Women in Sales Blog

There is Only One Goal of the Discovery Process in Sales: A Mutually Agreed Upon Next Step

Posted by Ali Powell on Mar 11, 2016 12:28:56 PM

The discovery process in sales is the most important part of the sales process.

The exploratory process with your prospect is what will set up the next parts of the sales process from there on out to either be great or not. If you don’t have a solid process for exploration with your prospects you cannot have a great sales process. Things will fall apart along the way if you don’t master this first step of the sales process.

Time to get back to basics.
 

What is the point of the discovery process or exploratory call?

Think about why you are taking time to talk to someone in the first place. You have a job to do. Why are you doing what you are doing? Your time is valuable and so is your prospect’s time. Do not forget this. Respect that the exploratory process is a mutual process for both you as a sales rep and the prospect.

The goal of the discovery process or exploratory process (whatever you want to call it) is to figure out if you should spend more time together. It is a mutually agreed upon thing.

There are really 2 outcomes.

1. The prospect is disqualified.

2. The prospect is qualified.

As a sales rep your job is to sell.

To be able to sell you need to have a good understanding of when and why a prospect could see value in your product or service that you are selling. To be able to tell when a prospect is a potential buyer.

The end outcome or goal of an exploratory process is very simple. It is to agree upon next steps TOGETHER to help that prospect buy your product or service OR how they will evaluate your service or product with an end goal of buying it.

Your job as a sales rep is to come away from that first call or meeting knowing that you both want to spend more time together, for a mutually agreed upon reason.
Not just for fun or for free consulting or help. Time is money.
The goal of agreeing to spend more time together is to see if it makes sense for the prospect to buy your product or service.
 

You must walk away from that meeting knowing if you have aqualified potential buyer or not. If you hang up the phone after your exploratory call or come out of your first meeting not sure what next steps are, you did not do your best.

If you come out of the meeting not knowing why you are talking again or not knowing what the point of you both talking again is, then you did not do the best job you could as a sales rep.

It is your responsibility as a sales rep to master the exploratory process. If you want to be great at sales and always crush quota you need to know where to spend your time, who to spend your time with and how to spend your time.

Here are some things that I do everyday to make sure I am spending my time with qualified potential buyers in the sales process. If you ask yourself these questions every time you start a sales process with a potential customer you will see better results.

  • Is there pain and need for what your product does?
  • Can your product or service solve the prospect’s pain points that you exposed in the exploratory process?
  • Make sure the prospect and you agree that there is potential for your company to solve their problems. You must agree on this to move forward.
  • Never assume ANYTHING. Ask as many questions as you need to ask to be able to know if this is worth moving forward with the prospect.
  • Remove the red flags- early and often. If you feel like something is “off” or “odd” or you aren’t getting the answers you want, DO NOT brush those things under the rug. These will pop up later on and you must address them at that time.

The most important thing here is to make DARN**** sure that you BOTH agree that it makes sense to spend more time together assessing your product or service, with the end goal of that assessment process being becoming a customer.

The goal of a truly great exploratory process in sales is to know if it makes sense to spend more time with the prospect in doing one of two things.

  1. Purchasing your product or your service.
  2. Evaluation of your product or your service with an end goal of buying in mind.
If you constantly keep in mind why you are doing what you are doing with one thing in mind, the end goal of a new customer then you will do a better job at all stages of your sales process.

If you are a woman working in sales, in any industry, in any sales role please join the Women in Sales Community here. We also recently formed aSlack Channel for Women in Sales as well, you can join that here.

 
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Topics: sales process, women in sales, sales pitch, sales help, saas sales, software sales tips, sales, exploratory process in sales, discovery call in sales

Why Prospects Want You to Teach Them in the Sales Process and How to Do it Nicely

Posted by Ali Powell on Jul 30, 2014 12:05:00 PM

Some prospects want you to teach them. Some might tell you up front that they want your advice. Some might not tell you up front that they want to be taught so it is your job to expose that need to be taught. There are good and bad ways to do that. 

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Topics: sales coaching, sales process, sales pitch, sales help, sales tricks, helpful sales reps

Sales Prospecting Success Series: Working Someone Else in the Company and Using Notes from Past Calls

Posted by Ali Powell on May 13, 2014 11:03:22 AM

Today I had a good amount of time to spend on prospecting and so I am working on getting as many converted leads into opps that I can to set myself up for a strong May and June. Summer is hard in sales because people go on vacations and people are spacey. They are in vacation mode sometimes so you need to do your best to prospect hard and smart to get good, quality conversions early on in May so you have a strong summer. This is your time to be a rock star sales prospector. 

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Topics: sales skills, sales coaching, sales tips, sales prospecting, sales process, women in sales, saleswomen, more women in sales, sales pitch, sales prospector, sales women, sales prospecting success stories

How to Become Sales Friendly with the Receptionist or GateKeeper- It's Easy, BE NORMAL and Explain Why You are Calling

Posted by Ali Powell on May 9, 2014 3:00:45 PM

Let's face it you have to dial to get your leads to convert. I realize that you can send emails, leave voicemails and send linkedin notes. But, when it comes down to it you are always going to be to pick up the phone to speak to the prospect to get them to convert or at least know they are worthy of being converted into an opportunity to work. 

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Topics: sales skills, sales coaching, sales tips, sales prospecting, sales process, saleswomen, sales pitch, sales prospector, receptionist skills, gatekeeper skills

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