Best Sales Discovery Questions for Sales Reps  | RedPandas Digital
Best Sales Discovery Questions for Sales Reps

Best Sales Discovery Questions for Sales Reps 

Picture this: You’re about to jump on a sales call, and you’re eager to make a connection with your potential customer. But how do you steer the conversation in a way that not only addresses their needs but also positions you as the go-to solution provider and an authority? That’s where the magic of sales discovery questions comes in.  

Picture this: You’re about to jump on a sales call, and you’re eager to make a connection with your potential customer. But how do you steer the conversation in a way that not only addresses their needs but also positions you as the go-to solution provider and an authority? That’s where the magic of sales discovery questions comes in.  

What are Sales Discovery Questions? 

Sales Discovery Questions are a set of strategically crafted inquiries that sales professionals use to uncover critical information about a potential customer’s needs, pain points, and goals.  

These questions go beyond surface-level conversations and aim to delve deep into the heart of the prospect’s challenges and aspirations. 

They help you understand your prospect’s world, empathise with their situation, and tailor your sales pitch to align perfectly with their requirements. 

But what exactly makes a question a “Sales Discovery” question?  

It’s not just any query you throw at your prospect. These questions are designed to extract valuable insights and build a foundation for a fruitful business relationship. 

Here’s a simple way to distinguish Sales Discovery Questions from regular inquiries: Sales Discovery Questions seek to help your prospect discover their pain points and required solutions, while typical questions don’t really do that. 

For example, in a B2B setting ‘’tell me about your business’ isn’t a sales discovery question. It’s a basic question often asked unnecessarily.  

Now that we’ve clarified what Sales Discovery Questions are, let’s move on to why you need to incorporate them into your sales process. 

Why Do You Need to Ask These Questions? 

meme about asking questions

In the world of sales, information is power. The more you know about your potential customers, the better equipped you are to meet their needs and, ultimately, close the deal.  

This is where Sales Discovery Questions come into play. Some benefits include: 

  • Understanding Your Prospect’s Goals: Sales Discovery Questions help you gain insight into what your prospect is trying to achieve and what their pain points are. By asking questions like, “What does success look like if we solved this for you?” you open the door to a conversation about their goals and aspirations. This allows you to position your product or service as a solution that aligns with their vision 
  • Identifying Pain Points: Every business faces challenges, and your prospect is no exception. Sales Discovery Questions enable you to pinpoint the pain points that are holding your potential customer back. Questions such as, “What issues are you currently experiencing?” or “Can you tell me about any specific challenges you’re facing?” help uncover the obstacles they need to overcome. Knowing their pain points positions you as a problem solver and agitates the problem for your prospect 
  • Quantifying the Impact: It’s not enough to know the problems; you also need to understand their significance. Sales Discovery Questions like, “How do these issues impact your daily operations?” or “What’s the financial cost of not addressing these challenges?” help quantify the impact of the identified pain points. This step is crucial for demonstrating the urgency of finding a solution 
  • Building Trust and Rapport: When you show a genuine interest in your prospect’s business challenges and aspirations, it goes a long way in building trust and rapport. They see you as a partner invested in their success, not just a salesperson trying to make a sale. This trust forms the foundation of a strong business relationship 
  • Tailoring Your Solution: Armed with a clear understanding of your prospect’s goals and pain points, you can now tailor your sales pitch. You can articulate how your product or service directly addresses their specific needs, making your offering more compelling and relevant 
  • Follow-up Ammunition: Our sales coaching clients will often ask us how to conduct follow-ups that don’t sound like ‘’hey I’m just following up’. Often the problem is enough discovery wasn’t done to note how the client will measure success and what’s important to them. If done right, these are the things you can follow up on and come back to with more information 

In summary, Sales Discovery Questions are essential because they provide you with the insights needed to create a customised and persuasive sales approach. They help you align your pitch with your prospect’s objectives, making it more likely that you’ll close the deal and foster a long-term customer relationship.  

Now that you understand the importance of these questions, let’s dive into the three best Sales Discovery Questions you can ask to supercharge your sales process. 

Best Sales Discovery Questions 

meme about sales discovery questions

Question 1: Pain me a picture of what success looks like? 

This is one of the most efficient questions you can ask to find out your buyer’s ‘dream scenario’. A variation might be ‘’what are you looking to achieve?’ however we find the paint a picture question yields more strategic answers and often more emotive ones. 

This gives you a great requirements list straight off the bat that you can later tailor your pitch for. 

For instance say you sell CRM software, asking this question may yield you answers such as: 

  • Having all our data in one place 
  • Visibility on where our leads are coming from 
  • Visibility on what deals we have in the pipeline and at what stage 

From those three requirements, a salesperson would know exactly what to demo, what things to focus on and what to ignore. 

