Depending on how you look at it, the challenge or real fun in outbound sales is interacting with cold email responses. And let’s face it. More often than not, buyers aren’t looking to make a purchase when you reach out with a cold email. Your offering isn’t solving a challenge that is threatening enough for them to make a change yet, or you haven’t explained how you can help them.
Naturally, you receive responses that look like this:
So how many times does your sales team receive a “no”, “not interested”, “no thanks”, or “I’m not the right person”? How many of those do they continue to engage that can turn into a meeting?
It could be all of them.
If you ask the right follow up questions or dig for further discovery and qualification, you could turn their “no” into “yes”.
Here are a few tips on how to automate your objection handling.
# 1: Determine Your Most Common Responses
Your team is likely all receiving similar objections, and you may even have some objection handling training built out. Is there a common reason for your buyers to say no? Are there specific industry or persona-based challenges preventing a further conversation?
You can organize your most common objections into groups, and create universal responses to address those objections. There are a few commonalities regardless of your business or industry:
“Send me some more information.”
“I’m not the right person.”
Craft a response for each kind of objection, and make sure to ask a follow up question to invite further engagement. A simple “no” does not provide enough information for your sales team to properly qualify or disqualify the buyer.
# 2: Automate Your Response Workflow
Much of the sales team’s productivity can be impacted by mental overload, meaning they’re spending too much time thinking of the execution of their tasks instead of just getting them done.
It’s mentally taxing to try and craft a custom response to each buyer, and if most objections are generally the same you can automate much of this workflow for them. Especially for new sales development hires, it might be tough for them to come up with a strong response to a “no”. Follow up email templates to clients are a great way to build the foundation and create strong sales habit and mentality around responding to every buyer, even if it’s a no.
Just as you would create a cold email template, craft response templates for each group or objection type as well. Provide one or two variations to allow the sales reps the option to customize or choose their voice or context. Having a response pre-populated saves much of their time and mental stress, but gives them the flexibility to tweak the template to be specific to the buyer.
An example of a template you could provide for “Not interested” to further qualify or disqualify, might look like this:
“Thanks . Most people who aren’t interested say it’s because they . Is that the case for you too? Just trying to gauge whether we should stay in touch sparingly or not.”
# 3: Automate Your Follow-up Game
When you receive a vague response from a buyer, like “not right now”, it’s just as important to continue your follow up then as it is with reminders for a booked meeting. You already use email automation and a meeting scheduler to get that far, you utilize the same tools to generate more engagement from objections. When buyers respond, the automated follow up stops if you’re using email sequence software, so it’s up to you to set yourself up properly to continue communication.
Create an automated, three to four-step email sequence to ensure none of those buyers who responded to you fall through the cracks.
A general workflow could look like this:
Buyer responds with generic objection like “No thanks.”
- Find the appropriate template for “No thanks” and add customization or relevance depending on the buyer.
- Add them to a new follow-up sequence to make sure they don’t fall through the cracks.
- Use an email tracking app to monitor their engagement and continue follow up as necessary.
- And reps don’t even have to leave their inbox. Talk about productivity.
How are your reps currently handling these types of responses? Is every buyer getting the same type of reply regardless of the objection, or are you sure they’re even getting a follow up response?
Your sales team has to make a mindset shift about those responses. It’s where the opportunity to engage begins, and most of the time it starts with a negative or indifferent response. If you create process and automation around objection handling, you’ll begin to see a significant uptick in opportunities by focusing on the “no” instead of just highlighting those who say “yes” – and make it way easier on your sales team.