Top 3 Problems With Most Discovery Calls

From time to time I take sales calls to see how reps at other companies sell – it’s both to learn about something that interests me in SaaS and also to keep an eye on what others are doing (and to gauge how effectively others are executing the selling process).

Over the past year I’ve notice 3 consistent and repeating problems with most discovery calls and I’ve kept a tally in a spreadsheet – 80% to over 90% of sales reps fall into all three of these buckets:

  1. Not building any Trust & Rapport – skipping this stage significantly reduces your Win Probability downstream (you can’t ask the hard questions or for micro-commitments if you don’t have any Trust & Rapport and especially what I call LTRR or Like/Trust/Rapport/Respect
  2. Doing a very subpar Discovery – instead of performing discovery & qualification, these reps do more of an interrogation that doesn’t uncover any real challenges/problems/pains
  3. Very poor follow-up – emailing back one time a week or two after the call with a “just checking in” is not effective selling

There are other issues but I found these to be the most consistent top 3 and they are probably the most important ones in the whole process.  As usual, I don’t blame the sales reps but I typically think that their manager or the VP of Sales at their organization is not executing on Team Development very effectively – that’s usually the primary reason for such misses.