What Are Good Discovery Questions for Sales?


6 min read

What Are Good Discovery Questions for Sales?

Table of Contents

What Are Good Discovery Questions for Sales?

To help you ask the right discovery questions in sales, we reached out to top executives, founders, and marketing professionals for their expert advice. From understanding the decision-making process to assessing processes and challenges, here are the top 10 questions these industry leaders recommend asking to uncover valuable insights.

  • Understand the Decision-Making Process
  • Identity the Ideal Provider
  • Discover the Best Outcome
  • Explore Metrics and Requirements
  • Uncover Primary Pain Points
  • Examine Customer’s Workflow
  • Align Goals with Services
  • Inquire About Budget
  • Probe Business Challenges
  • Get an Idea of Their Specific Business Process

Understand the Decision-Making Process

The discovery sales question is all about understanding the customer’s decision-making criteria. Once you know them, you can position your product or service as the best solution that aligns with their needs and preferences.

So, my winning question is: can you walk me through your decision-making process regarding this product? It provides me with a deeper understanding of the decision-making process and allows me to identify potential concerns that might arise during the sales process, allowing me to address them proactively.

Natalia BrzezinskaNatalia Brzezinska
Marketing and Outreach Manager, ePassportPhoto

Identify the Ideal Provider

Contrary to popular belief, the aim of a discovery call is to identify if you are their ideal provider. If not, then you need to move on. Otherwise, you are simply wasting everyone’s time.

By asking what their ideal provider looks like, they reveal their selection criteria, helping to determine fit and suitability. This is also an open-ended question, allowing prospects to share key requirements, highlight contentious issues with previous providers, and ultimately reveal their needs.

Some salespeople struggle to ask direct questions like these, but ‌simply asking for the information you require is the best approach. By being direct and asking for key information upfront, you show proper respect for the prospect’s time and maximize the probability of effectively qualifying the prospect.

Oliver SavillOliver Savill
CEO and Founder, AssessmentDay

Discover the Best Outcome

Successful sales are all about providing a solution to a real problem. One way to qualify whether a lead is a good fit for what you can do is to learn what an ideal outcome looks like to them.

This allows you to tailor your conversations to their needs based on their definition of success. You can more easily connect the dots between what they need and what you do and paint a picture that adds context to your sales conversations.

Alli HillAlli Hill
Founder and Director, Fleurish Freelance

Explore Metrics and Requirements

A direct question that comes in a bit later during your discovery call or meeting, this one allows you to deep-dive into the actual requirements of your client and understand their current challenges. In talking metrics, you make your question specific, which means you will receive a highly specific answer.

With this information in hand, you can now get down to working a solution into your sales pitch that handles this client problem and presents a quantifiable resolution. One thing to remember is to ask this question only when you’re sure you have a product or solution that is the key to these challenges.

Also, once you’ve gathered this info, be prepared to mention this problem and your answer in your sales presentation, without which this will seem nothing more than a vital client insight you sidestepped on purpose.

Ariav CohenAriav Cohen
VP of Marketing and Sales, Proprep

Uncover Primary Pain Points

This question shows genuine curiosity and empathy for your client’s situation and paves the way for a deeper, more meaningful conversation.

By identifying their primary pain points and understanding the implications behind them, you’ll be able to craft a tailored solution that addresses their needs and positions your offerings as the key to unlocking their true potential!

Remember, in the world of sales, it’s all about creating a powerful synergy between your products or services and your client’s ultimate success!

Michael LazarMichael Lazar
Executive, ReadyCloud

Examine the Customer’s Workflow

Ask your potential customer to walk you through their current workflow/process that applies to your product. This way, you’re able to discover any inefficiencies or bottlenecks in their workflow that your product can help eliminate.

Encourage the customer to give as much detail as possible so that you can position your product in the most interesting way possible.

Will BakerWill Baker
Founder, Skirtings R Us

Align Goals With Services

“What are your business goals, and how do you see our services helping you achieve them?”

This question helps to align the potential client’s goals with the value proposition of your agency’s services.

It shows that you are focused on helping them achieve success rather than just making a sale. This question can also help uncover potential upsell opportunities and inform how you can customize your services to better suit their specific needs and goals. This question can lead to a more productive and mutually beneficial sales conversation.

simon briskSimon Brisk
Director, Click Intelligence

Inquire About Budget

It can never be easy to talk about money. Thus, save this query for later in the discovery discussion. A great method to lessen the blow is to keep the numbers in the range.

Considering such, it is essential to inquire about the budget. The contract will not go through if they cannot pay for the project.

Alex ConstantinouAlex Constantinou
Managing Director, The Fitness Circle

Probe Business Challenges

A good discovery question to ask in sales is, “What challenges are you currently experiencing in your business?”

This question helps to uncover the specific needs and problems that potential clients are facing, which can inform how your agency can provide value and solve those challenges through your services.

It also shows a commitment to understanding the client’s unique situation and fosters a relationship built on trust and empathy. This information can help tailor your pitch and proposals to address their specific needs and ultimately lead to a more successful sales process.

Ryan Flannangan, CEO and Founder, Nuanced Media

Get an Idea of Their Specific Business Process

“Can you walk me through your current process for [specific business activity] and any challenges you’ve experienced along the way, as well as how those challenges have affected your business?” may be the best discovery question to ask in sales.

This question considers the situational context by asking about the current process for a specific business activity. It also addresses both dormant and active problems faced by the business by asking about any challenges. The question also aims to understand the implications of the business problems by asking how those challenges have affected the business.

The question seeks to understand the buying process right for the business by asking about the current process for a specific activity, which can help the salesperson understand the steps involved in the business decision-making process. It also allows for the evaluation of the business problems by asking about the impact of those challenges.

Pravin WalunjkarPravin Walunjkar
Content Manager, Swapnil Pate SEO

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