Selling isn’t an easy business, but even the most experienced salespeople will feel the pressure sometimes. Especially if they are not close to hitting their targets. It’s common for salespeople to come up with a load of excuses why that might be, but that shouldn’t deflect attention away from the fact that… They are not hitting their targets.
Nobody likes hearing excuses. It’s a blame game. Here are five common sales excuses you should prepare for.
1. Our pricing puts people off
This could be a legitimate excuse, but it shouldn’t stop your salespeople from hitting their targets. And cheaper doesn’t mean better. Price should only really come into the equation when there is a decision to be made between your product and a competitor. The key to solving this excuse is to encourage your salespeople to sell value, rather than focus on price. If they nail their explanation of the value your product provides, then the price isn’t an issue. Think of market leaders in most industries – it’s rare if they are the cheapest.
2. I don’t have time
There’s nothing worse than salespeople complaining they don’t have enough time. Whether that is completing sales reports, updating contact notes, or filling in deal details on the CRM, salespeople need to make the time. Yes, they can seem like an admin burden. But doing them will help them make more sales as they will be more informed. Not using them risks the entire business underperforming. It’ll run the risk of salespeople not logging activities and then suddenly you have lost a load of valuable contact data. It’s vital to build a culture in the team that considers sales reporting and CRM housekeeping essential for growth.
3. Marketing doesn’t provide enough leads
This is the definition of the blame game. By passing the blame to marketing, salespeople think they can get away with twiddling their thumbs. Yes, warm inbound leads will massively help your salespeople deliver more deals, but if there isn’t a constant flow then your salespeople should be prospecting themselves. They shouldn’t be relying on leads for their targets. Marketing leads should be viewed as a bonus. And if marketing already drives a consistent stream of leads, then lucky you!
4. I have the worst territory
Nobody likes someone who moans about everything, and this is a great example. A territory is as good as your salesperson makes it. If they constantly moan about not being given large countries or cities, then educate them on the benefits of going after smaller regions. Larger areas can often be actually harder to sell to. The smaller the territory, the more personalised you can be with your sales approach. No matter where or what size your teams’ territories are, ensure they all understand the territory (in terms of trends, challenges, culture, regulations, etc) and it shouldn’t matter where the territory is.
5. The product isn’t good enough
This is just desperate. Firstly, if they didn’t believe in the product, they shouldn’t have joined. And secondly, if others can sell it, so can they. Help your salespeople believe in what they are selling by educating them on the use case and values your product provides. And if they are struggling, get them to shadow your high-performers to improve their pitching. This is the worst excuse of all – it indicates a lack of courage and a lack of belief.
So, there are 5 top excuses your salespeople might give for not hitting their targets, and some tips on how to overcome them.