In reality, selling ain’t easy. Sometimes it seems easier to lure a camel into a needles’ hole than hit your monthly sales target. Even the best, most seasoned salespeople will feel pressure from time to time and result in them not hitting the target. It’s this pressure that spawns excuses – excuses salespeople make that detract attention away from a salesperson’s performance (or lack of it).

It feels like people are trying to blame others rather than accepting their own failings and down there are the top 5 excuses salespeople make when they don’t make their quota.

Leads Are Weak

This one has definitely got an air of: “It’s their fault, not mine.” Bypassing the blame you’ll not only be viewed in a negative light you may also find that all of your inbound leads stop altogether making it even harder to hit your sales target.

Yes, inbound leads will help the sales pipeline, there’s no denying that but you shouldn’t rely on them for your figures. Treat them as a bonus when you receive one. You may also benefit from aligning your sales and marketing teams so that a qualified lead from marketing is the same as a qualified lead for you.

Related Article: You can sell more than anyone else this year

The Economy Is Bad

In any industry, there are peak times when a business just seems so easy to capture, and other times when you couldn’t sell a heater to an Eskimo. The key to a good salesperson is to continue to hit targets when times are tough.

Value-discovery is vital to solving this excuse. Salespeople need to be able to help clients discover reasons to solve their problems or change their current situation. If a customer says, “It’s not in the current budget”, you need to find out what they are currently spending money on and show them that your product is more critical to their business

My Territory Is Weak

So your colleague is a rep for the ‘big city’, they’ve got more clients and that’s where all the decision-making is done, right? Wrong. There is research that has been carried out suggesting that you can still find highly successful salespeople in smaller cities, regions, or rural areas.

The successful salespeople working outside of the big cities use their territory as an opportunity to shine above their competitors (and internal colleagues). Their focus is directed to proactive and passive sales and marketing strategies that give them the highest likelihood of achieving their sales target. They understand their territory and know where the wins are… It just takes more effort.

It’s Not Me, It’s The Product

Wow, you must be desperate to use this one. So everyone else has been able to sell the product but you haven’t. Did you try to sell a Ferrari and the instant you touched it, it turned into a Lada?

Unless you’re still selling fax machines or VHS tapes there shouldn’t be a problem. Believe in what you’re selling, understand how your high performing colleagues are selling it, and really get to the root of the problem that the product solves so you can pitch it better to your prospects.

Related Article: Are top salespeople so shameless?

I forgot to follow up

The final entry on this list is a reason all on its own to find new salespeople: “I forgot.” This excuse -if it can even be called that- is completely unacceptable and tantamount to saying “I didn’t do my job.”

The organization is a key part of sales, and missing out on potential business through absent-mindedness or slapdash practices simply isn’t going to cut it. Particularly as most modern sales CRM systems make it hard for even the scattiest salespeople to miss a reminder. However, even if you are tracking your sales pipeline in Excel, that is still no excuse.

In the end, salespeople must be hungry for sales – so follow-ups get done and reminders get noted. As for the potential impact of forgetting to follow-up: Research shows that between 35-50% of business goes to the vendor who responds first. It is common that companies that attempt to contact prospects within an hour of an inquiry are seven times more likely to have a “meaningful conversation with a key decision-maker.” The early bird gets the worm.

Conclusion

So there you have it. Now that you know what the 5 top excuses are for why salespeople miss their target, there is no reason as to why you shouldn’t be hitting your target every month. You need a sales force that is motivated and this is just one step ahead.

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