18 Sales Statistics You Need to Know About Right Now!


Do you see the world of
selling shifting around you? You probably do because
I can tell you for a fact that your fellow sales
peers definitely do. Now, the gurus say that the
world of selling is changing, but they don’t cite good data to really support those changes. They just say that it’s happening and that has driven me crazy as a sales strategist for so many years. So I finally decided to put my social sciences degree
from Harvard to work. And I decided to get real data into what’s actually happening. So what we did is we surveyed about 400 salespeople to get insight into what’s really happening
on the ground floor and I wanna share the highlights. By the way, for full info on the methodology or specific statistics, you can click the link
below in the description to get all of that information, but without further ado here are 18 of my favorite pieces of data from our salespeople perceptions and top performance study. Check it out. (logo clicks and whooshes) Number one, at least 50% of your prospects aren’t a good fit. Now, I’ve been saying this for years and I’ve always known it to be true, but now I can see without any doubt that this is the case. In fact, looking at the study 71.4% of respondents said that 50% or fewer of their initial prospects turn out to be good fits. And this is really powerful an insight because what it’s saying is that your prospects are very likely to turn out to not be a good fit. And that’s fine! That doesn’t mean that they are a good fit but they just disappeared, no, no, no. What we’re saying is
that the data is showing that the majority, in most cases, of your prospects are not going to be a good fit initially. And so what that does for salespeople is that information should liberate us to realize that you know what, we don’t have to try to close every single person we’re in front of. If you look at closing
rates for most industries, right, those closing
rates are at the highest in the high twenties and on the lowest in the single digits. Alright, so we need to understand that the majority of our prospects simply are not going to be a good fit. Let this data liberate you so that way you’re not freaking out and trying to close every single person you get in front of. In fact, when you determine that that person’s not a fit move on. Number two, budget is
the most common reason that stronger opportunities fall apart. Now, again, we always knew this but now the data concludes that as we saw in our data 55% of respondents said that budget was either first or
second most common reason that stronger opportunities fall apart. And this is so true, right? We know this to be the case, but so often salespeople
are missing the budget. They’re not getting the real
value in the conversation. So that way by the time they acutually get into that budget conversation they’re really fighting an uphill battle. And this is true for most salespeople. And so I think for you as a salesperson, what the takeaway can be is I need to be stronger upfront
in creating real value. So that way by the time we get
to the budget conversation, we’re not fighting that uphill battle. Now, budget is always going to be an issue in sales. It’s never going to suddenly just disappear as a concern, but what we want to do is make sure that we are stronger upfront when we’re creating that value so that way we’re not fighting when it comes to discussing
budget and price. Number three, most salespeople just aren’t getting in
front of enough prospects. According to our research, 66.7% of salespeople had reached out to 250 or fewer leads in the past year. That is a pretty shockingly low number for most types of sales. That means that the
majority of salespeople aren’t getting in front
of anywhere close to the 250 plus prospects that they probably need to be getting in front of. Now, on the other side of the coin, we did determine that 15% of salespeople have reached out to over 1,000 prospects over the past year. So what the picture that we see here is that the majority of salespeople aren’t reaching out to that many prospects and then you do have this
little group of people that are reaching out
to tons of prospects. And so what we want to think about as salespeople is where do we really wanna be fitting on that spectrum. Chances are we need to
be getting in front of more prospects than we currently are in order to really hit our sales numbers. Number four, most companies are providing at least a 1/4 of salespeople’s leads. Now, I thought this would be interesting for most salespeople to understand that 77.3% of salespeople
said that their company provides at least a 1/4 of their leads. So that means that the other 3/4 is on them to go find, but that really does tell us some insight about the types or organizations
that we’re working at. Right, are you at a
company that’s providing you more than a 1/4 of your leads? Are you at a company that’s providing you with less than a 1/4 of your leads? These are the types of things that we wanna understand when we look at the entire industry of sales and the types of organization
we wanna be working at. Now, just because your company doesn’t provide a 1/4 of the leads doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re stabbing you in the back. Maybe they’re providing you
with tremendous resources to get in front of those prospects. But we do want to understand that really most organizations are providing at least a 1/4 of the leads. So if your company isn’t, then that might me a conversation that you should be having
with senior management. Number five, sales is
getting tougher than before. This is something that I hear
salespeople say all the time but I never really had quantifiable data to really understand what’s going on. And what we found is
that 61% of salespeople consider selling harder or much harder than it was five years ago. This is really profound stuff. That means that the
majority or salespeople and finding that today’s marketplace is much harder than it was
