10 Causes of Low Sales and Ways to Eliminate Them

By Thomas Bennett Financial expert at Priceva
Published on March 28, 2023
Brands and retailers often face the problem of low sales. There are several reasons why a product may have low demand. But fortunately there are different ways to deal with this problem. If you are faced with low sales, then read the 10 reasons for low sales and how to eliminate them.

Not paying attention to the customer's needs

The most important thing is to understand what your customers want. Will your product be useful for them? You should have a picture of your customers' needs.

In order to do this, you need to establish feedback with the buyer. Reviews, criticism, sales analysis — all this will help you better understand the psychology of the consumer.

It is advisable to know the answers to the following questions:
- Is the customer satisfied with your product?
- Why would the customer need your product?
- What features or upgrades can be added to your product?
- Do customers like your brand?

Unclear goals

One of the reasons for low sales could be goal ambiguity. Every business should have its own main goal, a “mission” you might say. And a step-by-step plan should be drawn up for this main goal.

If you are a seller, obviously you are interested in increasing the demand for your product. You should detail what goals and sales you expect to achieve in a month, quarter, and year.

Firstly, it will be clearer to you where your business is going. Secondly, your employees will have a clear goal. With step-by-step instructions, you will be able to achieve higher and higher sales figures from year to year.

Lack of a unique value proposition

It will be good if your brand differs in some way from others. Something that will make purchasing your product a bargain.

For example, when the first touchscreen phone appeared on the market, this function made the device very different from others. It was a kind of innovation, and the demand for such phones immediately grew.

Of course, this is an exaggerated example; it is not necessary to invent something new, but some detail should highlight your brand. This will help to overcome low sales, and it will be easier for your customers to identify your brand on the market.

Mismanagement or leadership failure

There are numerous management courses available at institutions of higher education. This suggests that personnel management is a very complex system, but at the same time necessary. The reason for low sales may not even be in the product itself, but in your approach to the business as a whole.

Improper delegation, poor employee management, financial mishaps, unhealthy culture, not being receptive to change, not expecting the unexpected; these are just some examples of poor leadership.

Scaling when the business is not yet ready

You need to understand when a product can be scaled. The fact that a product has been selling well for several months does not mean that if you increase production, it will continue to sell well. You should only scale when you’re ready.

Marketing and sales are not aligned

Marketing should not be underestimated. Like any other part of your business, marketing should pursue some goals from month to month and achieve them.

If you are faced with low sales and the reason is poor marketing, you can review your approach to advertising and presenting your product on the market. Perhaps you need to work on a marketing strategy or review your marketing department staff.

Lack of organic web traffic to support sales

A company's digital presence plays a huge role in the modern age of doing business. Web traffic can supply a steady stream of leads or potential customers.

For example, if a business has no social media account and most of their customers are to be found there, how will people know they exist? Understand where to get unique, organic traffic that is built on relationships so that you can move those relationships into sales.

Empower Your Business with Priceva's Price Tracking Solution
Take charge of your pricing strategy with Priceva's powerful price tracking tools.

Not paying attention to the competitors

An important factor that determines the demand for your product is your competitors. You should be aware of how other brands in your segment are doing: how good their product is, what features their product has, why customers choose their brand. Also, do not forget that new retailers are constantly appearing on the market and competition is growing.

By knowing the advantages and disadvantages of your competitors, you will be able to improve your brand.

Failure to train the team

Any staff requires training and education. Your employees’ qualifications can directly affect the number of sales. Accordingly, if you need to train your employees, you should be willing to consider paying for courses; this is not something you can afford to underfund. Afterwards, your team will be more skillful at interacting with your customers. Allow time and resources for proper training in all areas of your business.

Disregarding customer loyalty

It is best to offer various bonuses for loyal customers, such as discounts, coupons, or something extra as a gift with the main purchase. This will reinforce their love for your brand. Disregarding loyal customers can make them more likely to leave for your competitors.

Eliminating the causes of low sales

Now you know the major causes of poor sales and how to eliminate them. You, as a leader, need to understand them and start working on them. Staff motivation, various courses for employees, financial motivation for employees, market analysis, product development — all this will help you increase your sales.

You may have to change your strategy or your approach; in today's market you need to be flexible to survive. Everything is in your hands, and you, as a leader, must cope with it.

Lack of clarity on your sales wins and losses

One of the key factors leading to low sales is the lack of clarity on what works and what doesn’t in your sales strategy. Without a deep understanding of the reasons behind sales wins and losses, the sales team may continue to invest time and resources in ineffective strategies. This not only prevents the team from replicating success in future deals but also hinders the ability to learn from past mistakes. Analyzing sales data and customer feedback systematically can unveil patterns that should inform the sales process, enhancing the team's approach to meeting the target audience's needs and ultimately driving sales.

Inconsistency in generating Leads

Inconsistent lead generation is a major culprit in low sales performance. If the sales funnel lacks a steady flow of qualified leads, the sales team stagnates, struggling to convert sporadic opportunities into sales. Effective lead generation requires a robust strategy that aligns with the target audience's interests and needs, leveraging marketing campaigns and sales skills to attract potential customers. Without consistent effort in identifying and nurturing leads, sales teams face a time-consuming process with reduced opportunities for closing deals, significantly impacting sales decline.

