Facing rejections and handling objections is a huge part of a sales professional's day, no matter how seasoned a rep may be.
However, what differentiates good sales professionals from great ones lies in how well they can handle sales objections, navigate through those objections, and ultimately find a solution to satisfy the customer.
In fact, when buyers have objections and the sales rep can satisfy them, their success rate is 64%.
So how can businesses establish effective objection handling training programs for their sales reps?
What's in this post:
- What is objection handling in sales?
- What is objection handling training?
- Top 10 objection handling training technique examples
- What is objection handling in customer service?
- How to master objection handling training
What is objection handling in sales?
Objection handling is a natural part of the sales process. How to go about the objection handling process during a sales pitch and listening to the prospect's concerns in order to handle objections effectively is the skill that sets a great sales professional apart from the rest.
Sales objections arise from a number of different factors during the buying process but are often excuses in disguise for other meanings.
According to Cognism, the most common types of sales objections and their potential hidden meanings are:
As one of the most common objections during a sales conversion, a price objection is almost always a topic of discussion during the sales cycle. This may sound something like "We don't have the money right now" or "This is just out of our budget at the moment." This is an opportunity for the sales rep to consider whether or not they've effectively communicated the value proposition of the offering to the potential customer, and shouldn't be handled by immediately offering a discount.
Want to learn more about how your reps can improve their value-based selling skills? Check out the full article here.
Objections due to lack of authority
This may occur when you aren't directly talking to the main decision-makers, and may sound something like "I'll have to speak to my boss about this."
This is also a common first objection from a potential customer and is a typical example of an objection that may have a hidden meaning. When reps encounter this common objection, it's important to ask "Do they actually not have the authority, or do they not trust your company?". In many cases, such an objection shows that the potential client is hesitant to enter a relationship with the business, perhaps due to a lack of brand presence.
In such a case, sales reps should back their product or service with social proof and dive deeper into the value and benefits it brings to decrease their concerns.
Objections due to a lack of need
"Our company doesn't need that at this stage", "That isn't what we're after right now".
When a sales rep hears this, it is a chance to in fact dive deeper by asking open-ended questions evaluating their needs, and identifying how in fact the product or service can be of value to them. During this stage, active listening is one of the key skills, and identifying their pain points becomes the linchpin for sales success.
Objections due to a lack of urgency
Again, a common objection that requires a second thought. "That's not our priority at the moment" is an opportunity for a sales rep to consider the question "Why are they delaying fixing this issue?" or "Are they really just not interested?"
This is a good chance for sales reps to dive deeper and figure out why the challenge they're dealing with at the moment isn't a priority to fix, and what they are focussing on instead. Are there other pain points they are dealing with?
Finding the prospects' other pain points can create a segway for an alternative solution. If urgency really is the factor that is keeping them from going further in the sales cycle, sales reps should aim to schedule a meeting at a later point in time instead.
What is objection handling training?
Customer objections in sales happen in virtually every sales conversation. In order for sales professionals to close more sales deals and for businesses to make more revenue, understanding the most common sales objections, and fine-tuning objection-handling skills a paramount factors if reps want to see more closed deals and sales success.
So, how are businesses making sure their sales professionals are equipped to handle the inevitable sales objections? How can sales reps still manage to satisfy potential clients and close deals?
You guessed it - the answer lies in great objection handling training.
So how can you ensure your sales reps are receiving constant sales training that perfects their objection-handling skills so they see more success?
One of the ways companies are setting themselves apart in this competitive business landscape is how well they're training their sales reps, and AI-powered sales training platforms are seeing huge growth in adoption to do just this.
With AI-powered sales training platforms, businesses can:
Provide a remote-friendly, immersive sales training solution through simulations and interactions that replicate in-person learning.
Allow sales reps to practice and perfect typical sales interactions, such as objection handling and value selling, and build confidence in their skills before actually interacting with real customers.
See more sales objections that get turned into closed deals as reps learn to navigate and perfect the skill of overcoming objections.
Save on in-person, traditional sales training session expenses that often involve workshops and flying in professional trainers.
What do the sales reps get out of it?
As if having a coach on their side at all times, your sales reps will receive tailored feedback in real-time on their performance, and improve their communication and performance on the spot, which encourages sustainable behavior change.
Sales professionals gain access to training 24/7, wherever they are in the world, right when they need it, i.e. right before a potential client call.
