• Sales Discovery – The Journey and and 4 “Travel” Tips

    As much as we love data, combining the art and science of sales means practicing and engaging from person to person. We talk about the ODAC sales conversation being critical and on this post one of our Invenioligists Brian McMurry will go through the critical nature of that D in ODAC – the Discovery.

    Before addressing why discovery is important in a sales call, I would like to “embark on a journey of discovery” regarding what discovery in a sales call really means… to me.

    Discovery simply means “The act of finding or learning something for the first time.”

    Starting at the moment when we finally get the key influencer or decision maker on the line, we likely know little about the person’s actual business needs. After a solid opening featuring our best value prop, it’s time for the sales agent to “embark on journey of discovery.”

    4 Ways I Handle Discovery


    1. Act like you care

    Don’t act like they’re the 20th person you talked to today, rather like they’re you’re the first and most important conversation of the day. You can do this with a confident yet calming tone. Demonstrate patience. Laugh at their bad jokes.

    2. Listen

    If you do all of the talking, there is no way you can discover a decision maker’s needs. By actively listening, you will catch every little thing they say and find more opportunities to present solutions. If you don’t pay close attention, you will miss opportunities!

    3. Ask Open-Ended Questions

    This is a must. According to MediaCollege.com, “An open-ended question is designed to encourage a full, meaningful answer using the subject’s own knowledge and/or feelings. It is the opposite of a closed-ended question, which encourages a short or single-word answer.”

    Close-ended question: Are you going to invest in a new CRM this year?
    Open-ended question: What is your roadmap regarding software purchases this year?

    Out of the 2 questions, which will lead to a better conversation?

    Speaking of conversations, make sure you are having a great conversation
    I always say that the key to a great sale is simply having a great conversation. This should happen in every phase of the call; open, discovery, agreement and close, but I find having a fantastic conversation is most important during the discovery phase. Tweet: Click to tweet

    This is when the decision maker is opening up and providing information which will always determine the direction your call will go. By the way, if don’t do discovery, how can you expect to get them to agreement?

    4. Uncover Pains

    Utilize the prior 4 steps and at the end of the day, you are listening for and targeting pain points. Once you know a pain point, you can present your product as a meaningful solution. They won’t care about your product unless it can help them. WIIFM (What’s in it for me). For that matter, without appropriate discovery, how can you attempt to present your product in a way that truly impacts the decision maker?

    I can go on and on about discovery. It is actually a circle that continues to the close. Ask the customer what is important to them and you cannot lose.  By asking them about their business, you establish trust. TRUST precedes the sale.