Guide | Sales Stage 2: Discovery
The Discovery phase is the initial stage where a sales rep gathers information and knowledge about a potential customer. This guide will help set your organization up for success in the Discovery phase of the sales cycle. Learn how to customize and surface this training template as reps are prospecting with Spekit.
Intro: What is the Discovery Stage of the sales cycle?
What is a Stage 2: Discovery Opportunity?
This is now ‘Sales Qualified Pipeline’ where the AE is doing deep discovery with the Champion. You should have a clear BANT at this stage of the process. Make sure that the buyer believes we are a strong fit for their needs and will work to find the funds for a project in which we will be considered.
|Forecast Category||Best Case|
|Our Deal Risk||Vendor of Choice, Budget allocation, Timing, Executive Alignment, “nice to have” business problem|
|Avg Days in S2||XXX|
👤 BUYER IS DOING: In-depth discussions with potential solutions
|BUSINESS PROBLEM||In stage 1 you heard about the prospects pains, now map those to what is the actual 🐙 Business Problem that is driving change. This is what will keep them from getting to their C-level priorities and ultimately affect revenue.|
|USE CASE||🐙 Use Case Overview identification is key to setting up a demo that speaks “their language” while sharing that we can & have proven to solve for that.|
|CHAMPION & EXECUTIVE BUYER||Uncovering these roles will be imperative, so that everyone involved in making the decision to buy sees a Solution demo. This can happen live or async to individuals within the company. They need to know what we do and what we can solve for to prep for a more custom demo based on their specific needs. Contact Role tags in SF, map out the account and get super clear on who is/are the 🐙 Champion, 🐙 Executive Buyer, and 🐙 Decision Maker Remember, the goal is to identify at LEAST 3 POCs per account, and involve them in the buying process as early as possible. 🐙 Multi-threading | 🐙 Sales Play|
|DECISION CRITERIA (Solution)||This is HOW they will they decide on choosing a vendor & must-have capabilities 🐙 Requested Features. By asking them if they have a set criteria for a solution ‘MUST HAVES’ helps you qualify or disqualify if our solution is a fit.|
|PRIMARY COMPETITION||Identify who the 🐙 Primary Competitor or blockers are (🎥 Selling against Competitors) helps you cater the solution demo against their weaknesses. Play to our strengths and plant landmines against the competition.|
|METRICS||🐙 Metrics Is the most important to help understand HOW they will quantify buying a solution for their business problem. How will they know if the solution is providing value? If they don’t know, we need to guide them there based on their Use Case, Persona and Industry.|
|USERS||In your discovery you will uncover who the ‘end users’ will be. By identifying the audience, you can cater a solution demo to show them ‘a day in the life’ of who will be using our product.|
|Deep Discovery||🐙 Persona 1🐙 Persona 2🐙 Persona 3🐙 Persona 4|
|Early Multithreading||Multithreading up and out, identify the Head of Sales, Head of Ops, Head of Enablement. Identify the main use case, and who the primary end users will be, and ensure their leadership is involved.|
|Identifying Use Case||Identify the primary Use Case at this Stage, and quantify the impact. Why is this a need to have vs a nice to have?|
|Outlining Initial Metrics||Ask how they know they have an issue. What data supports their theory? How will they measure a solution? What improvements are they hoping to achieve?|
|Creating Curiosity||This stage is critical for emotional buy in and generating curiosity for our prospects. Leave them wanting more.|
|Use Case Demo||After outlining the use case, be prepared to do a brief demo speaking to that use case, and how we can solve their pains, needs, and priority with the tool.|
Customize the below template for your organization and surface this coaching directly where your reps are prospecting to drive pipeline with Spekit.
1. Discovery Questions | Persona Based
- What’s top of mind for you or what priority do you have that made you interested in learning more?
- What are some of your systems and process priorities over the next 6 months?
- Are your reps pretty happy with the state of the technology at their disposal?
- Would you say most are utilizing it to its full potential?
