July 13, 2022
Enable Us Team

Overcoming B2B Buying Objections During a Recession

In a recession, buyers are much more hesitant to purchase. Learn how to overcome some of the most common B2B buying objections.

As the economy slows down, buyers are re-evaluating their budgets — which means your sales team will encounter more objections throughout the sales process. When 60% of buyers already say no four times before saying yes, any additional B2B buying objections slow down sales velocity. So, how can you help your reps combat objections and close deals effectively at a faster clip? 

The best way to help your team navigate through these objections is to develop strategies to overcome each. We’re breaking down the four most common B2B buying objections so you can prepare your team to close more deals, position your product positively, and accelerate the sales process — even during a recession.

1. Highlight the Value of Your Solution 

For buyers, especially in a recession, understanding the value of a product is essential. In this climate, dollars are competitive. As the seller, you have to offer the most value to the buyer in order to win their business. In fact, 27% of B2B buyers cite competitive pricing as the most important factor when making a purchase decision. 

Since pricing is paramount, it means that communicating the product’s value is that much more important. Emphasize the value that’s included in your price — do you offer amazing customer service or a warranty? What features and benefits does your product provide that competitors don’t? You need to present a comprehensive story of your product and its capabilities — the bells and whistles of your product can make it more worthwhile than competitors'. 

Think about it like this. If you’re offering a robust solution, then the prospect is getting a lot of value on their limited budget. Your sales team should focus on addressing the buyer’s pain points and clearly defining the problem, then presenting the ways your product fully addresses this need. In other words, rather than focusing on the price, your reps should focus on proving value through case studies, user testimonials, and data to back up sales claims. For instance, if a buyer with a limited budget sees a successful case study of another company with a similar use case, they are better able to understand the ROI and the benefits your product delivers. This case study shows the tangible, real benefits the buyer could experience after purchase, helping alleviate B2B buying objections surrounding the price.

2. Prepare Your Sales Team for Competitive Scenarios

During a recession, organizations are pitted against each other like never before. The cautious spending of buyers means that organizations are competing more than ever for fewer resources. Understanding where your company stands in comparison to your competitors and emphasizing where your product wins can help overcome common B2B buying objections. For instance, if your competitor offers lower pricing, but you offer better customer service and a more intuitive user interface, it’s important to highlight this difference to the buyer so they understand what the extra investment includes. However, when you don’t understand how the competition presents itself, your sales team may state a claim that puts you and your competition head to head. 

In order to properly prepare your sales team to combat B2B buying objections surrounding the competition, a competitive battlecard that succinctly highlights the key points and how to respond can help inform reps on how to navigate competitive scenarios. Say a buyer with a lower budget is investing in fewer products and limiting their spending to only the necessities. When competition is fierce and competitors are offering lower prices, developing a competitive battlecard can highlight: 

  • The competitors’ strengths and how your product surpasses them
  • The competitors' weaknesses and how to steer the conversation towards clearly demonstrating your strengths in comparison
  • FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) about a competitor 

With these resources in place, your sales team is adequately prepared to address each objection raised about your competition. 

3. Create a Sense of Urgency

One way to combat B2B buying objections is by creating a sense of urgency for the buyer. Provide them with fool-proof evidence that time is of the essence. Offering discounts that expire, time-based trials, or limited-time-only free services will not only motivate the buyer to make a purchasing decision sooner but also will inevitably accelerate your sales velocity. Take a look at a few examples below of ways your sales team can encourage urgency in buyers:

  • Offering a 10% discount on your product if the prospect purchases within the next two days will motivate them to sign their contract sooner in order to receive their 10% discount. 
  • Providing a week-long trial of your product gives the prospect hands-on, real experience with the benefits your product offers. When the trial ends, the prospect is able to compare working without your product to working with it — making them more likely to purchase. 
  • Offering free training on how to implement and use your product if the prospect signs within the next week motivates them to sign sooner, as they'll want the free training to ensure they can get the most out of their purchase. 

4. Isolate What the True Pain Is to Overcome B2B Buying Objections

When facing B2B buying objections, train your sales team to consistently map back to the prospect’s original pain points, such as cost savings, time savings, communication enhancements, or more. Then, emphasize how your solution helps solve their unique pain points. 

Even when properly addressing the prospect’s surface-level problems, your team will still encounter deeply-rooted B2B buying objections that block sales progress. Below are some common roadblocks and solutions on how to address each accordingly.

“We don’t have room in the budget.”

This objection often means that the prospect would be interested in your product, but due to budget cuts or freezes (a common recession-era obstacle), they can’t afford to invest. Your sales team can get around this by offering different billing options. If you typically bill quarterly, work internally to see if you could offer a month-to-month billing cycle that works better for your prospect. 

“We need an additional person to sign off on the purchase.”

Often, prospects will admit they need an additional go-ahead from a key decision-maker who has not been a part of the sales process thus far. For example, the prospect may come back and say that they need approval from their CFO. In this situation, providing an in-depth cost analysis of your product’s ROI can showcase why the investment is worth it. 

“My manager won’t approve it.”

Has your sales rep been speaking with an interested team member who wants to purchase your product, but isn’t sure they’ll be able to get their manager to buy in? Gather intelligence to understand why the manager objects. Refine your messaging and approach to not only address the initial prospect’s pain points, but their superior's as well to ensure your product’s value is communicated upward. 

“We need more time to think it over.”

Sometimes, your team is so close to the sale, but the prospect continues pushing out their deadline and asking for more time to consider the purchase. In this situation, your team should isolate the reason for not making the decision — does the prospect feel that your product is missing one feature? Are they waiting on a potential price drop? Evaluate what could potentially be delaying the decision and come up with a plan, such as prioritizing a missing feature, to overcome the objection. 

Final Thoughts

With tight budgets and limited resources likely to be the norm during the recession, it’s more important than ever that your sales team understands how to combat common B2B buying objections. With a recession impending, it’s time to reevaluate your sales processes and strategies to be able to drive sales and revenue even during a period of economic uncertainty. 

Start preparing for the unexpected during the upcoming recession. Dive into solutions on our blog discussing the 5 Myths of Selling During a Recession, Debunked.

Plus! Discover key tips and strategies to recession-proof your sales and marketing programs in our Sales and Marketing Playbook for Navigating the Impending Recession.