Sales Enablement

21 Mind-Blowing Stats | COVID Edition

Sales Statistics

Back in 2015 we compiled a set of mind-blowing sales statistics. Since then, hundreds of thousands have read that blog. Some of the stats have even found their way into sermons and political speeches!

Fast forward to today, the pace of change in sales is escalating. A global pandemic is transforming buyer behavior and sales practices. One sales leader we know describes it as 6 years of change in 6 months

We've culled through our research and scanned the landscape to gather 21 new mind-blowing sales statistics. Review our updated list for new insight into modern selling. Use them to challenge your thinking, motivate your team, and focus on what's needed for success today.

In addition, we've packaged these stats into a downloadable slideshow that you can use with your teams. Click on any stat to share on social media.

1. B2B Buyers now prefer digitally enabled sales interactions by a margin of 2 to 1. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: New buyer habits are sticking. Remote selling and asynchronous engagement via chat, email, and other platforms are here to stay. 


2. Prospecting emails have increased 72% since March 2020, but response rates have decreased 44%. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: The risk of bad digital selling is significant. Noise levels are at all-time highs. Sellers must know how to deliver messages that break through the clutter.  

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3. 87% of buyers feel more connected when using video conferencing. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: The adoption curve of video is like nothing we've seen before. Using video in remote sales meetings is now the baseline assumption vs. an exception to the rule.

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4. 91% of reps struggle with gaining and keeping a buyer's attention virtually.  [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: The skills required for effective remote selling are very different. Traditional interpersonal and relationship skills will always be important. But keeping easily distracted remote buyers engaged is critical.

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5. 80% of B2B buying decisions now require sign-off by a VP level or higher... [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: Navigating the new decision making process means more stakeholders and higher levels of sign off. Sales teams must equip their champions to communicate value in ways that resonate with the C-suite. 

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6. Buying decisions are going higher, but less than 10% of reps say they can get access to a VP or above. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: Gaining access to more senior buyers means seeing your solution through the lens of buyer business issues. This issues orientation is a major blindspot for many sales teams.

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7. Managers report giving 15% more coaching actions per call compared to pre-COVID. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: High-performing sales managers have embraced new technology to increase coaching quality and quantity. Less travel means more time to identify and address rep opportunities. 

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8. 78% of sales leaders question the remote coaching skills of their managers. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: While the potential for better coaching is massive, too many managers aren't stepping up. New sales models have exposed decades of poor sales management practices. 

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9. B2B decision makers report a 13% increase in the number of meetings and a 14% increase in attendees per meeting. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: Meeting fatigue is real as executives work to stay connected to their teams. Don't let your reps contribute to meeting exhaustion by executing poorly planned buyer interactions. 

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10. On average, reps report spending only 1.9 hours per day on sales calls. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: A dramatic cut of time spent in travel and other non-selling activities have stripped away the excuses. New standards for individual rep productivity are being defined.

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11. 82% of buyers say financial ROI is the most important decision criteria (up from 46% in 2019). [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: Economic uncertainty puts a brighter spotlight on ROI. Nice-to-have projects or initiatives have stalled. Solutions that promise tangible financial benefits are being fast-tracked.

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12. The number of sales call that include the CFO have increased by 91%. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: The importance of cost savings and financial return mean more direct involvement by CFOs. Know your buyer and translate the benefits of your offering into terms that resonates with senior financial decision-makers. 

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13. 38% of buyers say in-person sales meetings have decreased in value. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: The bar for a face-to-face meeting continues to rise. Without a compelling message and strong meeting strategy, in-person sales calls can do more damage than good.

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14. 96% of B2B companies have shifted to a virtual sales model following the onset of COVID. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: Most sales leaders acted quickly in responding to the new market dynamics. Investments in new remote sales tools, processes, and skills will continue. 

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15. 65% of sales leaders believe the new virtual model is just as effective. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: Done right, remote selling drives major gains in sales effectiveness. Sales leaders like what they see. They're pushing harder and faster to reimagine every aspect of their sales organizations.  

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16. 47% of sales leaders say COVID-related changes to their sales model will become permanent. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: It's clear we're going through a watershed moment in sales. The new environment has accelerated long-needed changes in sales and sales management.

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17. Reps report a 38% increase in their average work week since the start of the pandemic. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: Updates to messaging, processes, products, and tools are combining with greater buyer demands. All this is leading to more work hours for reps. 

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18. Reps have a 94% higher win rate when they turn their video on. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: Using video in a remote sales call is a new table stake. Reps who have embraced the camera are seeing dramatic gains in buyer engagement, and ultimately better close rates.

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19. Since COVID, the number of post-call buyer requests have increased by 33% (Follow-up meetings, demos, more information, etc.) [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: Today's reps are doing more to help buyers buy. Each sales call brings a new set of rep actions to maintain deal momentum. 

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20. Reps experience 49% higher win rates when budget is discussed on the first virtual call. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: Transparency in discussing price and business value is key. Winning sales teams know how to confidently position the economic value of their solution and aren't timid in qualifying based on budget.

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21. 74% of B2B buyers never want to meet a seller in-person in their ideal/post-pandemic world. [TWEET THIS]

Takeaway: Let this one sink in for a moment. Market disruption has a way of separating winners from losers. Sales teams who lean into the challenge of delivering differentiated sales experiences will thrive. 

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Don't forget to share! To access the full copy of these updated 21 Mind-Blowing Stats, click here.

In addition, we've launched our own research project to help sales teams prepare for 2021 and beyond. Please take 5 minutes to complete our Future of Field Sales survey by clicking here. For participating, you will also receive a free summary report once the research is complete.

About The Author

Author photo 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.

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