Poor planning or no planning at all

The absence of a well-defined sales plan or poor planning can severely hamper sales performance. A sales plan acts as a roadmap, guiding the sales team towards achieving specific goals through strategic actions and resource allocation. Without clear objectives, target metrics, and an understanding of the target market, the sales process becomes disjointed and inefficient. This lack of direction not only confuses the sales team but also wastes valuable resources, leading to declining sales and missed opportunities to increase sales.

Partners, marketing not helping

When sales teams lack support from partners and marketing efforts, it can lead to a significant sales decline. Marketing plays a critical role in creating brand awareness, generating leads, and supporting the sales funnel with qualified prospects. Similarly, partners can extend the reach of your sales efforts and introduce your value proposition to new customer segments. If these elements are not aligned or actively contributing to sales goals, the sales team operates in isolation, facing major hurdles in reaching potential customers and achieving sales targets.

Not hiring the right profiles

Hiring individuals who do not fit the ideal sales rep profile can detrimentally affect sales performance. The right sales personnel should not only possess inherent sales skills but also align with the company’s culture and understand its unique value proposition. Without proper training and a natural inclination towards sales, these individuals may struggle to connect with potential customers, effectively communicate the product's value, and close deals. Investing in sales coaching and ensuring candidates match the required profile can boost performance and prevent sales decline.

Sales quotas and targets are confusing

When sales quotas and targets are unclear or unrealistic, it can demotivate the sales team and lead to low sales performance. Goals should be challenging yet achievable, with a clear path outlined for reaching them. Confusing or constantly changing targets can create uncertainty within the sales team, reducing their ability to plan and execute effective sales strategies. Clear communication of expectations, along with regular feedback and adjustments based on performance and market conditions, can help maintain motivation and drive sales.

Effective Sales Techniques You Should Apply Now

1. Relationship Building

Building strong relationships with your customers is foundational to boosting sales performance. The sales team should focus on understanding customer needs and providing personalized solutions rather than just pushing for a sale. Establishing trust and rapport leads to increased customer loyalty, repeat business, and referrals. By prioritizing the customer experience and showing genuine interest in solving problems, sales reps can create a loyal customer base that is more likely to make repeat purchases.

2. Targeted Marketing

Implementing targeted marketing strategies allows the sales team to focus their efforts on the most promising prospects, those who are most likely to convert. By analyzing data to understand the target audience's preferences, behaviors, and needs, marketing campaigns can be tailored to speak directly to potential customers. This precision in marketing efforts not only improves the efficiency of lead generation but also increases the chances of driving sales by reaching the right people with the right message at the right time.

3. Value-Based Selling

Value-based selling focuses on highlighting the unique value proposition of your product or service, showing how it addresses specific customer needs and challenges. This approach shifts the conversation from price to value, making the cost a secondary consideration. Sales reps need to be well-versed in the features and benefits of their offerings and be able to articulate how these can make a positive impact on the customer's life or business. Demonstrating the additional value your product provides can differentiate it from competitors and justify a higher price point.

4. Sales Funnel Optimization

Optimizing the sales funnel involves analyzing each stage of the customer journey and identifying areas where improvements can be made to increase conversion rates. This might include simplifying the purchasing process, enhancing lead nurturing efforts, or refining the sales message. By ensuring that potential customers have a smooth and engaging experience from awareness to purchase, businesses can increase the efficiency of their sales process and drive higher sales.

5. Upselling and Cross-selling

Upselling and cross-selling are techniques designed to maximize the value of each customer by offering them upgrades, add-ons, or complementary products that enhance their initial purchase. These strategies not only increase the average order value but also improve customer satisfaction by providing solutions that meet a broader range of their needs. Sales reps should be trained to identify opportunities for upselling and cross-selling and how to present these options in a way that emphasizes their benefits.

6. Continuous Training and Development

Investing in continuous training and development for the sales team is crucial for maintaining high sales performance. Regular training sessions can help sales reps refine their sales skills, stay updated on product knowledge, and adapt to changing market trends. This ongoing learning process ensures that the sales team remains competitive, motivated, and equipped with the strategies needed to overcome major hurdles and boost sales. Sales coaching and proper training also contribute to a culture of excellence and high achievement within the team.


Sales play a pivotal role in any organization. This is what they call measurable success. Another important role of sales is connecting the customer’s needs to the products and services that a business offers.

Sluggish sales growth can put a company in hot water, with the worst case scenario being bankruptcy. Yet, some business owners aren’t aware of why their company is failing. That's why it's important to understand every piece of the sales process.

Sales performance results from different factors in the business, like the marketing strategy, the product or service itself, the management, customer service, and the market.

Don’t wait until your sales decline to analyze your business strategy. Competitor price analysis, as we mentioned before, is a very important part of a brand's success. Priceva’s Competitor Price Monitoring service will help you with that part.


What to do when sales are low?

Analyze your current situation, think about the various factors we laid out in this article, and see what the reason may be. Every business may have different reasons, but no one knows your company better than you do. Conduct an analysis and consider which of the methods described in this article would be the best to apply in your situation. By working through these issues, you can increase your sales and overall bottom line.

What is the biggest problem in sales?

The biggest problem in sales may be hiding either in your product or in your marketing. It may happen that the product is good enough, but your advertising does not attract enough customers, or even creates an erroneous impression about your product.

How do you explain low sales performance?

The reason is simple: customers are not interested in your product, or your brand is lost against the background of competitors. There may be other circumstances, but these are the most common causes.

Empower Your Business with Priceva's Price Tracking Solution
Take charge of your pricing strategy with Priceva's powerful price tracking tools.
More to explore