When people are successful, they make things happen. When unsuccessful, they create excuses for poor sales performance to avoid responsibility for their failure. In this article, we will talk about excuses for poor sales performance.

Sales is a tough job. Competition, product features that suck and prospects who dont respond can make life difficult.

But this balance only works for competent sales professionals. For others, the rewards are not nearly as high and it can be very unforgiving.

Mediocre salespeople complain about their challenges, but dont put pen to paper and take action. True sales professionals may vent at times but they follow through by winning.

It may not look like it at the time, but diversity has many positive effects for companies. It can lead to higher productivity and better discovery of tools or techniques that will eventually translate into increased performance.

Its time to take a look at the many excuses for poor sales performance sales professionals make and how they can be improved.


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:Ā 

  • 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. šŸ˜€

Top 10 Excuses for Poor Sales Performance You Need to Stop Making in 2022

  • Weve been having a hard time finding qualified candidates for this position.
  • Our marketing team sucks.
  • Our quotas are too high.
  • We need to improve the quality of our product.
  • I cant keep up with my workload.
  • The market is drying up.
  • My leads are going dark on me.
  • We cannot keep up with our competition.
  • Our sales process is broken.
  • Cold calling is too hard.

1. Qualified Prospects are Hard to Find

Variants:

  • We have a weak pipeline.
  • We dont get enough leads.
  • Im not going to accept these leads, theyre terrible.
  • Sales reps are not making enough sales.
  • Our old CRM sucks.

The problem is that salespeople are not good at pipeline management and lead qualification, but it should be fixed with something like an upgrade in methodology.

One way to improve your sales pipeline is by strengthening the relationship between marketing and sales. Another approach would be social selling, which can help you find new prospects.

2. Our Marketing Team Simply Sucks

Variants:

  • Our website looks crappy.
  • The landing pages on our website are out of date.
  • We need better advertising in order to be successful.
  • No one knows our brand.
  • No one cares about our brand.
  • We have been getting a lot of leads, but they are not good ones.

Its not just your department that is the problem. A lot of it has to do with lack coordination and synchronization among teams.

Value generation: Consider marketing as part of the sales organization and work together to be successful. Communicate constantly and share metrics to see what is working or not.

3. The Targets Were Ridiculously High

Variants:

  • My quota is insane.
  • Our goals are unattainable.
  • My territory is too small, and I dont have enough opportunities.
  • I cant believe they expect me to do that.
  • Our sales manager does not seem to be aware of what is going on in the world.

When leaders set high goals, it may be a good idea to question their judgement. However, only if no one else is reaching those objectives or very few people are achieving them should you consider this as an excuse.

Value generation: Formulate a strategy to achieve your goals and ask for help from peers who are attaining their targets. Get additional training in order to improve skill sets.

4. Our Products Weren’t Good Enough

Variants:

  • Our product is not as attractive to the market as we would have liked.
  • I dont think that I should have to settle for a product with less features.
  • Our customers are asking for features we dont have. The company doesnt want to provide the products that people actually want, which is why they arent seen as a good company
  • Our price is too high.
  • Our customers dont like our terms.

ValidityVerdict: Product development and branding are challenging, but thats not to say they cant be done right. Youll find people who think other companies do it better even if you cite the best phones Apple or Samsung has made.

As a salesperson, you should highlight the positive aspects of your product and offer practical workarounds for its shortcomings. Sharing what customers think about your product can help designers build better products in the future.

5. Too Overwhelming Workload

Variants:

  • Ive been trying to wear too many hats, and it has become difficult for me.
  • Ive been contacting too many prospects at once, and it feels overwhelming.
  • This sales cycle is very difficult because there are many decision makers and potential obstacles.
  • I cant keep up with my CRM.

Theres a lot of time in sales, and it can be hard to manage. Tim Ferriss is an extreme example, but he has the luxury of not having much else going on aside from his work.

