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SALES STATISTICS TO BOOST SELLING RESULTS

By September 2, 2019 No Comments

This list of sales statistics to boost selling results can also be used to shape your sales strategy implementation. Sales statistics and data are factors now important in defining any selling activity or investment from social selling to inbound sales. Sales statistics are also critical for sales channel selection and how to drive deeper customer engagement.

GENERAL SALES STATISTICS

Selling today is now more complex as there are an average of 7 decision-makers involved in the B2B buying process. Nearly two thirds of B2B buyers state that prior to completing any purchase they researched at least two but as many as seven B2B sites plus between 50 and 90% of the buyer’s journey is complete before they interact with a salesperson. A B2B buyer experience survey recently reported that B2B buyer’s believer that the purchasing process is more tedious due to more detailed ROI analysis (77%), more extensive research activity (75%), and increased buying group members (52%).

While, 77% of B2B purchasers said that they would not even speak to a salesperson until they had done their own research. Add in the fact that the average B2B buyer uses six different channels to engage with potential vendors along their journey purchase. Then a recent Wharton survey found that 65% of buyers surveyed had experienced a level of frustration interacting with vendors along their journey.

The impact of the internet and social media of both B2B and B2C sales cannot be underestimated. Online sales in both B2B and B2C have not only expanded the reach and volume of traditional sales methods but have also changed entire sales models across numerous industries. The potential of online channels has enabled small and medium enterprises to take a more global approach to their sales strategy.

As soon as 2024, over 3.0 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online, up from 1.7 billion online buyers in 2016. In fact, in 2016, 58.3 percent of global internet users had purchased products online while this figure is expected to grow to near on 70 percent by 2025 – McKinsey.

When it comes to the impact of the internet of B2B sales, in the US B2B online sales will hit $1.8 trillion and account for approx. 17% of all B2B sales in the US by 2023. Gartner is forecasting a compound annual growth rate of 10% for B2B eCommerce over the next five years.

Today, just north of 49 percent of total B2B sales are still conducted by salespeople in person. While some types of customers and the more complex sales will still be best suited to this channel, expect to see a decline in SaaS and Transaction type sales involving salespeople especially where they don’t add value.  To prove this point, 52% of B2B buyers view self-service features as the most important factor when assessing a vendor’s overall sales experience.  According to Adobe, nearly 50% of high-tech B2B sales are expected to come from digital channels over the next 3 years.

A recent survey from Accenture showed that nearly 73% of B2B senior executives stated that the expectation for more personalized experiences when interacting with brands or salespeople is high on their agenda. While other important factors that influence B2B buyers are value-added services (31%), product features (19%), product reliability (18%), price (17%), and sales experience (15%). In larger, some complex sales, 91% of C-level executives expect their business partners to play a more significant role in their operations.

For customer acquisition, the top selling points to get B2B customers to consider change are 1. vendor reputation at 53%, 2. price at 47%, 3. existing customer loyalty/references at 43%, and 4. help with making buying easier (38%).

It is hard to believe that in less than 50 years the B2B software market has grown from nearly zero into a multi-billion-dollar industry. According to Statista the B2B software market is expected to grow to over $800 billion by 2025. This category includes business productivity software, business software, and security software.

SALES STATISTICS AND BUYERS

They may not be your target customer right now, but Gen Z is the future. Gen Z are categorized as those who were born after 1998 and they already command $44 billion in buying power. In fact, by 2020 it is forecasted that will account for approx. 40 percent of all consumer shopping. Gen Z will also be a large portion of the B2B buying group within the next 10 years. They are digital natives who have grown up with the internet, social media and mobile technology.

Then we come to Millennials. These are people who were born from the 1980’s to the mid 90’s. A recent Gartner research study into B2B buyer profiles found that over 45% of the 430 B2B technology buyers surveyed were millennials, plus 73% of millennials who work in business are involved in the technology purchasing process for their companies. This is the biggest of any age group involved with the purchase of B2B products and services.  Social media is a major influence on product discovery and purchasing decisions for millennials, with 40 percent of them ranking social sources (social media, family, friends) in their top three channels for ideas on products to buy.

A survey from CSO Insights found that in the modern sales process 79 percent of buyers feel it is important for salespeople to act as trusted advisers. However, a report from Forrester reports that 62% of B2B buyers say they can now develop selection criteria or finalize a vendor list based solely on digital content. This begs the questions – What is the role of salespeople moving forward?

Boston consulting group believe that 70% of B2B search queries will be happening on mobile devices within the next 2 years. So, a sales strategy that includes an “online sales channel” will remain a priority for most B2B companies who compete online lead generation or sales.

Another survey by Gartner found that sales teams with a high year on year revenue growth shared four common traits. These sales teams (1) developed a single view of the customer; (2) created more selling time with data and automation tools; (3) used insights and analytics to improve customer intelligence around buyer personalization, and (4) utilized social channels and digital commerce to create deeper customer relationships.