- What are the biggest frustrations that you hear from the revenue org today?
- If your CEO came to you and asked you for the three most important things you think you need to get right as a revenue team in order to go hit your big targets this year – what would those be?
- Where do you see the biggest potential efficiencies to bring to the way your sales team runs today? Where are the areas of friction?
- Where do you feel like the most time is wasted in the revenue org?
- Is your team responsible for reporting on sales performance and looking for trends around where the team needs to focus or hire etc.?
- How confident are you today on a scale of 1-10 on your data and action on data/ability to accurately forecast your business?
- What are the metrics that you’re the most focused on?
- Does that data live in Salesforce? How accurate would you say it is?
- Do you feel like your best reps are set up for success today? Like if you were to hire the top rep from us hypothetically, are you pretty confident she could easily get up to speed and exceed her quotas at X too?
- If your CEO asked you to decrease ramp-up time by 20% over the next 6 months and that was your one and only focus, what would you focus on in terms of efficiencies?
- What is the current state of sales enablement and onboarding at X?
- As the team continues to grow, how are you thinking about scaling out systems training and support?
- Does your team at X have a repeatable way of rolling out system changes or new tools?
- What does that process look like today?
- Would you say reps are pretty happy with how changes are rolled out at X?
- Do they resist change at all?
- Why do you think that is?
- What would providing them with a more agile way of consuming those changes on their own terms, when they need to learn them, what would that do to their overall sentiment towards process and technology?
- So who specifically do you report to? Do you think they’d be interested in a potentially straightforward solution to solving for X, Y, and Z?
- Are their priorities the same as yours? Are there any other priorities on their plate that we should be involved in?
- Who else on your team is super concerned about your sales team’s performance? Should we involve them?
- We’ve seen that sales managers or leaders are always interested in seeing solutions, especially ones that are pretty simple to picture a rep using, during the evaluation period vs after it’s already purchased 🙂 Should we invite them?
2. Objection Handling | Top Objections
Handling objections effectively is critical. When prospects raise objections, it’s an opportunity for us to address concerns, build trust, and demonstrate the value of our product. Here are some common objections we face in sales and examples of how to handle them:
Objection 1: “Your product is too Expensive.”
Example Response: “I understand that price is an important consideration. Let me explain the value you’ll receive with our product. Our solution can significantly increase your team’s productivity, saving you time and resources in the long run. Additionally, our customer support team is available 24/7 to ensure you get the most out of the product. Many of our clients have experienced a positive ROI within just a few months of using our solution.”
Objection 2: “We’re already using a Competitor’s Product.”
Example Response: “It’s great to hear that you’re already leveraging a solution in this area. I’d love to learn more about your experience with it and understand what features have been most beneficial for your team. Our product offers some unique functionalities that have helped other companies overcome challenges similar to the ones you’re facing. I believe a quick comparison will reveal how we can provide additional value and potentially complement your existing setup.”
Objection 3: “I’m not sure if we need this right now.”
Example Response: “I completely understand that making a decision like this requires careful consideration. Let me share some insights from other clients in your industry who initially had the same hesitation but later found our product to be transformative for their business. Implementing our solution sooner rather than later can lead to significant advantages, including increased efficiency, cost savings, and improved customer satisfaction.”
Objection 4: “I need to discuss this with my Team/Boss.”
Example Response: “Of course, involving your team or boss in the decision-making process is essential. To facilitate this discussion, I can provide you with additional materials, such as case studies and ROI analysis, that will help showcase the benefits of our product. If there’s any specific information or data your team requires, please let me know, and I’ll be happy to provide it to support your evaluation.”
Objection 5: “I’ve had a bad experience with similar products in the past.”
Example Response: “I’m sorry to hear about your previous experience. We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional service and support to our clients. Our team has taken your feedback into account, and we’ve made improvements to address the issues you’ve mentioned. We also offer a risk-free trial period so that you can experience our product firsthand before making a commitment. Our goal is to ensure that your experience with us is nothing short of outstanding.”