Reps get the opportunity to build self-reflection skills and absolute confidence in their sales abilities to handle objections like a champion.
Reps engage in AI-powered sales training programs that are actually interesting and immersive.
Top 10 objection handling training technique examples
1. Show acknowledgment
First and foremost, leading with empathy is central to every successful sales effort. Dealing with prospects' concerns requires reps to first show they completely understand the prospect's point of view before moving forward with addressing solutions and values.
2. Provide social proof
Often, potential customers just need to build trust and credibility with the business before investing. Showing social proof, i.e. customer testimonials, case studies and success stories is an effective way to do this.
3. Question and clarify
Asking the prospective buyer clarifying questions and open-ended questions is how reps can get to the root of their pain point and then formulate how to navigate through the sales conversation to overcome the pain points and sell value.
4. Offer Alternatives
The technique of offering the potential customer alternatives is an effective way of handling objections as this provides a great way to adapt the current solution on offer to their needs and work around their concerns.
5. Underscore USPs (unique selling points)
Highlighting exactly why your product or service is a better alternative to competitor alternatives is a common objection-handling technique that helps prospects see clarity in your value and build confidence in their purchase decision.
6. Reframe the objection
This is a powerful injection handling technique as it changes the way the potential customer sees their own objection and is the perfect opportunity to frame value as a sales professional and ultimately turn it into an opportunity.
7. Ask probing questions
It's not uncommon for reps will encounter an objection with a vague or unclear reason. This may be due to the decision maker having doubts about pricing, trust in the business, and so on. In order to truly handle objections, reps need to ask open-ended questions to figure out the true root of the objection.
8. Offer a trial or pilot options
When reps encounter an objection due to prospects being hesitant about committing, offering a trial of the product or service is an ideal way for prospects to test the offering before making the full commitment.
9. The boomerang technique
The boomerang technique is a strategy that involves taking the objection and turning that into a reason to consider the offering. For example, when a prospect has price objections, reps can highlight the ROI of the investment and essentially switch the perspective to see the value.
10. Support with visual aids
Sometimes a sales objection stems from the lack of clarity of the value, and visual aids are an effective way to convey even complicated information to potential customers and help them understand clearly the key benefits of an offering.
What is objection handling in customer service?
Though objection handling in sales is essential, customer service reps also face objections daily and thus effective objection-handling skills are also crucial for them. Objection handling in customer service may include doubts, complaints, or issues with a product or service they've already purchased. This becomes particularly crucial to maintaining a good relationship with current customers, building trust with them, and ensuring their loyalty.
How to master objection handling training
Ensuring sales professionals, as well as customer service reps, develop good objection-handling skills comes down to the quality of their training. Sales performance is heavily dependent on the quality of training.
With AI-powered sales training and customer service training, sales and customer service representatives are able to train their essential skills, such as objection handling, through immersive role-play simulations.
This gives them the chance to practice over and over their objection-handling skills within a real conversation, whilst receiving personalized feedback to improve their performance. When reps perfectly handle objections with realistic AI simulations before talking to real prospects, they are able to build confidence and fluency to navigate through the sales conversation and see success.
Want to ensure every sales rep is equipped with the skills they need to handle every sales objection and turn it into an opportunity to sell value and close the deal?
Try out Retorio's AI-powered Behavioral Intelligence Platform today, and see what it could do for your sales teams today!
Due to their interactive features that keep learners interested, AI-powered video simulations are increasingly being acknowledged as a successful technique of staff training.
Falling engagement levels are one of the major problems with remote L&D (learning and development). According to a 2023 LinkedIn Learning Report, leaders at firms place the most focus on "keeping employees motivated and engaged" throughout the year. Engagement has become an increasingly important demand, especially with the requirement to provide training in remote situations. With the help of AI simulations, students can practice in a setting that is psychologically safe while also having the opportunity to practice skills that they will require in real-world scenarios.
With AI-powered training, such as Retorio's Behavioral Intelligence Platform, training vital sales skills online, such as handling objections, has never been easier.
Unlike typical online training platforms, that tend to lack engagement and interactive features, AI-powered sales training platforms provide tailored feedback as the learner trains, provides further training modules based on performance and uses avatars that facilitate engaged learning.
Learners are encouraged to engage in free speech, actively retrieving knowledge and responding in real-time, mirroring real-life situations, making training incredibly effective.