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min read

How to Close More Deals Using Top Sales Discovery Questions

Headshot of Brandon Bornancin
Brandon Bornancin
September 28, 2022
Rep on a sales discovery call

The Sales discovery is one of the most vital steps in your sales process. Sales discovery questions are essential to closing sales deals. Without them, you won’t know what your customers need, what their pain points are, or if your product is even right for them. Sales discovery helps you make sure that each customer has an approved budget and a clear understanding of what they want before they sign on the dotted line or even talk with your sales reps.

Luckily, we put together some tips to help you get started ASAP!

What Is Sales Discovery and Why Is It Important?

The beauty of sales discovery is that it’s all about understanding your customer, the competitive landscape, and presenting a solution that fits their needs instead of pushing a product on them that they may not want or have use for. The more you know about your customers, their business, and what they currently do to solve their problems, the more likely you’ll be able to help them and close the deal. Sales discovery also helps you build rapport with your prospects, which will help close the deal and build a strong, long term working relationship. You should use sales discovery in every situation where it’s appropriate: New business opportunities, upsells, cross-sells with existing customers, etc. You can even use sales discovery to get a better understanding of an existing customer or to position yourself against the competition. 

Make Sales Discovery Easier With Mind Mapping

When I am evaluating what questions to ask for sales discovery, one of the best places to start is by using Mind Mapping. Mind Mapping is a diagram used to visually organize information into a hierarchy, showing relationships among pieces of information. In this instance, at the center of the mind map, I would put “Sales discovery.” Attached to the center of the mind map I would start brainstorming all the different questions that are important for you to ask your prospect. Whenever I am working through sales discovery during a sales pitch, I want to know everything I can about two things:

  1. The prospect’s current situation: What are the prospect’s biggest challenges, pains, problems, challenges, and blockers?
  1. The prospect’s desired situation: What are the prospect’s biggest goals, dreams, desires, and wishes?

The questions you include in your mind map should fall under one of these categories (Current Situation or Desired Situation). Additionally, I want to learn as much as I can about the current state of their business. 

In other words…

  • How many people do they have on their team?
  • What is their current tech stack?
  • What sales software do they rely on?
  • What is their current performance and capacity?

This is just a sample of the kinds of questions you can brainstorm. Use this as a head start! 

What Should Your Sales Discovery Questions Answer?

Here are a few things your discovery questions should answer:

  • Why does this prospect need our product? 
  • What problem does our product solve for them?
  • How bad do they need their problem solved?
  • How big of an impact will our solution make on their company?
  • What goals can we help them achieve in the next year or two?
  • What’s stopping them from solving their problem?
  • Who are the top competitors in their industry?

Once you learn the answers to these questions, you can get a clearer picture of how your solution will fit into the customer’s overall strategy. Furthermore, you can make sure that your product or service actually solves problems instead of creating new ones (which happens all too often).

In addition to mind mapping different sales discovery questions, you can also survey and ask your whole team what their favorite sales discovery questions are to identify a prospect’s current situation and their future (dream) situation.

Building Your Sales Discovery Questions

Once you have a thorough mind map of all your sales discovery questions, create a Google sheet with three columns:

  1. Question
  2. Score (1-5, 5 being the most important questions to ask and 1 being the least important) 
  3. Notes 

Next, you want to rank all the questions in order of importance. Keep in mind that when you are in a qualified demo or appointment, you will only have time to ask 5-10 questions. So pick your 10 strongest questions, and have them ready on hand. By doing a mind map and scoring all your questions, you’re going to ask all the right questions throughout the sales process, give a perfect demo, and present the right solution that makes your prospect’s life easier.  After every call, update your sales discovery questions, and make note of the strong questions vs. the questions that fall flat.  

Try out sales discovery mind mapping today and let me know how it goes!