How to Run Effective Discovery Calls That Book Next Steps

Everything You Need For More Successful Discovery Calls

What's a discovery call?

A discovery call comes after your prospect shows initial interest in your product. Whether they came in through outbound or inbound, it's always a good idea to have a discovery call in order to see if there's a mutual fit.

50% of prospects won't be a good fit for what you’re selling. So if you, your team, or your prospect are going to invest time into a sales process, this is your chance to make sure it's worth it.


How do I make sure the call is going to be effective? 

In order to make sure you consistently have effective discovery calls, you need to always come prepared. No two calls will be alike so if you don't want to be caught off guard, preparation is key.


What are the best ways to prepare for a discovery call?

With so much that could potentially be at stake, creating a process will not just keep you consistent, but it'll impress your buyers and get things started on the right foot.

If you follow these 9 steps, you'll be one step closer to earning that commission check.

What are the steps to more consistent discovery calls?

  1. Do your research
  2. Be human
  3. Set expectations & Have an Agenda
  4. Have a two-way conversation
  5. Ask good questions, get real answers
  6. Take lots of notes
  7. Follow a script (but in your own way)
  8. Summarize your conversation
  9. Go for the close


Below is a more thorough explanation of each step.


  1. Do Your Research!

This is something I can't stress enough. Gather any information that's publicly available to use during your discussion. I'm talking; personal, company, and industry related topics. You're an expert. Show them. 


  1. Be Human

Nobody wants to sit through a call if the rep just reads and asks questions off a script or slides word-for-word. Be personable. Show your personality. Don't be afraid to be yourself. You'll both be happier and more comfortable because of it. Find some commonality you have with the prospect and use it as an ice-breaker.


  1. Set Expectations & Have an Agenda

Don't let the pleasantries go too long. Taking control of the meeting early on is super important. The purpose of this call isn't a demo or price discussion, but a lot of your prospects will wanna turn it into one. Letting them know what will happen during the meeting will get things started off on the right foot. Start with saying something like: "So you agreed to meeting today because...Today we’ll be…" and then the agenda you put together for the meeting.


  1. Have a two-way conversation

Data shows that top-performing reps talk just under half of the time during a discovery call.

Asking yes or no questions will only get you so much information. If you have them elaborate on a subject, then it'll be a lot easier for everyone to see the value you're going to bring.

Instead of asking, “Are your employees struggling to keep up with the demand of paperwork?” go with something like, “What are some of the issues your employees talk about when it comes to paperwork?”

When they give you an answer to one of your questions, have them elaborate by asking a follow up question like, "What are some of the things you've been doing to fix these issues?" Do what you can to get to the root of the problem.


  1. Ask Good Questions, Get Real Answers

Asking good questions will help you discover more about the prospects goals and what's keeping them from achieving those goals. 

Asking the right questions allows you to stay in control of the conversation and make sure both you and the prospect are getting value from the meeting. 

Getting thorough answers helps you discover their pain points and whether or not your company can help.

When the prospect asks you questions, don't explain more than you absolutely need, and finish your answer with another good question.


What are some good questions to ask? Here's a few of them:

  1. What is the problem you're trying to solve?
  2. What goal is your business looking to achieve?
  3. What is it going to take to achieve that goal?
  4. What will happen if you don't hit that goal?
  5. What have you done in the past to solve similar problems?


  1. Take Lots of Notes

Taking notes is crucial. Using tools like call recording software with transcripts or Salesroom where you can add them right inside the meeting app have been game-changers.

  1. Follow The Script (but in your own way)

Your script isn't something that you should read word for word. Going back to step 2: Be Human, will help refresh your memory as to why. What your script should be is a guideline to keep you on track and not forget anything important.


Here's a good example of what a script should look like:


Intros and rapport > questions to find pain points and similar experience > the pitch > pricing > credible story or case study > what are the next steps > follow up


Picture each section as a milestone. Don't move on from a section until you're satisfied with the info you have. Don't start the pitch until you know the pain.


  1. Summarize Your Conversation

Make sure things end on a positive note. 

Summarize what you learned about the prospect’s pain points and the solutions both you and the prospect agreed upon then ask for the next meeting.


  1. Go For The Close

Only go for the close if you believe that working together is going to be beneficial to both of you. Then ask if they believe it too.

Hopefully by now you've built some trust and enough rapport to go straight for it, but

If you don’t want to be too direct, say you'll send them more details over email but whatever you do make sure get another call on the schedule before you hang up.


Following these steps is easier said than done but with repetition, you'll see more consistency in no time.



  1. Knowledge from 8 years of experience and 100s of interviews with top sales professionals and leaders