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I make my living creating and improving sales processes and creating sales playbooks, so it might seem strange that I’m making a case for NOT over-scripting sales calls for SDRs, AEs, and CSMs. The fact is, I’ve never been an advocate for scripting. Instead, I say, “Hire smart people and teach them the framework of each type of call and let them use their words and personalities to get the answers needed at each step in the sales process. With that said, I know I can’t put an SDR, who’s probably never made a B2B cold call, on the phone without a piece of paper in front of them. So, you must strike a balance.

Although every sales call is important, I believe the discovery call (DISCO) is the most important call, and it will be the focus of the list this article details. Discovery calls serve as the indispensable step in understanding prospects' needs, building trust, and having a meaningful connection. However, over-scripting these conversations can do more harm than good.

Here are the biggest drawbacks of over-scripting a discovery call:

I was working with a couple of reps. last week helping them prepare for a very important onsite demo with a large prospect. They had smartly scheduled a call with an IT influencer to make sure they had their presentation and demo all buttoned up.

The sales reps. were a bit concerned going into the call that the IT influencer might not be on their team and they were going in a bit guarded in their approach and wanted to keep their cards close to the vest. As the meeting progressed, the sales reps. became more bold in their questioning and to everyone's surprise, the prospect gave us insight and information we never expected to get. He shared not only the names and titles of everyone that would be in the meeting, but also who the three key stakeholders were and what was in it for them. He shared why the last implementation had failed and the concerns about deploying a new system. He even told us who our two competitors were, not the two we thought they were!