By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
Meeting Tips

60 Right Sales Discovery Questions to Qualify More Deals

June 25, 2024
Read time
Min Read
Last updated
June 25, 2024
Anika Jahin
60 Right Sales Discovery Questions to Qualify More Deals
Table of contents
Share article:

Ever feel like you're giving amazing sales pitches, but deals just aren't closing? The culprit might be a shaky foundation – your sales discovery process.

Effective discovery calls are all about asking the right questions. These questions aren't about bombarding prospects with features and benefits. Instead, they're about uncovering their unique challenges, goals, and decision-making processes.

By using the discovery call to truly understand your prospect's situation, you can tailor your approach and showcase how your product or service is the best solution for their needs.

The result?

More qualified leads, a shorter sales cycle, and ultimately, more deals closed.

In this blog, we'll explore 60 essential sales discovery questions to supercharge your sales conversations and skyrocket your deal qualification rate. We'll break down the key principles of effective discovery questions, explore specific examples for B2B and B2C sales, and provide tips to structure your discovery calls for maximum impact.

Let's get started and turn those discovery calls into springboards for success!

What Are Sales Discovery Questions?

Closing deals depends on understanding your prospects' needs and challenges. That's where sales discovery questions come in.

These aren't the pushy, product-centric questions from cheesy sales tactics. Effective discovery questions are designed to spark conversations that reveal a prospect's business and their unique situation.

By asking the right questions, you become a trusted advisor, not just another salesperson pushing a product or service.

Discovery calls planned with effective discovery questions allow you to:

  • Uncover pain points: Delve deeper than surface-level concerns. Discover the specific roadblocks hindering your prospect's progress and success.
  • Identify goals and aspirations: Learn what your prospect wants to achieve and how your offering can be the missing piece in their journey toward their ideal outcome.
  • Gauge fit: Assess whether your prospect matches your solution well. This involves understanding their budget, decision-making process, and timeline for purchase.
  • Build rapport: Discovery calls are primarily focused on building trust and showing sincere interest. By actively listening and demonstrating a desire to understand their situation, you build a strong foundation for a successful sales relationship.

3 Key Principles of Effective Sales Discovery Questions

Now that we know why sales discovery questions matter, let's look at three key principles. These three rules ensure your discovery calls give useful information and also help start a successful sales process.

Effective sales discovery questions share some key characteristics:

(1) Open-ended

Encourage detailed responses that reveal valuable insights beyond a simple "yes" or "no." Start with questions like "What are your biggest challenges..." or "Can you tell me more about...?"

Open-ended questions encourage elaboration and provide a deeper understanding of your prospect's situation.

(2) Specific

Tailor your questions to the prospect's industry, role, and business goals. Avoid generic questions that could apply to any company.

For example, instead of asking, "What are your biggest challenges?" ask, "How are current marketing automation solutions restricting your lead generation efforts?"

(3) Solution-oriented

Frame your questions in a way that subtly positions your product or service as the answer to their pain points.

Don't be overly promotional, but subtly guide the conversation towards how your offering can address their specific needs.

Best Sales Discovery Questions for B2B Sales

In B2B sales, success depends on understanding your prospect's organization inside and out.


Because every company has its own unique goals, challenges, and decision-making processes. By tailoring your approach to their specific situation, you can build stronger relationships, identify the right decision-makers, and ultimately close more deals.

Here are some sales discovery questions specifically crafted to uncover valuable insights in B2B settings:

Understanding Current Challenges and Needs

  1. Can you walk me through the biggest challenges your team is facing in [prospect's department]? (tailor to specific department)
  2. How are these challenges impacting your ability to achieve [departmental goal]?
  3. What is your current process for [relevant business function]? (e.g., lead generation, customer service)
  4. What are the biggest frustrations you encounter with your current solution (if applicable)?
  5. Are there any specific metrics you use to measure success in [relevant area]? (e.g., customer satisfaction, sales growth)

Identifying Goals and Aspirations

  1. What are your team's top priorities for the next [timeframe]? (e.g., quarter, year)
  2. What are your long-term goals for [relevant area]? (e.g., market share, customer retention)
  3. What would an ideal solution look like for you?

Gauging Fit and Decision-Making Process

  1. Who are the key decision-makers involved in the purchasing process?
  2. What is your typical timeline for evaluating and implementing new solutions?
  3. Do you currently have a budget allocated for addressing [pain point]? (tailor to specific pain point)

Building Rapport and Demonstrating Value

  1. Can you share a specific example of a time you encountered [relevant challenge]?
  2. How would a solution like ours impact your ability to achieve [departmental goal]? (tailor to specific goal)
  3. Have you come across any similar solutions in your research? If so, what were your key considerations?

