In the world of sales and marketing, being at the top of your game on discovery calls is crucial. Many reps dread it, but it’s required if you want to translate opportunities into deals and close deals. While there are various tips and methods, avoiding some key mistakes during your sales conversations can greatly affect the outcome of your call.
One wrong move can lead a promising lead to a dead end.
In this blog post, we are going to discuss a few common mistakes. Let’s explore each of these pitfalls in detail.
Mistake 1: Asking obvious small talk questions
The first common mistake is asking obvious questions. In the digital age, where information is readily available at our fingertips, asking questions that can easily be answered by a simple Google or a LinkedIn search can make you come across as unprepared and unprofessional. This can definitely hurt your chances of making a successful sale.
For instance, if you’re contacting a potential lead and asking them what their business does, you’re demonstrating a lack of basic knowledge about their organization.
And please avoid questions like — Where are you based?
This could not only annoy your prospect but also make them doubt your credibility. Such a scenario often ends up in a lost opportunity.
At least ask something like “I saw you’re based in San Diego. I heard you had a brief power outage last evening. How are things now?”
Instead, take time to research your prospect’s company, understand their industry, learn about their products or services, and identify their potential challenges. This will help you ask more insightful questions that provoke thought and stimulate conversation, ultimately leading to a successful conversation.
Mistake 2: Lack of enough account research beforehand
Another common mistake many sales reps make is not doing enough research about each prospect account before getting on the call. This failure to prepare adequately can lead to embarrassing moments during the call, and worse, the inability to answer potential questions from the prospect. Preparation is a key aspect when getting into discovery calls.
In fact, before getting into the calling mode, we would suggest that you upload your account list on an account intelligence platform like B2Brain and first get an understanding of the accounts that have high buying intent. The platform also gives you signals as to why these accounts have high buying intent.
Unlike the generic intent data available in the market, these aren’t about accounts searching for a certain keyword. These are based on actions taken by key stakeholders in these accounts across platforms, announcements made by the company, goals, strategic initiatives, direction of potential investments in the future, and more.
Once you have shortlisted the right accounts, ensure you have researched your prospect thoroughly. Understand their company’s background, the industry they are in, their role in the company, and the challenges they are likely facing.
By having a comprehensive understanding of your prospect and their needs, you will be able to tailor your conversation to address these needs and show them how your product or service can be a solution.
This level of preparation shows your prospect that you value their time and are genuinely interested in helping them, which can significantly increase your chances of success.
Mistake 3: Not having specific and personalized talking points
Having clear talking points for each account is one of the most fundamental requirements getting into a discovery call. Without a clear structure or talking points, your call can quickly turn into a rambling mess, leaving your prospect confused and uninterested.
This lack of direction in your conversation can derail the call and make it difficult to bring the conversation back on track.
Your talking points should act as a roadmap for your conversation, guiding both you and your prospect from the introduction, through the discussion, and finally to the close. They should be tailored to each prospect, focusing on their specific needs and how your product or service can meet those needs.
With B2Brain, you can tailor talking points for each account based on the context of each account so that you can speak to their priority, focus and goals.
Remember, your goal is not just to sell but to build a relationship with your prospect, understand their challenges, and offer a solution. Having clear talking points can be a game changer.
Mistake 4: Ineffective listening
Active listening is one of the most important skills a sales rep should possess, yet many fail to apply it during their sales calls. Listening, in this context, isn’t just about being silent when the other person talks. It’s about showing genuine interest, understanding their concerns, and picking up on important details that could help you tailor your pitch.
Unfortunately, many reps focus too much on what they’re going to say next, and this hampers their ability to truly understand their prospects.
When you actively listen to your prospect, you’re able to gather pertinent information that will guide you in personalizing your offer. You will be able to detect their pain points, preferences, and needs, which are essential factors in closing a deal.
Therefore, ensure to actively listen to your prospect and make them feel heard and understood. This not only builds a connection, but it also fosters trust and credibility.
Mistake 5: Being too salesy
Another common mistake during discovery is being too salesy, ie., trying to map every pain expressed by the prospect to your product immediately.
Prospects often dread these conversations because they assume that the sales rep will be pushy and only interested in making a sale, rather than understanding their needs. Therefore, it is essential to strike a balance between promoting your products or services and showing that you genuinely care about the prospect and their pain points.
To effectively do this, your conversation should be client-focused. Instead of jumping right into your pitch, start by asking about their business, their role, and the challenges they are facing.
This will not only help you build rapport with the prospect, but it also provides a natural transition into discussing how your product or service could be a solution to their problems. Being too salesy can be off-putting, so make sure to be conversational and tentative during your calls.
The ability to effectively conduct an engaging conversation is an invaluable skill in sales. It helps to build rapport, understand the prospect’s needs, and eventually lead the conversation towards closing a deal.
However, common mistakes such as asking obvious questions, lack of in-depth research, not having clear talking points for each account, ineffective listening, and being too salesy can significantly hinder your success rate.
With the right approach and by avoiding these mistakes, you can turn discovery calls into insightful conversations that add value to your prospects and help you close deals.
Remember, preparation is key. Do your research, understand your prospect, have clear tailored talking points, listen actively, and always focus on the prospect’s needs. By doing so, you can significantly increase your chances of success.