Your phone charger is frayed and bent.

Wires exposed, you twist it slightly to the right and balance your phone just so to get it to charge.

A new cord has been on your list for weeks, but let’s be honest, the situation isn’t quite urgent enough for you to hit “buy now.” It’s still charging, isn’t it?

Until it isn’t.

This strange habit of putting something off until it’s truly broken isn’t a personality flaw—it’s just human nature.

And according to Hannah Ajikawo, CEO and Founder of Revenue Funnel, it exists in modern sales, too. Getting today’s B2B buyers to convert before things crash and burn is incredibly tough, but that’s what sellers should reach for. To do that, your reps need to understand exactly where your prospect is in their buying journey.

Once you know that, Hannah says, you must proactively shape your discovery strategy, meet your buyer where they’re at, and guide them to the next step. This tailored discovery is a surefire way to differentiate from the first conversation and establish your value as a credible partner in a competitive buying situation.

Listen to the full episode to learn more about:

  • How to avoid being overhasty when it comes to building consensus in a buying group
  • Shaping discovery strategies according to specific buyer readiness
  • All the best tips for discovery: two mistakes that all sellers make, the one question you MUST ask in discovery, the question you need to STOP asking, and how to do better introductions in a first sales call

Listen to “#72: How to Unbreak Discovery & Tailoring to Buyer Readiness” on Spreaker.


How to avoid being overhasty when it comes to building consensus in a buying group

Modern sales require research and due diligence—but not just on the seller’s end. Both buyers and sellers have the opportunity to take reactive or proactive steps to build partnerships and establish solutions.

Often, the selling organization is responsible for most of the proactive actions taken to try to help raise awareness around the challenges occurring in the marketplace in the context of specific organizations, according to Hannah.

“We go out and intentionally say, ‘Look what’s going on, how can you ignore this? I’ve done my research. This is what I think, these are the assumptions, and these are the hypotheses I’m developing around your organization,” Hannah says. 

By teeing up conversations by focusing on customer pain points, it can be easier to draw support from buyers. But often, buyers take proactive steps in preparation for purchasing too. Buyers identify internal problems and trends in the market that need to be addressed—often, they take these realizations and research solutions before coming into contact with sales. Proactive steps on both sides of the buyer-seller relationship often set the stage for success.

However, when a buyer is reactive, they are responding through learning. Even if they aren’t quite ready to buy, they are excited about your solution. Unfortunately, reactivity can be a sign of a lack of organizational consensus, meaning that the excited potential buyer on the other end of your Zoom call hasn’t established a shared understanding of the value or necessity of your solution with the leadership with the power to make a purchase.

“If a team hasn’t collectively said, as an organization, ‘I get the issue, challenge, and opportunity. I looked at our objectives, and I can tie the dots between those. I understand the impact of change and inaction—all those things. Let’s go!’ Then there just isn’t consensus,” Hannah says. 

It can be easy to be over-hasty when it comes to building consensus in a buying group—we all like winning the unlikely sales, right? But without consensus, sales journeys often end up lost.

Shaping discovery strategies according to specific buyer readiness

Every buyer’s organization is unique, so each buying journey will look a bit different. The discovery a buyer needs relies heavily on where in their journey they are. If you can tailor your discovery strategy to meet your buyer exactly where they are, you can provide an experience that aligns with overall organizational needs and increase the likelihood of a successful sale.

“If we don’t know where a buyer is inside their journey, then it’s really hard for us to formulate a discovery that’s going to give value to them where they are,” Hannah says. “We should be asking, on a scale of 1 to 10, where the buyer is in their internal understanding.” 

When an organization has very little consensus or understanding around a problem, solution, opportunity, or hypothesis—whatever it may be—they are typically still in the research phase. This type of discovery call should be shaped much differently than one targeted towards an organization that is extremely aware of an existing problem and intent on solving it quickly. 

“You need to be the credible partner and bring in the right people to the discovery process,” Hannah says. “You have to understand where they are in the buying journey and what kind of discovery you need to formulate to meet their specific needs.”

All the best tips for discovery: two mistakes that all sellers make, the one question you MUST ask in discovery, the question you need to STOP asking, and how to do better introductions in a first sales call

The first major mistake sellers make is failing to understand where their buyers are in their journey. This is closely followed by the next major selling foul: failing to deliver value-driven conversations.

Time and time again, sellers continue to hop on discovery calls and ask buyers what keeps them up at night. They open with chatter about organizational demographics and services. But in reality, your buyer already knows everything they need to know about your business by the time they connect with sales. Failing to do due diligence in understanding the prospect’s organization and challenges results in reverting to stale, impersonal tactics.

Challenge the way your buyers think. Offer them new information, an alternative perspective or lens, and deliver value from the very first touchpoint. The best way to do that? Hannah points back to the discovery process.

“Find out where they are, understand and validate how much they’ve done, then we give them what they need,” she says.

Once you understand where your buyer is, you can take one of two approaches: research-led or review-led. 

Hannah breaks each down:

  • Research-led: Education is focused, informing buyers on data regarding problems and solutions in the organization and marketplace.
  • Review-Led: Focused on validations and establishing credibility over potential competitors

Want to learn more about designing the perfect discovery process for each prospect so they address problems before they reach the emergency level? Listen to the full episode of Winning the Challenger Sale where Hannah reveals more about enabling your sales reps, providing proper education and determining exactly where today’s modern B2B buyer is in their buying journey.

To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to the Winning The Challenger Sale podcast on our website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or just search for it in your favorite podcast player.

Andee Harris

Andee Harris is CEO of Challenger. Andee brings more than two decades of experience growing and scaling service and technology businesses. She has previously led multiple companies, both as CEO and Senior Vice President, through periods of rapid revenue growth, critical fundraising, and successful acquisition. These companies include Highground (acquired by Vista Equity Partners), TMBC (acquired by ADP), Syndio and Emerging Solutions (acquired by Emtec).