A survey from Challenger showed that when it comes to selecting a final list of potential vendors, 45 percent of B2B buyers consider max 3 vendors while nearly 18 percent consider 4 and over 14 percent would consider up to 7 vendors.

SALES STATISTICS AND EMAIL

Prospecting and marketing emails are not dead it seems. A Forrester survey uncovered that email comes in as the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences, behind only colleague recommendations and industry-specific thought leaders. It is predicted that the number of email users will grow beyond 3 billion people shortly. In other words, a massive chunk of the world’s population (almost half of it) will be using email soon.

Prospecting email marketing has 2 times higher return than cold calling BUT B2B customers are turned off by words such as “reports”, “forecasts”, and “intelligence”. While the most effective subject words in the email title include demo, connect, cancellation, apply, opportunity, conference, and payments. 67% of buyers in the B2B space list “relevant communication” as a top influence for choosing one solutions provider over another.

It seems that Tuesday is the best day of the week to send email (according to 10 email marketing studies). Prospecting emails are likely to get the best response rate when they have between 50 and 125 words.

A point to consider is that 57% of people consider a message to be spam if it isn’t relevant to their needs even when they know the sender. 25% of decision makers will read an unsolicited email if it contains information that may be relevant to business. That is why avoiding mass emailing maybe a good idea, as according to another study conducted by MailChimp, targeted and personalized email marketing campaigns can increase open rate by 14.65% when compared to non-segmented campaigns. They also found list segmentation boosts click-through rate by a whopping 59.99%. personalized emails fetch 18.8% more opens than non-personalized emails, which only get 13.1%.

An interesting statistic from YesWare, is that 70% of salespeople give up if they don’t receive a reply to their first email.  While sending more follow-up emails can triple your reply rate.

SALES STATISTICS FOR SaaS SALES COMPANIES

The Cloud Application Services (SaaS) market will grow from $95 billion to over $160 billion by 2025 – Gartner. This will see license-based software plummet in sales, while SaaS and subscription-based cloud consumption models will continue to grow. Businesses are increasingly adopting the SaaS model to manage their IT, HR, Sales, Marketing and Finance needs within limited budgets. Another reason according to Forrester is that 63% of businesses say the digital transformation is the leading reason for cloud adoption.

Some more interesting SaaS statistics show that companies with over 250 employees use over 100 SaaS apps, whereas smaller companies with up to 50 employees use up between 25-50 SaaS solutions on average.

Sales management may be interested to know that SaaS start-up faced competition from nine other vendors competing in the same SaaS market segment. In the free trial to paid (freemium) model, 87 percent of users take two weeks to convert while over 84 percent of new SaaS customers from free trials come about from unique visitors to a website. In the free forever model (leading to upgrades) only 16% of over 500 companies surveyed found that more than half their new customers came from this method. The same survey found that over half of the companies surveyed saw less than 10% new revenue from up-sells.

The most common average annual contract value for a SaaS sale is between $25K to $50K. The next common contract value is $1K to $5K. It is no surprise to learn that the deployment of Inside sales strategies is the most popular among companies selling within the $1K-$25K deal sizes. The use of Field salespeople is still the most popular for SaaS companies with over $25,000 average deal value.

Churn rate is a big focus area in the SaaS sales model, research from McKinsey showed that where the average SaaS contact length is less than a year, the churn rate is 16.7%, but if a company secures a contract of 2.5 years or more, that almost halves to 8.5%. One interesting find was that month to month contracts, at 14%, had lower churn rates than contracts of 1 year or 1.5 years. Maybe this is as a result of more customer interaction or service. However, it means that, statistically if a company can’t secure contracts of 2 years or more, then a month-to-month contract sales strategy could be a viable option to keep customer churn rates low.

SALES STATISTICS AND SALES CALLS

When it comes to making successful sales calls, HubSpot says that asking between 11-14 discovery questions during the sales call correlates with the greatest success, plus the most effective discovery calls uncover between three and four business problems with a buyer.

When it comes to sales persistence, then the fact that 80% of sales interactions require at least 5 further follow-up calls after the 1st meeting to progress the sale should be of interest to any sales leader. Then consider the fact that Gartner found out that nearly 80% of marketing leads never convert into sales due to lack of lead nurturing. While a whopping 67% of no or lost sales are a result of salespeople not properly qualifying the potential customer before taking them through the full sales process. Online sales training programs.

During sales conversations, research from Gong found that certain words and phrases will drastically decrease your success rate. When the phrase “I’d like to show you how” was used 4 times or more on any sales call in the sales cycle, the companies surveyed witnessed a conversion rate dropped of 13%. When the phrase “we provide” was used four or more times on a single sales call then the success rate to move the sale forward drops by 22%. However, opening a sales call by “stating the reason for calling or a value proposition” increases listening rates by a factor of 2.

