If you’re like most people, then you probably understand the importance of making a good first impression. After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression! This is especially true when it comes to discovery calls with prospective clients. A discovery call is your opportunity to show off your expertise and build rapport with the prospect. It’s also an opportunity for the prospect to learn more about you and what you can do for them. That’s why it’s so important that you go into every discovery call prepared and ready to rock! To help ensure that you’re always as prepared as possible, we’ve put together this discovery checklist. Use it before every discovery call and rest assured knowing that you’re doing everything in your power to make a great first impression on every client!

What is a Discovery Checklist?

A discovery checklist is a list of questions that can be used to help uncover potential areas of improvement or opportunity during a business or organizational review.

It is important to note that not all items on a discovery checklist will apply to every situation, but it can be a helpful starting point for conducting a review.

Some of the items that may be included on a discovery checklist include:

  • Are there any areas where processes could be streamlined or made more efficient?
  • Are there any areas where costs could be reduced?
  • Are there any areas where customer satisfaction could be improved?
  • Are there any areas where employee satisfaction could be improved?
  • Are there any areas where safety could be improved?
  • Are there any areas where the environmental impact could be reduced?
  • Are there any areas where compliance could be improved?

The ‘discovery’ stage is where you gather the information necessary to determine if your proposal is viable. By demonstrating what steps you will take to make your idea happen, you demonstrate to your client that your idea has merit.

There is no set format for the discovery phase as every project is unique. Rather than telling you what you should do, we thought we’d give you some ideas as to what you should be looking into.

In this post, we outline the six main areas that we discuss and link to further resources.

By the end of the discovery phase of your sales process, you should have an understanding and documentation of the following:

1. End Users

Who they are: Your service will cater to different groups of people. Their characteristics include demographics, motivations, and behaviors. The estimated number of each group is also listed. The ratio of users who will need help using your app is detailed as well.

Creating personas is a useful way to capture information about what users are looking for. A persona is a brief description or biography that defines a segment of your audience.

They ensure that everyone involved in the project from design to marketing is on the same page.

What they need: How you will design, develop and deliver your service to meet the needs of users.

User stories are an excellent way to summarize your findings. No matter what research techniques you use to find the information, user stories should be your end goal.

Your list of user stories should be prioritized to ensure that your development team is following the correct timeline.

User journey: How users are presently doing what they need to and how successful they are at doing this.

A user journey is a path that a user takes to get to where they want to be. It’s a useful tool for understanding the different touchpoints or interactions with your service and will highlight any gaps in your user experience.

2. Context

Your business: The high-level objectives of your business and how this project will align with these. Who each of the stakeholders or stakeholder groups is and what their requirements are for the project.

Policy priorities: The government policies that are relevant to the project and how the project will deliver against these.

3. Current Offering

Content audit: A website content review will help you understand what needs to be changed to improve the overall effectiveness of your website.

Technology legacy: A list of all your contractual obligations so that you can make informed choices about what to do with your current site.

People: A list of everyone that makes up your operation is a key part of what you do, and a list of the people involved with your business will help give you a better understanding of how your service works.

4. Lessons Learned

Other organizations: It’s important to look at other government bodies, other sectors, and other countries when making decisions. Reusing existing systems is a better option than creating something new. Avoiding duplication of efforts is important.

5. Desired Situation

Options analysis: To move forward with your decision-making process, you should first get a thorough understanding of the different solutions or approaches that meet your user’s needs. Once you have this, you can determine which one you prefer and have solid reasoning for why.

Describe the process both during the development stage and after the service is launched.

Operating model: The operations plan is how the work will be done. How your internal team will work with the outsourcing company will be important.

Team structure: The main roles that are required both internally and with external partners. It is especially important to designate a service manager for day-to-day decision-making after launch.

Costs for development are usually broken down into sprints and by each role’s capability. The running costs include any licenses, software, and any ongoing maintenance.

If you’re looking to buy any digital marketing or web development work, you’ll most likely want to use the Digital Service framework or G-cloud.

As this project moves forward, some of the details above may shift. But it’s important to have an overall understanding of these details from the start to avoid any potential issues later on.

