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Discovery Questioning

Discovery Linking Questions

9 min
Average Score

Matt Doyon

Chief Executive Officer @ Triple Session

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In the world of sales, discovery is the linchpin that can make or break a deal. It's the heart of the sales process, where the magic truly happens. In this session, you'll learn about the powerful technique of question linking, a strategy that enables you to delve deep into meaningful conversations with your prospects.

What is Question Linking?

Question linking involves taking the information you learn in one answer and using it as the focal point for your next question. This strategy can help you unravel a more comprehensive and insightful picture of your prospect's situation.

The Problem with Superficial Questions

One common pitfall many sales reps fall into is asking superficial questions. They often come into the discovery phase with a predefined set of questions and simply run through them, seeking the same surface-level information they've gathered countless times before. This approach, however, fails to provide the necessary context and depth needed to truly understand the prospect's needs.

Building a Mosaic of Information

Think of each individual question and answer as a dot in the middle of a blank canvas. By itself, it lacks context and meaning. To truly understand your prospect's situation, you need to link these dots together, creating a mosaic that reveals the complete picture. This is the essence of question linking.

Why Question Linking Matters

Keeping it Conversational

Sales discovery should be a natural, conversational exchange. When you question link, you keep the conversation open and free-flowing. This approach builds trust and comfort with your prospect, making them feel heard and valued as an individual.

Demonstrating Active Listening

Question linking demonstrates your active listening skills. You can't effectively use this strategy without paying close attention to your prospect's responses and tailoring your follow-up questions accordingly. This shows your prospect that you're fully engaged in the conversation and committed to understanding their unique situation.

Gaining a Deeper Understanding

Question linking allows you to dig deeper into specific topics and situations. Instead of moving on after getting a single answer, you stay on a particular topic until you fully comprehend it. This granular understanding is crucial for making informed decisions during the sales process.

Building Trust and Authority

A conversational and tailored approach to discovery will make you appear as a trusted advisor and thought leader, not just another salesperson. You'll build a strong relationship with your prospect, gaining their trust and establishing your authority in the field.

Providing Greater Context

Just as an investigative journalist aims to uncover all the details of a story, you, as a sales rep, should strive to extract all the relevant information from your prospect. Question linking builds context, helping you piece together a comprehensive picture of the prospect's needs and goals.

Examples of Question Linking

Let's take a closer look at how question linking works through a few examples:

Example 1: Low Demo to Close Rate

Initial Question: "What conversion rate is your demo to close performance right now?"

Follow-up Question: "For how long has performance been at 15%?"

Further Question: "What do you believe happened six months ago that triggered this dip?"

In this example, you can see how each answer is seamlessly incorporated into the next question, resulting in a detailed and informative conversation.

Example 2: Doubling Demand Generation

Initial Question: "Who set the double demand gen target anyway?"

Follow-up Question: "What was it that led the CRO to setting a two X demand gen target?"

Further Question: "What do you have today in the demand gen mix that you know will help you achieve the revenue goal for the upcoming year?"

These role plays illustrate how you can maintain a conversational flow while gathering essential information.

Putting Question Linking into Practice

To master question linking, you need practice. It's an agile skill that improves with time and experience. By incorporating this strategy into your sales discovery process, you'll automatically place yourself in the top 10% of reps. The granular insights you gain through question linking will give you a significant advantage in understanding your prospects and ultimately closing deals.

Remember, practice makes progress. So, give question linking a try in your next discovery session, and watch your sales performance soar.

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