The ‘Discovery’ is the most important step in your VoIP sales process, and it is often the most taken for granted. Sales Discovery is so vital because it sets up every other step for success: The Demo, the Proposal, and the Close. A good discovery will position your entire pitch to help the prospect understand why they need to buy from you. It will position your pitch’s strengths against any competition involved. The result will be a higher close rate and a higher contract value on your proposals, both of which add up to more business. If you're interested in learning how to measure the results of your efforts, check out our Webinar on Building your Sales Dashboard.
The purpose of your Discovery is to qualify a new lead, or to disqualify it. What does it mean to qualify a lead? A qualified lead is one that turns into a sales opportunity and moves on to the next phase of the process, the Demo. A lead is qualified when it meets the following criteria (NOTE: you may have other, technical qualifications on top of these):
- Pain/Need: There must be a reason for them to buy your services. Bringing in a new communications system is very disruptive and will likely also incur some cash outlays. Therefore, there must be some pain to fix, some need to fill, some challenge to overcome. This is the primary focus of your Discovery -- find that pain!
- Budget: Ouch. We hate asking this question. The key here is that your job is to find a solution that makes financial sense. Explain that first, then let them know you’ll need some information to help you put that together. Then, ask your budget questions. Ask what they spend on maintenance, updates, hardware, break-fix, monthly service, for a copy of their bills, etc. Once they know you’re working in their best interest, this information will start to flow.
- Timeline: Without pain, your deal is dead. Without a set time-frame for making a decision, your deal will linger in the pipeline and die a long, tortured death of monthly promises. There needs to be some point in time where they need to make a decision. So, find that time by asking questions about their business, about their goals, about potential losses if they wait too long. Try to get a hard answer as to when they’d like to get this done.
- Decision-making Process: You must know who makes the decision. I’ve made this mistake, of pitching the wrong person only to find out the decision-maker hasn’t even been appraised of my proposal. Make it part of your Discovery to thoroughly understand how a decision is made, who makes it, and who signs the agreement. A good sale manager will ask about this in the monthly Sales Pipeline meetings.
Once you have these answers, you’re in a great position to do a killer demo. We’ll discuss the Demo later, but when you get to really know your prospect’s pain and needs, you’ll design a demo that SHOWS them how you’ll make their business better. Once you’ve wow’d them with this demo, the proposal practically writes itself. And you’re there.
I’ll finish this up with the obvious: So, what questions do I ask in a Discovery? Get my list here. It’s a start, and you should tailor it to your own services and strengths. Just make sure you and your sales team are not taking this vital step for granted. Doing a good Discovery will result in higher close rates and higher contract values in your proposals.
Today's post is brought to you buy our Partner Stuart Preston of Pitch Consulting.