Objection 6: “We’re not ready to make a Decision right now.”
Example Response: “That’s completely fine; I don’t want to rush you into a decision. Let’s stay in touch, and I’ll be here to answer any questions or provide additional information whenever you’re ready. In the meantime, I can send you some resources and materials that may be helpful for your evaluation. Just let me know the best way to reach out to you and when you’d like to reconnect.”
The key to handling objections is to listen actively, empathize with the prospect’s concerns, and provide relevant information to address those concerns.
Remember, objections are an opportunity to further engage the prospect and demonstrate the value of your product or service.
By handling objections effectively, you can build trust and increase the likelihood of closing the deal.
3. What is multithreading?
Multithreading is a sales strategy where multiple team members from the same organization engage with different stakeholders or decision-makers within a prospective client’s company simultaneously. The primary objective is to increase the effectiveness and success rate of the sales process by building relationships with various key individuals involved in the buying decision.
Why? The Benefits of Multithreading include:
- Improved Understanding of Customer Needs: Engaging with multiple stakeholders allows the sales team to gain a comprehensive understanding of the client’s requirements, challenges, and expectations. Each stakeholder may provide unique insights that contribute to a more tailored sales approach.
- Faster Sales Cycle: By simultaneously interacting with different decision-makers, the sales process can progress more rapidly. Instead of waiting for responses from a single point of contact, various aspects of the sales cycle can be addressed concurrently.
- Increased Trust and Credibility: Building relationships with multiple stakeholders can enhance the organization’s credibility and trustworthiness. When different individuals within the client’s company have positive interactions with representatives from your organization, it can strengthen the overall perception of your brand.
- Risk Mitigation: Relying on a single point of contact can be risky, as changes in personnel or shifting priorities within the client’s company may impact the deal. Multithreading reduces the dependency on any single individual and spreads the risk across multiple stakeholders.
- Broader Influence: Each stakeholder may have their sphere of influence within the organization. Positive engagement with multiple stakeholders can increase your influence and persuasive power, potentially tipping the decision in your favor.
How can I multithread?
- Identify where you are single-threaded in 📊THIS REPORT
- Map out which personas you are missing to help drive the deal
- Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and ZoomInfo to pull in missing personas [Persona boolean search here]
- Personalize email [templates here]
Customize and surface your sales playbooks where reps are prospecting
All this content (and more) is available to import and surface in Salesforce, LinkedIn, or wherever your reps are prospecting. Give your revenue team the bite-sized training, coaching, and knowledge they need – where and when they need it.
4. Multithreading best practices
In the context of the Discovery Stage, multithreading refers to the practice of handling multiple sales opportunities or prospects simultaneously. The goal is to efficiently manage the sales process and increase productivity by exploring multiple leads in parallel.
