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The Top 11 Reasons You're Struggling to Increase Sales (and How to Overcome Them)

Discover the key obstacles holding you back from achieving your sales goals and learn actionable strategies to overcome them.

  1. The Importance of Self-Discipline in Sales: My first editor asked why I put discipline in the first chapter when everyone hates self-discipline. Most sales roles allow for more autonomy than other professional roles. You must decide how and when to do the work of selling. If you want to increase your commissions, you will need self-discipline. Instead of waiting for motivation, let self-discipline drive you to do what you need.
  2. Why Curiosity Drives Sales Success: Disinterest in your world and your clients will hold you back from selling more. If you are not curious about your prospective client’s business and the contacts you are trying to help improve some important result, you will not learn what would help you and them succeed in the future.
  3. Balancing Internet Use and Reading for Sales Growth: Less TikTok brain, more books. If you want to be a trusted advisor, you must do the reading for many, or most, of your clients. I used to give my clients books, but they would be covered with dust when I visited. Instead, I shared insights from my reading. If you do this well, your clients will outsource their reading to you. Drop the internet and pick up a book that can help your clients.
  4. The Role of Continuous Development and B2B Sales Training: The best sales reps are continually developing their skills and their approach. Without training and coaching, you will be held back from selling more. Those who fail to focus on sales effectiveness will lose to competitors who do.
  5. The Power of Building Strong Client Relationships: If you don’t believe that you need to have a relationship with your contacts, I hope you are my competition. In The Only Sales Guide You'll Ever Need, the third chapter is about caring. If your contact believes that you are treating them as a wallet from which to extract their money, you will be holding yourself back from greater success in B2B sales. Sales is not built on transactions; it’s built on relationships.
  6. Updating Your Sales Approach for Modern Success: While this may not be your fault, if you work for a sales organization that uses an outdated sales approach, you will lose to competitors using a modern sales methodology who offer a much better experience for your contacts. If you want to win more deals, you need to change how you sell.
  7. Understanding the “Why Change” in Sales: If you are not able to explain why they should change, your prospective clients will fail to feel the need to buy what you sell. You may see people on LinkedIn suggesting you cannot or should not compel change. If you cannot explain a compelling reason for clients to change, you will not be able to sell more.
  8. The Impact of Being One-Down in Sales: In Elite Sales Strategies: A Guide to Being One-Up, Creating Value, and Becoming Truly Consultative, you will find the concept we call being One-Up. You will also find its opposite One-Down. If you are One-Up, you have the knowledge and experience your client is missing. If you are One-Down, you lack the knowledge and experience that your contacts need you to provide them.
  9. Loving Your Solution without Being Transactional: I want you to love your company and your solution. That said, if you believe the most important thing to do in a meeting is to sing the praises of your solution, know that all your competitors also have a good solution. This approach is too transactional for your contacts to prefer you over a salesperson who is focused on their next problem.
  10. Enabling Client Decisions for Strategic Success: Your contacts need your help to make a rare, strategic decision. Your contacts also need to get the decision right the first time. Not believing that this is your responsibility or being unable to do this important work, you will be held back from selling more. When you learn to enable your clients' decisions, you will have major success.
  11. Leveraging Modern Sales Strategies for Better Results: Any lack of modern value creation strategies will hold you back from winning deals. The most important is using information disparity. Lacking any of these strategies will mean you sell less.


There are additional factors not on this list that can hold you back from selling more. You would do well to identify how you sabotage your own sales results. When you are not producing the results that you need to reach your sales targets, remove the obstacles that keep you from winning deals. This will help you sell more as you change how you sell.

I wrote this as if I were addressing individual sales reps. The truth here is that sales leaders and sales managers need to help their sales teams adopt the behaviors on this list. To execute what you find here, start with discipline. If you need a specific improvement, prioritize the behaviors.


Sales 2024
Post by Anthony Iannarino on July 1, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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