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Sales

Competitive Objection Handling Techniques in 3.5 Easy Steps

Objection Handling Techniques Pyramid

Objection handling techniques in sales are where the rubber meets the road. 

You’ve made your way past the first three steps in the Objection Handling Pyramid, and now you’re ready to get tactical. 

No need to overcomplicate things. We’ve boiled it down to three (and a half) easy steps.

Objection Handling Techniques Step 1: Listen to calls for common sales objections and how they’re handled.

Objection Handling Techniques Step 1

If you’re not already familiar with the most common objections levelled against your product, you should at least be familiar with your number one competitor

Listen in on a call where your sales reps are up against that top competitor. As you’re listening, write down every objection you hear. 

As sales objections come up, you’ll also want to take note of how your sales rep handles those objections

Repeat this 10 times to get a decent sample size for your analysis. 

And since you’re being analytical about it all, make sure you’re writing down the objections and how they’re being handled word-for-word — no paraphrasing. 

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Once you’ve listened in on at least 10 calls, take the time to pull out the most common objections. These are where you should devote most of your energy at the start. 

(You could also focus on objections that seem to cause your sales reps the most headaches — even if they don’t come up in high volume)

As for how your reps are currently handling these objections, start to think about the gaps in objection handling. 

This will set you up for Step 2: gathering facts and key phrases to beef up your objection handling techniques. 

Objection Handling Techniques Step 2: Gather evidence to support your objection handling techniques

Every objection handling approach you use will require supporting facts. 

Whether you’re addressing an argument head-on, reframing the context in your favour, or redirecting an objection back on track, the more you can arm your reps with solid evidence the better. 

Start by looking at objections that are being handled effectively by your sales reps. Then match those handled objections with supporting proof points.

Look for a combination of third-party, objective data points, as well as internal resources. 

It’s not often that a brand new sales objection comes up. So look to see how your colleagues have handled these objections in the past. Capture the relevant ‘whys’: 

  • Why does your product have or not have a particular functionality?
  • What or Why do we do it differently?
  • Why does a particular objection matter or not in the first place? 

And now that you’ve got your common objections, examples of how they’re being handled, and some evidence to back your objection handling, it’s time to build a killer objection handling battlecard. 

Objection Handling Techniques Step 3: Build your objection handling battlecard

All the puzzle pieces are ready to be placed. The best way to put it all together is by creating an objection handling battlecard. 

The best way to build the best battlcard is by following a simple templated formula:

  • State the objection (How your competitiors sell against you)
  • Describe the objection (Give some context and detail to the objection)
  • List the counterpoints (the what) and the approaches (the why) regarding how you’re going to handle the objection.

Make sure to reference or link out to all the proof points you’ve assembled directly in the card itself. Look for supporting evidence like:

  • Analyst report
  • Testimonials
  • Customer case studies
  • News articles
Objection Handling Battlecard Example

Objection Handling Techniques Step 3.5: sales leaders involvement

All the modelling and templating in the world won’t cover 100% of the objections handling techniques you’ll need on a daily basis. 

When there is a gap between customer objections and how they’re being handled, and the objection is not easily disproven by third-party data, loop in your sales leaders and work towards a solution. 

If you’re in charge of competitive for your team, make sure you’re going into conversations with sales team already having done the prep work beforehand. 

You will present the objections (and why you’ve decided these are the most important objections), how there currently being handled, the gap you’re seeing, and some ideas for how to move forward. 

In short, you want the process to be collaborative, but as the one in charge of competitive, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing the heavy lifting and not shift the burden onto the sales reps. 

Objection Handling Techniques in brief

Step 1

  • Start with your primary competitor and listen into 5-10 sales calls where you know the competitor is in the deal
  • Write down every objection you hear word-for-word — no paraphrasing
  • Take note of how each objection was handled by your sales rep
  • Come together as a team and plot each objection you heard and prioritize them by how often they came up OR the objections that were the hardest to overcome

Step 2

  • Compile supporting evidence that effectively handles these common objections
  • Look for reputable third-party facts and stats that support your sales reps position (and disprove your competitor’s claims)
  • Track down internal proof points and resources that will help reinforce your position and promote your value.

Step 3

  • Build your objection handling battlecard for the objection you’ve identified using the 5 ingredients we mentioned above! 
  • Distribute this amazing objection handling battlecard throughout the team

Step 3a

  • In the absence of solid internal proof points from your team, look to your sales leaders for how they would handle particular objections to fill any gaps
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