There are facts and figures which summarize every aspect of our lives, and these stats can often bring things into sharp focus. When it comes to sales, there are a huge number of surprising and not-so-surprising statistics out there.
We’ve picked 20 of the most insightful stats to share with you, from our own research and whitepapers, as well as a variety of other leading sources around the web.
Here are 20 sales quotes and what you and your team can learn from them:
- 53% of customer loyalty is driven by the sales experience. (source)
Customer loyalty is the holy grail of all business goals – it’s hard to achieve, but the benefits are huge. This statistic shows that the sales process can play a big part in achieving this, so ensure your team are trained to deliver a good service as well as ‘sell’.
- 68% of people claim that a sales rep that listens to their needs and calls with relevant information is most likely to make the difference when it comes to committing to a sale. (source)
The most important skill a sales person can have is the ability to research a prospect and make their product or service relevant to that prospect. Emphasize the importance of research to ensure your team are able to personalize every communication.
- 57% of people said they would be encouraged to make a purchase from a sales person that doesn’t try to apply pressure or hassle them when following up. (source)
Pushy sales tactics simply don’t work as well as pushy sales people like to think. The majority of prospects don’t like it when they feel a sales person is hassling them.
- 42% of people would be encouraged to make a purchase if the sales rep called back at an agreed or specified time. (source)
Part of being a successful sales person is the ability to work to someone else’s schedule and time your calls to when it suits them best. Always ask when would be best to call again – you’ll not only get a better response but it shows the prospect that you value their time.
- 75% like to be emailed and then followed up by email. (source)
In many ways, email has become the new telephone – and it’s a contact method that most prospects prefer. It’s less invasive and time-consuming and sales teams should try and utilize this channel wherever possible.
- After a sales call, 57% of respondents remembered whether the caller had demonstrated a clear understanding of their needs. (source)
If you can demonstrate that you understand a prospect’s business and the needs they have, both as an organization and an individual, they’re much more likely to remember you.
- When a sales person takes time to research and demonstrate an understanding of the aims and requirements of the company they’re calling, 86% of people said they would be more likely to make a purchase. (source)
A little bit of research could increase your chances of closing a sale dramatically. Ensure your team realize the importance of this kind of research – and they’ll begin to see that putting a bit of extra effort in at the beginning can be worth the time.
- 60% of people felt that in more than a half of cases, the caller had not conducted sufficient, or in some cases, any research on their company. (source)
Despite the statistic above, many sales people neglect the essential first step of research – either by poorly researching a prospect or failing to do so entirely.
- 59% of people are irritated by a generic sales pitch. (source)
If your team deliver generic pitch after generic pitch, they’re not only decreasing their chance of making sales, they’re actually irritating potential customers.
- Two thirds (65%) of respondents said they would answer a call from an unknown number with a local area code. (source)
If a phone number has a local area code, it doesn’t seem quite so ‘unknown’. Many of us make the assumption that this call is more likely to be relevant to us – and so pick up the phone.
- 8% of sales people get 80% of the sales. (source)
Why are these 8% of sales people so successful? There are a number of factors which make a good sales person excellent, but one of the most important is persistence – these are the 8% that don’t give up.
- 80% of prospects say "no" four times before they say "yes". (source)
Very few prospects agree to buy straight away – you need to prepare your team for at least four refusals before they get a “yes”.
- 44% of sales people give up after one "no". (source)
In many ways, this is one of the most surprising statistics in the list. With persistence playing a large part in success rate, it’s amazing that nearly half of all sales people would give up after one “no”.
- Less than a third of sales reps are motivated and engaged at any given time. (source)
Employee engagement is a common problem in sales. It’s a profession that requires a tough skin and a series of knock-backs can lead to disengaged employees. However, in sales, your team need to be motivated in order to succeed – take a look at our tool Motivate to see how gamification could help you.
- Continuous investment in training results in over 50% higher net sales per employee, nearly 40% higher gross profits per employee and a 20% higher ratio in market-to-book value. (source)
These statistics show how important it is to invest in the training and development of your team. A sales person may have natural talent, but there’s always room for improvement. Training not only allows your team to hone their skills, but helps to keep them motivated in their job.
- 55% of people working in sales lack sufficient empathy or ego-drive to ever succeed. (source)
This is a particularly worrying statistic. It implies that just over half of sales people don’t have the right personality to succeed in this profession. If nothing else, this should highlight the importance of having a good recruitment system, which is primarily based on personality.
- It takes an average of eight cold call attempts to reach a prospect. (source)
Cold-calling is notoriously tricky – and as this statistics shows, it takes an average of eight attempts to reach the person you want to speak to. It’s important that you make your team aware of statistics like this, so they know how long they need to persist with each prospect.
- 30-35% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. (source)
In today’s “always on” connected world, it’s important your sales team can respond quickly to leads. This often means having the right CRM, so that you can identify opportunities quickly and easily and connect with a prospect before your competitors do. Most decision-makers will make enquiries with a couple of businesses and the one which responds first makes a great first impression.
- 78% of sales people using social media outsell their peers (source)
Social networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter are becoming increasingly important to sales people – as both a research tool and effective way to connect. And those who’ve embraced social media as a selling tool, are already seeing success.
- 91% of customers say they’d give referrals. Only 11% of sales people ask for them. (source)
One of the keys to staying successful as a sales person is the ability to grow sales long-term – and one of the best ways of achieving this is to ask happy customers to give referrals. What these statistics show is that many customers are happy to do this, but very few sales people actually ask. Ensure this becomes part of the sales process for your team, so that no opportunities are missed.
These 20 statistics illustrate the challenges and opportunities of working in sales in 2015. Which do you find the most insightful? Let us know in the comments.Read our whitepaper, The Real Cost of Poor Prospecting and the Best Practices of Winning Sales Professionals, to find out more.
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About Olivier Gachot
Olivier Gachot is EVP of North America Sales at NewVoiceMedia, responsible for accelerating growth through new customer acquisition and maintaining successful and trusted partnerships with existing customers. He is a proven leader in building and transforming SaaS companies at scale on a global basis. His 20+ years of experience include leading several companies from early years to successful IPO and acquisitions.