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How To Run A Sales Discovery Meeting

Conduct a sales discovery meeting by preparing thoroughly, asking pertinent questions to understand the client’s needs, presenting your product as a solution, and establishing clear next steps, all while fostering a relationship of trust and understanding.

A Sales Discovery Meeting is an initial interaction between a sales representative and a potential client or prospect, aimed at understanding the client’s needs, pain points, and objectives. The purpose of the meeting is to gather information about the client’s business, their specific challenges, and their expectations, to determine how the product or service being sold can provide value and meet their individual requirements. This is a crucial part of the sales process as it allows the sales rep to tailor their approach and solutions based on the client’s unique needs, ultimately fostering a more customer-centric relationship and increasing the chances of a successful sale.

What is the purpose of a Sales Discovery Meeting?

The purpose of running a sales discovery meeting as a leader is to gather essential information about the potential customer’s needs, challenges, and goals. This meeting allows for a deeper understanding of their requirements, enabling the leader to tailor the sales pitch and solutions accordingly, increasing the chances of a successful sales conversion.

How To Run A Sales Discovery Meeting: Step-By-Step


Step 1: Pre-meeting Research,

Prior to a sales discovery meeting, extensive research on the potential client is crucial. Familiarize yourself with their industry, company, and role, also anticipating their possible challenges. This groundwork not only makes the meeting efficient but also enhances your credibility, showing professionalism and a genuine interest in their business needs.

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Step 2: Setting an Agenda,

Creating a comprehensive and concise agenda is integral to a productive meeting. Clearly lay out expectations for both parties, outline the meeting’s purpose, and include elements like introductions, discussion points, Q&A, and next steps. This helps steer the conversation, keeping it centered on the specific task at hand.

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Step 3: Active Listening,

The salesperson should diligently listen to the prospect during the meeting, concentrating on understanding their needs, ambitions, and problems. This includes refraining from interruptions, seeking explanations when necessitated, and allocating sufficient time following the meeting’s formal discussion for any unanswered queries or concerns. This proactive listening allows for the development of solutions that align with the prospect’s specific circumstances and objectives.


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Step 4: Asking Discovery Questions,

A substantial portion of a meeting revolves around posing discovery questions. These exploratory, open-ended queries aim to probe further into the client’s needs and obstacles, understand their decision-making protocol, and evaluate how your offering could contribute value and solutions to their situations, thereby fostering a more effective conversation.

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Step 5: Demonstrating Value,

The salesperson should leverage the insights gleaned from discovery questions to persuasively highlight the value proposition of their product or service to the potential customer. This could involve presenting compelling case studies, executing an engaging product demo, illustrating real-life problem-solving capabilities of their solution, all aimed at establishing a strong value-based connection and trust with the prospect.

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Step 6: Wrap Up and Next Steps,

Wrapping up a meeting, quickly recap the main discussion points and agree on forthcoming actions. These could include scheduling a subsequent meeting, planning a product demo, or setting a decision-making time frame. Always inquire about the prospect’s preferred communication means for future correspondence.

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Step 7: Post-Meeting Follow-up,

Once the meeting concludes, it is crucial to promptly send a post-meeting email summarizing the main points addressed, along with a clear outline of next steps that were mutually agreed upon. This instills a deeper understanding of the discussion, keeps communication channels active and consistent, and increases the likelihood of the potential client selecting your product or service.

Questions to ask as the leader of the meeting

1. What are your current challenges and pain points in your business?
Explanation: By asking this question, the leader can identify the specific needs of the prospect or client, understanding the challenges they face and their pain points. This helps in tailoring the sales approach and solution to address those specific issues.

2. What goals or objectives are you looking to achieve with this product/service?
Explanation: Understanding the client’s goals and objectives helps the leader determine if their product or service aligns with the client’s needs. It also helps in highlighting the value proposition and demonstrating how the offering can contribute to achieving those goals.

3. How would you measure success in this area?
Explanation: This question helps the leader gain insight into the client’s expectations and desired outcomes. It helps establish the success metrics for evaluating the effectiveness of the solution being proposed and ensures alignment between the leader’s understanding of success and the client’s expectations.

4. Have you tried any solutions before? If yes, what worked or didn’t work for you?
Explanation: This question helps the leader understand the prospect’s past experiences with similar solutions. It provides valuable information about what has worked and what hasn’t, enabling the leader to position their product or service as a better alternative and address any previous concerns or disappointments.

