Johnathan discusses the art of handling sales objections successfully with Matt Wolach, the host of SaaS-Story in the Making Podcast. Johnathan elaborates on an established framework that founders, team leaders, and salespersons in the SaaS world could adopt to effectively exploit sales objections for the greater good.
Whilst discussing the complexities of switching a legacy company to SaaS, Johnathan, a Regional Vice President at RSA, also discusses the reasons a change from legacy solutions to SaaS is important in today’s software world.
Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making
Episode: Successfully Handling Sales Objections
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor.
Guest: Johnathan Bald, a Regional Vice President at RSA, a cybersecurity SaaS company.
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Fill the New Bottle with New Wine
Consumer software tastes and preferences have changed. Consumers have had enough of licensing fees, maintenance fees, rigid and haphazard software infrastructure, and the pain of providing and maintaining hardware resources. Software consumers want to thrive in a flexible software sphere that supports the velocity of today’s change.
Johnathan thinks that SaaS companies should provide features that meet up consumer desires. The B2B world, in a subscription economy, is characterized by a hunger for almost instant delivery, and hatred for contractual commitments. As such, there is a need for consumer alignment.
View Objections Positively
Objections are no clogs in the wheels of sales. They are the very much needed fuel a sales process needs. Objections are genuine concerns that need to be intimately understood. If handled artfully, objections could make market re-education successful.
To Johnathan, the successful handling of objections lies on the tenets of objective listening, objection validation, objection reframing, resolution proposal, and joint execution. Johnathan thinks that Objections are an integral part of the sales process and should be treated artfully, strategically, and scientifically.
Listen, Validate, and Reframe
Johnathan thinks that the ideal way to handle sales objections is first to actively listen to the customer. Active listening belongs to the cadre of objective discovery in Johnathan’s framework for handling sales objections. With active listening, salespeople could anticipate further questions and squash them. Johnathan thinks that active listening is central to the discovery process as it helps to dig deep into the root of objections.
Objection Validation is the next step and it is basically about making sure the customer’s objection is understood. Objection validation, to Johnathan, involves paraphrasing the customer’s objection and posing it back to the customer.
Then, there is the art of reframing an objection into a need. That is, carefully treating the customer’s objections and proffering solutions that make the customer realize that they are raising objections because they are running on a deficient business model that needs to be changed.
Reach a Collective Conclusion
Johnathan says that sales objections successfully handled lead to an agreed-upon timeline of actions. Johnathan calls this stage Resolution Proposal and Joint execution.
Reaching a collective conclusion with the customer is the ultimate destination for Johnathan’s sales objection framework. Resolution Proposal and Joint Execution should flow easily after the customer has been actively listened to, and after objections have been validated and reframed.
“Mentorship is critical. Most people assume that one mentor is enough but you can have multiple mentors for multiple facets of your life. Mentors act like life coaches and sounding boards for challenges you encounter.”
“The factor to a mentor is that they are not your direct boss. You need to maintain that arm length relationship where they do not have to manage you daily but they can provide guidance. Leverage on the experience and the network of your mentor to improve yourself.”
Lean Toward the Customers’ Inclination
“The main function that drives change is customer desire. Customer buying desire change with time. We are in the subscription economy and customers expect to be able to sign up for products and services on demand, no contractual commitments, and instantaneous delivery. Customers have taken these expectations into the B2B world. This signals that there is the need for a monumental shift; the need for a better consumer alignment.”
“Customers want to thrive in a flexible business model that is far away from the world of licensing fees, maintenance fees, and rigid infrastructures. Customers want a model that is flexible enough to support the velocity of change the modern business environment operates in.”
“The biggest challenge facing companies is educating the market about the old way and the new system. With change come questions and objections. Customers want to know why changes are being taken, how the changes are going to affect them, and how the changes would work into their organizational strategy in the long run.”
Objections are Genuine Concerns
“Objections are genuine concerns. You have to ultimately understand what these objections are and do not always take them at face value. A customer may not know the real cause of their own objections. You and the customer have to discover the root of the objections through the discovery process.”
[04:18] “You can have multiple mentors for multiple facets of your life.”
[10:13] “The main function that drives change is customer desire.”
[14:04] “With change comes questions and objections.”
[14:29] “The artful way of handling objections determines how successful market re-education and product uptake would be.”
To learn more about Johnathan Bald and RSA, visit: https://www.rsa.com/
You can also find Johnathan Bald on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnathanbald/
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/.
As part of the founding team in his first SaaS product, Matt owned the sales & marketing processes. But he struggled to sell and gain traction for the company. It took years of learning and tweaking before Matt created The Perfect DEAL Process, an innovative yet easy to implement method for closing more software deals. To find out more, visit https://mattwolach.com/about-matt