to sell five years ago. And by the way, the economy has only gotten better in the past five years. So that means that there are other factors that are going into making the world of
selling that much harder than it was five years ago. Understanding where you
fit into that spectrum. Do you consider selling to be harder or easier than it was five years ago? If you think it was easier- if you think it’s easier now that’s great, but if you’re finding it harder what is actually making it harder? Dig into that and then try to identify how can you solve some of those challenges on your own and get around
some of those issues. Number six, it’s only
somewhat more difficult to get in front of new prospects than it was five years ago. This is really interesting because I hear salespeople complain about how it’s so hard to get in
front of prospects these days because they don’t answer their phones and they don’t even
respond to emails anymore, but what we actually found was that 54% salespeople thought it was harder or much harder to get
in front of prospects than it was five years ago. And so what we’re seeing
is it’s only a slight majority of salespeople
that feel this way. And so it does give us pause to realize that you know what, yes, maybe prospects are
answering their phones less and maybe prospects are less inclined to respond to an email than they were five years ago, but there are so many tools out there that enable us to get
in front of prospects that you know what, the
world of getting in front of prospects isn’t
necessarily that much harder. It’s only a little bit more tricky. And so that just means that we have to be a little bit sharper. We need to be using
those cutting edge tools and we need to make sure that we’re still getting in front
of as many prospects as we need to get in front of in order to achieve our sales goals. Number seven, the phone is
still our best tool in selling. 41.2% of salespeople said that the phone is the most effective sales
tool at their disposal. This is a piece of data that
I did not expect to see. This was simply not a response I expected. I expected to people to
say that email was better or LinkedIn or social media or something, but I think this is real wake-up call for all of us. Is that, you know what? There are so many tools at our disposal. But you know what, the
phone still really works. We still need to use the phone as a way to get in front of prospects, to connect with prospects
and to sell to prospects. It’s such a reminder in a world that is so dominated by conversations
about social media and email and marketing automation that you know what,
the phone really works. So don’t forget about it. Number eight, the vast
majority of salespeople barely ask for referrals. This one really hurts me because what we found was the 57.9% of salespeople ask for fewer than one referral a month! Less then one referral a month! And in fact, 40.4% report
rarely ever asking. This is really, really, upsetting to me because you know what, it’s one of the easiest
ways to grow your business. And yet, so few people
are really doing it. In fact, what we found is that only 18.6% of salespeople actually are asking pretty much every single
person they’re in front of. And this is something that I have been teaching people
for years to be doing. Is that we want to be
asking for introductions or referrals as often as we possibly can. And yet, very few people
are actually doing it. And what I see this is is
this is a huge opportunity for those salespeople who
want to up their game. Ask for more referrals and introductions than you ever have before. There’s only 18.6% of people
are actually doing it. Get out there. Ask for more of those referrals, because you know what, there’s no downside to asking. There’s only upside and
you will get more business. Number nine, most salespeople
do not love their job. I was pretty taken aback by
this piece of information. That only 17.6% of salespeople rated their job
satisfaction as outstanding. That’s a pretty low number and it’s sad to me that I’ve
dedicated my whole life to helping salespeople be more effective, more successful, and yet only a small
sliver are actually saying you know what, I love what I do. My work really fulfills me. It is outstanding. 47.1% rated their job as just good. This is really a place where I’ve decided I can see some of- more of where my life’s
mission needs to be poured into because I want to see more people feeling really good about their job. And now I know that I can’t control all aspects of your job
and you can’t control all aspects of whether you love your job. You could have a boss who’s just a complete jugglehead and
you can’t control that, but there are many things
that we can control to make sure that we do get a higher level of job satisfaction. And we want to make sure that we’re following through on that. As you’ll see shortly, there’s a strong correlation with job satisfaction and the amount of sales activity that we’re doing. So, there are going to be things that we can be doing to
take control of our selling to ensure that we feel
better about our job than really ever before. Number 10, those salespeople
who spend more time on sales related activities
enjoy their job more. So I gave you a little
teaser and here it is. People who spend three hours or less on sales related activities have an overall job satisfaction level
about 3.45 out of five. So 3.45 out of five. While people who spend four or more hours a day on sales related activities actually have a job satisfaction
of 3.8 out of five. That’s a huge difference when you really break it down. And it’s really statistically significant. And so, what we can take from this is that the salespeople who are really doing the sales activity are more likely to just be successful and as a result of that success they are having higher degrees of job satisfaction. Now I know that my data
wonks are gonna say, well we don’t know that
with 100% confidence. No, of course we don’t know
that with 100% confidence, but logically that is
what we see happening. Is that people who are
doing the sales activity are having more success and thus feel better about their job. My challenge to you is make yourself more successful. Follow through with that activity and the data shows you’re going to have a higher degree
