What To Enter in a CRM During Discovery

By Chelsea Williams
Senior Copywriter
Jul 12 2023 read

Knowledge Exchange is a weekly series of educational articles that we encourage you to share and discuss with your colleagues and network. This month, we’re offering advice for successfully selling your services.

What’s the first thing you feel when you get a new sales opportunity? If it’s excitement or enthusiasm, you might be at risk of skipping over important steps. 

Keeping track of every detail you gather in sales conversations can be tough when you’re engaged and laser-focused on closing. It’s best to support yourself and your team with a clear process using a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. 

A CRM is way more than a glorified contact list, but far too many businesses use them that way — and make frequent mistakes as a result. A Forbes survey found that one-third of customer data in CRMs is incomplete, out of date or inaccurate.

While you may understand the importance of using a CRM, you could struggle with how detailed to get when entering information during each stage of the sales process. Here, we’ll look at the most critical stage: discovery. This is when you uncover the basis for the prospect’s decision to reach out, or the pain points you’ll need to speak to if you hope to close the deal.

What Kind of Information Should Go in a CRM?

There are two layers of information you’ll need to generate a complete picture of your prospect.

Basic demographic details

The first layer is somewhat obvious, but essential. 

Make sure you enter:

  • Accurate contact information: Record the prospect’s name, phone number, email and social media handles.
  • Company details: If your business is B2B, you’ll also want to know company name, size, industry and location.
  • Decision-maker identification: As early in the conversation as possible, you’ll need to determine who has the purchasing power.
  • Interaction history: Document any previous touchpoints, including emails, meetings or phone calls.

READ NEXT: Why Your Pipeline Might Be Drying Up and What To Do About It

A needs assessment

As you progress through the discovery conversation, you’ll need to dig deeper into why this person came seeking a solution like your services. This means digging into the quantifiable impact of not having that solution.

You’re trying to uncover — and properly record — things like:

  • Are their processes costly? If the prospect experiences a $1,000 loss every time scope creep causes their projects to extend two days beyond the deadline, you’ll want to help them calculate how much this is costing them monthly or annually.
  • What are their current goals and objectives? Can they state their desired outcomes in a SMART goal format? Getting them to share what they expect out of a partnership with your business is essential for both of you.
  • How does decision-making typically go? Find out why and how they’ve decided on similar solutions until now. There may be vital steps or people you’ll need to know about to get the deal over the line.
  • What budget constraints do they have? An understanding of budget is about more than qualification — it’s about being able to present customized solutions that fit their financial landscape.
  • Who is their current service provider? Knowing who your prospect turns to for services now can help you determine what you’re up against if you lose the deal and/or inspire a new direction for competitor research down the line.

All of the above details act as fuel for your follow-up conversations, in which you’ll be ready to highlight the tangible cost of waiting to commit to a transformative service like yours. 

➡️ How can you gather all of this information as quickly as possible? Learn to conduct a consultative discovery call.

The Impact of Your CRM Records

CRM accuracy and completeness is not just about progressing sales. Bad data follows a client through their entire journey and impacts your ability to sustain the relationship. 

57% of respondents in the Forbes survey mentioned above said they have trouble predicting when clients will churn, and 48% of them don’t know why clients have churned. These numbers are representative of inadequate client records.

➡️ Feel like you don’t have time to take detailed notes? Check out these time management hacks for busy sales reps

Taking care to maintain accurate and detailed CRM records can help you and your team nurture long-term client relationships in three distinct ways.

  1. You’re able to personalize communication with minimal effort and provide tailored solutions.
  2. You can access historical interactions and preferences to deliver exceptional customer service.
  3. You can be proactive about key upcoming events, such as renewals and follow-up opportunities.

Focusing on filling in both layers of information in the discovery stage is easier with supportive technology. If you haven’t already, learn how to automate your sales process with Accelo. 

Think your colleagues would find this article valuable? Head over to LinkedIn to share and discuss.


About the Author


Chelsea Williams is Senior Copywriter at Accelo, where she shares unique insights with service professionals and tells user stories via blogs, eBooks, industry reports and more. She has over 15 years of B2B and B2C writing experience — primarily in tech, sales, education and healthcare. Chelsea is an AWAI-certified Master Copywriter trained in brand storytelling and microcopy.

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