Handling objections in a sales role can be tricky. Whether you’re a fresh-faced sales rep or an experienced veteran, convincing a hesitant prospect to purchase your product or service is inherently difficult. 

When you break it down, overcoming a prospect’s objections is essentially getting them to do something that they’re currently not inclined to do - move forward in the buying process

In this article, we’re going to cover:

Let’s dive in. 👇

What is a sales objection?

When we talk about sales, especially in the B2B world, an objection refers to any concern, question, or pushback that a prospective customer raises when a salesperson is presenting their company’s product, service, or solution. 

It’s rare that a sales rep will face no objections during the sales process, especially when dealing with multiple stakeholders. It’s the rep’s job to overcome these objections and complete the sale, ensuring the prospect becomes a happy customer. 

Overcoming objections will involve acknowledging (not dismissing) the prospect’s concerns, before explaining why those concerns can be put aside. 

The most common objections in sales

Every sales deal is different, each with a multitude of variables to consider. However, across all these deals, there are a series of objections that tend to crop up time and time again. 

Let’s list these common sales objections before taking a closer look at how to overcome them:

  • Price: The prospect thinks your product or service is too expensive
  • Features: The prospect doesn’t think your product or service has the right features or capabilities they need
  • Competition: The prospect thinks your competitor’s offering is a better deal than yours
  • Timing: The prospect feels like it isn’t the right time to make a purchase, or have a lack urgency in making a decision
  • Authority: The prospect doesn’t have the authority or seniority to make buying decisions 
  • Need: The prospect doesn’t feel that they need your product or service, or that it doesn’t solve their pain points
  • Budget: Related to price, the prospect says they have a lack of budget for new solutions
  • Incumbent: The prospect is happy with their current solution and isn’t interested in changing
  • Risk: The prospect sees too much risk in changing over to a new solution
  • Lack of trust: The prospect doesn’t know your company well enough to commit

While any obstacle that a prospect puts up is an objection, the ones listed above are some of the most common and any sales rep worth their salt needs to be well-prepared to address each one should it arise on a sales call.

It’s also important to remember that what the prospect says is an objection isn’t always the real reason they’re hesitating on the deal.

For example, while a prospect might say price is the issue, it might be that really they don’t think the features are what they’re looking for and aren’t willing to pay your price for “unnecessary” features. 

Often, uncovering the real, underlying objection (in this case, features and need), acknowledging the prospect's concern, and providing reassurance to overcome it is key. 

Handling common objections

Now that we know what the most common objections are, here are some ways to handle them when they come up in conversation with prospects. 

While experience is the best teacher, and longer-tenured sales reps will be more comfortable with overcoming any objections thrown at them during a sales pitch, the following tips should help set any sales rep on the right track.

Sales enablement teams should produce content for reps that specifically helps overcome certain objections, such as how your product compares to frequently-mentioned competitor products. 

With that said, let’s dive into some of the types of sales objections:


“It’s too expensive.”
“We don’t have the budget.”
“I like your product - it’s got all the features we’re looking for, but I feel it’s too expensive.”
“There are similar things on the market that are cheaper.”

In all likelihood, price will be the most common pushback, so it’s essential to anticipate and prepare for it. It can come up at any time during the selling process, but typically it crops up in the deep end of a deal. 

It can be a way for the prospect to persuade you to offer them a discount or throw in some extras. Or, as we mentioned earlier, it can mask a different issue - such as delaying having to make a final decision.

Keith Brooks, CEO of B2B Whisperer and member of our Slack community, says:

"Often the price issue is because it has been brought up at the wrong time in the cycle or discussion. We have not sold ourselves well enough for them to agree to our price, no matter the price. Yes, some people always negotiate but as you progress they should have a rough idea of what it will cost."

To overcome it, focus on the value that you have delivered for your other clients, emphasizing the benefits over the cost, as well as the long-term savings your product or service can offer if relevant.  

Referencing feedback and testimonials from other happy customers that reinforce positive ROI can be a big help, as it will build social proof of your product’s value. 

A common mistake is to immediately offer a discount - don’t be too quick on this. According to HubSpots Aja Frost: “being too discount-happy will destroy your margins and lower your product’s perceived value”.

Price question to ask

Why you should ask

What are you comparing our price to?”

Focus on differentiating your offering in terms of value

How much will it cost you to do nothing?"

Encourage them to reevaluate their current situation, and allow you to explain hidden costs they may not have considered.

How much were you planning on paying for a solution?”

Establish whether they actually have the budget to be a viable lead.

After using our product to automate their payments, Example Customer found they saved X% on transaction fees at the end of Q2

Give a real-life example of how another, similar company actually saved money using your product. 

Is price the only thing holding you back from signing?"

Bring any underlying concerns to light to help you understand and address any issues beyond the price objection.

Perhaps we could negotiate a staged rollout that will allow the cost to be spread out over time?

Helps to alleviate genuine price concerns and build trust. 


