Discovery Call Plan Template

"Failing to plan is planning to fail."

Imagine a discovery call where every question you ask strikes a chord, your solutions align perfectly with your prospect’s needs, and handling objections becomes a natural part of the dialogue. That’s the power of a discovery call plan template. The strange irony of a call plan is that it equips you to be more flexible in your sales approach, ensuring you’re prepared for the twists and turns the conversation might take.

The Call Plan Template: Your Starting Point

Each prospect is unique, and your approach should be too. Our flexible call plan framework allows you to adapt easily to each prospect’s conversation. Download the Discovery Call Plan Template we advocate for here at Portage!

Read on to learn how to complete a call plan:

Call Details + Research Notes

In my early days of sales, I realized that knowing your prospect is half the battle won. Start with the call details section of the discovery call plan. Jot down the date, time, key contact details, and their role. Knowing who you’re connecting with, their company, growth track record, product insights, and other research establishes a critical context.

Call details:


March 7

Mtg Time:

2 – 3 pm

Key Customer Contact:

Simone Plante

Company / Customer:


Their Role:

VP Sales

Contact Phone:

(123) 456-7890

Research Notes – key findings from your research on the company, industry trends, and customer-specific insights.

ACME Size: 149 employees [10 sales, 6 business development]

Key Solutions: Marketing SaaS platform, campaign planning tools, strategic services, data management

Major Clients: Home Depot, TouchBistro, Sick Kids

Expansion Goals: Focused on expansion into new US Markets (NE)

Previous Engagement: Portage training in 2022.

Board Pressure: Emphasis on profitability leading to a pause in new spending in 2023, with plans to resume in 2024.


Teamwork makes the dream work. In this section of the discovery call template, strategize everyone’s role in the call. Each individual on your team should get a moment to lead and drive, whether asking insightful questions, handling objections, or sharing killer anecdotes. Take note of who from the Company/Customer will be in attendance and, where possible, understand the current temperature of your relationship with them – is it positive, neutral, negative, or perhaps still an unknown? Include this insight in your discovery call template, it allows you to tailor the tone of your call, creating an environment conducive to a productive and positive dialogue.

Attendees (including title/role) – Note each team member’s role on the call and the customer attendee’s relationship with your company (i.e. positive, neutral, negative, unknown).

Peter – lead call, questions

Rachel – handles technical program questions, assists with objections and questions

Call Objective(s)

What key milestones or specific outcomes will you have accomplished by the end of this call? Set specific, actionable goals for each call. Jot them down in your discovery call template so you’ve got a solid reference to keep your eye on the prize, every step of the way.

Here’s a lineup of objectives you might want to include in your next discovery call template:

  • Urgent and expensive challenges – Identify the key challenges and goals of the prospect.
  • Get personal – learn about the decision-maker’s motivations.
  • Value selling – highlight the potential impact we can have together.
  • Be specific – how our solutions align with their needs.

Call Objective(s) – Clearly define; such as identifying challenges or aligning solutions with customer goals.

By the completion of this call with the prospect, I will:

  1. Understand current service challenges and what might be holding back performance.
  2. Explore the skills and capabilities needed for their expansion and how Portage Sales can support this.
  3. Align on planning for 2024 training, considering the COJG grant process timing.

Key Questions to Support Outcomes

Remember, the art of the discovery call is a craft that’s honed over time. It’s a blend of skill, intuition, and trial and error. So, whether you’re just starting in sales or looking to refine your skills, I encourage you to download our discovery call checklist and see the difference it can make. Use it, adapt it, and make it your own. 

Here’s to making every call count and the success stories that await us all!

Key Questions to Support Outcome(s) – ask insightful questions that encourage consultative dialogue and uncover customer needs.

  1. How is 2024 shaping up for ACME Inc.’s growth and expansion?
  2. What specific challenges are your client service and sales teams facing now?
  3. How does the planned expansion impact your team’s skills and capabilities needs?
  4. Can we set a time now to reconnect in April to finalize program plans for 2024?

