Need Discovery: why it’s the need of the hour for any sales call

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Need Discovery: why it’s the need of the hour for any sales call

Sarah is a senior sales executive for a popular marketing automation tool. She’s on a call with Mike, who heads marketing for a software company called Up Tech.

UpTech has seen success over the last 5 years within the US and want to launch  their business in Europe.

But they are unhappy with their current marketing automation tool and are in the market for an alternative. 

Let’s join in on the call as Sarah tries to understand the needs of Up Tech.

Sarah: I did some research about your plans to go to Europe. How many office locations are you looking to add in Europe?

Mike: We will soon have 4 new offices operational in Berlin, Paris, London, and Brussels.

Sarah: That’s fantastic! Have you started hiring your sales and marketing teams?

Mike: Yes, of course!

Sarah: And will your marketing automation tool support this expansion?

Mike:  No, I don’t think so 

Sarah: I see. That’s unfortunate. Our tool has sales and marketing automation features combined, so you won’t need to pay for them separately. Our free plan limits are also generous, and we are constantly adding features. 

Mike: Okay. Could you email me all the necessary information? Allow me a week to consult with the rest of my team.

Sarah: Alright! I will send you an email with quotations and our sales documents ASAP.

So, how did Sarah do? Mike is clearly interested since he asked for more information. Right? 

Actually, There are a lot of things Sarah could have done better. Let’s look at some of the common mistakes made in this sales discovery call

The question about European expansion was not required. The locations of UpTech’s new offices will have no significance to Sarah’s product. And she’s wasted precious air time with Mike to learn more about their marketing strategy. Here’s a better version of that question.

Sarah: I did some research about your plans to go to Europe expansion. Tell me a bit more about how that would impact your marketing and operations.

This is a more open ended question and gives Sarah an opportunity to let Mike speak about his business and its relevance to her.

Sarah asked a series of yes/no (closed-ended) questions When a seller asks multiple such questions, the call becomes an interrogation, the customer shuts off instead of opening up. Without asking the right questions, Sarah will never know enough about UpTech to know if her product can solve their problems

Sarah: And will your marketing automation tool support this expansion?

Is also a  closed-ended question. And all she got in response was a no. This could have been asked in a better way 

Sarah: What has been your experience with your current marketing automation tool.

Mike: We want to improve automation efficiency because our marketing process is brutally slow. We also must pay for many sales automation features in our tool that many other tools offer in their free or least expensive paid lower price plans.

Asking open questions, which help you understand the customer’s current pain points helps you learn more about what matters to them.

Sarah was also not listening actively. When Mike talked about how he didn’t have confidence in his marketing automation tool supporting the European expansion, she didn’t pause to ask him “why”. And instead launched into her sales pitch

With the right questions, the seller can drill down and find a core need of the prospect that she can use to pitch her product throughout the sales cycle.

Sarah: Why do you think your tool wouldn’t support your plans in Europe? 

Mike: They don’t provide support in several languages like German and French, which will make it hard for our regional teams. Adding new licenses is expensive, so we will end up having to spend a lot more than we have budgeted for. And they have not updated their product to cover many GDPR related compliance issues.

By simple listening and asking the right question - Sarah could have learnt so much about UpTech and made her sales a slam-dunk. 

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Why is Need Discovery so important during sales calls?

If the seller is impatient (or a bad listener), the quality of the need discovery call will degrade. A botched need discovery process could potentially have long-term effects on the later stages of the sales cycle.

Truly great need discovery calls can

  • Help sellers understand their buyers situation and give them the ingredients to make the perfect pitch to close the deal.
  • Help create trust between the seller and prospect so they both share more information.
  • Help add context to the entire sales process, so your forecasts and follow ups and more accurate and relevant.
  • Help anticipate objections and consequently enable a faster closing and an efficient sales cycle overall.

Need Discovery with Salesken

Salesken is a conversational intelligence platform that assists sales reps in real time with cues and prompts that make them better at responding to customers’ questions and emotions. Sales reps can discover key talking points LIVE during the call and align their pitch to the prospect’s needs. 

During need discovery, the key is to ask the right questions throughout the duration of the call, and Salesken can help reps keep the interaction flowing naturally and ensure all bases are covered before the subject changes. 

Even better – the cues and prompts are based on what’s actually worked for top performing reps in the past. Therefore, they can help you, as a sales leader, to build a team of high performers. Sign up for a demo today to learn more about the AI that makes your reps more human!

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