Sales teams exist to help potential customers know the product better and clear their queries, so they can make an informed purchase decision. But there will be times where you and your team will face tricky sales objections and questions, putting you in a tough spot.
Leads can be picky in ways you cannot imagine — after all, they’re supposed to be your customers, and pay you, so they have every right to do so.
While it’s great for leads to clear their concerns before committing to a purchase, you’re on the hook to give them quick resolutions to these sales objections. If you don’t, the deals’ not likely to move forward, and consequently will drop off. What’s worse is the fact that these leads might never get back to you, since their objections and needs weren’t taken care of the first time around. You might have experienced this in one way or another.
So throughout this article, we’ll observe several B2B sales objections that might catch you off guard, and suggest approaches on how to handle objections in sales. Let’s first understand this from your lead’s perspective, as to where these common sales objections come from.
Why Do Prospects Have Sales Objections?
Simply put, leads or prospects present objections when they either don’t trust you or fail to understand your product’s core value. But apart from that, sales leads will also come up with these questions or objections to help them negotiate a better deal, measure for product-fit, and help convince their senior management or decision-makers.
Depending on what kind of objections you’re faced with — you could also ascertain your lead’s buying intent, which will help you navigate and handle the deal better. So let’s move on and understand how to overcome objections in sales to reduce deal drop-offs and improve the pre-sales experience for your leads.
How To Overcome Sales Objections
1. Will it help us achieve ‘X’?
B2B buyers are very value conscious and evaluate procurement decisions against the product’s output. And the majority of products and services (including yours) might be positioned and advertised to be delivering those outcomes. So why do leads ask what they already know?
To affirm if your product actually brings in the results. This might be because the product and solutions they’ve tried before have been ineffective, or they wanted to justify buying the product to themselves, and hold you accountable later on.
So your response should be in line with what your product has helped customers in the past achieve, predictably. If there are external or internal factors that might impact these results, communicate them and clear those up to ensure you aren’t overpromising.
2. We got a better discount
Customers will often come up with quotes from competing products that might undercut you in pricing. When this happens, offering deeper discounts shouldn’t be the go-to move.
First, zero down on features and offerings that differentiate you from your competitor. Then discuss if these features translate into real value for your customers, or the price discount from their competitors is more valuable. If it’s the latter — it’s likely for them to be a low LTV customer, in that case, it’d be wise to drop them off.
3. Your services don’t meet our security standards
Enterprise B2B customers will often have guidelines in place that mandate for software and services vendors to meet certain data security or privacy requirements (for eg., GDPR, which is the leading criteria for vendor selection in some industries). There’s often no way around this — you’ll have to comply with their security standards or risk losing their business.
In such cases, if you’re not compliant — evaluate this customers’ potential LTV and assess it against the compliance audit requirements and investments. If your product can get compliant within the same sales cycle, with associated costs that could be recouped by winning this customer, make arrangements for the same. It’ll also open you up to upmarket steam of deals with enterprise customers, who only buy from vendors who are compliant with these security practices.
4. Waiting for approval from senior management
This is a phrase you’ll frequently get to hear when you’re talking to leads who themselves don’t have the authority to make the purchase decision. They probably are the users of your product, but don’t own the budget for new tools and products. Apart from this, leads might also use this as a way to stall or ignore your outreach.
When faced with such sales objections, make it easier for your leads to introduce you to the decision-maker. Offer extra usage or credits if the deal closes within your deadlines. Also enquire about how the management makes procurement decisions, their evaluation strategy, etc. Reach out to these decision-makers and with the team member’s reference and tag them in the intro email’s CC, so it’s easier to have everyone on the same page. If you don’t get positive feedback from your lead on how to approach senior management — like mentioned before, they might be stalling. In such cases, moving them out of the pipeline for re-engagement is probably the best course of action.
5. We’re at the final stages for another product
Leads often evaluate multiple products at the same time. If they know what they want, they’ll be quick to go with a product they find to be a fit for their needs.
If you’re quick enough and have nurtured them right, you might be able to get them back into your deal. Ask them what was the deciding feature or service your competing service offers, and try to make it sweeter. If they’re still talking to you, chances are they’re still interested in going with you, if given good enough a reason to. Turnaround times are very short, so make sure you move on it immediately. If they’ve already decided otherwise, you can tell them you’ll always be ready to help them out if they decided to switch and keep that window open.
6. Pricing is too high/Budget is low
Having to work on pricing because of budget restrictions is one of the most difficult sales objections you’ll come across. If you’ve qualified a lead that ends up getting stuck on price — give them another chance. Leads will often really like a product, but will be helpless in terms of the budgets they have. They might bring up competitors that are priced lower, with similar features.
