SSA#35: SPIN Your Discovery

SPIN Your Discovery

Close more, larger, faster deals.

Happy Wednesday to 11,797 SaaS sales professionals!

Today we cover the #1 sales discovery method: SPIN.

Neil Rackham published SPIN Selling in 1988. It's still 100% relevant today.

SPIN builds on empirical research and analysis of 35,000 sales calls.

It works in every industry, for every product and every buyer persona.

Let's jump in BELOW👇


Success Story From Our Coaching Program:



4 Types Of Questions

Rackham's groundbreaking research showed that sellers ask 4 types of questions:

  • Situation Questions: Gather facts & information about the company and the prospect.
  • Problem Questions: Identify problems, challenges and pain.
  • Impact Questions: Uncover the consequences of identified problems.
  • Need-Payoff Questions: Help the customer describe the benefits & value of solving the problem.


Rackham also found that:

  • Average salespeople ask a bunch of Situation Questions
  • Good salespeople focus on Problem Questions
  • Great salespeople move on to Impact Questions
  • The best salespeople ask Need-Payoff Questions in the end.

In other words, each question type has a different correlation with sales success. Sales reps who go "deeper" in their discovery close more, larger and faster deals.


Never Ask A Question You Can Google

Situation Questions like

  • “How many employees do you have?”

  • “How much revenue does your company make?”

  • “Tell me about your business”

Never ask them during discovery calls. They feel like an interrogation for the prospect. They are boring and they show you did not prepare.

Spend 15 minutes before the discovery call and find any information you can online. Summarize it in 1-2 minutes at the beginning of the call and ask "did I miss anything?" You will delight your prospects.


No Problem, No Sale

Problem Questions like

  • “What challenges are you currently facing in your team’s productivity?”
  • “What limitations have you found in your current CRM system?"
  • "What production bottlenecks are currently impacting your throughput?”

Show genuine curiosity. They show you prepared and are seeking to understand the client's business.

Helping prospects articulate their problems creates value. And that's exactly what they want to get out of a discovery call.


No Cost Of Inaction, no Urgency

Impact Questions like

  • "How does the current lack of productivity affect your team’s ability to meet critical project deadlines?"
  • "How do your current CRM system limitations affect your sales team's ability to follow up with leads in a timely manner?"
  • "How does reduced throughput affect your cost per unit and overall profitability?"

They demonstrate business acumen. They show you understand the client's business. They differentiate you as a trusted advisor from other salespeople.

But there's another reason why they are so effective:

Problems don't sell. But Cost Of Inaction does.

"We have a problem with inaccurate forecasting" does not get executive attention.

"We are losing $6M in revenue each year due to inaccurate forecasting".

This is a clear Cost Of Inaction. It's what we need to drive urgency in our deals.


Make Them Believe It's Their Idea

Need-Payoff Questions like

  • "If we could help streamline your team's workflow doing X, how much time do you think that would save on a daily basis?"
  • "What would it mean for your marketing campaigns if you could integrate enhanced segmentation and personalization features into your CRM?"
  • "If you could increase your production throughput by 20%, how would that impact your delivery times to customers?"

Help the customer shift focus from problems to solutions. They put them in the driver's seat and make them articulate a clear ROI.

For that reason, Need-Payoff Questions are so effective in kicking off a sales cycle with a serious buyer.


  • Do your research upfront. Only ask Situation Questions if the information is not available online.
  • Use Problem Questions to find pain.
  • Use Impact Questions to determine the size of the problem (Cost Of Inaction).
  • Use Need-Payoff Questions to qualify serious buyers and kick off a sales cycle.


Want to increase your sales performance by 25-50% in 90 days?

We have helped 66 private coaching do exactly that in SaaS Sales Academy. If you are interested:





SSA#37: Enterprise Sales Secrets

May 21, 2024

SSA#36: Cost Of Inaction

May 15, 2024

SSA#35: SPIN Your Discovery

May 07, 2024

Sign up to receive 1 new sales system in your inbox every week.

Christian Krause

© 2024 Christian Krause. All Rights Reserved.

website by I Know A Gal