50 Essential Sales Discovery Questions to Win More Deals

Discovery Questions for Sales

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In the dog-eat-dog world of sales and competition, effectively guiding prospects through the sales process is paramount. Sales discovery questions play a crucial role in building rapport, identifying needs, and showcasing the value of your product or service.

When your clients are in the decision stage, this is the time for your business to stand out truly.

In this guide, we will delve into:

  • the intricacies of crafting effective sales discovery questions
  • the different types of questions to use during a sales discovery call
  • how to tailor questions for specific industries

Whether you’re a seasoned Sales Development Representative (SDR), a sales team member, a sales lead, a CEO, a founder, or a CMO, mastering the art of sales discovery can make all the difference between closing deals and losing opportunities.

The importance of sales discovery call questions

A sales professional talking to a customer during a sales discovery call

During sales discovery calls, SDRs have the opportunity to set the stage for building trust and rapport with leads. By asking the right sales discovery questions, sales teams can gather valuable information. This information can then be used to craft an irresistible sales pitch and ultimately close more deals.

Discovery questions are targeted questions asked by SDRs to understand prospects better. They are used to help the sales team accomplish a number of objectives, such as:

  • to identify the fit between a solution and the buyer’s needs
  • to draw out the prospects’ pain points and challenges to come up with a tailored pitch
  • to facilitate stronger connections with the leads
  • determine expectations and timelines for success

These questions can help to ensure that the buyer is making an informed decision and that the solution is indeed the right fit for what they need.

Additionally, they can help to open up a dialogue about the buying decision and ensure that both parties are on the same page.

Crafting effective sales discovery call questions

Two sales professionals discussing a sales discovery process

To create a great discovery call experience and increase the likelihood of closing deals, the SDR must focus on crafting effective sales discovery questions. It is both a science and an art. Additionally, good questions need to be implemented well to get insightful information.

Here are three elements that make up effective sales discovery questions and the actual process of getting the answers.

1. A combination of different types of questions

An image showing a group of people engaged in a conversation, with one person asking discovery questions to learn more about the topic at hand.

Sales discovery questions are not merely an arbitrary set of queries to check off a list. They serve as the foundation upon which successful sales interactions are built. There are different types of questions that will help SDRs help prospects dig deeper:

  • Open-ended questions:
    These are designed to encourage prospects to provide detailed and thoughtful responses. These questions should not be answerable by a mere “yes” or “no.” Open-ended questions start with phrases like “How,” “What,” “Tell me about,” or “Describe.” By employing open-ended questions, sales professionals can gather comprehensive information and better understand the prospect’s situation and challenges. (Example: “Tell me about your current sales process and any bottlenecks you’ve encountered.”)
  • Prodding questions:
    Prodding questions seek to delve further into a specific aspect mentioned by the prospect as part of their answer to a previous question. These are follow-up questions designed to dig even deeper. (Example: “You mentioned facing budget constraints; could you elaborate on how these constraints impact your ability to implement new solutions?”)
  • Clarifying questions:
    Clarifying questions ensure that the sales professional fully understands the prospect’s responses. They help prevent misinterpretations and enable salespeople to accurately grasp the nuances of the prospect’s challenges and requirements. (Example: “Just to clarify, are you looking for a solution that streamlines your marketing processes and increases lead generation?”)
  • Hypothesis-generating questions:
    These questions involve proposing potential solutions or ideas to gauge the prospect’s response. SDRs can use these questions to uncover insights into the prospect’s preferences and perspectives, guiding the sales professional to create a hyper-personalized pitch. (Example: “We’ve seen success in helping companies improve their conversion rates through personalized email campaigns. How do you think such an approach could benefit your business?”)

Combining these questions can help sales teams uncover new insights, identify potential solutions, and make more strategic decisions. They can also help teams understand each other’s perspectives and build consensus.

2. Practicing active listening

A customer support agent listening intently to a customer

Crafting effective sales discovery questions is only half the battle won. The other half lies in actively listening to the prospect’s responses.

Active listening is a communication technique that involves carefully listening to what the other person is saying. This includes confirmation of understanding and providing feedback to ensure the speaker feels heard and comprehended. Focus on their words, tone, and non-verbal cues instead of thinking about what to say next.