Opening The Call Powerfully

Your opening should clearly outline what the customer can expect from the conversation. Using your discovery call plan template, create a roadmap for the meeting, highlighting the big picture and the value they’ll get from chatting with you.

Craft your opening based on who you’re meeting. The rhythm of a call will vary; some customers need depth, others brevity. That’s something to remember in your call strategy, make note of this in your discovery call template. Being adaptable and understanding the prospect’s profile are skills I’ve honed over countless calls.

Try this simple ‘PPP’ framework for a meeting opening: Purpose, Process, and Pay-off. Open the call with your objectives (purpose), outline your discussion steps (process), and underscore the benefits for the customer (pay-off).

Example: In the case of a former customer, we’ve reactivated and are kicking off a discovery meeting.

  • Purpose: Let’s use this meeting to discuss what capabilities are missing and what will fuel your sales team’s success in 2024.
  • Process: I’d like to start by getting more context on your expansion plans, go deeper in terms of some of your gaps, and share some ideas on how we might be able to help.
  • Pay-off: We had great success working together in 2022, and I’m very excited to share ideas with you today that might unlock new growth for your business.

Open the Call Powerfully – Using the ‘PPP’ framework, open the call with your objectives (purpose), outline your discussion steps (process), and underscore the benefits for the customer (pay-off).

Purpose: Thank you for joining today, Simone. We’re here to explore targeted enablement and training to elevate ACME Inc.’s sales and service teams during your expansion.

Process: I’ll quickly assess your team’s current challenges and goals, to dive a little deeper on what will support your expansion plans and align with your needs.

Pay-off: My goal is to get us to some actionable steps today to enhance your team’s capabilities, and ACME Inc.’s growth strategy.

Possible Customer Questions And Objections

Expect the unexpected. Anticipate potential objections and have ready responses. Be ready not just for the obvious, but also for those deeper, more probing questions that cut to the core of their needs. Even though questions and objections can feel like a barrier, they are an opportunity to understand what matters to the customer. Make note of the customer’s objections and leverage them in your next discovery call plan template – they may come in handy! Engage, build trust, and position yourself as the knowledgeable, solution-oriented expert we know you are.

Possible Customer Questions and Objections to be ready to address:

  1. Concerns about budget constraints and training and enablement program impact evidence.
  2. Questions on integrating training with current sales and account management frameworks.

My Materials, Resources, And Stories That May Come In Useful

The final step in completing the discovery call template is to arm yourself with materials, resources, or anecdotes that support your case. I’ve always believed in the power of storytelling. A well-told story can make your proposition come alive. It’s about making your solution relatable, showcasing how it fits into your prospect’s world. This approach has helped me connect better and made my proposition more memorable. It’s storytelling with a purpose.

My Materials, Resources, and Stories that may come in useful:

Highlight successes like Transcontinental, Rheem, and Tulip Software, focusing on improved client service, problem-solving, and strategic account planning.

Conclusion: The Importance of Practice

Practice is everything, even when completing your call plan using the discovery call template. It’s a cycle of continuous improvement. Your planning routine before discovery (and other) calls will get faster and more focused over time, and ‘practice makes permanent;’ a call plan habit ensures you’re honing your skills and staying sharp.

Completing your call plan in advance using the Discovery Call Template, recording calls, analyzing them (see our free Discovery Call Checklist!), and using these insights for continuous improvement has been a game-changer for my team and my customer’s team.

The Call Plan Template: Your Starting Point

Each prospect is unique, and your approach should be too. Our flexible call plan framework allows you to adapt easily to each prospect’s conversation. Download the Discovery Call Plan Template we advocate for here at Portage!

Picture of  PETER MEYERS


Peter is an executive advisor, consultant, and facilitator who happily lives and breathes sales strategy and customer experience. With a razor-sharp focus on making sales teams more effective, he combines his creativity, collaborative style, and relentless drive for results. Before Portage, he held VP roles in sales, marketing, and product innovation at LoyaltyOne, Epsilon, The Toronto Region Board of Trade, and Engage People. When he’s not exploring new sales strategies, he’s taking in the great outdoors.

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