As your project develops, you may discover that some of your original goals are either no longer relevant or too ambitious. This is why it is important to define your goals at the outset so that you can avoid unpleasant situations further down the road.

KPI: Start to define your goals and measure the success you have achieved against your set goals. The benchmark figures provided in the current project are useful metrics you can use to determine your KPI. The uptake of the service will be especially important to track.

6. Project Plan

The plan itself: This shows how you will make your proposition a reality. Outline the periods for different development phases, the number of sprints, and the periods of user testing.

Alpha stage: Define your outcome and objective, as well as detail your timescale, costs, and team members. This overview is useful when thinking about your Beta and Live stages.

While you must carry out your due diligence, you do not need to include all the details in your spending request.

A summary of the results you obtained is suggested, but be prepared to expand on this should we have any further questions.

What Makes a Good Discovery Call?

A discovery call is a conversation where salespeople and potential customers discuss each other’s needs. The purpose is to understand if both entities are a good fit.

Listen carefully: The most successful salespeople listen closely to what a prospect says, ask clarifying questions, and summarize the information they’ve gathered.

Ask questions about your prospects’ needs, pains, and problems. Be friendly, demonstrate empathy, and show that you care about them.

Following up on a sales conversation with a prospect is an effective way to ensure that both you and the client are on the same page.

Have a healthy talk-listen ratio: Don’t just talk to your prospects. Instead, try to engage in a conversation. Remember that it’s supposed to be a two-way street.

What kinds of questions are you looking to ask in a sales conversation? By asking open-ended questions, you can learn more about what your prospects are looking for and how you can help them out.

Try to get long answers: Asking the right questions of a prospect during a sales conversation is key to understanding their needs. Avoid asking questions that can be answered by a simple “yes” or “no”. Ask questions that would draw out long answers to help you better understand what the prospect is looking for in a product/service.

The best discovery call questions require long answers. Start your questions with general topics, then follow up with questions that will get more specific.

Focus on listening if there is silence: Sometimes, a prospect may be silent while you’re talking to them. Don’t take this as a sign that they aren’t interested, though. Some people need time to digest the information you’re giving them.

Keep asking questions: By asking more questions, you can ensure that you fully understand what your prospect needs. Consequently, they will know that you are genuinely interested in helping them.

Have a positive sign-off: End your conversation on a good note. Make sure you sound like you’re looking forward to helping them and that you’re excited about their project.  This will leave a good impression on the prospect, and remind them that there’s still time to make a move.

What Questions Should You Ask During Discovery?

Asking the right discovery questions about your prospects can be tricky. Tailor your questions to each specific person.

  • What goal are you trying to achieve right now?
  • What are the main roadblocks to achieving that goal?
  • How can our company help you achieve that goal?
  • What’s your biggest challenge right now?
  • Which areas of the sales process are you struggling with?
  • When do you need to have this problem solved? Can we help accelerate that timeline for you?
  • Are you looking for a short-term solution or long-term collaboration?
  • What are your thoughts on our pricing?

These are just some ways to learn more about your potential client. Learning as much as possible about your client and their company is important during the discovery phase of your sales process. If you don’t, you’ll be blindly selling and that won’t lead to good business.

By asking questions, you can learn more about a potential customer’s needs and how you can potentially help.

How Do I Prepare for a Discovery Call?

The best way to prepare for a discovery call is to research the potential customer beforehand and come up with questions that will help you understand their needs. During the call, be sure to listen carefully and take notes so that you can follow up with the customer after the call.

What Comes After a Discovery Call?

After the discovery call, the next step is usually to schedule a consultation, during which both parties will have an opportunity to ask more detailed questions and discuss potential solutions.

What Makes a Good Discovery Call?

A good discovery call is well-planned and structured. It should have a clear purpose and goal, and the questions should be carefully crafted to elicit the information you need. The call should be conducted in a professional and courteous manner, and you should be prepared to take notes and follow up with any promised action items.


If you want to make sure that you’re always making a great first impression on your prospective clients, then be sure to use this discovery checklist before every call! It’ll help ensure that you’re well-prepared and can make the most of every opportunity.

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Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was generated for LeadFuze and attributed to Justin McGill, the Founder of LeadFuze.