By using active listening techniques—such as paraphrasing, summarizing, and asking follow-up questions—sales reps can better understand the prospect’s requirements and create a sales strategy tailored to their specific needs.

3. Knowing how to adapt to the prospect’s situation

An interviewer taking down notes

Every prospect is unique, and their situations, challenges, and communication preferences may vary. What does this mean? A sales rep can go into a discovery call with a prepped list of questions, but they may still end up not being able to ask some of these.

In the sales discovery process, it is crucial to adapt to the prospect’s situation and ask questions that are relevant and resonate with the prospect. After all, one size does not fit all when it comes to sales discovery questions. This is also why it’s important to practice active listening—so you can pivot when needed.

Being adaptable in your questioning not only showcases your ability to connect with the prospect but also positions you as a valuable resource in finding solutions tailored to their specific needs.

50 discovery sales questions to add to your list

As you embark on your journey to add more deals to your sales pipeline, arming yourself with a diverse range of questions is essential. Below are key categories of sales discovery questions, equipped with examples to enrich your arsenal of impactful inquiries.

For building rapport with prospects

A sales professional talking to a customer and building rapport with them

Discover call questions that break the ice and focus on building rapport can help create a more engaging and personalized conversation between the SDR and the prospect.

Geared toward fostering trust, these questions focus on the prospect’s communication preferences, values, and past successful partnerships.


  • What values or qualities are most important to you when choosing a business partner?
  • How do you prefer to communicate and stay in touch during the sales process?
  • What successful partnerships have you had in the past, and what made them stand out?
  • What specific aspects of our company or product resonate with you the most?
  • Can you share any personal experiences or interests that drive your business decisions?

To establish the situational context

A sales professional talking to a customer and asking questions about their current situation

Situational context sales discovery questions provide sales reps with an understanding of the prospect’s current environment, challenges, and objectives.

These questions help SDRs gain valuable information and insight into the prospect’s business, which can be used to tailor the sales approach and address the prospect’s pain points more effectively.


  • What is your current process for handling [a specific issue]?
  • What challenges have you faced in trying to address this issue?
  • What other solutions have you considered or tried?
  • How has your industry landscape changed in the past year, and how does it affect your business?
  • What are the current market trends that you believe will impact your company’s growth?
  • In what ways do you anticipate your customer needs will evolve in the near future?

To identify prospects’ pain points

A sales professional talking to a customer and asking questions about their pain points

Designed to uncover the prospect’s pain points and challenges, these questions delve into the obstacles they face in their business operations. Identifying pain points helps sales professionals position their product or service as the ideal solution that addresses the prospect’s pressing needs and drives meaningful improvements.


  • What are the main challenges your company is currently facing?
  • How do these challenges impact your overall business operations?
  • How have you attempted to address these challenges in the past?
  • How would you rate your current system on a scale of 1-10?
  • What are some improvements you would like to see in your current solution?
  • What specific pain points do your customers frequently express regarding your product/service?
  • What obstacles do you encounter in attracting and retaining customers?

For measuring pain implications

A sales professional talking to a customer and asking questions about the implications of their pain points

A discovery call must go beyond identifying pain points. These questions seek to understand the impact of these challenges on the prospect’s business. By quantifying the implications of the pain points, sales professionals can effectively demonstrate the potential value of their offering and the return on investment it can provide.


  • Can you quantify the financial impact of the challenges your team is experiencing?
  • How does the existing pain point hinder your ability to achieve your business objectives?
  • What would resolving this issue mean for your company?
  • What metrics do you use to gauge the success of your current solutions?
  • How do you track the customer churn rate and its correlation with unresolved issues?
  • In what ways do customer complaints or negative feedback reflect underlying pain points?
  • What obstacles have prevented you from addressing this issue in the past?

To understand the buying process

A sales professional talking to a customer and asking questions about their buying process

These questions give sales reps a look inside how their prospective buyers go about on their decision-making journey. This includes looking into their evaluation process, identifying key decision-makers, and other criteria that help them decide on a provider.