of job satisfaction. Now, again, if you hate
the company that you’re at or you don’t like you boss, right? These are problems that maybe we have to change in other ways, but if you feel like the fundamentals of your job are good, now it’s time to really focus on improving the quality of your work so that way you improve
ultimately that job satisfaction. In a really meaningful way. Number 11, company culture and management effectiveness matter most to salespeople. Now as this graph shows, company culture and
management effectiveness were rated as the most
important indicators, while base compensation was
rated significantly lower. So what that tells us is that we need to, if we’re a manager or we
lead a sales organization, the company culture and the management effectiveness
really, really, matter. Because so often we’re spending a lot of time focusing on
compensation structures and those are necessarily as important. They do matter and you salespeople who are watching this are saying, whoa, whoa, whoa, compensation matters. Of course, but ultimately the data shows that what matters most are the management effectiveness
and the company culture. Make sure that if you are at organization that doesn’t have those two, then maybe you wanna think about hey, maybe I should be
in a different place or in a different position. Number 12, even salespeople know that people don’t like them. (laughing) Now, you’re saying, what? Okay, so here’s what we did. Is we asked salespeople to just use words to describe what typical propects associate with salespeople. This is something that we’ve seen a lot of buyer surveys
of what buyers think, but we haven’t really done
a lot of asking salespeople. And what we came back with is that the most common words that salespeople use to describe the average buyer’s perception of salespeople were the following, and so the word cloud
shows they were words like pushy, untrustworthy,
annoying, time, greedy. Right, these were the
five most common words and they were really bad words. And by the way, the word time I don’t think they were saying, oh they’re a great use of time, right? It was time suck, it’s
taking your time, right? What’s incredible is that even salespeople recognize that they have a disadvantage the second they’re in front of a prospect. Which is that the prospect
is likely to be guarded. The prospect is likely to have a negative connotation
abut salespeople already. And by understanding that, we know that we need
to be that much better. We need to be that much more distinct because if we’re not we are going to be in that bucket. Because, by the way, these ideas match up very closely with what buyers actually think
when they’re surveyed and you look at the same word cloud. It’s pretty powerful. Number 13, most salespeople
are not crushing it. Now, this may not surprise you, but I was pretty blown away that only 24.3% of salespeople actually exceeded their quota last year. I would of thought it
would have been higher because you know what, so many salespeople talk a big game and they act like they’re so great at it, yet only a quarter of salespeople actually exceeded their quota last year. And what this tells us is that the majority of salespeople really have a lot of work to do in order to get to that next level. Now, if you’re watching
this and you’re saying, well I actually fit into that category of people that did not
exceed their quota last year, well maybe it was a bad year or maybe this is something that you’ve been struggling with. Either way we need to make sure that this year is the year that
you exceed your quota. We need to make sure that you’re implementing the strategies that will allow you to truly, not just exceed, but exceed with flying colors, your quota. Number 14, non-performers
do a lot more pitching. This is something that
I always knew logically and anecdotally and I had seen so many salespeople struggle with this, but now having real hard
data on this is so powerful. And what we found is that only 7% of top performing salespeople actually report pitching to prospects, while 19% of non-top-performers pitch their offering or their services. This is a huge distinction. So basically what we see is that the non-performers are much more likely to pitch their services or their offering. And so what we wanna do is recognize that the top performers are not doing that. They’re not pitching their offering. Instead what they’re going to be doing, as you’ll see, is they’re engaging prospects in conversations, they’re digging into their challenges. They’re engaging them as an advisor, as an expert in their industry. As opposed to just saying hey, here’s what we got, look at all the cool items and features and benefits that we have. Number 15, top performers are asking for a lot more referrals. Now, I always knew this to be the case, but now I see it in hard data. About 47% of top performing salespeople ask for referrals consistently. So that means everyday or with every person they’re in front of. Right, that’s a lot. Versus only 26% of non-top performers. This is a stunning piece of information. This shows one of the biggest differences between top performers
and non-top performers. Is that top performers are simply asking for referrals consistently. They’re asking for those
introductions and referrals and as a result, they’re
growing their businesses. So it doesn’t even necessarily mean that their selling technique or their closing technique
is that much better, although in man cases it is, what they’re doing is they are consistently asking for more referrals. In fact, non-top performers were much more likely to report asking for referrals either never or rarely ever. This is just mind blowing, right? We now see that one of the
biggest differentiators between the two groups is simply the act of asking for referrals or never asking for referrals, ever. Which is what a lot on
non-performers are doing. Number 16, top performers
are surfing the web way less and are driving