Below are some steps and tips for using multithreading in the Discovery Stage:
|Organize and Prioritize Leads||Start by organizing your leads into a list or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Prioritize the leads based on their potential value, urgency, or any other relevant criteria. This will help you focus on the most promising prospects first.|
|Understand Customer Needs||Before reaching out to prospects, research and understand their business, pain points, and needs. This information will be valuable during the discovery stage and help you tailor your approach to each lead.|
|Prepare Discovery Questions||Create a set of well-thought-out discovery questions that will help you uncover the prospect’s requirements, challenges, and goals. Having a standardized set of questions ensures consistency and thoroughness across all leads.|
|Simultaneous Outreach||Instead of reaching out to one lead at a time, use multithreading to engage with multiple prospects concurrently. This can be through phone calls, emails, or other communication channels. Note that you should still give each lead personalized attention and not appear to be sending generic messages.|
|Use Automation Tools||Consider using sales automation tools to manage and track your interactions with prospects. Automation can help you schedule follow-ups, send personalized emails, and stay on top of multiple leads without getting overwhelmed.|
|Delegate and Collaborate||If you are part of a sales team, divide the leads among team members, so everyone can handle their assigned prospects simultaneously. Collaboration tools and regular meetings can keep everyone updated on progress and strategies.|
|Manage Time Effectively||Multithreading can be efficient, but it’s essential to manage your time wisely. Set specific time slots for reaching out to prospects and avoid stretching yourself too thin. Quality interactions are more critical than sheer quantity.|
|Keep Detailed Records||As you progress through the discovery stage with multiple leads, maintain detailed records of your conversations, findings, and any commitments made by the prospects. This information will be crucial for later stages of the sales process.|
|Follow Up||After conducting the initial discovery discussions, make sure to follow up promptly and consistently with each prospect. This demonstrates your commitment and professionalism, helping you build a strong rapport with potential clients.|
|Personalization is Key||While you are using multithreading, avoid sounding too automated or generic in your communications. Personalization and genuine interest in each prospect’s unique situation will significantly improve your chances of success.|
5. Yellow Lights
Yellow lights are warning signs or cautionary signals that indicate potential challenges or hesitations from the prospect. These signals suggest that the prospect may not be fully convinced or ready to move forward with the purchase. Recognizing yellow lights is crucial for salespeople because it allows them to address concerns, clarify misunderstandings, and tailor their approach to increase the likelihood of closing the deal successfully.
Some common yellow lights you may run into:
🟡 Lack of Engagement 🟡
If the prospect is disengaged during the sales conversation, not asking questions, or showing minimal interest, it may indicate a lack of enthusiasm for the product or service.
🟡 Unresolved Concerns 🟡
When the prospect raises objections or asks specific questions about potential issues or risks associated with the purchase, it signals that they have reservations that need to be addressed.
🟡 Indecisiveness 🟡
If the prospect appears indecisive or hesitant about committing to a decision, it suggests they are still weighing their options or have internal deliberations to conduct.
🟡 Delaying Actions 🟡
If the prospect consistently postpones follow-up meetings, demonstrations, or signing the contract without valid reasons, it may indicate hesitancy or a lack of commitment.
🟡 Comparison with Competitors 🟡
When the prospect continuously compares your product or service to competitors, it suggests they are exploring other options and may be open to switching vendors.
🟡 Limited Budget or Resources 🟡
If the prospect indicates that they have budget constraints or limited resources to invest in your solution, it could impact their ability to make a purchasing decision.
🟡 Involved Decision-Making Process 🟡
A lengthy and complex decision-making process involving multiple stakeholders can introduce uncertainty and delays in the sales cycle.
🟡 Unclear Decision Criteria 🟡
If the prospect is vague about their decision criteria or how they will evaluate different options, it may indicate a lack of clarity on their end.
Addressing yellow lights directly and transparently can help build trust and credibility with the prospect and increase the likelihood of successfully navigating the sales process. Additionally, staying responsive, providing additional information when needed, and maintaining regular follow-up can help keep the sales process moving forward, even in the presence of yellow lights.
6. Uncovering and combating hidden objections
Hidden objections are concerns, hesitations, or reasons for resistance that a prospect may have but does not openly express during the sales conversation. These objections are not immediately apparent and require the salesperson to probe deeper and read between the lines to uncover them. Hidden objections can be significant barriers to closing a deal because they remain unaddressed, potentially leading to lost opportunities.
Identifying and addressing hidden objections is crucial for successful sales.
