We’ve gathered the most surprising, horrifying, and enlightening sales statistics on cold calling, social selling, sales training, and much more.
Whether you are a sales rookie or an experienced veteran, these 21 sales stats will knock your socks off and perhaps inspire you to improve the way you sell. Scroll to the bottom of the post to see the sales stats SlideShare. Enjoy and share!
1. 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: We’ve heard the chants: “cold calling is dying.” But that doesn't mean that phone conversations are dying and this stat is proof. One of the best salespeople we ever knew was glued to his phone yet never made a single cold call. He would spend 2 to 3 hours every day making "check-up calls" - calling old professional friends to (1) maintain relationships and (2) learn about developments in their companies which opened up potential new opportunities where he could help. Next time you see a friend change their job title on LinkedIn or hear about an old client in the news, pick up the phone and make that check-up call.
2. It takes an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: Prospecting is hard and most of us hate it. But if you give up on a prospect after too few attempts, you are passing up a potential sale. Be persistent and determined.
3. The best time to cold call is between 4:00 and 5:00 PM. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: Many sales reps make the mistake of calling during lunch hours. It turns out that most people are not receptive of a sales call when they are on their break, so call in the late afternoon.
4. 30-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: Responsiveness is a key skill in sales. However, keep in mind that speed alone is not good enough. You have to be quick while providing a QUALITY response (i.e. answer all your prospects questions).
5. 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting. 44% of sales reps give up after 1 follow-up. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: Just because you’ve got a foot in the door, doesn’t mean you’ve closed the sale. Keep up your persistence and do everything you can to stay connected with the prospect post your initial meeting.
6. Thursday is the best day to prospect. Wednesday is the second best day. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: Don't let this stat stop you from prospecting on Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and the weekend. Every day should be a prospecting day.
7. Nearly 13% of all the jobs in the U.S. (1 in 8) are full time sales positions. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: Today, salespeople are more important than ever and the sales profession is nothing like the negative stereotype of the past. Sales reps that are smart, nimble, and continuously developing the right skills have a bright future ahead. The takeaway for job seekers? Learn to sell.
8. Over one trillion dollars (that’s nine zeros) are spent annually on sales forces. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: This is just another statistic that proves the emphasis businesses are making on their sales forces.
9. In a typical firm with 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in most buying decisions. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: It's rare you'll find yourself concerned with just one potential buyer in the sales process. Even in relatively simple transactions with smaller firms, you'll likely come across multiple people playing different decision-making roles.
10. 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: If done right, social selling really works. See this free resource to learn more about ways that you can activate and motivate your sales team to start leveraging social networks in the overall sales function.
11. Email is almost 40 times better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: Although this stat is really about email marketing vs. social media marketing, it’s a good reminder of the general importance and power of email. It is worthwhile to improve your ability to craft impactful emails with effective subject lines and calls to action.
12. Salespeople who actively seek out and exploit referrals earn 4 to 5 times more than those who don’t. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: Referral-based selling is a surefire recipe for success. A referred customer is already pre-sold on the credibility of the sales person, product and company which makes these types of opportunities the warmest sales leads.
13. 91% of customers say they’d give referrals. Only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: If you are making this mistake, you are wasting precious opportunities. All you have to do is ask! What’s the worst that can happen? Don’t beat around the bush and “suggest” referrals and instead ask for them directly.
14. Only 13% of customers believe a sales person can understand their needs. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: Too many people in sales still don’t get it. It’s not about you. It all starts and stops with the buyer. Good sales professionals are like a doctor diagnosing a patient’s illness. If you can’t uncover your customer’s problems and needs you don’t stand a chance at selling them a solution.
15. 55% of the people making their living in sales don’t have the right skills to be successful. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: This stat is not so much about the lack of sales talent as it is about the inability of most sales organizations to provide sales reps with the specific tools and training they need to be successful. Do you have a defined sales process? How do you share best practices? Do your managers coach sales reps? These are just some of the many things that need to be addressed for this terrifying stat to improve.
16. Continuous training gives 50% higher net sales per employee. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: The impact of sale training is hard to measure, so many sales leaders doubt its effectiveness. The truth is that investing in your people has a positive impact for your organization, even if that impact is not clearly seen in sales results immediately following a training program.
17. The average company spends $10K - $15K hiring an individual and only $2K a year in sales training. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: Sales training is paramount for new salespeople. If you hire A players but don’t invest in their growth you will never have an A team.
18. It takes 10 months or more for a new sales rep to be fully productive. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: Ineffective onboarding practices are an expensive problem for many sales organizations. One idea to reduce time to sales rep productivity is to take a blended learning approach and provide eLearning programs that allow reps to complete trainings at their own convenience. We partnered with the Sales Institute at Florida State University to develop the Brevet Online Academy - a video-based online sales certification program that helps companies speed up their new rep ramp up, save cost and time on sales training, and certify their sales teams. Learn more.
19. Retaining current customers is 6 to 7 times less costly than acquiring new ones. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaways: Pay attention to your existing customers. The fact that they are engaged with your brand gives you an advantage that you’d be mistaken not to capitalize on. This is all about account management, up-selling and cross-selling.
20. The average company loses between 10% and 30% of its customers each year. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: Don’t ever stop prospecting. Even when your pipeline is full, you should still be prospecting. Pipeline activity does not equal sales, and you never know what the future holds.
21. After a presentation, 63% of attendees remember stories. Only 5% remember statistics. [TWEET THIS]
Takeaway: Tell stories. Storytelling is one of the most powerful techniques salespeople have to communicate and motivate. Using stories to make a connection with a prospect can greatly increase your ability to close deals. How has your product or service helped other companies? How has it caused big changes for other organizations?
Thank you for making it to the bottom of the post. We hope you enjoyed it. Don't forget to share!
Sales Stats SlideShare
About The Author
Researcher, consultant, and sales leader, Brian uses a data-driven approach to drive sales effectiveness. His clients include leading sales organizations in financial services, technology, healthcare, and professional services. Using insight from academics and change management, Brian helps senior leaders and sales enablement teams understand and succeed in today’s more demanding market. His research has been published in Harvard Business Review and other outlets.