9 Reasons Why Sales Fail To Pick Up In A Business

Sales make the world of business go round. Without any trading taking place, it is impossible to make profits and sustain a venture. The proverbial...

  • 9 Reasons Why Sales Fail To Pick Up In A Business
    Lethabo Moodley Image Lethabo Moodley

    9 Reasons Why Sales Fail To Pick Up In A Business

    Sales make the world of business go round. Without any trading taking place, it is impossible to make profits and sustain a venture. The proverbial sales team is a highly valuable weapon in the arsenal of the entrepreneur who needs to achieve targets and get the magical figures which show profitability. Since the existence of the business depends on selling the offerings with excellent margins, the function of sales becomes exceptionally significant.

    If an organisation is unable to dole out the required figures, it is considered to be performing poorly.There are several reasons behind the lack of conversions, and every entrepreneur must be aware of them. If you plan to purchase a business for sale in South Africa, then you must know why sales fail to pick up in a business. Let us help you by explaining it in detail right here.

    1. Setting Unrealistic Targets

    The most prominent reason behind sales falling short of the target is that the goals set by the entrepreneurs are not achievable. It is common for business owners to keep increasing the targets as soon as they are accomplished. However, this approach is potentially disastrous. The number of sales pitches must be dependent on the workload and estimated sales targets in the business plan for the month and the quarter.

    If you keep burdening your team with higher targets, they will be discouraged and will not be motivated to work towards something that seems unachievable. The targets must be revised after considering the past performance of the team members and the needs of the organisation. The goals must be precise, measurable, realistic and time-bound.

    2. Not Persuading The Buyer To Take Action

    Many organisations connect with their target audience to inform them about their products and services. However, they do not drive home the point of making a purchase. A sales call which is focussed on creating awareness and brand building will not fetch the desired results. Writing a blog or commenting on social media posts from customers is part of the marketing strategy which can work towards creating visibility and credibility but does not culminate into immediate sales.

    Thus the sales team must be clear about the sales engagements and must promote the products with full fervour to influence the potential customer to take action. All the calls will not be converted but make sure that the message is being put across clearly and has hit the target.

    3. Forgetting To Follow-Up

    Often the sales representatives forget about following-up with leads and end up missing out on significant sales. Also, engaging with the customers once or twice is not going to get the desired sales. You need to contact them several times until they are ready to buy from you.

    Put emphasis on contacting customers who are almost eager and are showing interest in the products and services. Also, do not merely talk about selling. You must keep informing the buyer about the features and unique selling propositions to make the offer more attractive.

    4. Not Listening To The Buyer

    Many salespeople have the habit of blabbering and do not stop to listen to their audience. They are keen on completing the call and handing out the information. However, they fail to realise that it is a two-way negotiation, and you need to understand the desires of the customers.

    For example, if the sales representative is talking about hair styling, but the customer is looking for facial, then the disconnection between them will not lead to a positive response. So pay attention to the feedback and wants of the target audience to get them converted.

    5. Not Being Able To Differentiate From Competition

    The market is always flooded with similar products being offered by different brands. Thus when you are pitching your product, you need to be truly distinctive in your offer. It is significant because failure to attract customers is one of the common business challenges that can destroy an organisation. The offering must stand out in the crowd to appeal to the buyer.

    If the target audience is buying another brand, then your presentation must make them switch. It can be done by providing details about value for money and superior quality being offered by your company.

    6. Engaging With The Wrong Audience

    The list of potential customers created by the research team could have a lot of people who do not fit the buyer’s description. So the sales calls and emails will be directed to the wrong audience who will push them away as spam.

    So when you are talking to people, make sure to ask them about their priorities and interest in the products and services being sold. The contact list should include only those people who have shown an inclination towards your offerings and should not be a phone book list of the entire town.

    7. The Buying Decision May Rest With Someone Else

    It usually happens that the buying decision is dependent on a specific person who must be involved in the sales process to get things moving. For example, when you contact the project manager of a company for a sales offer, you end up realising that the final nod needs to come from the CEO.

    Thus you must be directly talking to the CEO to avoid wastage of time. You can do this by confirming in the first few meetings about the person making the buying decision and then involving them in the deal.

    8. No Sign of An Urgency

    The buyers may be interested in your product but may not intend to buy at that very moment. They may postpone it for the next month or quarter. To avoid such situations, your salespeople need to create a sense of urgency. They must talk about limited period offers and discounts that are applicable only on instant purchase which will make the buyer reach for their credit cards immediately.

    9. The Timing Is Wrong

    Every sale is dependent on money, and if you contact a customer at a time when they are out of cash, then you will not be selling anything. For example, if you are selling equipment to garment factories, then you must wait until the budget is finalised for the year to make the sales call.

    The right time will fetch you the best results. Make the final calls to customers at the beginning of the month when they are cash-rich instead of following-up at the end of the month when they are left with nothing to spend.


    It is quite obvious that the customer is the king, and the sales department must work on pleasing the king using the best sales strategy. If you are looking for business opportunities in South Africa, then make sure that you stay away from these sales failures to meet your targets with ease.

  • Author Info Lethabo Moodley

    A business expert, Lethabo Moodley is a management consultant who has been working across domains since 2005. His rich experience includes a Masters degree in business administration from the prestigious Gordon Institute of Business Science and Doctor of Business Leadership degree from Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership. He has been actively working as a consultant with the biggest firms in South Africa and his contribution in the growth of these organisations is considered invaluable. He has saved a lot of small businesses from going bankrupt and has renewed the lost success streak of the big fish in the market. Business2Sell is delighted to have him onboard for his insightful blogs.