  • Can you outline the steps involved in your current purchasing process, from initial research to final decision?
  • Who are the key decision-makers involved in the evaluation and purchase process?
  • What criteria do you prioritize when considering new solutions or vendors?
  • How does your team typically research and assess potential products or services?
  • What past experiences have influenced your approach to making buying decisions?
  • What are your hesitations and the potential roadblocks your decision-making process might face?

To scope out the competitive landscape

A sales professional talking to a customer and asking questions about the competitive landscape

A discovery call is also a good opportunity to know more about who you are competing with for this deal. Competitive landscape questions help sales teams understand the prospect’s alternatives so they can position their product or service as the best solution.


  • Have you considered other solutions/providers to address your needs?
  • What features or capabilities do you perceive as crucial in a product or service?
  • How do you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of potential competitors?
  • What unique benefits do you see in our offering compared to alternatives?
  • In what ways do you envision our solution fitting into your existing tech stack?
  • How does our product or service compare to the alternatives you’ve looked at?

To align on timing and implementation expectations

A sales professional talking to a customer and asking questions about the timing and implementation of their product or service

It’s one thing to close a deal and another thing to start working with the client. Often, issues may arise when expectations aren’t met.

Timing and implementation questions help sales reps establish a timeline for closing a deal and uncover any potential roadblocks in the buyer’s journey and sales cycle. These questions center on the prospect’s ideal timeline for implementing a solution and the resources they can allocate to the process.


  • What is your ideal timeline for implementing a new solution?
  • Do you have any specific milestones or events that influence your decision-making process?
  • What internal resources and expertise will be dedicated to the implementation process?
  • How do you plan to measure the success of the solution once implemented?
  • Are there any seasonal or cyclical factors that could impact the timing of this project?
  • Will our product’s implementation align with your timeline needs?

For following up after the sales call

For following up after the sales call

Follow-up sales discovery questions ensure that sales reps have all the necessary information to move the prospect through the sales pipeline after the discovery call wraps up.

Designed for effective follow-up interactions after sales calls, these questions seek feedback on the prospect’s remaining concerns and information needs. By addressing any lingering doubts and providing additional support, sales professionals can nurture the prospect through the sales journey more effectively.


  • Based on our discussion, what additional information or data would be helpful for your evaluation?
  • Is there anything we discussed that you’d like to explore further or in more detail?
  • How can we assist you in presenting this solution to other stakeholders within your organization?
  • What reservations, if any, do you still have after our conversation?
  • When would be the most convenient time for our next follow-up call or meeting?
  • Would you like me to provide additional information or resources?
  • What are your thoughts on our product or service after our discussion?

5 best practices for coming up with discovery questions

A sales representative crafting questions

Creating sales discovery questions is a crucial aspect of the sales process that involves customizing your inquiries to suit the unique needs, preferences, and challenges of each prospect depending on their industry and business.

Here are some tips on how to tailor sales discovery questions that are effective:

  1. Research the prospect’s business and industry: Before conducting outreach campaigns or engaging in any sales conversation, conduct thorough research on the prospect’s business, industry trends, recent news, and challenges they might be facing. This knowledge will help you frame relevant questions that demonstrate your expertise and genuine sincerity.
  2. Focus on the prospect’s objectives: Understand the prospect’s business goals and objectives, and align your questions to gain insights into how your product or service can contribute to their success.
  3. Use the prospect’s language and terminology: This demonstrates your familiarity with their field and builds rapport by speaking their professional language.
  4. Tailor questions based on the prospect’s role: Different roles within an organization have different perspectives and priorities. Tailor your questions to align with the specific concerns and responsibilities of the individual you’re engaging with.
  5. Seek input from colleagues or team members: Collaborate with your sales team or colleagues to brainstorm questions that address specific scenarios or industries. Different perspectives can lead to more comprehensive and effective questions.

Unlock growth with the impact of tailored sales discovery questions

By tailoring your sales discovery questions, you demonstrate your dedication to understanding the unique needs and challenges of each prospect. This personalized approach fosters trust, builds rapport, and positions your product or service as the perfect solution to their business requirements.

As the sales landscape continues to evolve, TaskDrive is here to equip you with the tools, expertise, and insights you need to elevate your sales game. Our team of dedicated professionals can assist you in crafting tailored sales discovery questions, researching prospects, and driving qualified leads to your business. Feel free to reach out today for a free consultation.

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