If sales aren’t going well, it’s time to reevaluate what you’re doing. But what do you do when your performance starts slipping? A bad rep will start making excuses for poor sales performance but a good rep will find ways to fix the problem.

We’ve all been there at one point or another in our careers. The important thing is that you recognize the problem and do not find excuses for poor sales performance. Otherwise, your sales career could be in jeopardy.

It’s natural for salespeople, or anyone for that matter, to make excuses when things go wrong.

Some of these reasons are legitimate, while others are only perceived, but regardless, each of these problems has a solution.

Sales managers can help their salespeople see that excuses are counterproductive and that, with the right mindset, they can overcome any challenge. By helping them to identify and address the root causes of their excuses, sales managers can empower their sales teams to achieve greater success.

Excuses for Poor Sales Performance

Being honest with our strengths and weaknesses is the only way to grow. So, let’s stop making excuses and get to work!

Move forward with a positive attitude and be honest.

80% of sales are closed by only 8% of salespeople.

And the rest?

They are too busy making lame excuses.

It’s tempting to make excuses after a poor sales performance, but just how far can it go?

At some point, you will inevitably reach the point where you have no choice but to stop.

We all mess up sometimes. It is natural to make a mistake or to fail.

The top salespeople, however, don’t make excuses. They take responsibility and learn from their failures.

In a challenging selling climate, you are bound to meet obstacles and fail. But do not ignore your failures by making excuses.

Instead of giving up, work even harder.

“If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost” – Zig Ziglar

Below are some of the most common sales excuses that you should stop doing.

1. “Our Price is Too High.”

This excuse is very common among salespeople.

However, even the most expensive product or service can be sold if presented correctly.

Why do people choose to buy more expensive, well-known brands when there are much cheaper options available?

While some people may buy a product just to show off, others buy it for quality and brand.

To successfully close sales on expensive items, you’ll need to clearly communicate the value that your product provides.

Just saying the price is too much won’t help. You need to show your customers how your products will benefit them.

People are ready to buy expensive products if they find them useful.

So, focus on the benefits your product or service can offer. To do this, you need to understand your potential client’s challenges and needs.

When you’ve identified your prospective client’s business needs, help them understand how your product or service can alleviate those needs. By doing so, you’ll be able to show them the value of your product and how it can help solve their specific problem.

To convince customers to buy your high-priced product, show them case studies of how the product has worked for other businesses. Building trust and convincing customers of the value of a product is what sales is all about.

If you can do both of these things, selling high-priced products will be easy.

2. “Prospects Aren’t Responding.”

44% of sales reps give up after one follow-up

If you want to move your deal forward in the sales process, you must follow up on your prospects consistently. Remember that your prospect is usually busy and focused on increasing his or her company’s revenues.

If you’re not getting a response, try texting your prospects. It’s an easy way to follow up, and you can even use a modern CRM to automate your texts. This way, you can stay on top of your follow-up without having to do it all manually.

Most CRM systems allow you to set up a sequence of emails and text messages to send automatically.

3. “My Sales Targets Are Unrealistic.”

Sales managers consider various factors before setting targets. If even one person on the team can reach the goal, there is no reason to question that decision.

If a top-performing salesperson can hit that target, then it just shows that it’s not impossible. All it takes to achieve it is a little hard work.

Change your approach to sales and go the extra mile. Then track your progress.

Sales reports are a great way to identify areas that need improvement. By putting in a little extra effort, you can close the gap and reach your sales goals.

4. “The Competitors Are Too Strong.”

If Pepsi had said that Coke was already dominating the market, it wouldn’t have succeeded.

Just because there are alternatives to your products doesn’t mean they’re bad or that nobody would buy them.

It all comes down to how you market and sell your product. Your competitors may have more features, but they may be more expensive.

Explain to your prospect why they should buy your product.

While your competitors might have more features, those extra features might not be what your customers need. Instead, focus on your unique selling point, and highlight how your products can best solve their problem.

5. “The Marketing Team is Not Giving Quality Leads.”

Most sales teams blame marketing when they can’t hit their quotas. Instead, they should work with them.

Tell your lead generation company exactly what kind of prospect you’re looking for. Be as specific as possible.

Make sure your buyer personas are clear. Make sure you maintain a good relationship with them so that they feel comfortable contacting you if they have any concerns about your product or service.

6. “Our Prices Are Not Competitive.”

When sales reps aren’t selling, they often blame the price. What they don’t realize is that the cheapest price is not always the best strategy.

Most customers care more about the value they receive than about the actual price of a product or service.

7. “The Economy is Sluggish.”

Good salespeople know how to sell in any economy. They find opportunities to sell even in the toughest of times.

People are not after your products or services. What they want are products or services that can make their life easier.

Show them that you have the solutions they need, and you can sell no matter how bad the economy is.

8. “I’m Not Getting Enough Leads.”

If you start hearing this excuse, it’s time to train your sales team on how to find more referrals from current customers, their colleagues, professional networking groups, and social media.

Help your sales team become independent by teaching them how to find their own sales opportunities, and they won’t be complaining about a lack of quality leads to contact anymore.

9. “My Sales Goals Are Too High.”

If a salesperson is consistently failing to meet his or her quotas, they might be using this common excuse for their failure. One way to solve this is to encourage sales reps to set goals for themselves on top of what the sales manager assigns to them.

When your sales team sets their own sales targets, they only have themselves to blame for missing them. Maybe the goals aren’t really the issue.

Maybe your sales team just needs a bit of training to get them back on track.

10. “There’s No Time for Prospecting.”

Prospecting is the lifeblood of sales, so you must schedule regular time to prospect.

When salespeople say that they don’t have time to prospect, it usually means that they aren’t spending their prospecting time wisely. Time management techniques can help salespeople make time for prospecting regularly.

During your weekly team meeting, be sure to go over effective time management skills, and follow up on whether or not your sales team is scheduling time for sales activities.

When you hear sales excuses, don’t just roll your eyes. Get to the root of their problem so you can help them improve. By giving them some guidance, and setting clear expectations for them, you can give them the tools to overcome any obstacles.

What Causes Poor Sales Performance?

There are many potential causes of poor sales performance. Some common causes include a lack of product knowledge, poor customer service, and a lack of motivation. Additionally, poor sales performance can be caused by several factors beyond the control of the salesperson, such as economic conditions or competition from other businesses.


If you’re struggling with sales, don’t worry – you’re not alone. We’ve all been there at one point or another in our careers. The important thing is that you recognize the problem and take action to fix it. Otherwise, your sales career could be in jeopardy. There are a lot of excuses for poor sales performance, but the bottom line is this: if you want to succeed in sales, you need to put in the work and never give up. With dedication and hard work, anyone can overcome any obstacle standing in their way of success.

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀[/sc

Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

We have over 60,000 monthly readers that would love to see it! Contact us and let's discuss your ideas!

Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was generated for LeadFuze and attributed to Justin McGill, the Founder of LeadFuze.