Your discovery is the most important step in the sales process. While it’s true that all the different parts of the sales process need to come together for success, you won’t get off the ground without a solid approach to discovery.

However, even if you’ve already nailed this aspect, you may struggle to adapt to the shift toward conducting more work virtually. The pandemic has forced many of us to change the way we do business – and tackling a virtual discovery calls for slightly different tactics than on-site discoveries do. And even though restrictions are being lifted, you may find that conducting the discovery virtually is easier and more time efficient.

Here are some tips on making sure your discovery is effective when you can’t be there in person.

Block out Scheduled Times

For a virtual discovery, it is usually easier to block times for the discovery rather than set individual appointments with each person you want to talk to in the organization. Set up a couple of hours and invite different people from the organization to meet with you in that timeframe. When you’ve finished with one conversation, jump into the next one to keep things going.

Try to get everyone involved to turn their video cameras on while they talk with you to see their reactions and body language. Make sure you speak to at least one person in every department so you can uncover their needs and get a feel for the organization’s problems.

Record Yourself

One thing we recommend doing is recording yourself rather than taking notes. If you’re jotting things down while you’re talking, it almost guarantees that you will miss something they say—and it could be just the info you needed to clinch the deal.

Recording the discovery lets you be “in the moment” and focus on the conversation, so you can relax knowing that you can go back and refer to the recording to make sure you have missed nothing. Since you’re recording for your personal use, it’s up to you whether to disclose that. Later, you can document your notes in ConnectWise and delete the recording.

Don’t make the Discovery about You

No matter where you’re performing the discovery, you’ll need to be sure it’s not about you. With in-person visits, you can build rapport and trust with clients. A “virtual discovery” may put you under more pressure to work quickly and get to the point. That might cause you to make the mistake of talking about your solutions.

As you hear about the problems employees are having, resist the urge to tell them how you’ll solve them. Keep quiet and practice active listening. Don’t think about what you’re going to say or ask next, just focus on what they are saying so you don’t miss potential issues.

Dive Deep

You know that everyone in a business has different needs and issues, and your job is to uncover as many as you can. But don’t make the mistake of talking about things that are not relevant to the person you are currently talking to. Think about what applies to them and make that your focus. Asking questions about things that don’t matter to their job role is a surefire way to shut down the conversation.

Focus on Needs

The key to any successful discovery is to be sure that everyone in the organization has their own selfish reasons for wanting to get on board with your MSP. Talk to everyone to get this right.

Picture an iceberg. What you see above the surface is just a small part of the picture compared to what lies below the water. While issues that are more visible within an organization are important, don’t forget that the top executives may only know of a small fraction of the company’s operational problems and business issues. The people below them shield them from the smaller things that can eat away at productivity and profitability. Frontline employees are just as valuable as top executives—if not more.

Discovery remains one of the most crucial aspects of the sales process. MSPs that master conducting the sales process virtually will have a serious edge over the competition. If you’d like to learn more about CharTec’s MSP Sales Process, or if you’d like to sign up for our Sales Lab or Academy, contact us at: