Asking an Engaging Question During Discovery can Increase your Win Rate by 60%

July 17, 2017 Chorus

“You know when a great marriage gets started? On the first date. During that event two people really spend time learning about each other and seeing if they share a vision for what they want their lives to look like. You know when a great sales process gets started? During the discovery call. Too many companies treat the discovery call like an unimportant tick box to be checked in their sales process. This is where the marriage is made. Want higher conversion rates? Focus coaching on the discovery call and see what happens.” - Trish Bertuzzi, The Bridge Group

One of the biggest misconceptions about sales insights is that one insight can apply to every call. But each call has its own unique features; a demo requires more talking than discovery, and you don't want to spend half an hour during discovery pitching your product. Different kinds of calls require different KPIs. 

Here at Chorus, we understand these distinctions and are surfacing specific insights from over 500,000 calls to give you the most accurate numbers to work with. 

As Trish Bertuzzi explained, discovery calls are the key to a successful deal. A good discovery not only qualifies a prospect, but surfaces pain points, sets the stage for the close and builds rapport. Having a great discovery establishes understanding and helps you shape the conversation from the start. You can determine whether or not you should invest any more into a deal, and build the ammunition you need to blow through roadblocks and objections later on.

Discovery calls with an engaging moment are 60% more likely to close than those without

Chorus is able to identify questions throughout your calls so you can see which questions work and which don’t.

Beyond identifying questions, Chorus can find questions that lead to high prospect engagement. We define a question to be engaging if it is both open-ended (i.e. asks the prospect to elaborate, explain or opine, rather than give a factual answer) and drives the prospect to talk for an extended period of time.

What’s great about engaging questions as a KPI is that it includes both something in the rep’s control (asking a good open-ended question) and an indication that the prospect is cooperating and surfacing the information you need to qualify a deal. It is a great indicator of a good opportunity.

Most meetings will have between 2 and 5 engaging questions. It’s hard to get a prospect engaged! Our data shows that deals where discovery had an engaging moment are 60% more likely to close than those without.

Calls with engaging questions are significantly more likely to drive wins

Prospects shut down when peppered with questions

Another interesting insight is the level of prospect engagement in terms of the question cadence (or questions per minute). Reps who don’t ask enough questions have low customer engagement - that’s expected. What surprised us was that the data suggests engagement decreases beyond about two questions per minute.

Relation between question cadence and prospect engagement

Chorus scores engagement based on how long prospects respond to a question and how excited they are about it.

The data suggests that prospects shut down when you throw too many questions at them too quickly. Managers describe this as interrogating a prospect. The data also suggests that reps that ask too many questions are likely not asking  engaging questions that get prospects talking.

Find 3 to 5 engaging questions you should always ask

Finding the right questions to engage prospects with is hard, but it is one of the most powerful things you can do to improve discovery and ramp up new reps successfully. We developed a feature in to automatically identify engaging questions for you across all of your team’s meetings.

Here are some examples of engaging questions from our discovery process that Chorus surfaced automatically:

  • “How do you currently ramp up new hires?“

  • “How would you evaluate a solution like ours?“

  • “What else is on your priority list for 2017?“

Two actionable takeaways

  • A typical Discovery call will only have 1-2 engaging moments and very few more than 5. Calls with an engaging moment are 60% more likely to close.

  • Focus on asking engaging questions early in the call and try to spread out detail oriented questions during the demo. Asking too many questions in succession appears to get prospects to share less.

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