In our most recent Winning the Challenger Sales Webinar, we went deep on “Discovery” calls and shared some tips for how to leverage “high-gain” questions.  A high-gain question is an open-ended question that does two things:  

(1) Unlocks information prospects typically don’t share with salespeople (i.e., the true goal of “discovery”) and  

(2) teaches the prospect about a blind spot in their business (i.e., similar to the Socratic method). They’re not easy; they take planning and practice to do well.

I’ll go deeper on discovery calls in a later blog, but I first want to outline a critical consideration “discovery”.  

For Challengers, a successful discovery call looks like this:  

  • They demonstrate credibility by revealing research conducted in advance 
  • They share a strong hypothesis around the customer pain point they plan to expose  
  • They ask high gain questions that turn into “teaching opportunities” and provide the prospect an engaging or “aha” moment where they reconsider status quo  

The discovery call represents the first and most obvious “teaching opportunity” in what will hopefully progress into a qualified opportunity and ultimately a “closed-won” deal.   

But the important point to consider is that the job of a “commercial teacher” and the process of discovery is just beginning in the initial discovery call. In fact, there are many discovery and teaching opportunities that arise throughout a sales process/buying journey.

If you’re making the most of “teaching opportunities” throughout the funnel, you continually discover more about your prospects’ motivations, and find strong footholds to reframe their perspective. This is evident in their reactions.

Commercial teaching is not simply a choreography for first sales calls and early-stage conversations, although it works very well in those situations. It’s a tool for teaching and discovery used throughout the sales process/buying journey. We’ll be exploring this idea in early June.

Join us on June 3rd as we dive deep into the next sales moment that matters on the next episode of Winning the Challenger Sale: The “Teaching Opportunity” .

Access the replays of Season 2 Winning the Challenger Sale episodes.

Michael Randazzo

Michael Randazzo

Michael is a Sr. Marketing Director at Challenger, and has worked in the sales and marketing effectiveness space for much of his career as a consultant and advisor to senior commercial leaders.