Study Finds THIS Is How to Conduct a Discovery Call

Tue Jul 18, 2017

Jessica Helinski

You must ask questions during “discovery calls” to be successful as a sales rep, according to a study by Gong.io. In a recent post, SalesLoft reports on these findings and illustrates key points in an insightful infographic. The study included over half a million discovery calls, in which reps spoke with a prospect prior to the first meeting for qualification purposes. The results are pretty clear: Questions matter!

Below are a few key insights:

  • Seek moderation. The study found that success rates increased with the number of questions reps ask. But, there IS a limit: Reps achieved the highest success rate (74%) when asking 11 to 14 questions during the call.
  • Spread them out. The study found that average-performing reps tend to ask the most questions at the beginning of calls. Instead, sprinkle them in throughout the entire conversation, and make sure they are relevant to the current discussion.
  • Focus on quality. Don’t just hammer out questions to reach the sweet-spot quantity of 11 to 14. Quality does matter, so strive to keep the conversation engaging and the talking points varied. Top-performing reps cover approximately 10 topics during the discovery call. Comparatively, average performers discuss about six.
  • Uncover problems. The discovery call is the time to learn about what problem(s) the prospect is having, so make it your mission to seek them out. The results show that a rep’s success rate reaches 85% when he or she discusses four problems. The rate drops to 69% when reps only talk about two problems.

These are just a handful of findings reported by SalesLoft. Check out the entire infographic, and the Gong.io report, to learn even more ways to make your discovery calls stellar!

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About Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on the specialties of local account category research and audience trends. She reports on sales and presentation tips for Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.

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