Overcoming objections is one of the toughest parts of a Sales Development Rep’s job – but arguably also the most important. As an SDR, you have to call busy strangers, interrupt their day and convince them that they need and want to buy your product. During these calls, you will hear a variety of objections that are intended to end the call, stop the conversation, and kill the chance at a sale.
So how do you get past these objections? In a pain-based sales model, you are trying to find out as much as you can about a prospect in order to overcome common objections that arise when qualifying for BANTC – Budget, Authority, Need, Timing and Competition. Here are the tactics SDRs can use to move on from a sales objection and keep prospects interested and engaged.
Understand the Objection
Would be you interested in this product if it were completely free?
When a prospect objects with one of the most common reasons, you can’t simply accept it at face value. Sometimes a budget objection is just a budget objection, but other times it means something else entirely. For SDRs, a budget objection early on in the buying process is often not a real objection at all. When the prospect says your product is too expensive, they’re really just trying to get you off the phone because they don’t want to spend the time to evaluate the product on their own.
Instead of accepting the objection at face value, SDRs should ask questions to find out the why behind the words. Ask the prospect, “Would be you interested in this product if it were completely free?” If they say yes, then you can begin to ask them what features interest them specifically, and start to prove the value of the product to their business. This successfully overcomes their pricing objection by getting them to continue to listen while you prove the value of the product.
How does your business accomplish X?
One of the most common objections SDRs hear is based on Need. Many customers will say, “We’re all set, we don’t need your product for our business.” In this case, SDRs may know more about the prospect’s business than they do. This prospect was probably targeted because their business fits the usual profile for buyers of your product, and their business probably does have a need – they’re just not aware of it.
In this case, sales reps should try to learn more about the prospect’s business. Be curious and ask, “How does your business accomplish X?” Focus on the capabilities that your product provides and let them teach you why they don’t need your product. Often, they’ll reveal that there actually IS a need and sell themselves on your product. Then you can step up as the helpful SDR and show them there is an easier way to do things – all using your product.
What will be different at your company next quarter?
Many SDRs are very junior reps and will often be talking to a prospect with power, who is high up within an organization. It can be tough to stand up to a prospect’s objection, but ideally, SDRs should do anything other than accept it at face value. Instead of ending the call when an objection comes up, they should be turning the tables and asking the prospect to teach them about their business. If someone offers a timing objection like, “I’m too busy right now, call me next quarter.” Don’t be afraid to ask, “What will be different at your company next quarter?”
It could be that they just don’t have any budget this quarter, and you should legitimately call back another time. However, more often, it just means they’re busy right now and don’t want to focus their attention on you and your product. If it’s the second case, you need to hold their attention and prove to them why they should keep listening and take time out of their busy day. This is where you should offer your best value proposition, convincing the prospect that your product is worth their time and attention.
Get a Referral
Is there someone else at your organization who may be interested in talking about this?
If you encounter a very strong objection and can’t seem to overcome it, another tactic is to accept the reason, but try to get a referral from the prospect to another contact within the company. The sales rep should say, “I understand you’re not interested, but companies like yours buy from us everyday. Is there someone else at your organization who may be interested in talking about this?”
Hopefully, they will allow you to talk to someone else, but they may be resistant. You should always push prospects slightly beyond their comfort zone, however, you don’t want to be too aggressive or push too hard. You have to strike a careful balance – you don’t want to anger the prospect to the point that they become hostile, but you also don’t want to give up too soon. If you can get past the gatekeeper with a referral, the next person you speak with will hopefully be more open and ready to listen.
Don’t just accept objections from prospects, try to understand the reasons behind them, delve into prospect’s business problems, and reverse the objection. If you employ these tactics on your business development calls, you’ll see longer, more in-depth and more productive calls with prospects every day.