Imagine that you’re on a sales discovery call and it’s going really well! You’ve built rapport, identified an urgent need for a solution and established that your prospect meets all your technical requirements. But the most crucial part of the call typically occurs during the last couple minutes. In this highly competitive business climate, you can’t end your call by just saying “let’s talk again soon.” Instead, you need to quickly discover how to best move the deal forward, and then create some follow-up items will help you close the deal as quickly as possible.
In order to plan your next steps successfully, here are five questions you should ask before hanging up the phone.
There are almost certainly some companies you regularly compete with for business. And chances are that your prospects are familiar with those competitive solutions. It’s important to identify whether or not your deal is competitive and, if it is, how you are stacking against competitors. Maybe you’re blowing them out of the water. But it’s also very common for prospects to say that they like your solution and also like Vendor X. If so, you’ll have to convince them that your solution is better.
Follow-up step: After the call, work with your marketing team to prepare a document that outlines some of the reasons that prospects choose your solution over any competitor mentioned during the call. Focus on your key differentiating factors. Maybe your offering is less expensive. Perhaps you have a more trusted brand name. Maybe your technology just works better. Or maybe you offer unparalleled customer service. A document outlining why your company is different can help give you a powerful advantage during those competitive deals.
When a discovery call goes well, it’s important to get the next meeting on the books. If possible, try to schedule the next call while you’re still on the phone.
Follow-up step: If your prospect offers a time that they are available, send over a calendar invite ASAP (while you’re still on the call is best.) If they are unsure of their schedule, follow up with an email offering 3-5 concrete times that you are available for a meeting. Solutions like Salesforce IQ Inbox make it easy to offer free times that automatically sync with both of your calendars.
In B2B sales, there are typically multiple buyers on every deal. It’s important to discover who the deal influencers and decision makers are and bring them in as early as possible.
Follow-up step: Add all noteworthy decision makers to your calendar invite for the next meeting. Also, you want to make sure that you are prepared to demonstrate how your product can add value to each of their roles. Using buyer personas can help you tailor your messaging to a variety of roles and job titles.
A great case study can do wonders for building credibility. A lot of B2B companies feature case studies on their site. If you do, ask if they have checked out any of those case studies. Or ask if they might be interested in reading a relevant case study.
Follow-up step: If your prospect shows interest in seeing a case study, it’s important to provide them with the study or studies that are most relevant. If you’ve done business with a company in their industry, one of their competitors, one of their clients, or even a company they respect, send over the relevant case study or testimonial as a proof of concept.
It’s good to ask this open-ended question before hanging up. Once your prospect is sold on the value of your offering, they might then need some additional info to help them convince other key decision makers in their organization. You want to be sure that you’re arming them with everything they need to build a buying coalition. Perhaps they’ll ask for a detailed breakdown of your pricing. Maybe they’ll want to see an implementation plan. Every company is different. And your buyer might ask for something that would never have occurred to you to send them.
Follow-up step: If your prospect asks for any additional information, try to get it to them as quickly as possible. To ensure it gets done, set up a task in your CRM. Our Intelligent Dialer for Salesforce empowers you to set up tasks right from your Dialer during or directly following calls. By setting up tasks (and task reminders) you can ensure that you get your prospects always get the info they need to feel confident in their decision to buy your product!
Looking for more must-ask questions for your sales discovery calls? Download our Ultimate Sales Call Cheat Sheet for free!
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingRevenue.io
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at Revenue.io, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 11 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.