There’s no denying it, working in sales is a challenge.
From finding new prospects to converting them into paying customers, it’s no easy feat! So there’s no surprise that there are plenty of obstacles to encounter along the way.
Sure, that’s problematic, but the real problem comes when sales teams look for excuses to explain a lack of success or lack of performance.
We’re all only human, so sometimes when we don’t hit the mark, there are reasons for it. But there lies the difference between reasons and excuses.
Have a look at our top excuses and see if there’s any you’ve fallen victim to, and how to plan better for them.
1. The leads aren’t good enough
A tale as old as time. A misalignment between the sales and marketing team.
When things haven’t turned out the way you expected, it’s easy to point the finger and blame someone else.
That’s not to say the marketing team gets it right every time, but how long did it take you to realise your prospects weren’t ready to buy?
See, how it doesn’t add up? If there’s been a problem with the leads e.g. they’re not qualified, the book ultimately ends back with sales. That’s why it’s better to be proactive.
Take the initiative and discuss plans with your marketing team before a sales cycle kicks off. What is it you’re looking for? What will your pitch be like? This will make a much more cohesive sales journey for your prospects which means they’ll be more likely to convert at the end of it all.
If you start to see the quality of leads dip, bring it up immediately and check the plans you ste out at the start are still working. If they’re not, change them.
It’s no use just complaining. It’s better to take ownership and get stuff done. At the end of the day, bridging the gap between sales and marketing is everyone’s job.
But if you’re still struggling, why not take a look at tools like CANDDi? We automatically capture, score, and assign leads directly from your website to create a fully aligned sales and marketing effort. Win win.
2. The targets are too high
The last time I checked, targets aren’t meant to be easy. And that goes for any industry.
Sales targets and goals aim high for a reason. They’re there to motivate, inspire and ultimately, help your company grow.
Although, if you’re consistently missing your targets and still working your chunks off, well there’s probably another reason.
It’s always worth talking to your sales manager/ director well ahead of time. If you’ve got quotas and deadlines to meet, don’t leave it to the last minute. If you wait until you’ve missed a target, it’s going to look a bit suspect, isn’t it?
Instead, book out some time to speak with the team. Come prepared with the facts and figures that show how much you’re trying, but to no avail.
If you can’t produce the data, then you probably just need to dig a little deeper.
Alternatively, if you’re a sales manager/ director who’s currently facing the backlash of an unobtainable target, try to bring in some additional incentives. You can also track progress and performance with a leaderboard too, nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition.
3. The product isn’t worth it
Not to be dramatic, but if your prospects aren’t seeing the value in what you’re selling, who’s fault is that?
If you don’t believe in what you’re selling, how will anyone else? So rather than blaming the product (rude) have a look at how you’re actually pitching.
Are you portraying the key benefits? Have you tailored each pitch to your prospects specific pain points? Do you even listen to what they’re telling you?
If the answer to all these questions is yes, then don’t sit on it any longer!
Your business’ product/ service can’t speak to customers itself, so it’s up to you to be its eyes and ears.
Share whatever insights you gather from each sales conversation. If there’s certain requests that keep cropping up, you can guarantee if you don’t offer it, they’ll find someone else who will.
Along with your marketing and development teams, create a strategic plan for regular upgrades to your product. It comes back to the idea of being proactive. Your customers will thank you for it.
4. The prospects are too busy
The truth is, everyone’s busy all the time. Your prospects are likely business owners and salespeople, all with to-do lists as long as your arm.
But it’s literally your job to put forward an offer that makes your prospects sit up and listen. If they don’t, it’s not that they’re too busy for you, you just didn’t do enough to grab their attention.
So if your sales efforts aren’t being returned, that’s a sign you should probably do something about it.
Look at changing your approach, would it be worth experimenting new techniques?
This could include A/B testing your email subject lines, better segmenting your target audience, reworking your pitch.
It’s easy to throw blame at them for being too busy or disengaged, but it’s up to you to bring them on board.
5. The competitors have already won it
A classic. If nobody had any competitors, there wouldn’t be a market for anything. So it simply isn’t an excuse.
There’s no doubt that people have their favourite suppliers, brand loyalty is real after all.
It’s your responsibility to sell them a better offer. Show your prospects what makes you a more valuable choice.
9 times out of 10, people are just scared of change. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and all that. So if you were happy with your current provider, why would you actively go looking elsewhere?
But that’s not to say that if a better solution fell at their feet, they wouldn’t take it. That’s why it’s up to you to get your opportunity in front of them.
Of course there’s going to be elements that your competitors do better than you, and you do better than them. We can’t have it all. Just don’t get so hung up on proving yourself by comparing your company to others.
Instead, remain focused on your key attributes. What is it that makes you different? Why do your existing customers love you? Once you start to sell this, the rest will speak for itself.
Do these sound familiar? Or are there other excuses you’ve used in your time? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
What if your sales team are already working hard but not getting the results? Try a 30-day free trial of CANDDi and see the difference we can make to your sales output.