What would sales be without objections? Sales would be pretty easy then, and it would really consist of just one thing: handing the pen to the customer and pointing out where to sign. You might think the world of sales would be better off without objections, but the fact is that objections are actually a good sign.
When prospects have objections with regards to a purchase, they are actually demonstrating interest in your offer. They ask questions, request more information and state their concerns. Instead of fearing objections, you simply need to learn to see them as opportunities to advance your sales process. There are different kinds of objections that occur during a sales cycle and they all have different causes. The most common objections our clients experienced in the sale of SAP solutions revolved around money, the authority to buy, the do-nothing attitude, and finally, the problem of unidentified needs and benefits. Objection #1: Money, money, money A leading objection in the sales cycle may be the cost of your offer and the client’s allocated budget. Your prospect will have a constrained budget for IT investments and will naturally want to negotiate on your product’s or service’s price. Statements like “We do not have a budget for this”, “Our budget is shrinking” or “Your price is too high” may pop up. Concerns about money will most likely go deeper than your prospect’s budget and the price of your offering. Identify the problem at its root to see if the stated objection is really the truth or if it’s merely a smokescreen. One reason for the latter could be that they do not believe your solution can actually help them. If this is the case, reiterate the benefits of your solution and make sure to emphasize the value your solution brings to your prospect’s specific situation. Objection #2: Authority to buy Your prospect contact person may not have the authority to sign the contract or not be the sole decision maker. Your contact will say things like, “I have to speak with so-and-so about this before deciding” or “I don’t know if my superior would sign off on this”. However, don’t automatically turn away from people with no authority to buy. At most organizations the decision makers will be too busy to conduct research or talk to vendors upfront about a purchase. They will first delegate a team to identify whether your solution is a good fit for their company and only then, after your solution is deemed worthwhile, will you have the opportunity to state your case to them directly. For sales professionals this has one major implication: You should connect with the people involved in the purchasing decision since they represent influential individuals in the purchase process. Identify their needs and concerns and win them over as a first step. Objection #3: Do-nothing attitude Throughout your sales career you will face prospects that procrastinate or put your sales process on hold. You will hear “It is not the right time to make a decision. Please call me in a month or so” and similar statements. In such cases, either the prospect wants to get rid of the salesperson or the prospect’s purchase process is an extremely protracted one. If the purchase decision is in the distant future, you as a sales professional should get more information on the prospect’s process for approving budgets, the people involved in the process and their needs and concerns. Do not try to rush your prospects into a decision if they aren’t ready. Instead, show them the impact and value they will be missing out on today without your solution. Objection # 4: Unidentified needs and benefits This objection is often the root cause of a wide range of problems. You will recognize this objection when you hear statements like “We really don’t need your solution” or “We’ll stick to our current solution and get by”. When you hear these kinds of statements, you should ask yourself the following questions: Why are your prospects certain that they don’t need your solutions? Does your solution really solve your prospects’ problems? Are they simply overwhelmed by the information presented? Find the reason why they think they don’t need your solution and provide them with case studies or guides, summarized in an email, to highlight why they may in fact need it. These four objections can act as clues that you have not yet understood a prospect’s problems and needs. Most of these objections pop up because sales personnel have failed to properly investigate the needs and motivations of a potential client and align a corresponding sales approach. You as an SAP sales professional can be more proactive in your sales process and lead your customers through their purchasing process instead of trying to push them through your sales process. With this approach you’ll be recognized as part of the solution!