to way more meetings. This one’s one of my favorite and most unexpected pieces of information that came out of this entire survey. Is that top performers are not only goofing around on the internet way less, which we would have expected, but they’re also complaining that they have to drive to way more meetings. So here’s the thing, while all salespeople spend about a similar amount of time
on CRM an paperwork, top performers are much less likely to note that they are surfing the web as a main activity that
they waste time on. So only about 12% of top performers versus 24% of non-top
performers talk about the fact that they’re surfing on the web. But also on the other side of it is that top performers tend to spend more time on driving to meetings. So 25% of top performers complained about that fact that they have just waste so much time because they’re just literally driving to meetings, while on 12% of non-top performers had any issue with driving to meetings. So what we see here are basically two consistent narratives. On the one hand, top
performers are really busy, so they’re not surfing the web, but they’re also really busy because they’re just driving to meetings. They’re physically going to meetings. On the other hand, non-performers are doing a lot more wasting time just surfing the internet and at the same time they’re not going to as many meetings. So they don’t even have the opportunity to complain about having
to drive to meetings. It’s a profound distinction. Become one of those
people that you know what, I wanna hear you complain that you have to spend too much
time driving to meetings because if you’re spending too much time driving to meetings, that means that you’re going to meetings and that’s you being successful. Number 17, top performers tend to spend more hours per day on
actual sales activities. Really profound piece of information. What we found is that
81.6% of top performers spend four hours or more on
sales related activities. So that means activities like prospecting, going to sales meetings, presentations, proposal work, sales follow-up, all of that stuff. On the other hand, only 60.8% of non-performers spend four hours or more on sales related activities. This is a profound difference. As this graph shows, there is a big gap after the three hours. What we see is that top performers are simply spending a lot more time on sales related activities. The non-performers are simply spending less time on those
sales related activities. They’re getting distracted. They’re doing other things. They’re surfing the web or they’re getting stuck in operations. Whereas what the top performer shows us is that the key to success here is simply putting in the time on those
key sales related activities. Hold yourself accountable to do a little bit more in terms of
that sales related activity. Number 18, top performers
know that they are experts. What the data showed was
that 51% of top performers report being seen as an
expert in their field. While on 37% of non-performers see themselves as an expert. This is a really important distinction. I wasn’t sure exactly how this was gonna split up, but what we’ll see is that overwhelmingly top performers see themselves as experts and understand that they are seen as experts by their prospects. So one of the biggest things that you can do to really be
more successful is make sure that you’re not
being seen as that vendor. In fact, top performers were less likely to be seen as a vendor. Only 8% of top performers said that they were seen as a vendor, while 24% of non-performers said that they were seen as a vendor. The other thing to think about is even just the word salesperson, right. Only 7% of top performers reported being seen as a salesperson, while 20% of non-performers said that they were seen as a salesperson. Just the word itself
connotates a negative mindset. Top performers are seeing themselves, and are assuring that they are seen by their prospects, as the expert. So there are 18 of my
favorite pieces of data from our salespeople perceptions and top performance study. I wanna hear from you. Which of these ideas do
you find most useful? Be sure to share below
in the comment section to get involved in the conversation. And if you enjoyed this video, then I have an awesome free ebook on 25 tips to crush your sales goal. Just click the image right here to get it instantly. Seriously, just click right here. Also, if you got some value, please like this video on YouTube and be sure so subscribe to my channel by clicking right here to get access to a new video, just like this one, each week.

8 thoughts on “18 Sales Statistics You Need to Know About Right Now!

  1. Hey Marc, is it a good idea to ask for introductions from non-clients? I'm talking about current acquaintances

  2. The world of selling is indeed changing, as everything is moving online and cold calling is no longer what it used to be and what not but I really do appreciate to see some actual numbers on the topic, thank you for that!

  3. first one of your videos i've NOT liked. for whatever reason (can't put my finger on it) this is the first time you've come across as not having pertinent experience in the trench…the daily grind…high volume…etc. maybe it was just an off day for me watching. your other videos have helped me tremendously so thought I'd offer feedback on this one lest it helps you. Thanks for all you do Marc.

  4. Hey Marc, you have been making videos for years. Why don’t I ever see you respond to this comments?

  5. Really important! Based on this information we can adjust our sales patterns. Nice content! Check out eMINDSCLUB, is the best entrepreneur community https://eminds.club

  6. Can you please make a video to help digital marketing agencies close deals? Cold calling for SEO companies…

  7. I love that you are providing data. There is too much "experience experts" who believe that because this worked for me, it should work with everybody. I would like to see references about how the study was actually conducted. I believe it would bring more validity to these studies. Thank you.

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