Episode Summary

Enterprise discovery is a lot different from traditional discovery.

It demands that you master a number of key skills, from handling a longer-lasting discovery process to managing large buying committees.

First, when preparing for your enterprise discovery call, make sure you go in ready to teach the buyer something. Spend as much time researching what you can teach your buyer as you do putting together your questions.

One of the biggest mistakes — but one of the easiest to overcome — is not taking notes during discovery meetings. Strong note-taking gives you topics, language, and goals to refer back to for the next meeting.

Also, don’t be afraid to talk to people who aren’t in your direct prospect funnel. A good rep is willing to talk to anybody — even if they aren’t a decision-maker — because you can learn more about the decision process, systems being used, and company goals.

Enterprise discovery requires digging deeper into different points of view across the whole company. Ask thought-provoking questions that require multi-threaded responses, help buyers reach their own conclusions, and never stop the discovery process.

Feeling overwhelmed? On this episode of the B2B Power Hour, Nate Nasralla, the founder of Fluint, and Kyle Asay, a regional VP at MongoDB, join us to teach you the essentials of discovery for enterprise deals. These two well-versed enterprise sales experts have quite a few tricks up their sleeves.

If you want to level up your enterprise discovery skills, this episode is for you.

Listen in to learn more about why discovery needs to be part of the entire sales cycle, the best way to plan your discovery call agenda, and how to strike the perfect balance between asking questions and teaching buyers. Plus, we break down a few of the biggest red flags in enterprise sales.

B2B Power Plays

Top takeaways from this week’s conversation

💭 Get the preparation for your discovery call right.

Before going into a discovery call, master the three types of understanding:

  • Persona understanding: Review job descriptions of the buyer’s role at the company you’re pitching or at similar companies. This gives you an understanding of tools they might be using or problems they might have.
  • Industry understanding: Determine relevant challenges facing their industry.
  • Solution understanding: Tie the persona and industry understandings back to your solution. You can gather proof points, customer stories, or internal research.

📓Fine-tune your discovery meeting agenda.

A meeting agenda is your first chance to differentiate your discovery call from the rest. Make sure the buyer knows from the beginning that you’re going to tell them, explicitly, how you can help them — that’s the objective of the call.

Before you can let them know how you’ll help, you need to understand how their roles tie to the solution — the value hypothesis.

By the end of the call, your value hypothesis should become a value proposition that you can carry forward with other stakeholders.

🧠Discovery isn’t just a stage in the sales pipeline.

One of the most important things to remember about enterprise discovery is that it’s a continual discipline throughout the entire sales cycle, not just a stage in the sales pipeline.

With enterprise sales, you’ll always have new contacts and stakeholders coming into the deal. You need to continuously adapt and learn from them throughout the process.

What he does: Kyle is a regional vice president at MongoDB, where he’s a second-line leader responsible for new customer acquisition for the Midwest, Northeast, and Canada.

Key quote: “The best reps are just wanting to have conversations — not because it’s part of the sales process but because they’re actually curious to better understand the company.”

Where to find him: LinkedIn | Blog

What he does: Nate is the founder of Fluint, a company that converts your buyer’s words into a personalized business case that helps you get champions in your corner.

Key quote: "Discovery is one of the best services — when done right — that you could ever do for a buyer because you’re creating space for them to think more deeply and critically about a meaningful problem."

Where to find him: LinkedIn | Blog

Episode Highlights

Inflection points from the show

[00:47] Discovery call prep: When preparing for a discovery call, spend time researching how you can teach the buyer something instead of just asking questions.

[6:08] Trigger phrases: Prospecting is a great place to find trigger phrases. Sometimes, you can even figure out trigger phrases by talking to somebody who has no influence over the decision to buy your product.

[9:47] Having the right conversations: Don’t shy away from speaking to anyone in the company, even if they aren’t decision-makers. They can still offer you invaluable insights into the company’s processes and goals.

[13:16] Meeting agendas: The ideal discovery meeting agenda starts with a value hypothesis and ends with a value proposition. Kyle explains how to fill in the details.  

[17:48] An effective hypothesis vs. a poor one: Kyle breaks down examples of what effective and poor hypotheses look like. (Hint: Speak in executive-level metrics for the strongest impact.)

[22:46] Building confidence: You have to earn the right to ask your buyer more questions, but how? Lean into the fact that you’re there to teach them about solutions to their problems versus making it feel like an interrogation.

[30:25] Managing large buying committees: To manage large buying committees, create more structure and rigor to increase the buyer’s confidence and help the champion label roles on their committee.

[36:13] Putting out fires: We break down the top red flags in enterprise sales, from discovery to close.

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