Best Sales Discovery Questions for B2C Sales

While B2B sales focus on organizational needs, B2C sales focus deeper on individual motivations and buying behavior. In B2C sales, building trust and emotional connection is key.

Use these questions to spark conversations that go beyond the product itself. Focus on understanding their lifestyle, aspirations, and the emotions tied to their purchase decision.

Here are some effective sales discovery questions designed to understand your B2C prospect's perspective:

Uncovering Pain Points and Needs

  1. What are you hoping to achieve by using [product category]?
  2. What are some of the biggest frustrations you encounter with [current solution]? (if applicable)
  3. Can you tell me more about a recent experience you had that left you feeling dissatisfied?
  4. What are your biggest concerns when considering a purchase like this?

Identifying Goals and Aspirations

  1. What are your expectations for this product?
  2. How would an ideal solution improve your [lifestyle/daily routine]?
  3. What features are most important to you in a product like this?

Understanding Budget and Purchase Process

  1. Do you have a budget in mind for this type of purchase?
  2. What factors typically influence your buying decisions?
  3. How do you typically research products before making a purchase?

Building Rapport and Demonstrating Value

  1. Can you share a specific example of how [pain point] impacts your daily life?
  2. How do you think [product benefit] could make a difference for you?
  3. Have you had a chance to see any reviews or comparisons of similar products?

How to Structure a Sales Discovery Call

Structuring a sales discovery call effectively can make a significant difference in the information you gather and the rapport you build.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

(1) Pre-Call Preparation

  • Research the prospect’s business and industry.
  • Prepare a list of tailored discovery call questions.

(2) Opening the Call

  • Introduce yourself and set the agenda for the call.
  • Establish rapport by discussing common interests or recent industry news.

(3) Asking Discovery Questions

  • Start with general questions and gradually move to more specific ones.
  • Listen actively and take notes on key points.

(4) Summarizing and Next Steps

  • Recap the main points discussed during the call.
  • Agree on the next steps and schedule a follow-up meeting.

Bonus Tip: Record your calls (with permission) to review and identify areas for improvement in your questioning techniques and overall call flow. Use an AI note taker like Wudpecker during these sessions to ensure that all the key points and highlights are captured.

If you are considering recording a sales call and want to understand how to do it properly, be sure to check out this blog.

Essential Sales Discovery Questions

Now that you've prepped for impactful discovery calls, you might be wondering - what questions should you ask? We've already covered some B2B and B2C examples, but let's explore some general discovery questions that can be valuable for any sales conversation.

Remember, these are just a starting point! Always adapt them to fit each customer's unique situation, business type, and specific needs.

Implication Questions

  1. What happens if these issues aren't resolved? (This is a classic implication question)
  2. If you continue with the status quo, how will it impact your ability to [achieve specific goal]?
  3. Let's say [current challenge] persists for another year. What are the potential consequences for your business?
  4. Can you describe the domino effect of these unresolved issues on other areas of your operation?
  5. Beyond the immediate challenges, how might these problems hinder your future growth plans?
  6. Are there any market trends you're particularly concerned about or interested in leveraging? (This question explores the potential consequences of not adapting to market trends)

Need-Payoff Questions

  1. What benefits would you see if this problem is solved? (This is a classic need-payoff question)
  2. How would eliminating [pain point] improve your team's overall productivity?
  3. Imagine a scenario where [challenge] is no longer a concern. What positive outcomes would that lead to?
  4. Can you quantify the potential cost savings associated with addressing this issue?
  5. How would solving this problem contribute to achieving your key performance indicators [KPIs]?
  6. Beyond the immediate benefits, how would a solution like ours contribute to your long-term success?
  7. In an ideal world, how would a solution like this improve your overall efficiency [B2B specific]?
  8. For B2C sales, how would this product enhance your [lifestyle/daily routine] and make your life easier?
  9. What metrics do you use to measure long-term success in your projects? (Understanding their success metrics helps you showcase how your product contributes to long-term goals)
  10. What barriers do you foresee in achieving your long-term goals? (Identifying these barriers positions your solution as a way to overcome them and achieve success)
  11. What role do you see our product playing in your strategic plan? (This question highlights the need and payoff of your product within their overall strategy)

