The how-to guide to improving sales discovery



Customers are only spending 17% of the total purchase journey interacting with sales reps.

With such limited time with prospects, sales reps have to make the most of every moment, so they can gather enough information to connect with customers and present compelling offers.

By leveraging sales enablement strategies, sellers can significantly improve the sales discovery process, gain a deeper understanding of customer needs, and close more deals.

In this article, we will explore 5 key sales enablement elements that can improve your sales discovery process and outline actionable steps that will help you gather the information you need to close more deals.

Elevating discovery with sales enablement

Sales enablement empowers sales representatives during the discovery process by providing them with the tools, training, and insights they need to engage prospects, identify their needs, and deliver compelling value propositions.

Here are a few of the key ways sales enablement can help improve the discovery process.

Create more accurate personas

Buyer personas are a game-changing tool for understanding your target audience — and continuously fine-tuning your buyer personas is a must in today’s rapidly-changing marketplace.

With sales enablement platforms like Pitcher, your reps can create even more detailed, personalized personas. Sales enablement teams can gather information about target customers from sources like market research, customer interviews, and interactions with existing clients — and then your reps can use those details during the discovery process to connect with prospects on a personal level, ask relevant questions, and uncover crucial insights.

Reps can become experts in each buyer persona and effortlessly build rapport during discovery.

Synthesize powerful sales playbooks

Think of sales playbooks as the ultimate cheat sheet for different sales scenarios.

Sales enablement platforms help you ensure your sales playbooks are packed with valuable insights, best practices, and feedback from real-life selling experiences. Sales reps who are in the thick of the discovery process can use these playbooks as a clear roadmap to navigate complex situations and ask laser-targeted questions.

Plus, a sales enablement platform makes it easy to keep playbooks consistently updated and aligned with company goals, so your team always has the resources they need at their fingertips.

Fine-tune competitive analysis

Sales reps must complete a thorough competitor analysis so they can differentiate your products or services during the discovery process.

With a sales enablement platform, you can:

  • Create and maintain a centralized repository of competitor information that is easily accessible to sales reps. This database can include insights into competitor offerings, strategies, and market positioning.
  • Develop competitor battle cards — concise summaries of key competitor information — that help sales reps quickly understand the strengths and weaknesses of their competition. Battle cards typically include information on competitor products, pricing, target markets, and unique selling points.
  • Foster collaboration with other departments, including marketing, product, and customer success teams to gather insights on competitor trends and developments. This cross-functional approach ensures a comprehensive understanding of the competitive landscape.

Upgrade sales training and coaching

Sales enablement can help you coach and train your sales team to turn them into discovery experts who connect with customers on a deeper level.

Customized sales training programs that focus on essential discovery skills like active listening, asking probing questions, and building rapport provide a solid foundation for more effective selling conversations.

With personalized, data-driven sales coaching sessions, you can provide reps with specific feedback and guidance, targeting their unique strengths and areas for improvement in the sales discovery process.

You can also gather and share sales discovery techniques used by top-performing reps, and leverage that information as the foundation of your training and coaching programs. All your reps can learn from their colleagues’ successes and elevate their own sales discovery when you share best practices from your team’s best sellers.

Sales enablement tools also make it easier to regularly assess and evaluate sales reps’ discovery skills, pinpoint areas for improvement, and provide targeted, personalized coaching to address any gaps.

Leverage data to craft better questions

Data analytics from sales enablement provides valuable insights that can enhance the sales discovery process. For example, when sales reps track and analyze prospect engagement data, such as email open rates, click-through rates, and time spent on specific content, they gain a better understanding of a prospect’s interests and pain points. This information allows sales reps to tailor their discovery questions and make sure they address the most relevant issues.

Guided selling tools can also analyze past sales interactions and recommend effective discovery techniques and strategies for reps.

Your team can also use sales enablement analytics to segment prospects based on factors like industry, company size, and job title and adapt your sales discovery questions based on these characteristics.

The 5-step system for building an insight-driven sales discovery process

Wondering how to keep discovery conversations focused, so reps can get the information they need to deliver persuasive value props? Break the discovery process down into the following steps:

  1. Organize the discovery conversation into chapters. Start by examining the buyer’s current challenges, then pinpoint all the necessary changes (e.g., technology, budgets, operational processes) required to tackle those challenges. Plan to wrap up discovery conversions by expressing the potential business impact for the buyer once your solution is implemented.
  2. Define the objective. Before each discovery interaction, identify the goal. What information have you already gathered about the customer? What does the rep still need to learn?
  3. Develop meaningful insights. An insight is a provocative statement designed to ignite a conversation. Create insights that are relevant to the stage of the conversation, and follow up with a question that encourages the buyer to share their thoughts.Some insights will be based on fresh information or ideas from the seller, a trustworthy fact or statistic, a field observation, or a pertinent use case story. Other insights will recap information the buyer has previously shared.
  4. Pair insights with discovery questions. Prior to meeting with the buyer, prepare discovery questions related to the topic that are inspired by the insight.Begin by asking a straightforward question to gauge the buyer’s reaction to the insight (e.g., “Does that resonate with you?” or “Would you like to add anything to that?”), then proceed with your prepared questions. Use follow-up questions to uncover additional information and delve deeper into underlying issues.
  5. Close by confirming the buyer’s perspective. Conclude each section of the discovery conversation by asking questions that establish a mutual understanding of the buyer’s knowledge and beliefs.

Best practices for sales discovery

To make the most of your sales discovery process, follow these best practices:

Research your prospect: Before engaging in a sales discovery conversation, conduct thorough research on the prospect’s company, industry, and specific challenges. This will help you ask informed questions.

Ask open-ended questions: Your ultimate objective during the sales discovery process is to identify the prospect’s specific pain points and goals so you can align your solution with their needs. During discovery, ask open-ended questions that encourage prospects to share their thoughts and experiences. Examples include:

  • What are the main challenges you’re currently facing in your role?
  • Can you tell me about your company’s goals for the next year?
  • How does your organization currently handle [specific problem]?
  • What would an ideal solution look like for you?

Listen actively: Pay close attention to the prospect’s responses, and take notes to ensure you remember key details. Active listening will help you build rapport and identify opportunities to address the prospect’s needs with your solution.

Dig deeper: Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions to clarify points or gain more information. Use these types of questions to uncover more information:

  • Can you elaborate on how that challenge impacts your day-to-day operations?
  • How have you tried to address this issue in the past, and what were the results?
  • What factors are most important to you as you evaluate potential solutions?

Uncover the decision-making process: You need to understand who is involved in the decision-making process and what their priorities are so you can personalize your sales approach. Ask questions like:

  • Who else in your organization is involved in the decision-making process for this purchase?
  • What criteria are you using to evaluate potential solutions?
  • What is your timeline for making a decision?

When you follow these sales discovery best practices, you’ll be able to present your solution in the most compelling and relevant way possible.

Refine your approach to discovery with sales enablement

By integrating sales enablement strategies into your discovery process, you can help reps establish stronger relationships with prospects, understand their needs more deeply, and deliver personalized, compelling value propositions.

Sign up for a demo of Pitcher to discover how sales enablement can help you improve discovery, build stronger relationships, tailor your pitches, demonstrate expertise, and close more deals.

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