Sales is all about numbers – hitting the numbers or missing them. Yet, sales is an amazing and a fun field to be in, with tremendous opportunities for growth and advancement. And yes, there’s some money to be made as well.
But making sales and closing deals is no walk in the park. For one, you should be aware of some hard-hitting facts about sales to get you through the whole process.
Sales and marketing people eat up facts or statistics like they’re Gummy Bears. And it’s no wonder why. First, they are driven by numbers and second, they are telling about the nature of the sales and marketing funnel.
Today we’re sharing 20 important facts about sales that will make you rethink some of the things you are doing and some things that you should be doing.
1. Think cold-calling is effective? Think again!
How are you reaching out to your customers to engage them?
If you say cold calling, then I have a shocking fact about sales for you.
“Prospecting through cold calling result in only 2 percent of scheduled appointments.”
You know what this fact about sales means, right?
This fact clearly tells that you should try out more effective ways to reach out to your prospects rather than just picking up your phone and pitching your product to them.
Chances are you would be hung up on before you even complete your sentence. Ouch!
While it would be erroneous to say that cold calling is completely dead, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is still an effective process. It’s time for you to start with the more contemporary approaches. For instance, why don’t you get started with social selling?
Is it decidedly easier to connect with your audience and you won’t have to come up empty handed every time you approach them through social media platforms.
While you are at it, see what your competitors or other brands in your vertical are doing, do some research and try to emulate some killer sales pitch examples available on the internet. That said, do make sure that the sales pitch you want to emulate meets your industry standards.
2. Follow-Up as quickly as possible
I don’t say this lightly but your chances of acquiring a customer increase multifold if you follow up on their inquiry within 5 minutes.
This statistic is a salient proof.
“Following up with web leads within 5 minutes makes you 9 times more likely to engage them.”
The above fact suggests that switching context is exhausting so one should try to engage prospects before they move onto the next thing. As the time-honored adage says, “an early bird catches the worm”.
Similarly, if you let your leads’ inquiry sit for a long time, they will either turn to your competitors in the meantime or by the time you get back to them, they would have forgotten about your brand. So, it’s better to get in touch quickly when your brand is fresh in your prospects’ mind.
3. Want more leads? Increase the number of your landing pages
The more landing pages you have, the more leads you are likely to generate.
And Hubspot proves this:
“When increasing their total number of landing pages from 1-5 to 6-10, companies do see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.”
This fact is one of the main facts which shouldn’t be taken lightly because every company requires leads more than anything. More leads give you more sales. Period.
And if increasing your landing pages is going to land you more leads, it’s an idea that must be implemented.
4. The sales process has now become more time consuming
In this post-global era when consumers have easy access to just about every information, the sales cycle is becoming lengthier. As a result, sales professionals are now finding it tougher to close the final deal.
“Today’s sales process takes 22 % longer than 5 years ago.”
This statistic proves that the customers today are taking longer and longer to make up their minds. And fact about sales is not just for any industry, this trend is prevalent in almost every industry. According to this fact, if you want to close the deals in a lesser amount of time, you need to build a solid strategy to shorten your sales cycle.
5. A new generation in sales: Gen Z
For years now there has been a lot of talk about catering to millennials when it comes to targeting the audience for sale. However, now a new generation is emerging fast that is not to be overlooked: generation Z.
According to statistics, generation Z account for over$29 – $143 billion in direct spending. That’s a hefty number.
“Moreover, statistics claim that generation Z will be the biggest generation of consumers by 2020.”
As we all know that 2020 is right around the corner so the time is right to start your research on this new generation of consumers and how you can target them. This fact about sales is especially a wake-up call to sales professionals who still primarily pitch their products to only grown adults in Savile Row suits.
6. Don’t give up after a few attempts
If you want to find success in this profession or ever get elevated to the position of a top sales executive, you must remember one rule: persistence and patience go hand in hand in sales.
Alas, not many sales professionals seem to understand this simple fact about sales.
Have a look at this statistic to get a better idea of what I am trying to say:
“80 percent of buyers deny before finally saying yes to purchase a product. However, 92 percent of sales representatives give up after four negative answers.”
This is a very important fact to be noticed. It’s quite shocking if you break it down in simple terms. If you come to think of it, only one in ten salespeople stands a chance to close a deal. Of course, this might vary from one industry to another. Therefore, it is also important that you measure how many follow-ups does it for you to close the final deal.
7. Prospects don’t remember your statistics
While it may come as shocking to you but not many people remember the data and figures. Instead, their sole focus lies on the narrative or the story you weave around your brand or product.
