Nobody wants to face the reality that their sales aren’t living up to their expectations. It would be amazing if products magically sold themselves, but the reality is that,that just doesn’t happen. So, what do you do if your sales aren’t meeting expectations? You figure out why!

Rather than blaming people (including yourself) for the lack of sales, start figuring out what the root of the problem is. One way to do this is by using the Five Whys model pioneered by Toyota. You start with a statement of the problem, then start asking why until you have a solution you can do something about. The best way to explain this method is to demonstrate it.

  • Sales Manager: Our sales are 25% less this quarter than we projected.

  • CEO: Why are our sales down 25% this quarter?
  • Sales Manager: Product X isn’t selling as well as we thought it would.
  • CEO: Why isn’t Product X selling as well as we thought it would?
  • Sales Manager: There doesn’t seem to be the demand we predicted.
  • CEO: Why isn’t the demand for Product X as you predicted?
  • Sales Manager: A similar product with additional features was released by our competitors at the same time.
  • CEO: Why doesn’t our product have those features?
  • Sales Manager: We didn’t think about them.
  • CEO: Why didn’t we think about them?
  • Sales Manager: We didn’t talk to our customers and find out what they wanted.

After asking five questions starting with “Why,” the CEO has determined that market research on Product X wasn’t complete. Market research can be conducted on a shoestring budget and it’s very important that it’s done as completely as possible before the product is designed and manufactured, because it’s much more costly to make changes to a product that is already on the market.

There’s another example of how the Five Whys model works on this website. The Five Whys method is noted as being the fastest way to get to the root of the problem. Once you know why your sales aren’t meeting your expectations, you can start figuring out where to spend your time to improve your sales figures.

Some things that often help boost sales that are quick and easy to do include:

  1. Talking to current customers. Find out what their needs are and if there is anything you can do to help them meet them.
  2. Getting a referral. When you’re talking to your current customers, ask them if they know anyone who might be interested in your products.
  3. Increasing your social media presence. Social media is free to use and with so many people online, you can guarantee your target customers are out there waiting for you.

If you’re still not clear on why your sales aren’t meeting your expectations and what to do about it, Pivot International has years of experience in designing electronics, electromechanical and mechanical products to meet market requirements. We can provide you with an implementation plan to revitalize your sales. To learn more about how Pivot International can help you improve your sales, contact us today.