5. What is your budget for this project?
Explanation: Knowing the budget helps the leader determine if their offering is within the prospect’s financial capabilities. It allows for realistic discussions about pricing, customization, and possible negotiation, ultimately ensuring that both parties are on the same page regarding the financial aspect of the deal.

6. Who are the decision-makers involved in this purchase?
Explanation: Identifying the key decision-makers helps the leader understand the buying process and any potential influencers involved. This knowledge allows for more effective communication and customization of the sales approach to resonate with the decision-making team.

7. What would be the timeline for implementing this solution?
Explanation: Understanding the prospect’s timeline helps the leader establish a sense of urgency and tailor their sales strategy accordingly. It also allows for realistic expectations and ensures that both parties are aligned on the implementation timeframe.

8. How do you evaluate potential vendors to make a final decision?
Explanation: This question helps the leader to understand the prospect’s evaluation criteria and decision-making process. It enables them to position their product or service in a way that aligns with the prospect’s preferences and criteria, increasing the chances of a successful sale.

9. What additional information do you need to move forward with this decision?
Explanation: This question helps to uncover any gaps in the prospect’s understanding or concerns that need to be addressed. It allows the leader to provide the necessary information or resources to build trust and confidence in their product or service.

10. Is there anything else I should know to better understand your needs?
Explanation: This open-ended question gives the prospect an opportunity to share any additional information that may be relevant. It shows the leader’s genuine interest in understanding the prospect’s unique situation and ensures that no important details are overlooked in the sales process.

As a leader, preparing a sales discovery meeting agenda is crucial to ensure a successful outcome. Start by outlining the purpose and objectives of the meeting. Identify key questions to ask to uncover the client’s needs and pain points. Include time allocations for each agenda item and assign responsibilities to team members. Finally, conclude the agenda with a clear plan of action and next steps to move the sales process forward.

How To Prepare For A Sales Discovery Meeting
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During a sales discovery meeting, it is crucial to discuss the customer’s pain points, goals, and desired outcomes. It is also important to understand their current challenges, budget constraints, and decision-making process. Additionally, exploring the competitive landscape and any existing solutions being used will provide valuable insights to tailor the sales approach effectively.

See Our Sales Discovery Meeting Template
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Software tools to facilitate a Sales Discovery Meeting

Software helps leaders run sales discovery meetings by streamlining the process and providing essential tools. It allows them to easily track prospect information, schedule meetings, create agendas, and share important resources. With built-in analytics, leaders can also assess performance and optimize their sales strategies based on data-driven insights. Ultimately, software empowers leaders to run efficient and effective sales discovery meetings, leading to better outcomes and increased revenue.

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Successful sales discovery meetings are indeed a cornerstone for any thriving sales strategy. They provide a platform for understanding your prospects, building mutually beneficial relationships, and crafting tailor-made solutions to address their unique needs. By effectively preparing for the meeting, asking open-ended questions, actively listening, summarizing information, and setting clear next steps, you can turn these meetings into powerful tools for driving sales and enhancing customer satisfaction. Remember, the primary goal is to add value to your clients’ journey and position your product or service as a solution to their challenges.

Popular Questions

What is the main goal of a Sales Discovery Meeting?

The main goal of a Sales Discovery Meeting is to gather as much information as possible about a potential client’s needs, challenges, and goals. This information is then used to tailor a solution or product to fit those specific requirements.

Who should be present during a Sales Discovery Meeting?

Ideally, the meeting should include the decision-making individuals from the client’s company such as executives or department heads, and from the vendor’s side, the salesperson and possibly a technical expert or account manager depending on the complexity of the product or service.

How long does a typical Sales Discovery Meeting last?

The duration of a Sales Discovery Meeting can vary based on the complexity of the product or service being sold. However, on average, these meetings can last from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

What information is usually gathered during a Sales Discovery Meeting?

The information collected during this meeting typically includes the potential client’s business goals and challenges, the decision-making process, existing solutions they already have in place, their timeline for implementation, and their budget.

What happens after a Sales Discovery Meeting?

After a Sales Discovery Meeting, the salesperson will generally collate and analyze the information gathered to create a customized sales proposal. This proposal will then be presented to the potential client in a follow-up meeting.