A Lost Art In B2B Sales Practice — Asking The Right Discovery Questions

There’s one sales practice that everyone uses but few masters. It has the ability to:

  • Build influence.
  • Uncover major blockers.
  • Drop a prospect’s sales resistance.

The practice? Asking good questions.

Sales conversations can be greatly improved by asking the right questions that spark curiosity in your buyers. Instead of providing an exhaustive list of questions, we have identified a handful of high-value ones that can enhance your sales discussions.

  1. To gain a better understanding of your buyer’s perspective, try asking: “What’s something about this issue that others you’ve talked to don’t seem to grasp?” This question allows buyers to share why they feel misunderstood.
  2. To determine your buyer’s priorities and ranking of problems, ask: “I’m assuming that <relevant project or problem> isn’t your top priority. Which projects would you prioritize over this one in your next team meeting agenda?” Avoid asking questions that solely relate to your product, as it can create the illusion of buying interest.
  3. To create a strong business case, ask: “Does your team have a standard deck or template for sharing new projects with everyone?” This question can help you develop a narrative that can be easily communicated to others.
  4. To uncover the requirements your buyers are already sold on, ask: “What do you believe must be true of a solution for it to work in your case?” Emphasize the words “must be” when using this question as it reveals the approach that buyers are already bought into.
  5. To identify internal “trigger phrases,” ask: “During your executive update or meeting, did you hear any certain phrases being repeated? What’s the link between that priority and our project?” Trigger phrases are often three to five words long and repeatedly used by executives to describe projects they’ve prioritized.

Coming up with your unique problem statement

In the world of sales, losing a deal is often the result of not telling a compelling enough story to cut through the noise. Rather than blaming the competition, it’s important to focus on crafting a compelling problem statement that highlights an active or imminent loss. The formula for a successful problem statement is simple: the problem’s cost and consequences.

Source: Google.com

To make the loss compelling, be specific. A simple way to estimate the loss is:

Loss = Reach (x) Frequency (x) Severity

  • Reach. How many people are impacted?
  • Frequency. How often are they impacted?
  • Severity. How bad is the issue, compared to the ideal?

Don’t give this your best guess. Ask your buyer what their guess is. Write it down, then track down the data to turn their best guess into a specific and defensible number.

Now, part two. The problem’s consequences.

For example, a poor website might cost you lost demos and sales. But the consequences are spending more on paid ads to hit our targets, driving up acquisition costs, forcing the CFO to fundraise at a lower valuation.

Source: Google.com

You can follow me on my digital channels:

Website: https://asparkofb2b.com/

Facebook (A spark of B2B): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100089042254709

Twitter (aSparkofB2B): https://twitter.com/aSparkofB2B

LinkedIn (a-spark-of-b2b): https://www.linkedin.com/company/a-spark-of-b2b

Medium: https://medium.com/@dexterwrites2022

Written by

Dexter Low

Follow me on my digital channels:

Connect with me:

Director of Media and Partnerships
CybersecAsia, DigiconAsia, MartechAsia

Written by


Director of media and Partnerships CybersecAsia, DigiconAsia, MartechAsia