the company hopes to meet.

How would this solution make your life easier?

This question will help you dig deeper into how your product or service will impact the person you’re speaking with. The answer the lead gives to the question can provide you with some additional insight into what’s motivating them to seek out your startup’s service or product. This is more information that you can use to frame your pitch in a way that resonates with them.

What does the decision-making process look like in your organization?

Gathering this information in your first discovery call with a new prospect will do wonders for the rest of your sales process. Ideally, you want to figure out who you need to convince to close the deal. Once you know that, you’ll be able to work the prospect through your sales pipeline in a manner that gives you the best chance at making the sale.

What’s your budget for addressing this problem?

The budget an organization has for addressing the problem you’re helping them with will play a huge role in the rest of your sales process. Asking this question during your first discovery call will reveal how valuable the prospect is to your startup. And you’ll be able to decide exactly how much time and money you should spend on trying to win the client.

Have you purchased a similar product/service before?

This question can give you some insight into whether the prospect tried to solve the problem prior. If they have, you can talk to them about how that experience was and why they stopped using the product or service. This will help you ensure you don’t turn them away with a pitch that sounds too similar to something that didn’t work out in the past.

What metrics matter, and what are the benchmarks you need to hit?

This is an important question to get answered upfront, even if you think you know the answer. Understanding the metrics that matter most to the company (or department you’re speaking with) will help you better understand the performance results that the business expects. It’s also important for you, as a startup, to understand early on if it’s feasible to meet those goals or if you’re even able to deliver the results tied to those metrics. If not, it might be a matter of meeting with another department or moving on with your prospecting.

What’s your timeline for addressing this issue?

Organizations deal with a wide variety of problems daily – but something made the prospect you’re speaking with choose to express interest in your startup today. If you can understand why that happened, you’ll be putting yourself in a great place to move forward with the sales process and close the deal.

For example, the lead might tell you that they have an important deadline coming up and need to address the problem immediately. In that case, you could speed up your normal sales cycle to accommodate and increase your chances of closing the deal.

In addition to arming yourself with the best sales discovery questions ahead of your call, prep with intel from LeadLander.

Get The Data You Need To Make The Most Of Your Discovery Calls Through LeadLander

Having access to high-quality data about your leads gives you a huge advantage during your discovery calls. Much of the data you need for this is already available on your website, but it can be hard to make sense of without the right tool. That’s why you should consider signing up for LeadLander.

Our platform provides a wealth of information about your website visitors. You can use LeadLander to discover new prospects, validate interest from cold calls, optimize your sales pipelines, and so much more.

We’re currently offering a free 14-day trial, which will let you try the platform without having to put in your credit information. You can also contact us directly to learn more about what we can do for your startup.


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