Wharton research found that around 50% of sales opportunities deals fall through because of budget, and 25% of them are down to timing. That 73% of C-Level executives prefer to work with salespeople referred by someone they know. To further prove this point, they found that salespeople who actively seek out and exploit referrals earn 4 to 5 times more than those who don’t. From a management stance, the fact that the lifetime value of referred customers is on average 16% higher than that of non-referred customers should demand attention.

SALES STATISTICS ON COLD CALLING

With the rise of inbound lead generation and social media, you could be expected to believe that cold calling has no place in the modern sales process. So, does cold calling have any part to play in a sales strategy?

According to HubSpot, 78% of decision-makers surveyed have taken an appointment or attended an event as a result of a cold call. Yet less than 2% of cold calls will result in a meeting. Could the lack of sales prospecting training, data or targeting be an issue? Because the research shows that 69% of prospects find their business needs are not met on that first call while up to 50% of prospects on a cold call list are not a good fit what the salesperson was selling.

Some more food for thought is that today it takes 8 call attempts to reach a prospect and 85% of prospects are dissatisfied with their sales conversation experience. B2B sales statistics show that 54% of salespeople find contacting prospects more difficult now than 5 years ago and 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up call. Only 52% of sales professionals feel they are trained to have quality cold calls and only 28% of salespeople find cold calling effective.

SALES STATISTICS FOR SOCIAL SELLING

Social selling has got lots of air play in the past few years. So much so that 90% of companies say that social selling (or using social media to reach customers) is part of their sales strategy, but only 24% of salespeople say they have been trained to effectively carry out social selling – Zoominfo, so maybe companies need to consider social selling training.

LinkedIn reports that their research shows that nearly half of all revenue is said to be influenced by social selling across four common industries: computer software, healthcare technology, marketing tools and advertising solutions. That 98% of sales reps with more than 5,000 LinkedIn connections meet or surpass their quota. Furthermore, they say that social selling can increase win rates by 5% and deal size by 35%.

A survey from Demand Gen Report reports that when B2B buyers are looking for new vendors and solutions, 65 percent stated they look at peer recommendations and review sites, while 54 percent use social media. LinkedIn is the most influential social media channel, used by 52% of respondents and 42% use blogs to learn about solutions, all which can be utilized within a social selling program. To reinforce this point 62 percent of B2B buyers want to see more vendor-focused content such as real case studies and product data sheets on social media.

The same survey threw up sales statistics such as 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level or vice-president level executives use social media to make purchasing decisions. B2B buyers say the most relevant content for them to engage with salespeople on social media are technical specs (53.51%), case studies (48.78%), white papers (33.84%), videos (38.41%), and infographics (31.10%).

Social selling is effective when targeting  millennial B2B buyers as IDC reports that 73% of millennial workers are involved in the B2B purchasing decision making process and use social media to inform their decisions, with 62% of their time spent on smartphone apps, 25% on desktop, 8% on mobile web and 5% on tablets.

SALES STATISTICS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

According to Socialmediatoday, almost one-third of B2B marketing managers generate ROI from their social media programs. The top three goals of b2b marketing programs are sales leads (87 percent), sales (84 percent) and drive higher conversion rates (82 percent). Forbes report that 47 percent of millennial buyers report that social media has helped introduce them to new brands

A Forrester report states that almost 80% of people state that they have received advice via social media about a product or service to purchase and that 80% of B2B decision-makers prefer to get company information from a series of articles (Practical guides, hot topics, research and insights, case studies, infographics, authoritative industry news) versus an advertisement. While 34% of buyers say that they limit engagement with B2B vendors because these vendors overload them with irrelevant or low-grade content.

The Content Marketing Institute reports that there are over 2 billion blog posts are being published each year worldwide. That’s 5,760,000 blog posts published per day, and 4,000 blog posts published each minute. The average length of an article or blog that ranks on the first page of Google is 1,890 words, with more competitive keywords have 2500 plus words. In general, a common sweet spot for online content to get ranked is 1000 plus words. “Long-tail” keywords (not as common phrases) are extremely important for SEO as more than half (55%) of all searches on Google occur outside the 10 million most popular keywords.

The challenge for social media marketing is that One in Three people click on the first link they see in a list of search results. When it comes to investing in social media content, HubSpot says it is worth noting that companies who publish 16 or more blog posts per month got almost 5 times more traffic than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts. Therefore, according to eMarketer, 60% of marketers now plan to create at least one piece of content per day. When publishing on LinkedIn, the average number of shares for a post is 230. Articles with higher shares use one of the following headlines: how to, you need to, why you should, can learn from and the future of.

We hope you enjoyed this article on sales statistics and can use some of them in your sales training programs.

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