Here are some common examples of hidden objections and strategies to handle them:
|Financial Concerns||Hidden Objection: The prospect might have budget constraints or worries about the return on investment but hesitates to bring it up directly||How to Uncover This: The salesperson can ask targeted questions about their budget or offer case studies and ROI data to showcase the financial benefits of the product or service.|
|Internal Politics||Hidden Objection: In some cases, internal politics or power dynamics within the prospect’s organization might be influencing the decision-making process.||How to Uncover This: The salesperson can try to understand the organization’s structure and the roles of key stakeholders to address any underlying concerns.|
|Previous Negative Experience||Hidden Objection: The prospect may have had a negative experience with a similar product or a previous vendor, making them hesitant about committing to a new solution.||How to Uncover This: By assuring them of the differences in your offering and providing customer testimonials, the salesperson can alleviate these concerns.|
|Perceived Risks||Hidden Objection: The prospect may see potential risks associated with implementing a new solution or switching vendors.||How to Uncover This: The salesperson can proactively address these concerns by providing information on a smooth onboarding process, strong customer support, and any risk-mitigation measures in place.|
|Fear of Change||Hidden Objection: Fear of change and disruption can be a hidden objection, especially in well-established organizations.||How to Uncover This: The salesperson can emphasize the benefits of the new solution and how it aligns with the prospect’s long-term goals to alleviate this fear.|
|Lack of Confidence in Vendor||Hidden Objection: The prospect might have reservations about the vendor’s ability to deliver on promises or provide ongoing support.||How to Uncover This: Building credibility through testimonials, case studies, and showcasing industry experience can help address this hidden objection.|
|Decision-Making Procrastination||Hidden Objection: The prospect might be putting off the decision-making process due to uncertainty or fear of making the wrong choice.||How to Uncover This: The salesperson can offer additional resources, arrange meetings with satisfied customers, or provide trial periods to help them gain confidence.|
7. Creating urgency
Creating urgency during the sales discovery stage is crucial to motivate prospects to take action and move forward in the buying process. Urgency helps prevent prospects from delaying decisions indefinitely and encourages them to prioritize your solution.
Here are some strategies to create urgency during the sales discovery stage:
|Highlight Time-Sensitive Benefits||Emphasize the immediate benefits the prospect will gain by implementing your solution. Clearly communicate how your product or service can address their pain points quickly and efficiently, leading to a faster return on investment.|
|Limited-Time Offers or Promotions||Offer time-limited promotions, discounts, or special deals to prospects who make a decision within a specific timeframe. This incentivizes prospects to act quickly to take advantage of the offer.|
|Demonstrate Competitive Advantage||Show how your solution provides a competitive advantage over other options in the market. Highlighting unique features or success stories can create a sense of urgency as prospects don’t want to miss out on gaining a competitive edge.|
|Share Success Stories and Testimonials||Present case studies or testimonials from satisfied customers who experienced positive results by acting promptly. This social proof can encourage prospects to take action to achieve similar success.|
|Limited Availability||If applicable, communicate scarcity by mentioning limited product availability or limited capacity for service delivery. Let prospects know that acting quickly is essential to secure their spot.|
|Offer Time-Bound Incentives||Create time-sensitive incentives, such as extended trial periods or additional bonuses for early adopters. This encourages prospects to move forward swiftly to take advantage of the extra benefits.|
|Highlight Upcoming Deadlines or Events||If there are relevant upcoming events, deadlines, or industry changes that could impact the prospect’s business positively or negatively, use them to create urgency.|
|Use FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)||Leverage the fear of missing out by highlighting that delays in implementing the solution could result in lost opportunities or potential disadvantages compared to competitors.|
|Engage Decision-Makers Directly||If possible, involve decision-makers directly in the sales process and demonstrate how your solution can address their specific needs and concerns quickly.|
|Set Clear Milestones and Timelines||During the discovery stage, outline a clear timeline for the sales process, demonstrating how each step leads to achieving specific goals. This structured approach can create a sense of urgency to keep the process moving forward.|
Remember to create genuine urgency and avoid using pressure tactics that could backfire. Be transparent and honest about the time-sensitive aspects of your offering, and tailor your approach to each prospect’s unique needs and circumstances.
- Objection Handling Expert Q&A: 5 Top Sales Objections and How to Respond
- Spekit for MEDDIC Reinforcement
- Guide | Sales Stage 1: Prospecting
Customize this playbook and surface it within Salesforce, Chorus, LinkedIn, or wherever reps are prospecting. Chat with Spekit today!