Have a look at this important statistic:
“After a presentation, 63% of attendees remember stories. Only 5% remember statistics.”
Telling a story of how you helped a client is much more likely to be remembered than anything else. If the statistics are important you can always send them as a reference after the meeting. Don’t forget this fact about sales while you pitch your product.
8. Social Media takes up the maximum of your marketing budget
Social media is an indispensable tool to connect with your target audience. And this fact about sales is to prevalant that I doubt anyone can deny it.
That’s why it takes up a substantial amount of the total marketing budget.
“Research reveals that social media accounts for 83 percent of the total marketing budget”
Nothing is more rankling than spending hours and hours on something that doesn’t require any substantial set of skills. And it’s even more rankling when you have to spend a maximum of your time on data entry.
Here’s a shocking statistic about data entry:
“71% of sales reps say they spend too much time on data entry.”
Any amount of time spent entering data that doesn’t help you is just too much time. The entered data must help the sales representative sell more or the customers will never buy in the process. It’s better to automate the whole process rather than doing tasks such as this manually.
10. The more content you provide, the easier it is to close sales deals
As they say, content is the king! And this statistic clearly proves this statement.
“95% of buyers go with a vendor that provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process.”
This fact about sales basically suggests that your content matters more than you think it does. It is important to demonstrate why your product matters, how it can solve your audience’s problems, and what are its standout features. And there is no better way to do it than content marketing – Either using visual content or textual content.
Apart from this, content is also important to provide your consumer or target audience a walk-through of your product or service to make their task easier.
11. Cold-emails don’t always work in sales
Do you think that flooding your prospects’ inbox with generic sales pitches will get you anywhere? If yes, then you should have a look at this statistic.
“Only 24% of sales emails are ever opened.”
Do you know what the problem is? You are not the only one sending across your pitch to the prospected. Chances are they are bombarded with hundreds of emails just like yours.
And if by any chance, these emails do get opened, they are likely to be deleted at first glance.
But fret not, there’s a solution for this. For starters, you have to create compelling subject lines so that your emails get opened by your prospects. This should be followed by engaging yet informative sales pitch. Don’t forget to talk about how you can solve your prospects’ problem rather than talking blandly about your product and why it is so great.
12. It’s not a good idea to make your leads wait
This is not even a special fact about sales – we all know that your leads won’t a minute extra if you fail to respond to their query or an inquiry for that matter. And this statistic is a salient proof.
“The chance of successfully qualifying a lead drops 4 times after waiting just 10 minutes to respond.”
This has to be a big part of increasing your chances to win the deal. And if you fail or delay to engage your prospects, your competitor will quickly close the deal.
13. LinkedIn is the place to find success in sales
While social media marketing as a whole is a great medium to drive sales, LinkedIn performs exceedingly well in terms of B2B sales or any type of sales.
No wonder top executives prefer LinkedIn over a myriad of other social media channels.
“91 percent of executives rate LinkedIn as their first choice for professionally relevant content.”
LinkedIn is one of the best-prospecting tools salespeople have.
If you’re not using it, you’re missing out on all those valuable prospects as well as the connections.
You would be surprised to know that when it comes to driving web traffic, it isn’t the most populous social platform Facebook that takes the first spot – instead, it’s the LinkedIn that accounts for the maximum of web traffic.
Here is a statistic to prove this point:
“50 percent of B2B web traffic originating from social media comes from LinkedIn”
If your company is not leveraging LinkedIn to drive web traffic, then it’s clearly a time to get worried. B2B buyers mostly flock around LinkedIn and that’s why it accounts for 50 percent of the web traffic – without the intervention of a sales rep at all. So, keep up with the ever-growing technology and this thriving B2B platform.
15. Lead nurturing is the way to drive more sales
If you are not nurturing leads and I am sorry to say but you are heading for a disaster. Without lead nurturing, most of the leads you generate are going to go in vain and you are simply draining your resources for nothing.
“Companies that nurture leads make 50% more sales at a cost 33% lower than non-nurtured leads.”
If you are not educating prospects through nurturing, then it’s the time to rectify this mistake now. If you keep on generating unqualified leads or qualified leads for that matter but fail to engage them, then this is going to cause a big problem for your company as it includes a higher cost.
But you don’t have to worry about anything, we have the perfect solution for you.
Go through the following lead nurturing tactics, incorporate them in your marketing strategy and you will see the upsurge in your sales yourself.
