Business Development Strategy Tips: The Essential Discovery Questions

by | Sep 25, 2019 | Sales Strategy, Sales Tips

When we work with companies, many have a solid business development strategy that, in theory, should work but isn’t getting results in practice. Often, the issue lies in a lack of connection with the prospect through discovery.

If you leave out discovery, you’ve shot your chances to establish trust and gain insight on a prospect’s individual needs. You need both to be able to successfully move prospects from one stage to the next in your pipeline.

A recent Gong study showed there is a relationship between questions asked and deals closed. The better the questions, the more insight you gain and leverage for success. Below are some essential discovery questions we ask, broken down by category, to get you started.

Essential Sales Discovery Questions

Personal Discovery: These are questions you ask to get to know the prospect as an individual, gaining insight on their specific experience, needs, and wants and establishing trust.

  • Tell me about your company and role.
  • How long have you been in your current position?
  • What do you think your company is doing well? Where could it improve?
  • What challenges come across your desk on a daily basis?
  • What’s your top priority in your role today?

Current State:
Here you determine where things stand right now as an organization, specifically the frustrations they’re facing and how they’re trying to tackle those issues.

  • What problems are you trying to solve right now as a company?
  • What products or services are you using to address these problems?
  • What roadblocks are you encountering as you attempt to solve these problems?
  • Where did past potential solutions fail?

Operational: Now you’re focusing on determining if this company is a match for your product or service. Ask questions to gain specifics on what they can afford, when they need it, and who is involved in decision-making.

  • Why hasn’t this issue been addressed before?
  • Was funding an issue?
  • What’s your timeline?
  • Who else would be involved in determining the best solution?

Dream State: Once you know where a prospect’s company stands now, start asking about where they want to go and why.

  • Tell me about your goals (financial, customer-related, operations).
  • When do you need to achieve these goals by?
  • What do you think could be a solution to your problem(s)?
  • What would a perfect outcome look like?

Need to Have vs. Nice to Have: Here is where you parse out what you need to deliver now from what can sweeten the deal or be added on later to boost satisfaction.

  • What’s the one element you’d implement tomorrow if you could?
  • What element would make the most significant impact right away?
  • What can we provide you that others could not?
  • What elements would make a perfect system for you?


Streamline Discovery to Deal Closed with NuGrowth Accelerator

With more than 70 years’ experience in sales as a service, we know the road from discovery to a closed deal can be a challenge. We’re here to help with our new NuGrowth Accelerator app for Salesforce®.

Accelerator combines our proven discovery-focused outreach methodologies and go-to-market strategies and distills them into intuitive workflows with insightful KPI reporting for instant analysis. With over a dozen different campaigns and built-in buyer persona profiling, Accelerator is the only tool you need to open your pipeline floodgates.

Activate your business development advantage today – contact us at 614.304.3916 or visit us online today.