“I’m not the decision-maker.” 
“I don’t have approval.”

When lack of authority is an issue, it’s important to try and get access to someone who does have the authority to make purchasing decisions as soon as possible. 

Start by researching the company structure before you make contact to establish the relevant person to speak to so that you don’t waste your time pitching to someone who will need approval to make a decision.

For example, the regional offices of larger companies will often need approval from a Head Office to change suppliers.

If you can’t reach a real decision-maker, empowering someone of lower influence to be your champion can help - they can put you in contact with those in authority while pushing for the purchase to be made internally. 

Ultimately, a lack of authority is something you need to identify as early on in a conversation as possible because contact with a decision-maker will be much more valuable. 

Authority question to ask

Why you should ask

“Who else would need to be involved/know about implementing this solution?”

Try to find out if the prospect is the best person to be in contact with to close a deal

“Would you be able to introduce me to X?”

If your current contact isn’t the right port of call, see if you can be introduced to the correct person - without offending your current contact. 

“How are purchasing decisions made at your company?”

This information can help you form a mental map of the organization’s processes and who you need to contact.

“Is there an evaluation process or criteria I can help provide input on?”

Try to position yourself as a resource for the organization in order to build trust.

Competition or incumbent supplier

“We’re currently using [competitor].”
“We already do this in-house.”

If a prospect mentions that they’re happy with their incumbent product or service, it can be a difficult situation to overcome. Disrupting an organization’s status quo can be difficult, even when your product is a better option than what it currently uses. 

Similarly, suppose they mention that they’re considering a competitor instead of or as well as you. In that case, you have to know enough about the competitor’s offering to fulfill your role as a trusted advisor. 

Depending on your industry, you can start by researching the customer’s buying patterns, as well as current and previous providers. If they don’t switch suppliers often, or send out requests for information/proposals, the selling process is likely going to be more challenging.

Knowing your competition well, both their strengths and weaknesses is important too. You can’t explain why a prospect should choose your product over a competitor’s if you don’t know anything about the competitor. 

However you respond, make sure to focus on how your product can align with their needs. Don’t dismiss, ignore, or badmouth a competitor’s offering either. 

Even if your prospect is adamant they want to stay with a competitor or their in-house function, leaving a good impression will leave the door open to talk again in the future.

Incumbent or competition question to ask

Why you should ask

“I know X competitor, they’re offering a great product - heard lots of good things! In fact, we share a lot of mutual customers.”

This will validate their existing choice, but also give you the opportunity to show you how you’re different and have provided additional value to your customers in a non-judgmental way. 

“What’s your experience been like with X competitor?”

“When was the last time you considered other options in this area?”

This helps to establish their relationship with their incumbent supplier, as well as whether they are a legacy supplier they’ve not changed in a while without considering other options.

“What do you see as the key benefits/features they provide you with?”

Again, this offers you an opportunity to talk about your product or service’s differentiators. 

“What are some things that you think could be better or that you’ve faced some challenges with, if any?” 

This can uncover weaknesses with their current supplier, and demonstrate how your product would perform better than their existing solution. 

“When is your contract up for renewal?"

“What timeframe do you have in mind for making any changes?”

Gauge whether this is worth pursuing now, or if they’re locked in for 6+ months - meaning it’s best to re-approach at a later date. 

Considerations for sales enablement teams

Sales enablement teams are tasked with supporting and empowering sales reps, and providing them with the resources they need to thrive in their role. 

Naturally, that means part of enablement’s responsibility is to prepare sales reps for these common objections - and there are a few ways they can do this:

  • Onboarding
  • Sales methodology
  • Content


Your onboarding program for new sales hires should include some basic training on these objections - particularly when it comes to you and your competitors’ features and benefits. 

Making sure that sales reps understand these differentiators right from the beginning of their tenure sets them up for objection-handling success. 

Sales methodology

Training your sales reps in a sales methodology is a great way to prepare them for objections. Methodologies like BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing), and MEDDIC (Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, Champion) can help reps qualify leads effectively.

BANT, for example, trains reps to remember four key factors when in discussion with prospects, such as whether they have the authority to make a purchasing decision. 


While not every sales enablement team is responsible for creating content, many do have that role - and almost all will distribute content to sales teams in some capacity. 

For example, you can prepare sales reps to handle objections by providing compelling content like competitor battle cards, customer case studies, and objection-handling frameworks.

Wrapping up

Objections are a natural and expected part of the sales process. While they may momentarily stall a deal, handled properly, objections allow sales reps to build trust and establish themselves as a strategic, trusted advisor to the prospect. 

Rather than reacting defensively to objections, sales reps should aim to ask open-ended questions and provide helpful information to move past these obstacles. 

While turning these common sales objections into opportunities requires patience, active listening, and a customer-first approach, if a rep focuses on bringing value to the prospect, they are well-positioned to guide the buying journey to a close.

Join 7,500+ of your sales enablement peers in SEC's Slack group! Idea-share, network, and ask questions in the community.