16. According to sales professionals, prospecting is an arduous process
This is one fact about sales that doesn’t need any retelling – we all know how tiring the whole process of prospecting can be. There is so much to do in a seemingly small amount of time. And then there is one another problem: most prospects don’t have enough patience to pick up your cold-call or read through your cold email.
Have a look at this awe-inspiring statistic that gives you an idea just how tiring prospecting can be.
More than 40 percent sales professionals reveal that prospecting is the most difficult part of the sales funnel. While 36 percent say that closing the deal is the most difficult part.
This fact mentions that sales team mostly grapple with their prospecting process. Hence, make sure to hire a talented and engaging communicator in your sales team, someone who has an excellent track record of prospecting and lead generation.
Followed by this, almost 36 per cent of sales professionals consider closing a
sales deal to be their toughest point. Therefore, even this point should not be neglected.
I know that a lot of you are worried and confused about the roles and responsibilities in the sales department and how you can divide them so as to alleviate such difficulties.
You don’t have to worry anymore since we wrote just the perfect guide for you.
17. Do extensive research before making a sales call
If you are picking up your phone to start off with your prospecting but are still unclear about so many things regarding the prospect, then I’d say don’t bother about it.
Unless you are armed with complete facts and figures, you are unlikely to be able to tackle your prospect and persuade him/her to make the deal with you.
And unfortunately, a lot of sales professionals believe that they don’t have the right information before prospecting.
Have a look at this statistic:
“42% of sales reps feel they do not have the right information before making a sales call.”
Therefore, explaining and guiding your sales rep should be the first step before launching the call sheet at him. Understanding the product and company can make the sales rep connect with the prospect.
18. Build an online presence for your business
Consumers today are very smart – in some cases way ahead of your sales representative. Most of them are already armed with substantial knowledge before they approach your brand.
Here’s an eye-opening statistic for you:
“89 percent of B2B buyers use the internet to research before making the final purchase.”
Looking at this fact about sales, this is clear that over 89 percent of the B2B buyers use the internet for vendor selection. Same as anyone would do in a private sphere, purchasers research online before contacting sales. Though this was a 2014 survey yet there hasn’t been much of an improvement.
19. Social media marketing is not as easy as it seems
This may come as a surprise to you, but social media marketing is no walk in the park.
It requires consistency, efforts and a whole lot of patience. If you don’t have even one in bouts, then social media marketing might not be for you.
If you don’t believe, I am sure you would trust this statistic:
“49% of B2B marketers claim that social media marketing is the most difficult lead generation tactic to execute.”
We all would have seen social media as the right way to get more leads but as a matter of fact, just around half the companies consider social media marketing as a difficult task. Hence, every company must have good knowledge of social media marketing and hire the right people for the job.
20. Listen to the needs of your prospects
It is quite obvious yet so many sales professionals seem to overlook this fact about sales. Your buyers or prospects don’t care about your product, they only care about their own need and how your product fulfills that need.
And this statistic is a salient proof of this:
“69 percent of buyers prefer when the prospect listen to their needs”
Considering this statistic, it is a great idea to first learn about the prospect before diving head deep into the prospecting process. Make sure that you talk about the prospect , not about your product – you main goal is to solve your prospects’ problems, not to sell your product – and this is the way to succeed in sales.
Summing it all up
These facts about sales are at the top of the crop when it comes to sales and marketing. We scoured through the internet for hours to present you with an awe-inspiring list of facts about sales.
Are you inspired? I bet you are!
If not inspired, I am sure you are at least shocked after reading some of these mind-numbing facts about sales.
But the major reason to write this post was not to elicit shock from you. We wanted you to learn from the experiences of other sales professionals. Apart from this, these facts should also make you understand the techniques that can help you sell products online as well as offline.
Also, being a world class seller requires some skills like negotiation and relationship building.
Hence, If you want to be a great seller that differentiates from the others, you have to know what’s working best and what isn’t. And that’s where these 20 mind-numbing facts about sales come in handy.
Navaneetha, popularly known as “nav”, loves to read, play badminton, play the keyboard and sing but when she’s not doing any of those, she loves to write. What started as a high school hobby to write is now her ongoing passion. At AeroLeads, she manages Inbound Marketing and Social Media Marketing.
Navaneetha, popularly known as "nav", loves to read, play badminton, play the keyboard and sing but when she's not doing any of those, she loves to write. What started as a high school hobby to write is now her ongoing passion. At AeroLeads, she manages Inbound Marketing and Social Media Marketing.