As a sales rep, you sell more than a product, or a band-aid, you sell a positive change – a future state. You sell the idea that your prospect’s problems will disappear and their life will transform and improve as a result of their purchase. The same principle applies whether you are selling a car, an application, or an entire CRM system.
Unfortunately, humans are creatures of habit, and by instinct are adverse to change. This means that even if you have the best product on the market and sell it flawlessly, your prospect’s basic nature will still create objections you must overcome. Fortunately, with well-prepared responses, you can turn an objection into a demonstration of your product’s value.
There are many ways to address objections. Sales coach David Masover has a helpful way to categorize different types of objections in martial arts terms: blocking, dodging, and preventing the attack. In this post we will highlight several combinations of these methods.
To help you prepare, we looked at the best responses to the most common B2B sales objections that not only overcome the resistance to change, but also use the objection to effectively demonstrate your product’s worth.
Sales Objection 1: Budget
Objection: “This seems like a great product, but the price is too expensive. It is a bit more than we’re looking to spend.”
Response: “I know there’s an initial investment, and that can seem daunting. But let’s talk long-term. Let me show you how much revenue you will actually gain over the next year by using our product.”
To overcome this objection, keep your ROI calculator at the ready. Budgets can be flexible for products with legitimate positive results. Discuss your prospect’s current situation and be prepared to precisely demonstrate the ROI impact your product will create and how it will help them reach their goals. Ideally, if they become a customer, your product will produce such good results that it will pay for itself.
Sales Objection 2: Currently Using a Competitor
Objection: “We’re already using [competitor] for marketing automation.”
Response: “I totally get it. But let me just share a case study with you that shows how a company similar to yours was able to triple their marketing ROI by switching from [competitor] to our solution.”
Today, competition is extremely high in every industry and B2B buyers are more informed and thorough than ever before. You can almost guarantee your prospect is aware of, contacted by, talked to, or even is a customer of one of your competitors.
It’s probably easy for you to talk for hours about the numerous reasons your product better than the competition. However, that’s likely not enough incentive for your prospect to leave their current situation.
To win a customer off of a competitor, utilize testimonials, case studies, references, or even meetings with your customers who left competitors. Bonus points if they came from the same one.
Customer testimonials are extremely effective because prospects do not immediately take the same defensive stance they use with a salesperson, and they can relate to someone who was in the same position they are in.
Sales Objection 3: Competitor With Lower Pricing
Objection: “I noticed your competitor is offering a similar product at a lower price point.”
Response: “On the surface, it may seem that way, but let’s talk about some of the reasons our product has a higher price point. We actually offer several valuable features that our competitors don’t and will actually help you earn revenue.”
This is an extremely common objection, and sometimes a negotiation tactic, especially in hotter spaces where companies attempt to gain market share by undercutting the prices of their competitors. Unfortunately, price is an extremely motivating factor for many prospects. To overcome it, educate your prospects on why your solution is superior, and where the money from the extra price is spent.
Often, a more advanced product justifies a higher price. Open the hood and show why your product’s engineering is more robust, has stronger integrations, easier implementation, faster performance, more updates, or better support. Also, show your prospects the depth of features that you offer and your competitor doesn’t. Explain how they will further increase the ROI they will receive.
Sometimes your competitors don’t really have lower pricing, and are simply concealing it. Dig into the pricing structure your prospect was provided. Maybe the monthly cost is lower, but there is a high implementation fee, or a price for additional features that were pitched as standard.
Sales Objection 4: Lack of Buy-In
Objection: “I like the sound of your product, but I would also need to get the CMO and CTO on board to make this happen.”
Response: “I totally understand! In order to make your decision as easy as possible, I’m going to go ahead and send you a one-sheet that highlights some of the specific marketing benefits of our product for you to forward to your CMO. I’m also going to share a document with you that clearly outlines all of our technical specs, so you can make sure that you and your CTO are on the same page. I’ll also be glad to arrange a demo for them in case they have any further questions”
If you are selling complex, high-end, or enterprise solutions, you will need to involve multiple stakeholders in the buying process. Even if you are working directly with an executive, they are probably not able to make the purchase decision on their own.
To overcome the buy-in objection, you need to do two things. The first is identify who holds the influence. There is likely one senior person or executive who has garnered enough support to drive the process as far is it has. Find out who they are and sell directly to them. They could be your main point of contact, or the one who asks the most questions. You can also always ask which departments are impacted the they problems they are looking to solve. Babette Ten Haken describes pitching to a room full of executives, only to find they were all looking to a single lead engineer for a decision. When it comes to buying complex solutions, title level does not always equal purchase influence.
The next is to educate all parties involved. Treat each person as your main contact, as a single no could lead to a lost deal. You want to ensure that every executive understands why they need your product, why it is better than your competitors, and why it is worth the cost. This may require selling a different feature set to each contact. When executives understand where their money is going and what they will get in return, they are more willing to sign off. You may need to provide collateral, one-sheets, case studies, client testimonials, or even hold one-on-one meetings to accomplish this.
Sales Objection 5: Timing
Objection: “How about you follow up in Q4?”
Response: “I get where you’re coming from, but before you make that decision, let’s talk about exactly how much revenue your company can gain over the next 6 months by considering this now.”
They say timing is everything, but you likely have some prospects who ask you to follow up in a few months. Unfortunately, your sales goals can’t always wait. To overcome the time objection, simply set up a “five minute exploratory call” as soon as possible. Use this time to find out if they are a legitimate lead and are qualified customer. If both of these conditions are not met, it may be better to part ways.
If they are, while you are on the call, uncover why your prospect wants to wait. It’s possible they are waiting for room in their budget, in which case you will want to follow up at a later time. If they are simply procrastinating, show them what they may lose by not investing in your product right away. Show what they could gain over the course of those few months and inspire them to make the change sooner.
Another way to handle this objection is with fact-based research that discusses changes in their industry. Your goal should be to convince them that in order to truly remain competitive they need to make changes quickly.
Sales objections are not an obstacle, they are an opportunity to demonstrate your product’s worth and work towards a close. If you can conquer them successfully, you stand to be an even more effective salesperson.
Looking for more ways to take your prospecting game to the next level? Our free Ultimate Sales Discovery Call Cheat Sheet arms you with the most important questions to ask prospects in order to qualify leads and close deals.