If this question yields strong enough answers you may not need to use question 2 – although you could use it in combination with it as well. 

Question 2: Talk to Me About Some of the Issues You’re Currently Experiencing 

This question encourages your prospect to candidly share their pain points and obstacles.  

Here’s why it’s a crucial step: 

  • Unearths Pain Points: Many prospects might not readily divulge their problems unless prompted. This question encourages them to open up about the issues they face and by doing so, agitates the problem in their mind. It makes them feel the need for a solution more than ever  
  • Demonstrates Empathy: By actively listening to their challenges, you demonstrate empathy and show that you genuinely care about their situation 
  • Lays the Groundwork for Solutions: Identifying issues is the first step toward proposing solutions. You can’t provide assistance until you understand the problems thoroughly 
  • Positions You as a Trusted Advisor: Rather than being seen as a salesperson, you’re seen as a trusted advisor, which goes a long way in helping you close the deal 

Note: The reason we mentioned above both question 1 and 2 are not needed is often what success looks like is an inverse of issues/problems being experienced. 

For instance if ‘having all our data in one place’’ is an answer to what success looks like, the inverse of that is ‘our data is in multiple sources and not in one place’ which might be an answer to ‘talk to me about some of the issues you are experiencing’. 

Do what feels best in your particular industry and sales process. 

Question 3: What Does Success Look Like if We Solved This for You? 

Now that you know what needs to be solved from question 1 and/or 2 it’s time to find out the true value of your solution with this question.  Rather than immediately diving into your product or service, begin by exploring your prospect’s aspirations.  

By asking about their vision of success, you gain valuable insight into their objectives.  

Here’s why this question is so effective: 

  • Shifts the Focus to Outcomes: Instead of dwelling on problems, you begin by discussing positive outcomes. This helps set a more optimistic and forward-looking tone for the conversation 
  • Uncovers Their Priorities: Understanding what success means to your prospect reveals their top priorities. It allows you to tailor your pitch to align with what matters most to them 
  • Highlights Opportunities: Sometimes, your prospect may not have specific problems but rather opportunities they want to seize. By asking about success, you open the door to identifying these opportunities before you delve into the problems 

Question 4: Talk to Me About the Impact of These Problems. How Do These Impact You? 

Once you’ve uncovered the challenges, it’s essential to quantify their impact. This helps you raise the stakes and similarly to the previous question, helps you identify how valuable your offering could be to the buyer. 

This question helps your prospect recognise the gravity of their issues and underscores the urgency of finding a solution.  

Here’s why it’s a vital part of the process: 

  • Reveals Urgency: By discussing the impact, you create a sense of urgency. Your prospect begins to realise that these problems are not just inconveniences but potential roadblocks to their success. Or, you find out there is little impact your solution could make to this particular buyer which might tell you this buyer won’t be motivated to close anytime soon 
  • Strengthens Your Position: When you understand the profound effects of the issues, you’re better equipped to position your product or service as the answer to their troubles 
  • Fosters Collaboration: This question encourages a collaborative approach. You and your prospect work together to evaluate the real-world consequences of unresolved challenges. Again, this builds trust and positions you as a trusted advisor as opposed to a slimy sales person trying to get their hard earned money 

Question 5: Here’s What We Know About the Problem 

While this isn’t exactly a question, it’s the next most important thing to cover because it helps you convey your understanding of the problems discussed.  

Based on the information shared during the conversation, you can provide insights into the challenges your prospect faces. This step demonstrates that you’ve been actively listening and processing their concerns. 

It provides you with an opportunity to align with the buyer and serves as a good intro before you drop your amazing, tailored solution to the buyer. 

So, What’s Next? 

Sales discovery questions are the cornerstone of successful sales interactions. They not only help you understand your prospects’ needs and pain points but also enable you to demonstrate your expertise and tailor your solutions accordingly.  

It’s important to note that although the questions above seem to follow a sequence, you may not need all of them and you may need to add some extra discovery questions of your own. 

The point is these questions are a great starting point to tweak your own sales discovery process and must happen first before you talk about how great your company and offer is! 

By using the questions in this article as a guide and asking the right questions, you can build trust, uncover valuable insights, and ultimately close more deals. 

Remember that every sales conversation is unique, and the best discovery questions may vary depending on your industry, audience, and product or service. Therefore, it’s essential to adapt and refine your approach continually. 

So, the next time you find yourself in a sales meeting, remember the power of discovery questions. Start by understanding your prospect’s vision of success, delve into their challenges, uncover the impact of those challenges, and, when appropriate, share your insights and proposed solutions.  

This approach will not only make your sales conversations more productive but also help you forge stronger, more meaningful connections with your potential clients. 

Next, find out how to close more deals virtually. 

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