Common Sales Issues and Solutions

Your sales are not going as well as you would like.  There can be many causes for this.  We list a number of possible solutions sales process steps below.  Select those that are relevant. Then click on the links provided to drill down further into solving problems and finding solutions to your sales issues.

Sales Issues May Have Internal or External Roots

We are outlining issues that may be arising from your internal operations.

It is also possible that external issues are impacting your sales performance.  If that is the case, backtrack to our discussion on external factors impacting sales and how to manage them.

Suggested Solutions To Business Problem Diagnosis

Suggested Solutions to your business problem

How to Implement a Treatment for your Diagnosis

To learn more on how to use 12Faces tools to resolve the issues raised in your Diagnosis, click More Info.

Common Solutions Sales Process Steps: Revenue Problems

Click here to see the full list of Diagnostic Solutions

Solutions Sales Process: I Can’t Find Buyers

Buyers are not knocking on your door to buy your product.
Solution Sales Process Steps: you have a marketing problem.
Go to the Marketing Diagnostics
Check for changes in your Marketing Funnel. Then zero in on the traffic strategy that makes the most sense for you. Remember, your traffic strategy needs to work in tandem with your conversion mechanism.

People Aren’t Buying

People are coming to you interested in your product but not buying it.
Solution Sales Process Steps: You have a sales conversion problem.
Go to the Sales Diagnostics
Check for changes in your Sales Funnel. This link will show you how to increase customer leads and optimise your Sales Funnel. In addition, tuneup your website and search engine marketing.

The Average Sale Per Customer Has Fallen

Reasons for this are:

  • You have a Customer Retention problem.
    Go to the group of articles – Customer Retention Strategies
  • The economy is depressed: see Business Disruption: Sales Cycles
  • Same store, sales figures year after year have changed:
    Look at historical lead generation and sales function data and compare with the present. Look for weaknesses that have developed in your sales funnel. This will identify areas to address.
    Go to the page: Sales Funnels Introduction

Solutions Sales Process Steps: New Competitors

Have previous customers moved to a new competitor in your market? Competitors can exist in several forms:
1. Physical to digital transition:
Customers are purchasing online instead of visiting you in person. Learn about website design and marketing. 
Go to the Diagnostics page: Lead Generation with Digital Marketing

2. Competition for buyer leads:
Has a competitor entered the market and diverted current and potential customers away? Then you have a “lead generation” problem.
Go to the Diagnostics page: Lead Generation for Your Sales Funnel

3. Competition for sales:
Customers visit you and express interest in your product/service. But, you are not managing to sign them up. Either your sales proposition is not clear or your price is not competitive.
Go to the Diagnostics page: Sales and Marketing: How to Improve

Solutions Sales Process: Industry Wide Decline

Remember when video and music stores started to decline as they competes with digital streaming services. Is your industry in this type of decline? If it is, give serious thought to your future.
Choice of Solutions:
1. Sell the business.
Go to the Diagnostics Page: Business Life Cycle: Success Planning
2. Introduce new product lines to compensate for the loss in the declining industry. Go to the Diagnostics page: Improve Inventory Management

Change in Resources: Staffing

Changing or diverting some of the resources, like people and money, is a common reason for a fall in sales. Are you an owner of a small business and do a lot of the marketing? Is your attention is diverted away to other parts of the business? You have choices to focus back onto the sales element; hire sales staff; retrain current sales staff or outsource the sales process.
Go to the Diagnostics page: Staff Management: Plus Yourself and Others

Change in Resources: Marketing and Sales

Have you reduced your marketing expenditure which has led to a fall in your total sales? This is false economy, especially when it leads to a serious decline in sales.

You save money, but saving money will not cause your business to succeed, or to grow.
Go to the Diagnostic Menu:  Revenue Increase: How to For Your Business

Get More Income from What I Sell

Problem: Although your sales are remaining similar you are not making as much money from them.
Solution: You may have a pricing problem.
Check that your prices are keeping up with increased costs. 
Go to the Diagnostic Menu: Pricing Strategies: How to Find the Best
Price is a major determinant of the profitability of your business!
A price change of as little as 1% can often lead to Profit increases of up to 20%. Don’t miss out.

Sales Cycle Process: Money Management

Sales will naturally ebb and flow. Short term fluctuations are probably due to seasonal variations, for example, Christmas, Summer and Winter fashions. Longer term fluctuations can be due to a multiple quarter or multiple year decline in the economy. The economy will come back. The question is; can you operate during these tighter circumstances? Media coverage will give you the indication that it is a depressed economy.
Can you live with this downturn? Alternatively, take remedial action.
Go to the Diagnostic Menu: Cash Flow Management and Liquidity

My Accounts Don’t Give Me The Right Picture

Are you trying to find out the health of your business? The problem is that by the time you receive your accountants reports after the financial year ends, too much time has passed. Problems have continued and in some cases exacerbated. Learn to use a Management Accounting System in addition to your Tax Accounting System. In addition, reduce your stress by having money to pay bills, take a wage yourself and meet ATO requirements. Click on the link in the title to find out how.

Sales Cycle Process: Sales and Marketing

As mentioned previously, sales will naturally ebb and flow. However, sales have a longer term trend over certain periods, for example, a year.
Because of this, go to your historical data, retrieve your sales history on a monthly basis. Do this for as far back as you can. Then add this data to a spreadsheet. Produce a graph of the monthly fluctuations and the average trend. Finally, look at the trend in your sales. This will indicate whether this is a short term or long term issue.
If it is a long term issue go to the Diagnostic Menu: Sales & Marketing.

A Change in Product Mix

Have you introduced new products into your product range? Are these new products selling as well as you hoped? Did you know, the 80/20 rule says that as few as 20% of your products earn 80% of your income. Identify the best selling 20% of products and maximise your sales effort to turn your sales around.
Alternatively, are you keeping track of demand? If you continue to stock slow moving products not in demand, you will have an increased inventory and cash flow problems.
Go to the Diagnostic Menu: Improve Inventory Management

Change in Your Value to Customers

Have your customers reduced their purchases from you because they are not satisfied with the value that you are offering? Or are you have retaining customers for other reasons? By properly grooming your customers, your business will see a tremendous multiplier effect on its Profit. The articles and links here will give you solutions to the sales process steps that will improve your customer retention.
Go to the group of articles: Customer Retention Strategies

Drill down on any of the above Issues

Click on the links associated with these common causes of unsatisfactory sales performance to learn more about solutions.

How about a brainstorming partner, to save you some precious time?

12Faces provides a coaching service to time poor businesses. Just like you outsource your bookkeeping, you can outsource the drudge work of managing your business’s strategy to a 12Faces Strategy Advisor.  They take a lot of the admin off your hands and act as a brainstorming partner on what to do next with your business strategy.  For an obligation-free discussion on how this might save you precious time, email us on
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