Explanation Letter for not Hitting the Target

Organizations and businesses function by setting monthly or yearly, goals and targets for different departments. These goals are subdivided and assigned to different team leaders, who work towards achieving them with their teams.

If these targets are not met in time, the entire project suffers like all the modules assigned to different teams are interconnected and a delay in one causes a delay in the overall project. Similarly, if a team fails to hit a target set by the employer, it causes a setback to the plan of the organization.

When such a situation arises, the team leader is often asked to write an explanation letter. The purpose of the explanation letter is to describe what went wrong and what was the team leader’s role in fixing the situation and finally and most importantly what they have learned from the incident. They can also suggest ways to improve the situation.

Since these letters are written to the employer or some higher authority the tone should be formal and matter of fact. Do not add any unnecessary details or information. Keep it short and precise but at the same time do not miss out on any important point. Be honest about your fault and suggest practical ways to remedy the situation.

The exact contents of the letter may vary but the general outline is as under:

  1. Greetings: The letter would start by greeting the recipient. As in this case, you know the person you are giving an explanation to, so you can address them directly by name or by their designation.
  2. Introduction: Start the letter by introducing yourself. Apart from your name, mention your department name, the name of your team, and your designation. Then mention the incident you are writing about.
  3. Background: Explain all the details. When was the project assigned to you? What exactly was the project? When was the due date? Mention your team members by name and designation. Mention who was assigned what part of the project and finally explain what went wrong. Be honest and ruthless in your explanation. Without bias or favoritism, give an honest overview. Do not try to lessen your fault or blame someone else for your part. Remember ‘Honesty is the best policy.’
  4. Solution: If there is anything you can do to solve the problem, offer to do that, and sincerely apologize, fully admitting that your slackness or negligence, or a mistake has caused loss or embarrassment to the company.
  5. Ending Statement: End the letter on a positive note showing enthusiasm that by following your suggested solution, the problem would be resolved, or its negative impact would be reduced. Convey your apology once again and assure the boss that this would not happen again.
  6. Salutations: Write down your complete name, designation, and department name. Another important detail is the date which must not be left out.


I (name) am (designation) of (department name). I am writing to explain why the sales were not up to the assigned target. Sir we were assigned the task to raise the sales of the (cold drink name) up to 20% of the previous quarter’s number. It was assumed that since summers were approaching so this would be a realistic goal.

Sir my team members which include marketing specialists and digital marketing professionals worked day and night to advertise and hence influence the consumers but somehow the result we anticipated, was not achieved and the sales only raised to 10% of the previous quarter’s amount.

Sir, I have given a lot of thought to the issue and after much discussion with my team members, I have concluded that the reason for not hitting the target is that we failed to get the message across to the correct audience. Our advertisements were targeted towards youth especially the digital media consumers are primarily youth.

A more appropriate target audience would have been the middle-aged people who can be accessed more easily by television advertisements or by organizing events like spring festivals or summer galas. This group makes up 80% of our current customer base and we can increase sales by focusing on this group.

Now that we understand this mistake, we intend to make this work in our favor. My team has planned a series of open-mike events. Taking full advantage of the pleasant and sunny weather, we would arrange these events in public parks. As these places have a huge footprint, we are hopeful that our event’s attendance would be high.

Free samples of our cold drink would be offered to the participants at the venue and there would be a stall selling them in bulk at discounted rates. We would also distribute fliers and brochures listing the natural, organic ingredients used and their advantages.

We are proposing that these low-cost events should be organized on all weekends in the next two months in different parks all over the southern region. We have very high hopes that this would help us reach a larger audience who, when given a free drink while relaxing and enjoying live music with friends or family, would respond very positively to our brand.

In the end, I would like to offer my apologies for not coming up to your expectations and request you overlook our mistake. We are hopeful that our new strategy would work wonderfully, and we will be able to deliver the required sales target.

See also: