Did you know that sales conversions peak at 3.46%? Or that 61% of sales professionals think that selling is harder nowadays than it was five years ago?
Doesn’t sound that encouraging, does it?.
It is obvious that the world of sales is constantly evolving, but it is also apparent that the sales industry is noticeably different compared to what it looked like just five or ten years ago.
Thanks to technological advances, changes are happening at the speed of light and the crucial questions you need to ask yourself are these two:
- Is my company able to keep up?
- How are we going to do it?
To give you a better insight into the state of sales and help you make the right business choices, we compiled a comprehensive list of sales statistics that you can use to guide your decisions in 2020.
General Sales Statistics
- Unsurprisingly, the top sales priorities for businesses around the world include:
- closing more deals (75%)
- improving sales funnel efficiency (48%)
- cutting down sales cycles (32%)
- Across industries, sales conversions stand at only 2.46%-3.26%.
- There are about 5.7 million sales representatives around the world. 52.8% meet with prospects face-to-face, while 47.2% work from an office.
- Only one-third of sales agents’ productive hours is spent talking to prospects. They dedicate the rest of their time to:
- writing emails (21%)
- entering data (17%)
- lead research (17%)
- team meetings (12%)
- call scheduling (12%)
- training (11%)
- reading industry reports (11%)
- Over 50% of sellers missed their quota in 2018.
- As much as 61% of salespeople agree that selling is more difficult or much more difficult than 5 years ago.
- At least half of your prospects are actually not a good fit for your products or services.
- A whopping 90% of buyers are ready to engage sales professionals early in the buying process.
- In the past 12 months, 80% of companies have introduced a new product or service. In the same period, more than half of companies have implemented a new sales methodology.
- These are the main challenges salespeople faced in 2019:
- competing against low-cost providers (31%)
- creating competitive differentiation (26%)
- ensuring consistency in team meetings with prospects (26%)
- adding value to conversations with customers (22%)
- maintaining profitability (17%)
- creating trust with customers (16%)
- scheduling appointments (14%)
- Salespeople struggle most with the following aspects of their jobs:
- prospecting (37%)
- closing (28%)
- identifying leads (18%)
- qualifying leads (17%)
- As much as 81% of sales teams don’t audit sales processes on a regular basis.
- 20% of sales teams don’t have the necessary resources that could help them to reinforce their workflow.
Cold Calling Statistics
- 28% of sellers claim that cold calling is more than effective.
- In 2018 and 2019, 69% of buyers have accepted calls from new providers.
- The phone is the most effective sales tool for 41.2% of sales reps.
- Wednesday and Thursday are the best days to reach out to prospects over the phone.
- The best time to make a cold call is between 4 pm and 5 pm (while decision-makers are preparing to leave their office) or between 11 am and 12 pm (just before lunchtime).
- In addition, if you make a call at 8 am, you are more likely to get a positive response.
- As you may have predicted, the worst time to make a call is on Friday between 1 pm and 3 pm.
- SDRs spend as much as 15% of their time (25 hours a month) leaving voicemails.
- As many as 18 dials are needed to connect with one decision-maker during one hour.
- Sales reps usually call six times before they actually reach the prospect.
- 58% of consumers are already interested in discussing pricing during the first call. 54% want to know how the product works, 47% understand what the business is trying to achieve, while 44% realize how similar companies use the product and 37% are clear about why they should make a purchase.
- There is a clear relationship between how many questions a sales representative asks and how successful they will be. Therefore, make sure to periodically ask questions to the prospect.
- However, you shouldn’t ask too many questions. If you want to be on the safe side, ask 11-14 questions during a call.
- In addition, if you want to close a deal (and isn’t this the goal of every sales interaction?), Gong found that the best type of questions to ask is related to your prospects’ pain points.
- When it comes to when you should ask questions during the call, don’t ask them all at the start of a call as if you were using a checklist. Instead, space the questions evenly throughout the call to make it feel like a natural conversation.
- Top-performing sales representatives use collaborative words 10 times more than low-performing SDRs. These words increase success rates by 35% and include we, us, together, and our. Try to avoid words like I, me, you, and your.
- Also, successful sales reps use words like certainly, absolutely, and definitely five times more often, which inspires confidence.
- The words that can negatively impact your conversion rates include:
- million, billion, trillion – too abstract, harm close rates
- competitor – decreases your chances to get to later stages or close
- free trial – lowers the chance of advancing to next steps by 5%
- contract – drops close rates by 7%
- show you how – decreases close rates by 13% if you use it more than 4 times during one call
- your company’s name – harms close rates by 14% when you use it more than four times during a single call
- discount – drops close rates by as much as 17%
- Instead of asking Did I catch you at a bad time? (which decreases your chances of booking a meeting by 40%), try with How are you today? (increases your chances by 3.4 times).
- Successful SDRs talk for 54% of the call, while lower-performing ones spend only 42% of the call speaking.
Email Outreach Stats
- Almost half of the emails received by the average person every day are deleted. This activity usually lasts only about 5 minutes.
- Only 23.9% of sales emails are actually opened by recipients.
- As much as 95% of sales experts think that bulk emails have little to no effect.
- On the other hand, personalized emails can increase open rates by as much as 26%.
- Similarly, if you personalize your sales emails, its click-through rate will increase by 14% and its chances of ending in a conversion rise by 10%.
- A whopping 80% of prospects prefer to be contacted via email.
- Surprisingly, the great majority of prospects want to read emails as early as at 5 am or 6 am.
- When it comes to the most effective words to include in your email subject line, take a look at the list below:
- On the other hand, here are the least effective words for an email subject line:
- Needless to say, you should avoid using all caps in your subject lines since this can hurt your response rates by as much as 30%.
- The ideal length for a subject line is 3 to 4 words.
- If your subject line includes the recipient’s first name, unique open rates go up by 29.3% regardless of the industry.
- It may sound funny, but emails written at a third-grade reading level have a 53% response rate (36% higher than the ones written in more complex language).
- To increase your chances of getting a response, avoid writing emails that are too long or too short. The ideal email length is between 50 and 125 words.
- Similar to cold calls, your emails should request some information. If an email contains 1 to 3 questions, it is 50% more likely to get a reply.
SDR Sales Statistics
- Somewhere near 5% of the total U.S. population works in sales.
- A B2B sales rep based in the United States makes around $51,378 (average annual pay).
- A sales development representative’s (SDR) average tenure is 1.5 years. Additionally, only 8% of SDRs remain in the role for more than 3 years.
- On average, sales companies spend $97,960 to replace a sales representative. On top of that, it usually takes them between 3.5 and 5.5 months to fill a vacancy.
- A whopping 84% of sales leaders today do not actually believe they have the team to make great results and achieve success.
- A total of 58% of sales teams claimed that they plan to increase the size of their workforce in the following year.
- Teams willing to invest in technology for sales training and development are 57% more effective than their rivals that have no intention of making such investments.
- As few as 24% of all sales agents possess a degree in business.
- It takes around 10 weeks for newly hired sales reps to finish basic training. However, they only become productive after a period of 11 months.
- A staggering one million sales representatives will be out of a job by 2020.
- Total average compensation for SDRs stands at $72,000.
- On average, the majority of SDRs require 4.1 months to ramp and they usually spend about 2.8 years in the assigned role.
- On-target earnings for an account executive stand at $115,000.
- An average AE takes 4.7 months to ramp and they usually spend around 2.7 years at the position.
- A total of 17% of salespeople never attended college. One in four salespeople majored in business.
- As few as 39% of salespeople had the intention to work in sales.
Sales Training Statistics
- The ROI for sales training stands at 353%. Roughly speaking, for every dollar a company spends on training, it receives about $4.53 back.
- 26% of sales representatives claim that their sales training has little to no effect.
- More than a quarter (27%) of companies do not offer a sales onboarding program of any kind.
- Voluntary turnover rates increased from 7.9% to 14.2% for companies with sales onboarding programs that need a major redesign.
- There was an improvement of 29% in sales training effectiveness for companies with a dedicated sales enablement function.
- Almost 75% of sales kickoff attendees claim their company’s sales kickoff doesn’t merit an A grade, while 29% rate it a C or below.
Sales Coaching Statistics
- A company can improve win rates by as much as 29% with effective sales coaching.
- A whopping 60% of companies take a random or informal approach to sales coaching.
- A total of 79% of business buyers claim that it is of the utmost importance to interact with a salesperson who is a trusted advisor.
- More than two-thirds of employees reporting to a manager who is not a good coach are considering quitting their jobs.
- Companies that provide decent sales coaching increased revenue by 8.4% year-over-year, which is a 95% improvement over companies that do not provide this kind of coaching.
- Only about 15% of sales managers think their companies provide a good amount of sales coaching.
Social Selling Statistics
- 69% of salespeople claim they are self-taught social sellers and have absolutely no training program in place.
- As few as 21% of companies report having their social selling strategy formally aligned with marketing social strategy. Moreover, almost 1 in 3 companies say they have no particular social selling alignment at all.
- Sales representatives that incorporate social media into their sales process exceed quota 23% more often than their rivals who do not believe in the power of social media.
Follow-Up Sales Stats
- Half of the buyers choose the vendor that responds first.
- More than 50% of companies take more than five business days to respond to new leads.
- A whopping 80% of sales calls go to voicemail and 90% of first-time voicemails are never returned.
- A grand total of 93% of converted leads are contacted by the 6th call attempt.
- The best channels for sales are:
- telephone (36%)
- email (30%)
- LinkedIn (12%)
- Facebook (7%)
- More than 50% of successful sales teams have a 12-month view of their plans while 10% map out the next three years.
- A total of 47% of companies have aligned sales and marketing teams that often work together for better results.
- 54% of companies implemented new sales methodologies in 2018, while 75% of companies refocused their sales strategies instead.
Sales Data Usage
- 57% of consumers make a decision to do business with a certain company out of one important reason – good customer service.
- According to sales market research data, 79% of consumers prefer interacting with salespeople who are trusted advisors that can add value to their business instead of sales reps who are only there to sell products and services.
- 84% of vendors think that VoC analytics plays a significant role in forming sales strategies. Hence, 59% are planning on investing in it before the end of 2019.
- 64% of customers are fine with vendors saving their purchase history and personal preferences for personalization purposes.
- 62% of customers are more scared of their information being compromised now than it was the case 2 years ago.
- 59% of customers claim that companies should invest in sophisticated digital experiences to enhance business.
Sales Prospecting Statistics
- As much as 71% of consumers expect to hear from sales representatives early in the buying process.
- At least 50% of initial prospects have no use for the products and services your company is offering.
- About 66% of sales reps have only reached out to 250 or fewer prospects within a year.
- According to 40% of sales agents, it is more difficult to obtain a response from prospects now than what the case was three years ago.
- The hardest parts of prospecting are:
- setting up appointments (14%)
- the consistent cadence of contact across channels (13%)
- reaching the right stakeholder (12%)
- creating targeted strategies (12%)
- lead qualification (10%)
- If you ask a minimum of 11 questions during the initial call, you could increase the odds of closing a deal by 74%.
- Prospects are likely to talk to salespeople if they need the product or service offered (75%), if they have a budget for the product or service (64%), or if the sales agent can provide them with something of value (63%).
- The global CRM software market is predicted to reach $35 billion by 2023 at a CAGR of 6%.
- There has been a growth of 113% in the adoption of CRM technology in the sales industry.
- CRM records an ROI of $8.71 for every dollar spent.
- If you successfully implement a CRM system, you could get an ROI of 245%.
- CRM statistics show that 91% of companies in North America utilize CRM systems.
- 91% of businesses with more than 11 employees use CRM software.
- CRMs are the most popular sales tools. Behind them are social prospecting, data services, email, phone, and sales cadence.
- 57% of sales experts spend 3 to over 10 hours per week using CRM tools.
- When they have mobile access to CRM, 24% more sales experts meet their annual quotas.
Sales Closing Statistics
- Sales agents close 3 times more deals toward the end of the month but lose 11 times as many.
- The most difficult parts of closing a deal include competing with low-cost providers (31%), positioning value propositions (17%), and combating the status quo to avoid a no-decision state (17%).
- If you use the term free-trial, you can actually lower close rates by 5%.
- Repeating your company’s name more than four times in a single sales call can decrease your chances of closing a sale by 14%.
- The phrase let me show you how can decrease close rates by 13% if repeated multiple times during a single call. This especially applies to B2B sales.
Sales Productivity Statistics
- High-performing sales teams use almost 3 times the amount of sales technology than teams that are not performing up to scratch.
- Salespeople spend one-third of their day talking to prospects. They also spend 21% of their day writing emails.
- 50% of sales time is spent on unproductive prospecting.
- 49% of companies have little to no means to measure sales productivity.
- A whopping 79% of sales executives claim that a leading driver of hitting new targets is improving the productivity of existing sales agents.
Referral Sales Statistics
- 84% of consumers embark on their buying process from a referral.
- 90% of total buying decisions depend on peer recommendations.
- 92% of consumers place their faith in product/service referrals from individuals they know.
- 83% of customers happily give a referral following a positive experience. But, only 29% actually do since salespeople usually don’t ask for it.
- 61% of buyers have recommended local businesses to an acquaintance.
- 84% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, which makes referrals the most effective form of marketing.
- Word of mouth generates $6 trillion in consumer spending each year.
- People of all age groups believe peer recommendations more than any other source.
- Millennials are 3 times more likely to seek advice from social channels before a purchase than baby boomers.
- The top two sources of buyer advice include peers and industry experts.
- It is estimated that about 300,000 jobs are outsourced each year by U.S. companies.
- The United States is the biggest contractor with a 84.2% share in the global market, while the United Kingdom has 5.2% contribution.
- For years, India has offered a great number of skilled workers at a low cost and thus has remained the biggest outsourcing provider with an index of 7.07. It is followed by China (6.31) and Malaysia (6.11). However, Sri Lanka has the highest index (3.42) when it comes to pure financial attractiveness.
- In 2018, the global outsourcing market was worth $85.6 billion.
- In 2018, the global business process outsourcing (BPO) was worth $62 billion.
- The Philippines are a leader when it comes to call center outsourcing, with 21 out of the top 25 call center projects. The main reasons for this are the low cost and high English proficiency of workers living in this country (95%).
- 78% of businesses say that they are satisfied with their outsourcing relationship with other companies.
- The top reasons for outsourcing are:
- reduction/control of expenses (59%)
- focusing on core functions (57%)
- solving capacity issues (47%)
- improving service quality (31%)
- getting access to better talent and knowledge (28%)
- managing business environment (17%)
- speeding up organizational transformation (17%)
- In addition, these are the business functions that are most commonly outsourced by small enterprises:
- accounting (37%)
- IT services (37%)
- digital marketing (34%)
- development (28%)
- human resources (24%)
- customer support (24%)
If you made it till the end, you are well-equipped with the crucial data about the sales industry. Some of these sales statistics will surely help you transform your business and grow it in the near future.
However, don’t follow the numbers blindly. You also need to pay close attention to your customers and create a unique approach to prospects. After all, nobody knows them better than you.
Marc Wayshak, 2019
CSO Insights, 2018
Sales Management Association, 2018
HubSpot State of Inbound, 2018
Data Dwell, 2019
RAIN Group, 2018
HubSpot Sales Perception Survey, 2016
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018
The Bridge Group, 2018
DePaul University, 2016
Training Industry, 2018
Vantage Point Performance, 2017
Zenger Folkman, 2018
Aberdeen Research, 2018
Sales Management Association, 2015
Feedback Systems, 2016
CSO Insights, 2017
A Sales Guy Consulting and Social Centered Selling, 2016
Kalypso Retail Digital Innovation Research, 2019
State of the Connected Customer, 2018
Market Research Future, 2019
LinkedIn State of Sales, 2019
Nucleus Research, 2014
CRM Magazine, 2017
Harvard Business Review, 2017
Site Selection Group, 2017
Texas Tech, 2018