Overcoming Sales Objections: A Data-Driven Guide

Shruti Kapoor
March 10, 2021
5 min read

There’s a popular trend on sales LinkedIn these days.

Q: What are the most scary lines for sales teams?

Guess what most of the most liked comments, aka lines are?

The ones that talk about sales objections.

“We don’t have the budget.”

“I’ll let you know.”

“Legal needs to review this.”

Every post like this has multiple sales folks liking it or asking LinkedIn for a laughter emoji. 🤷

The truth is: No matter how well you run a sales call or structure the process, you will always encounter sales objections. Luckily, as our experience tells us, not all sales objections are actual objections—some are actually windows into our prospects’ world and can be overcome. I also know that motivating your sales team to break through the walls of status quo, not now or not ever when the world is changing, can be a tough job. 

Guess what’s more convincing than just your own experience? Data that never lies. So, I dug into our sales call data on Wingman to uncover the six most common objections on sales calls and their impact on deal outcomes.

We analyzed 224K+ sales calls. 2 million call minutes. 13 months over Oct 19-20.

Are all sales objections bad?

It's easy (and also totally human) to assume the answer is yes and move on to the next prospect.

However, according to our data, when any objection was brought up by the prospect, the deal won rate went UP by almost 30%!

Turns out objections can be a good thing

This means that, clearly, there is scope for a deal to go “Closed: Won” even in the face of sales objections.

You just need to learn how to handle the objection.

Common sales objections and their impact on deal outcomes

Interest

"I don’t need this solution."

What next?

According to our data, when the interest objection came up, the deal lost rate went up by 14.01%.

No surprise, right? Interest is a common and most dreaded objection. So what can you do?

One of the most common mistakes that sales reps and frontline sellers tend to make is trying to overcome the objection instead of using it as an opportunity to understand their prospects better. As Ken Baldo puts it in this article: "The salesperson will either give up by hanging up, try some pushy, aggressive way to get through the gatekeeper or call point - to eventually find out it doesn’t work and over-time this creates frustration, desperation and a cry for help to their manager."

‍Ultimately, it's all about building trust, which brings us to our next objection.

Trust

Discussions around trust are perhaps the biggest staller.

When trust came up as an objection, both the deal won and deal lost rates dropped by almost 11% and 18%, respectively, and more deals went into the open deal stage—up almost 2%.

So, when this objection comes up, don't assume the worst. Perhaps your prospects don't trust you enough to tell you about their trust issues. It makes sense to spend time on understanding their underlying issues and business priorities.

Budget

This can be a sticky one. After all, you can’t just ask the prospect to free up some more money for you. Or can you?

Among all objections tracked, budget can be a leading indicator of the deal being lost. 

In fact, when budget came up as an objection, the deal lost rate went up by 79%. At the same time, the deal won rate went up by 13%.

So, if your reps hear this objection, coach them to try and understand whether the objection is temporary or permanent. If temporary, they should nurture the lead and be prepared for longer follow-ups and you, for longer sales cycles. Find the discussion stuck because you’re not talking to a decision maker? Read on.

Authority

"I need to check with my manager." What does this mean for your deal?

According to our data, when authority came up in a sales conversation, the deal won rate shot up by almost 60%.


This means that the reps would have worked proactively to involve all the important stakeholders in the discussion. Multi-threaded deals FTW.

Timing

"It's just bad timing." What now?

Our data shows that when the timing objection was mentioned, the deal won rate increased by a whopping 31%! That's not all. Open deals also dipped by 2.5%.

Clearly, handling a timing objection is key. You need to understand whether your reps are facing a bandwidth or priority issue—your next steps will follow. 

Status quo

"Not looking for... " When the prospect says they're happy with the status quo, guess what happens if you respond right?

The deal won rate goes up by 40%.

This means that there is a large scope to work with the prospect to understand why they’re happy with the status quo and then show them an alternate future. This is where product trials and pilots sometimes do the trick.

In the end

In many cases, the impact of sales objections on deals ultimately boils down to how you train yourself and your team to handle these objections. I hope that this data and your own experience will give you enough horsepower to plow through until your CRM says “Closed: Won”.

Here are a few resources that I’ve shared with my team to learn how to handle sales objections better. Hope they help!

PS: Our customers trust Wingman to help them find this data from their own sales calls. When you're ready, you can find us here.

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