5 Questions to Help Identify Your Prospect’s Pain Points

discovery callThe Discovery Call is the first call after connecting with a prospect – some say it’s the most important step in the modern sales process. Sales reps provide value by making informed recommendations to their prospects. Reps are only able to do so by stepping into buyers’ shoes, learning about their priorities, and finding solutions, all of which is done in the discovery call – discovery is the foundation of every sales process.

That being said, it’s very easy for discovery calls to go downhill quickly if the prospect isn’t seeing value. Because of this, asking the right questions at the right times becomes crucial to holding a prospect’s attention and getting them to the next steps in the sales process. One method to get information while reassuring the prospect that you have their interests in mind is to probe for pain points. This shows the prospect that you are there to solve their problems and make their life easier, not just make a sale.

Unsure of how to start? We’re gathered five questions to help find prospect pain points and start the sales process off strong.

1. What takes up the most time in your day?

This is a great question for a few reasons, one of which is how subtle it is. Asking what takes up most of someone’s day is really asking them what processes are dragging them down. Framing the question this way allows a prospect to take a hard look at their day-to-day and where it could use improvement. This is easier to think about than “what is your organization’s biggest challenge,” which doesn’t directly relate to the person you’re speaking to.For example, maybe they spend all of their time creating reports – this is a great opportunity to bring up your products automatic reporting function which can help their entire organization while also cutting down on their personal time in front of spreadsheets. Build off of this by bringing up how your solution would give them time to be more productive with the same results for an added bonus.

2. What is your biggest inhibitor to growth?

This is an excellent question to get your prospects thinking outside of how they normally think. Getting prospects to talk through their current business situation can help you understand their organization while showcasing your expertise. Every company out there is looking for growth and discovering their challenges doing so offers an opportunity to help solve their problem using your solution.

This question also helps keep the conversation flowing because of the endless possibility of follow-up questions. Most prospects will be general with their answers at first, citing a lack of revenue, customer issues, employees, etc. Follow up by asking how they plan to tackle their pain points, if they have a deadline to solve it, or who is working to fix the issue currently.

3. If you had an unlimited budget what is the first improvement you would make?

Many sales calls are cut short by prospects who claim that whatever you’re selling (even if they’re not sure what it is yet) is out of their budget. An excellent way to get around this is by asking what issues they would tackle if they weren’t under budget constraints. Many people use their budget as an automatic objection to salespeople, even if it’s not the truth. This question allows you to get them talking about their organization’s most pressing issues, without the pressure to buy. You become less of a pushy salesperson and more of a trusted advisor.

4. What is one thing you would change about the operations of your position?


This is similar to asking what they spend most of their time doing, it looks for bottlenecks in a prospect’s daily routine. It can help frame your search for pain points in a different way. It’s easier for people to think of issues they are having in their own lives as opposed to issues their entire organization has. This question can help uncover if a prospect is carrying extra responsibility that could be taken away by your solution as well as where there is room to improve their processes.

Asking personal questions is a great way to get someone thinking and talking about their challenges. You can then transition to asking questions about the organization as a whole.

5. What areas of your company do you think have grown the most/least over the last year?


Relating back to every organization’s quest for growth, asking this question shows you what is and isn’t working for their organization. This opens up two opportunities to help the sale:


  • Can their area of major growth be further accelerated by your solution?
  • Can their area of no/little growth be fixed with your solution?

Questions that open you up to offer multiple suggestions and solutions also help to frame you as a trusted advisor who is offering a variety of solutions to help all aspects of their business.

The running theme for a good discovery call involves getting the prospect talking about themselves and their organization instead of going right into your pitch, expecting a sale. It’s important to remember that the discovery call acts as an introduction and therefore the first impression for your company. Focus on learning the pain points, and not being a pain point.

Looking to finetune your sales processes even more? Request a free, personalized demo of LevelEleven today!

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