How the Power of Discovery Will Help You with Your B2B Sales Interview (part 3 of 4)

Ryan Walsh, CEO and Founder
Ryan Walsh, CEO and FounderDec 5, 2018

(Intro: It’s a question that is asked thousands of times.  Every. Single. Day. “I have a background in retail, automotive, services, healthcare, etc sales, but want to make the jump into tech sales. Is that possible?”

The short answer is YES! People make the transition all the time and do it successfully.  To get that shot, however, you’ve got to prove in the interview process that not only do you have the desire, but you’ve got the skills.)

For part 3 of our 4 part blog series on how crushing your interview will allow you to break into tech sales, we’re going to explore the power of discovery and not only why it will help you with your interview, but also why it will serve you in a solution sales role for years to come. If you haven’t read part 1 (Know Your Numbers) or part 2 (Your Personal Story), check them out, too!

Discovery is the most important part of b2b or solution selling.  Period.  It’s not the demo, it’s not “closing techniques”, it’s discovery.   Discovery is the act of asking questions to learn about the prospect.  About their business, what are their goals, what are some of the challenges that are preventing them from reaching their goals and of course, understanding their “why”.  There are a ton of resources on proper discovery, and I usually tell sales professionals looking to up their discovery game to start by reading Spin Selling.

The true power of discovery is that it allows a seller to build a real, quantifiable value proposition that’s both powerful and highly specific to that prospect.  With discovery information in hand, truly elite sales professionals are then able to effectively translate the discovery into a custom value proposition for the prospect.

So how can you leverage discovery in your job interview to set yourself apart from a large candidate pool?  First, recognize that discovery is tied to one of the most underrated traits of successful b2b sales professionals – curiosity.  Being intellectually curious is an exceptional trait for sales professionals. Think about what you want to understand about the business, the industry, the product, the leadership, your sales peers, the culture.  And ask questions in the interview to get that information.

Here are some approaches you can use when the interviewer asks “Do you have any questions for us?”:

  • What are the businesses goals over the next 12 to 24 months?
  • What happens if those goals are met and how will the business be impacted if those goals are not met?
  • What are the top two or three challenges standing in the way of meeting those goals?
  • What are some of the top reasons that deals are moved to closed/lost?
  • Talk to me about employee attrition – what are some of the top causes?

While each of these questions in a vacuum will give you, the job candidate, great insight about the business, they will also give the interviewer a preview of how you will handle discovery of prospects.  Most notably are you getting information that you can use later in the process – to make an informed decision on whether this organization is right for you.

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