Closing Questions

  1. Do you have any concerns about moving forward with our solution? (This is a classic closing question)
  2. Based on our conversation, do you see how our product/service can address your key challenges?
  3. What would you need to see from us to feel confident in your decision [to move forward]?
  4. What's the next step in the process for you? (Open-ended question to encourage next steps)
  5. Is there a specific timeline you have in mind for making a decision? (Gauge urgency)
  6. Who else within your organization would be involved in the decision-making process? (Identify key decision-makers)
  7. Would you be open to a follow-up call to discuss your specific needs in more detail?
  8. Can I send you some additional information or case studies that showcase how we've helped similar businesses?
  9. Is there anything else I can answer for you today?
  10. Thank you for your time. I look forward to continuing the conversation! (Positive and professional closing)
  11. How important is scalability in your decision-making process? (This gauges their future needs and if your product can accommodate growth)
  12. What do you seek in an ideal partnership with a solution provider? (Understanding their ideal partnership helps you tailor your approach to meet those expectations)
  13. What is your current adoption? (if low adoption) why does low adoption matter to the company? (This can be a closing question to open a discussion about potential challenges with adoption within their company)
  14. What do you think would change if the entire team fully adopted the solution? (This can follow question 57 to explore the potential benefits of high adoption)
  15. Tell me about the process you went through when you bought _____? (Depending on the context of the conversation, this could be a closing question to learn about their buying process for similar solutions)
  16. What has slowed other products down? (This could be a closing question to understand potential roadblocks they've faced with past solutions and how yours can overcome them)


Remember that nailing the sales discovery calls is really important for keeping your sales pipeline flowing. By asking the right questions and using the tips we talked about, you can make those calls work like a charm.

Just think about digging up hidden needs, earning trust, and steering prospects toward solutions for their issues. Once you grasp discovery calls, you'll be able to shape your sales strategy, build better relationships, and consistently succeed in sales.

Putting effort into perfecting these calls will definitely pay off as you move along your sales journey.


What Is a Discovery Question in Sales?

A discovery question in sales is a question specifically designed to uncover a prospect's needs, challenges, and goals. These open-ended questions (as opposed to yes or no questions) encourage detailed responses that provide valuable insights into the prospect's situation.

How Do I Handle Prospects Who Are Vague About Their Needs?

Vague prospects can be tricky, but with the right approach, you can still have a productive sales discovery call.

Here are some tips for handling prospects who are unsure of their needs:

Active Listening and Empathy

  • Listen attentively: Pay close attention to what they do say, even if it's general. This might offer clues about their industry, company culture, or frustrations.
  • Show empathy: Acknowledge their uncertainty and express your desire to understand their situation better.

Guiding the Conversation with Questions

  • Ask clarifying questions: Gently probe for specifics. For example, "Can you elaborate on what you mean by [vague statement]?"
  • Use open-ended questions: These encourage them to elaborate on their situation. For example, "What are some of the biggest challenges your team is facing right now?" or "What would an ideal solution look like for you?"
  • Offer scenarios: Paint a picture of potential problems. "Imagine a situation where [industry challenge] occurs. How would that impact your business?"

Educate and Offer Expertise

  • Share industry trends: Briefly mention relevant industry trends or challenges that might resonate with their situation.
  • Provide insights: Offer your knowledge of common pain points in their industry. "Many companies in your field struggle with [common challenge]. Have you encountered this?"

Focus on Value Proposition

  • Shift the conversation to solutions: Once you have a better understanding, highlight how your product or service addresses general challenges their industry faces.


  • It's a collaborative effort: Guide the conversation, but allow them to share their perspective.
  • Be patient: It might take time to uncover their needs. Don't get discouraged if it doesn't happen overnight.
  • Focus on building trust: By actively listening and demonstrating your expertise, you can build trust and encourage them to open up more.

How Many Discovery Questions Should I Ask During a Call?

There's not a magic number for the ideal amount of discovery questions in a sales call, but a sweet spot does exist.

Here's what you should consider:

  • Focus on Quality, Not Quantity: While asking questions is crucial, prioritize the quality of your questions over sheer quantity. Aim for insightful questions that delve deeper into the prospect's situation and uncover their true needs.
  • The 11-14 Question Sweet Spot: Sales calls with 11 to 14 discovery questions tend to have a higher success rate. This range allows you to gather valuable information without overwhelming the prospect.
  • Tailor Your Approach: The optimal number of questions depends on the specific call and prospect. A complex situation might require more questions, while a simpler one might need fewer. Adapt your approach based on the conversation's flow.
  • Listen and Respond: Don't treat your questions like a script to blindly follow. Actively listen to their responses and use them to guide the conversation. New questions might arise based on their answers.

Remember: This is a guideline, not a strict rule.

Automatic quality online meeting notes
Try Wudpecker for free
60 Right Sales Discovery Questions to Qualify More Deals
Close More Deals with Sales Call Recording
Min Read
60 Right Sales Discovery Questions to Qualify More Deals
Min Read
60 Right Sales Discovery Questions to Qualify More Deals
Min Read