A discovery call is the first of many conversations and can be defined as a time to uncover where your prospect is in their buying journey. Before guiding the conversation toward services or capabilities, you need to first meet them where they are.
On a successful discovery call, the prospect asks 8-10 questions on average. With about 30 minutes scheduled, what do you do with the rest of the time to make sure the call is successful?
What Makes a Discovery Call Successful?
A great discovery call will allow the prospect to do most of the talking, provide you with insights needed to navigate the deal further down your pipeline, and open the conversation up for those opportunities. In the end, you want the prospect to ask for a follow-up conversation. Getting that meeting scheduled before hanging up the call is the best scenario you could have. The whole goal is to get to that next meeting, but the first objective is to figure out if this is a fit, not just for the prospect, but for you as well. If it’s not, don’t be afraid to be honest about that.
Before going into your next discovery call, prepare yourself for the questions that you want to ask, but more importantly, be prepared to answer their questions. It’s hard to know exactly what will get asked, but you can anticipate these through preparation.
These are the top questions Catapult receives from agencies who are scheduling a discovery call for the first time:
- What is the difference between meetings with inbound vs outbound leads?
- How do I prepare the team before meeting with a prospect?
- How can I use Winmo to prepare for these calls?
VP Client Engagement at Catapult
“These are important foundational questions because not only does it make you think about your overall strategy for the call, it’s also giving your team a method to assess what kind of information you want to pull out of your prospect. Prioritizing what you need from this first call and helping the team prepare will really ensure you ace it.”
What is the difference between meetings with inbound vs outbound leads?
There is a big difference between inbound and outbound leads. Think of it as warm vs cold. Inbound is coming in through a relationship referral, your website, or they’ve reached out and connected with you because they want to hear more regarding your capabilities. There is already a specific need or project in place, and the conversation revolves around that.
An outbound lead is a conversation that you asked for, and the client likely won’t have a specific project or criteria defined. That presents a challenge when you’re wanting to win new business because it’s not as simple as sharing your capabilities deck. You have to uncover a problem that they have not yet acted on. So the main difference is that there isn’t a project or Agency of Record need to be scoped out yet.
How do I prepare the team before meeting with a prospect?
The first rule of a discovery call: don’t share your capabilities deck. If you’re in the habit of jumping on a discovery call and immediately sharing your screen and walking through all your capabilities and background on your agency, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Is this the best way to connect with the person on the other side and understand the pain points they’re experiencing?
The short answer is no. So how do you prepare for the unknown? You do this by researching the brand and prospect. This will allow you to uncover their pain points slowly without hard selling your services. These are a few places to start your research:
- LinkedIn connections and posts.
- News articles and industry updates.
- Data around media spend, revenue, ad targeting, etc.
Knowing what is impacting the company and what they’re doing in the market now will help you anticipate some of those questions you’ll get asked. Oftentimes you are not the only one on the call though from your agency.
Preparing team members for the call takes some extra time, but it always pays off. In these cases, creating a meeting brief with the information above organized and call details added will help everyone get on the same page. In the brief, you should try answering these kinds of questions:
- Has the brand launched a new product or service recently?
- Is there new funding or shifts in their marketing budgets?
- What kind of influence will the attendees on the call have?
- Does the agency experience match the brands’ niche?
How can I use Winmo to prepare for these calls?
Winmo is an incredibly powerful tool, there are a ton of insights and a wealth of data that will help prepare the team before a discovery call. These are some of the key features Catapult uses to prepare a brief for its clients.
VP of Client Services
“I look at the company page pretty regularly. The information here shows me where the company stands, and I make sure that I know what additional products or brands the company might have under its portfolio. I also look at who their current agency partners are and what services they might already offer to the brand. The most important place I look at though is revenue and media spend to make sure their spending level aligns with my goals. Making sure this relationship is the right prospect fit based on what kind of revenue they’re working with is just as important.”
Director of Client Engagement
“WindmoEdge is a really nice tool. This is company news that focuses on marketing spend, CMO shifts, and campaigns. This tells me what’s going on, whether they got a round of funding or they acquired a brand. You never want to get caught on a prospect call and hear them share the news that’s already happened. You might hear something like ‘I’m not sure if you saw that in the news’ and that shows you were not prepared, so don’t be that person. You want to be on top of it and know what’s going on with the brand that you’re speaking with.”
You never want to be surprised. You want to be a leader, guiding the conversation. Ask questions that you already know the answers to because you’ve done that research ahead of time. It’s an informed question that shows your competency and really brings value to that conversation in their mind.
Hear more from Catapult in this webinar where we share best practices on not just knowing when the call was successful for you and the prospect, but how to keep the conversation going long after the call has ended.