Stop Making these sales excuses, start asking these questions and kick start your success

I know selling is hard, I have been doing it for 15 years.  If you want an easy job, get out of sales!  No matter how good you are or how good you think you are, you will lose deals and you will face difficult times.  The difference between the great sales professionals and those that need to get out of the profession is how you respond to the tough aspects of the sales job.  So if you say any of the following excuses or complaints this year, stop what you are doing and start asking yourself these questions.

Excuse #1: We can’t find qualified prospects

Instead of complaining about your pipeline, your business development rep or your CRM software.  I want you to look at your sales process.  If you can find a dead spot or a blind spot in your sales process, work with your manager or mentor to improve your abilities in that area or work with a co-worker who can assist you in that process.

Ask yourself these questions

Where are your opportunities stalling?

Where are people leaving your sales process?

Is there a common spot that slows down the momentum of a deal?

Excuse #2: Our Marketing team sucks

Your marketing team and you are both on the same team.   They are not out here to give you bad leads.  They want the company to be successful as well.  You have to remember that marketing is a data-driven practice

Ask yourself these questions

What feedback am I getting from prospects and customers?

How can I help marketing to get better leads?

What data can I share with our marketing team?

Excuse #3: Our quotas are too high

It is not your job to set quotas, you have to go hit whatever is given to you.  Break your quota down to smaller pieces.

Ask yourself these questions

What is my average sales size?

How many average sales would I need to make to hit my quota?

How many sales per week would be needed to hit my quota?

What activity do I need to do each week to hit my quota?


Excuse #4: Our product is not good enough

You can even add in here, our product is priced too high.  I would say your first mistake is you are focused on selling a product not selling a value.

Ask yourself these questions

What value does my product or service offer?

How much money, time or resources could my prospect save by using my product?

Is the value in line with the cost?

What is the return on investment for my product?

Excuse #5: My workload is too overwhelming

If you can organize your time, you will be able to manage your workload.  Those that feel the most overworked are typically the ones that are not utilizing their time and are busy but not productive.

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you follow a well-defined sales process?

Do you know what the next step should be for each opportunity?

Are you scheduling time in your calendar for house-keeping activities?

Excuse #6: The market is drying up

You may be saying the economy is crap, budgets are tight and businesses are tightening their belts.  Normally a lost deal is not because of a budget or the economy.  I do not care how crappy the economy is, if you can present a valuable enough solution, they will buy

Ask yourself these questions:

Are you performing win/loss reviews with your opportunities?

Are you able to demonstrate the value your product brings to your prospects or customers?

Excuse #7: My leads have gone dark

No one is calling me back, the gatekeeper does not know what they are doing, and they like their current suppliers are all the same excuse.  If a client or prospect is not responding, then they need a different message.  You have clearly failed to trigger a response from them.  If you keep doing the same thing over and over, you are going to get the same results.

Ask yourself these questions:

What have I done so far?

Can I try a different angle?

Is there a different medium I should use?

Have you tried old school and mailed them a letter?

Excuse #8: Competition is killing us

Remember this: All things being equal, people do business with people they like.  All things not being equal, people do business with people they like.  Jeffery Gitomer coined this.  You control how likable you are.

Ask yourself these questions:

Are you asking the right questions?

Do you know the industry you are selling to?

Are you, not your product, providing value?

Do you know the strengths and weaknesses of your company and for your competitors?

Excuse #9: Our sales process is broken

My first manager told me: “Do not bring me problems, bring me solutions.” If you feel the sales process is broken or not working…then ask these questions and go out there and try to find the solution.  Don’t Complain Fix it.

Ask yourself these questions

How do we solve this?

What would you do differently?

Excuse #10: Cold calling doesn’t work anymore

If you are thinking this, talk with your manager or mentor.  Ask the below questions then look for ways you could get more training.  Do some role plays, go over your past calls and look for areas of improvements

Ask yourself these questions


Why do you feel this way?

What would make it more effective?

Are you just having a slump or are you failing in your abilities?

Hopefully, these questions will help you wipe out these excuses.  It is hard to believe it is already February but it is not too late to go out there and kill it this year!!!


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