Discovery! Part Deux
The second Stretch VP edition on all things discovery
I could talk for days on Discovery.
Maybe not Charles-Muhlbauer-days-long, but it’s one of my favorite subjects relating to sales- specifically how to improve your close rate by getting better at discovery.
I first wrote this piece on Medium about it HERE.
Then last year dedicated an entire newsletter with some of my favorite podcasts, learnings, articles and more to this often overlooked and understudied element of sales.
Since then, I’ve scattered similar content on a regular basis, but lately compiled quite a bit of content on the subject so thought it’d be a good time to release a seconds edition: Discovery- Part Deux!
In this week’s edition of Stretch Weekly -
- Andy Paul talks with fellow podcast hosts Nick Cegelski and Armand Farrokh as they discuss Discovery and best practices for success.
- Revenue.io gives us an excellent cheat sheet with the top 5 ways to have dramatically better sales discovery calls.
- Gong’s Discovery Call Cheat Sheet includes the top patterns and trends behind the most successful discovery calls
Plus — carefully curated snippets from talking about the what, why, how in the second edition of all things discovery.
THANKS for reading!!
And lastly — as always, if you find this newsletter valuable- subscribe or share it with someone who might as well 👊.
I’ve mentioned this numerous times, but if you’re a sales rep or leader and don’t leverage two of my favorite podcasts (Sales Enablement and 30 Min to Presidents Club) then start now.
Andy Paul talks with fellow podcast hosts Nick Cegelski and Armand Farrokh as they discuss Discovery and best practices for success.
Highlights for me (start at 18 min in):
- Don’t interpret More Discover = More Wins as “asking more questions”.
- Goal of Discovery: Mutual understanding of their situation and our ability to help.
- Win on the ONE. Find the one key thing that is crucial to the buyer. Hit hard on this one as a competitive differentiation. (and WHO is this most important to?)
- Discovery Prep. “Doctors Checklist” and “POV Formulation” and how to guard against discovery fatigue.
- Challenge Assumptions with buyers. “Why don’t you just solve this in house?”
For great reps, discovery is an ongoing process that often continues throughout the entire sales process.
Revenue.io gives us an excellent cheat sheet with the top 5 ways to have dramatically better sales discovery calls.
Dive deep into these bullets:
- Goldilocks principle. Don’t over-or under prepare for your first discovery call as there are some things you shouldn’t know prior to the call.
- Use questions that help you understand your prospect as deeply as possible. Practice reflective listening. “In every deal, there’s a most important person (whoever has the final say — sometimes this is the CEO, sometimes not), and they have something that they care about above all else.”
- Don’t accept answers at face value. Practice TED questions (Tell, Explain, Describe).
- Focus on conversational patterns that drive results. Listen/watch calls and look for patterns that recur on deals that close.
- Learn to coach yourself. Take your craft seriously and review, coach yourself regularly.
Another data-backed gem from Gong as they give us their research from analyzing over 500k call recordings. Gong’s Discovery Call Cheat Sheet includes the top patterns and trends behind the most successful discovery calls.
- 11–14 Questions is key.
- Talking to C-suite? Ask 4–8 open ended questions to uncover business needs. No more.
- Spread out questions throughout the call to create real dialogue.
- 46% Talk to 54% Listen ratio is the benchmark of success
- Explore 3–4 customer problems. No more, no less.
- Keep the back and forth. Change speakers around 3.2 times per minute to up odds of closing the deal.
- Mirroring is key! Say customer’s last 2–4 words back to them as a question. “as a question?”
- Labeling helps customers feel understood. “It seems like you…”
🏝 Mark Kosoglow gives us a beach strolling, gold digging analogy to help sellers get better at discovery. What’s your answer?
⏳ Christian Krause says that time spent with prospects who are not ready to buy is a huge waste of time and tells us to stop selling to prospects thow can’t check these 10 boxes.
✍️ Should salespeople “script” their discovery questions? Nick Cegelski says Yes -some of them- and shares 3 discovery strategies he learned from Michelle Pietsch.
🔟 Rachel Williams gives us her 10 best sales discovery call questions — and why you should use them.
🧐 Do you know the difference between qualifying and discovery? Mor Assouline says Disco is meant for the prospect — Qualifying is meant for you.
👂Buyers rank “Active Listening” as the #1 skill they want from salespeople. Ryan Vaillancourt with Revenue.io makes their case for Reflective Listening being the key to better sales calls.
🕵️♂️ Will Cannon with Uplead gives us this all encompassing article on mastering discovery. What is discovery, best discovery questions, how to prepare, what makes a good discovery call, templates and more.
Thanks for reading!
My hope is if you find this valuable, consider sharing it with friends (or signing up if you haven’t already).
— Grant 👋