12 B2B Sales Discovery Questions You Can Ask Prospects

12 B2B Sales Discovery Questions You Can Ask Prospects

12 B2B Sales Discovery Questions You Can Ask Prospects

Nowadays, sales teams need to constantly adjust their selling techniques and methods.  Failing to do so can leave them falling behind competitors and miss out on important opportunities when they present themselves.  Keeping your team on the cutting edge of new techniques can make them more effective. Constantly developing and sharpening skills can help them cope up with the ever-constant changes in the selling industry.

 In B2B sales, exceptional verbal communication skills are absolutely crucial because phone calls are where deals move forward. It can take countless back and forth emails to qualify a lead, but it’s far easier to qualify leads and move conversations forward over the phone.

From the start of the call to the ending statements – your sales team’s communication skills can determine your chances of closing a sale. This is why sales teams must keep on developing their conversational skills.  It can help you and your team build a strong first impression by gaining trust and establishing credibility with prospects.

According to Albert Mehrabian, a psychologist who is best known for his publications on the relative importance of verbal messages, words that a salesperson uses has only about 7% of an influence on prospects while the other 93% is in the salesperson’s conduct over the phone.  Even though these numbers may be debated upon, the meaning of his proclamation is clear – the way the message is delivered is at least as important as the content contained in it. In short, it isn’t just what is said but on how it is said. Rejection can also be avoided and minimized if your sales team put this into action.

Learn the different types of sales rejection and how to best handle them here: https://www.tenfold.com/sales-performance/types-of-sales-rejections/

In B2B sales, a consultative approach to selling is becoming more and more appreciated by the minute. Before, buyers had to approach the seller first in order to research their possible purchase. Once contact has commenced, the seller could exert influence over the buyer and the sale by using information as leverage. The seller had it and the buyer needed it.

However, the buyers can now research their purchases online thanks to the internet. They can read product reviews, get an estimate, and talk to friends about their experience with your company’s product or service. The seller’s information leverage has vanished.

Now, with the buyers in charge of the buying process, trying to exert leverage on them does not work anymore. It often rebounds, because while the buyers want to buy, they do not want to be sold to. The most successful salesperson these days take a much more consultative approach. They listen for opportunities to help, teach and delight the buyer. When done right, selling doesn’t even feel like selling. It’s more like a consultation.

Discovery Calls

The discovery call is the first call after connecting with a prospect. It is actually the most important in the sales process. It sets the tone for the entire relationship, both before the sale and after the sale.

Participating in a discovery call is okay for most customers as long as it’s not an interrogation. There’s is a fine line between both. Discovery calls are crucial for sales professionals to understand the details of a prospect’s situation. Prospects want to leave a discovery call knowing who you are and what your company’s all about. They might have specific questions about a product feature or a term. Most importantly, they need to be assured that you understand their problem and that you will make a professional assessment to determine if you can help them or not.

What are Sales Discovery Questions?

Discovery questions focus on “what.”  Discovery questions are designed to identify existing needs, problems, customer pain points, customer’s goals etc. Discovery questions are designed to get to the known and to detect what the customer knows.

The more information you get, the more you can help, add value, differentiate yourself from your competition and close sales. Questions are the most important sales tool. Ask open-ended sales questions that begin with words like what, how, why, where, when and who. Try to avoid yes or no questions. One of the biggest mistakes a salesperson makes is to assume something about the buyer. Asking questions minimizes the risk of assuming.

Types of Sales Discovery Questions

Questions to Build Rapport

Building rapport is the foundation of a relationship based on harmony or affinity while relating is the overall manner in which salespeople interact with a client to make personal and business connections, it’s one of the languages of sales.

It doesn’t pay to be casual about making connections with clients because people have a natural preference for doing business with those they know, like, and trust.

The best way to build rapport is to use questions that show interest; then, listen closely and respond appropriately. You should look for authentic opportunities throughout the call.

Questions to Identify Needs

Identifying client requirements is an essential component of being a good salesperson. There is only one way to find out what a client wants and that is to get them talking. The best way to get a client to talk is by asking relevant questions to the situation. Using the right type of questions can make your job easier than you might think.

There are two types of questions (open and closed) and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Getting the balance right between open and closed questions can make dialogue much easier and consequently the flow of information is more readily exchanged. Broad, open-ended questions for sales calls are great for helping us to find out what’s going on in our prospects’ and clients’ worlds. They help us connect with buyers personally, understand their needs, understand what’s important to them, and help them create better futures for themselves.

Questions to  Uncover Challenges

In order for a sale to close, a compelling event must be driving the customer to move and take action. If the customer has no problem to be solved then the sale will most likely not succeed. That being the case, the challenge for sales representatives is uncovering what issues or business challenges the customer is facing so they know what to talk to them about and how they can help them out with the product or services they’re offering.

Here are 12 of the best sales questions to ask on a sales call.

  1. What would a successful outcome look like?
  2. What does success in this project do to help your efforts?
  3. In your opinion, what issues could keep this project from moving forward?
  4. What’s your timeline for implementation?
  5. Where could your team use the most help in moving forward?
  6. What are some challenges you’re looking to solve?
  7. What led you to want to make a change now?
  8. In addition to yourself, who else at your company is facing these problems?
  9. Say you had no budgetary restrictions, what kind of changes would you like to make happen?
  10. What will you do with all your extra time/revenue after making a change?
  11. Are you looking at any other solution providers at the moment?
  12. What do you think could be a potential solution? Why?

Asking the best sales discovery questions will not only help your prospect find a solution, but it can also help your sales team to help prospects to find a solution – via your products and services. It’ll be a win-win situation for everyone.

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determining the proper questions to ask. ” -Albert Einstein


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Nikka Alejandro