Your discovery calls can have a big impact on the deals you’re working. A positive outcome drives your sales cycle forward with ease, while a lackluster call can have your prospect pumping the breaks. With so much hanging in the balance, you’re probably asking yourself “how can I improve my discovery calls?”

We partnered with Gong.io to analyze over 500,000 discovery calls and what we found is that a lot of your call’s strength comes down to the questions; the number of questions you ask, the topics your questions uncover, and how questions are distributed throughout the call. So by investing in the right questions throughout your call you can boost your discovery call performance to that of top sales performers.

That’s why we’ve invited Blake Edwards, Inbound SDR at SalesLoft for this edition of Sales Tips. Blake completed over 60 discovery calls last month alone so he’s joined us to talk more about what top performers bring to the best discovery calls.

Transcript

Hey everybody, Blake here with SalesLoft. Today I just want to talk to you about Discovery Calls. As our first prolonged interaction with prospects, discovery calls are super important. They’re either going to set the stage as positive or negative from the very beginning. We worked with one of our partners, Gong.io, to analyze our 500,000 calls, and see what’s working and what’s not during those calls. So these are the three things that matter most during those calls. The first thing is to ask more questions. I’m sure as a sales rep, you’ve heard that asking more questions, usually leads to a better outcome, so what we found is that 11-14 questions is that sweet spot, where 5-6 is a little bit under that sweet spot. So we found out that there’s actually an upper limit to the good number of questions that you can ask. Once you get over 14, a prospect can feel more uncomfortable, and feel like they’re actually being interrogated. Now that we know how many questions you need to ask, let’s talk about the topics that need to be covered while you’re talking to the prospect. The second thing that we’ve found is that top performers stick to key topics. While small talk is great, those key topics help to uncover value, which helps you as a rep. So top performers average 10.1 questions on key topics per hour. So, one of the things that I like to do is ask more open-ended questions to get the prospect talking. So one of those questions might be something such as what’s most important to you, so that I can uncover more value for the prospect. So we know that covering important topics is key during discovery calls, but there’s actually one more thing that is important. So, the last thing that I want to discuss is distributing your questions evenly throughout the call. So, when you’re talking to a prospect, it’s going to be more give and take, instead of asking all your questions up front, so that they have time to respond. So, sometimes as a new rep what you want to do is, ask all the questions that you have, right up front, instead of giving the prospect time to respond. But we’ve found that it results in more positive conversations when the prospect actually does have time to respond. Thanks for joining us again. I hope you learned something new. If you have any thoughts, feel free to comment below. Thanks again.


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