Value Generation: Set up a streamlined sales process and avoid procrastination at all costs. Use browser plugins to get more efficient.

6. Drying-Up Market

Variants:

  • The economy is struggling, and its having an effect on people across the country.
  • It is difficult to close deals during this economy.
  • Its been a long time since any of us have had the opportunity to spend money on something we want.
  • Some people just dont want to pay for a service.

The markets and economies fluctuate for various reasons, so does consumer behavior. If competitors are still sustaining profitability then panicking about supply and demand wont get you anywhere. Your rivals are doing something right that you arent.

The core of your business should be understanding the market and who its buying from you. If there are any economic shifts, then consider how that affects other demographics to purchase what youre selling.

7. Leads Have Gone Dark

Variants:

  • I have tried to contact my contacts, but they are not responding.
  • The client said they needed more time to think about it.
  • The gatekeeper wont let me through the door to talk to the CTO.
  • They hate in-person meetings.
  • The customer is happy with their current vendor.
  • They were looking for proposals from vendors who compete with each other.

In sales, the most difficult aspect of a job is prospecting and engaging leads. Vent your anger once in a while but dont stop there.

When youre frustrated, use it as a way to motivate yourself. If clients are unresponsive, try different messaging techniques.

8. Destroyer Competitors

Variants:

  • Our competitor is a behemoth.
  • Brand A can spend without any worries.
  • They have a pricing model that is friendlier to the customer.
  • Whats the point of this feature?
  • Our main client just switched to Brand A.

Its important to know your competitors strengths. But have you considered their weaknesses? Would it benefit your brand if you could exploit that weakness? It is vital for a company to assess the competition landscape objectively in order for them not to be killed by new, more agile players who are just entering and thriving in markets like Coca-Cola, Nokia and GM.

Its important to allow objective data, not feelings of intimidation or competitiveness, to guide your decisions. You should generate insight and then use creativity and innovative thinking in order outwit the competition.

9. Broken Sales Process

Variants:

  • Our sales process is confusing and difficult to follow.
  • We have a few people in the sales team who are not doing well. Theyre either underqualified or over qualified for their position.
  • I feel unmotivated.
  • It seems like our tech team cant meet the clients rollout requirements.
  • Weve been spending too much time on the wrong leads.
  • The way we sell, its not effective.

You can either write off your problems as minor or you could take the initiative to fix them. Instead of letting serious factors get in the way, prepare a plan for yourself and work on it collaboratively with others.

The first step in fixing a sales team is to make an objective assessment of your current situation. Dont base this on feelings or emotions, but instead look at tangible metrics like quotas and schedules that are difficult for the whole team.

10. Cold Calling Doesnt Work

Variants:

  • I keep getting stuck on one point, and cant get past it.
  • Ive seen many of my colleagues on social media, but can I just do that?

    Article: When I first began hiring salespeople, I just assumed pay along with commissions and bonuses would be enough motivation for them.

  • Inbound marketing is the latest and greatest thing in terms of digital marketing.
  • We need to work on our marketing strategy. We are too focused on outbound efforts.

Cold calling has been and still is a successful way to market products. The only reason why cold-calling may not be working for you is because of lack of motivation, training or the wrong type of offers being presented.

The reason why you might not like cold calling is because its just not for everyone. Maybe there are other sales techniques that would suit your strengths better, so give those a chance too.

Accountability is the Key

High performers will always take responsibility for any failed situation. When something goes wrong, the default reaction is to assess personal culpability.

Selling is hard, and no one has a perfect track record. You can either make excuses for poor sales performance when you miss your targets or take accountability and work to bounce back.

If youre not happy with something in your company, use setbacks as an opportunity to think of solutions. Its better than finding excuses for poor sales performance and letting things stay the same.

A successful company cant tolerate excuses for poor sales performance.


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:Ā 

  • 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. šŸ˜€

Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? Iā€™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
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze - a lead generation platform that discovers new leads for you automatically. Get 25 leads free.