In such deals, don’t try to stretch your discounts on shorter billing periods. Try to judge their intent to stay with you, and maybe offer discounts on annual or 3-year contracts. This way, you’re optimizing the lead’s LTV, at the same time offering them a better value and honoring their budget constraints. If they’re not happy with newly discounted plans — drop them from your pipeline.
7. Now’s not a good time
This is a very common sales objection SDRs come across with leads that have signed up for a free trial or freemium plans on your product. You’ll likely hear a not-so-enthusiastic response when you open up the discussion towards paid plans and features.
Most of these leads don’t come in with the intention to buy right away, which is why the best thing to do would be to get out of their way. Keep them engaged, ask them if they could use extra credits to extend their free usage without needing to upgrade, etc. This will ensure these leads get to use your product to the full extent, get used to it, and hopefully upgrade when they’re ready.
Come across B2B sales objections that fall outside the scope of the ones we just covered? Although we’ve discussed the common sales objections and rebuttals — things can be unpredictable and leads can bring up new objections you’ve never come across. Here are a few bonus tips and strategies you can practice to tackle such unprepared sales objections.
Bonus Tips & Strategies To Tackle Common Sales Objections
1. Re-inforce core product value
Whenever a lead questions the product’s performance, output, value, etc., and compares it with a competing product, get the conversation back towards your product’s specialization. This will help in differentiating your product, where a comparison with competitors won’t hold you back in any way. Talk less of features, and more of value and utility your product serves.
Bringing in case studies from successful customers is another way you can prove your product’s value. For big-ticket enterprise deals, even bringing in past customers for reference checks is a great way to help your potential customers with their buying decision.
2. Follow-up appropriately
Like we mentioned earlier in the article, your leads might be evaluating multiple products at once. Hence it’s all that more important you’re constantly interacting and following up with them, to keep progressing further into the deal as swiftly and quickly as possible.
Prospects also tend to be less proactive when it comes to these deals. So it’s on you to follow up and take stock of where they stand, and what the next steps might be. If you have an email outreach sequence — make sure to add follow-ups to it so you can keep your leads and prospects engaged.
3. Set the right expectations early on
Going into the deal, make sure your leads know what they’re signing up for. A lot of leads might have misguided expectations with respect to product performance and related outcomes. This goes back to our discussion on core product value — be as precise as you can be around what your product predictably delivers. Marketing can often get a bit too aggressive to acquire leads, and maybe give off the impression that the product could actually do more than what it can.
Ask for leads about what they might need from you post-sales, and how soon they’re looking to buy. Leads also have the tendency to over-commit when it comes to making buying decisions, so they can get your full attention. Share what a deal’s timeline looks like with them, and set deadlines for every part of the deal or funnel. This will help you move things quicker with leads that are serious about buying, and weed out the others.
4. Anticipate objections and pivot if needed
When leads first get in touch with you after consuming your content and signing up — they’ll get into the engagement with preconceived ideas. Based on what questions they ask during demos and intro calls, anticipate where these questions might be really coming from.
For example, if you found them asking about customer service hours and response times early on in the conversation, they’re probably not sure about the customer service experience, maybe they read it in external reviews, etc.
In such cases, steer the conversation towards those topics before they raise concerns around it as the deal nears close. Make them feel secure regarding their needs — and trust that your product, along with your team can help them fulfill them.
5. Listen and care more
When leads reach out to you — it’s usually not because they can’t find a way to pay you. They’ve problems they’re looking to solve, apart from their own needs, wants and fears. Figure out everything that is they’re looking to possibly solve using your product, by listening to them before you go in for the pitch.
Understand business cases you could make using your product and its features, so your leads can judge your product better and be more confident before they buy. Listen and get to know your leads’ needs, and keep a check on them post-sales, to ensure they feel cared and appreciated. This will contribute towards a glitch free transaction, goodwill, and improved LTVs.
Help and Empathize with Qualified, Ideal customers
Leads often come to SDRs with genuine concerns to seek help and make their experience smoother. But this might not be the case with potential customers that are shopping for discounts or don’t intend to buy and use your product over the longer run.
Once you’ve learned about your leads and their business problems being in line with your product’s core value proposition, go out of your way to close them, without impacting their LTV. This will ensure you acquire valuable customers that stay with you for longer, while making their pre-sales experience smooth and painless.
What are the common sales objections have you come across at your organization? Let us know in the comments.