4 Essential Questions for a Value-Based Discovery

In B2B sales, discovery never ends, and it is not a one-stop interview. The value-based discovery approach is about aligning your offering to the business value it creates for the customer. It doesn´t matter how great your product is. It must offer real value to the customer. It must be just the right solution for your customer´s problems.

This approach requires salespeople to go beyond their personal needs and genuinely care about the customer. It also requires empathy. Salespeople must be able to walk in the customer´s shoes to understand the root causes that lie behind the customer´s problems. There are always different stakeholders involved, so the salesperson needs to deal with different personas. If you can show all stakeholders involved the business impact that the problem could have on the organization and the value that your solution offers to solve this particular problem, you will engage them in the conversation.

 Two business men shaking hands after closing a deal thanks to a value-based discovery

During the discovery process, it is essential to conduct a root cause analysis. Root cause analysis is a method of problem-solving used for identifying the root causes that lie behind a problem. It starts with identifying the problem and then looking at the whole system and structure that are established around that problem looking for possible points of failure. Finally, we can work out solutions to address those key points or root causes. In order to conduct a root cause analysis successfully, it is essential to disguise between the root cause and other causal factors. Root cause analyses help understand the challenges underneath the customer’s symptoms and differentiate between symptom, root cause, and business impact.

Value Framework, Root cause, symptom, business impact

Asking the right questions is necessary to get down to the root cause of a problem and, therefore, it is critical to successfully conduct a root cause analysis and deliver the highest value. There are four types of questions in the root cause analysis that are essential for a value-based discovery.

1. Context (What?)

“What is your current sales process?“

Ask the customers for facts on the business situation. This will give you some insight into the symptoms.

2. Challenge (Why?)

“What inefficiencies are in your current process?”

Explore dissatisfaction, difficulties, and problems. This will help you to get to the root causes.

3. Impact (So What?)

“What will happen if the company misses the target this year?”

Examine the consequences of a customer’s problem to create a sense of urgency.

4. Value (For What?)

“Who else will benefit from the solution in your company?”

Discover the customer’s expectations. This will enable the customers to find a solution on their own.

 Types of questions in the Root Cause Analysis

Discovering the needs of the customer is at the heart of a value-based discovery approach. It is much more than a list of questions. It requires the salesperson to go beyond self-interest and include the interest of the customer. It is about genuinely wanting the customer to be successful.

Do you want to learn more about value-based discovery? The Success in Sales Online Program from PDAgroup can increase your team’s productivity with immediate and long-lasting success. This program consists of five virtual learning classes covering the whole sales cycle with selected tools and methodologies, followed by individual coaching sessions designed to build confidence in a safe environment.

Succes in Sales online training

We can help you take your B2B sales to the next level. Get in touch!

Astrid Menzl

Astrid Menzl

A Rennweg 1, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria E office@pdagroup.net T +43 (0)512 56 09 70

Stay informed!

Sales Enablement Insights from PDAgroup (EN)

First Name:

Last Name:


We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.