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Here’s How SDRs Sabotage Sales Discovery Calls

Revenue Blog  > Here’s How SDRs Sabotage Sales Discovery Calls
3 min readNovember 1, 2020

For SDRs, a great sales discovery call can add a valuable opportunity to your pipeline. But far too often, reps sabotage a fleeting opportunity to transform a hot lead into a loyal customer. Obviously, they don’t do it on purpose. In fact, they often walk away from the call thinking, “that went well!” and then be shocked when a the lead decides to skip the follow-up meeting.

I’ve listened to a lot of sales calls over the years. And in that time, I’ve noticed some mistakes that reps make over and over again. In fact, reps often make several of these mistakes during a single call.

Here are the five biggest mistakes. Any of these sound familiar?

Not Asking Enough Questions

The number one mistake reps make (especially SDRs that are early in their career) is not asking enough questions. The worst sales reps are the ones who talk a mile a minute without taking time to learn about who they’re talking to. Curiosity is perhaps the most important virtue that salespeople should self-nurture. Asking questions helps you build rapport, identify needs, suss out competitors and outline a buying process.

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Skipping the Rapport Phase of Calls

Building relationships are the key to sales. But far too often, reps get right down to business without taking the time to form a connection with the prospect. It’s a bit like going on a blind date. Would you start the date by saying “I think you’re marriage material – what do you say we skip out of dinner and head straight to the chapel?” It might be wiser to ask the date how their day is going first. Same applies to a sales call. By the time you ask them to sign or even for another meeting, they should already like you.

Not Personalizing Messaging

Your prospects are as unique as snowflakes. Get used to it! Even relatively simple products often have multiple use cases. So take the time to find out why your prospect needs your solution—if, in fact, they need it at all. Our free buyer persona template can help you identify ways to personalize your messaging to fit the needs of various sales roles.

Wasting Time with Technically Unsuitable Leads

In B2B sales (especially if you’re selling software), there are often technical requirements. Perhaps you sell an iPhone app or a product that integrates with just one CRM. Whatever your technical requirements are, make sure that they are either currently being met or that the prospect is open to meeting them. Otherwise, there is no reason to drag out the call.

Failing to Move Deals Forward

As calls wind down with qualified leads, it is absolutely critical to start steering toward next steps. It is to be expected that at the end of a first call the prospect isn’t going to be fully convinced. It’s therefore important to make sure next steps are in place. Perhaps you identified that you need to take a call with other key stakeholders. Maybe the lead is on the fence and needs to see a case study. Whatever the next step is that you’ve identified, make sure that the deal is moving in the right direction. B2B sales cycles can be long under the best circumstances. The last thing you want is for deals to get unnecessarily mired.

Ready to take your sales discovery call game to the next level? Our free cheat sheet will help you master the sales discovery call.