What Is a Discovery Call?

It’s considered the most important conversation you need to have in the sales process. Discovery calls set the tone and trajectory of your deal and determine how you’ll do everything else in the sales process, both pre- and post-sale. Thus, discovery calls are crucial to sales professionals to understand the details of a prospect’s situation.

The purpose of a discovery call

A discovery call’s purpose is to determine if you and your buyer are a good fit for each other and to understand your buyer’s pain points, priorities, and purposes so you can effectively and successfully sell to them.

What is a successful discovery call?

During this call, the sales representative should ask specific questions to understand the lead’s pain point, business, budget range, and overall needs.

Pre-call research is a vital step as it provides you with the right information you need to ask detailed, situational questions that will, ultimately, reveal exactly what’s happening in your prospect’s world.

By knowing what their role is, what their company does, and where they came from (i.e. what content they engaged with, where they landed on your website beforehand, etc.) you can easily move into further exploration.

During a successful discovery call you need 4 essential questions in order to determine if your lead is a qualified one:

Q1: Are they a good fit for my product or service?
Q2: Do they see themselves as a fit for the product?
Q3: Can they make a decision to buy the product?
Q4: How do they buy/how do they make a decision?

You will know that you had a successful discovery call when you and your prospect are able to formulate a written sales plan and outline the following steps. 

If there’s still uncertainty when you hang up the phone, there should be another call scheduled to iron out the remaining details.


Ultimately, a discovery call should either clearly surface a sales opportunity or definitively disqualify a prospect. Discovery calls should give you an understanding of your prospect’s needs and how you can help solve them.

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