Every business needs to sell, but some are much better at it than others.
Are you one of those companies that struggle to close leads and just can’t seem to reach your monthly quota?
There are loads of different factors that could influence the success of your sales strategy. With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to stay up to date with the latest stats to see what’s going on across different industries.
Well, today’s your lucky day!
We’ve scoured the net for some of the best and most informative sales statistics this year has to offer. Check them all out, take them on board, and you just might learn something incredibly valuable for your business.
Staggering Sales Stats
- Over 50% of sales agents failed to meet their 2018 quota.
- Only 19% of buyers want to talk to a sales agent during the initial stage of the buying process.
- 2% of cold calls lead to an appointment.
- It takes around 18 calls before a buyer is found.
- Social selling can increase the likelihood of achieving sales quotas by 23%.
- 80% of consumers see email as the preferred contact method.
- Investment in sales training can lead to a 353% ROI.
- The average conversion rate is between 2.46% and 3.26%.
- 33% of all leads come from sales referrals.
- 50% of buyers think salespeople are too pushy.
Intrigued? We bet you are. Let’s start with some:
General Sales Statistics
1. Only 3% of consumers trust salespeople.
No, you haven’t read that wrong! A measly 3% of people will trust sellers these days. This is perhaps one of the most significant sales stats 2019 has thrown up. It points towards a market where the buyer has more control than ever.
So, sellers have to get more creative. Also, this stat probably accounts for the following:
2. Over half of sellers didn’t achieve their quota in 2018.
Yep, a massive 50% of all sales reps failed to reach their quota last year.
Think about what that means for your company’s revenue if half your sales team aren’t meeting their targets! Something has to change, or else you will lose out on so many potential leads and sales, decreasing your annual revenue.
Thankfully, there are ways to boost your chances of reaching a quota. We won’t give too much away, but keep your eyes peeled for our sales training statistics later on!
3. 50% of buyers think salespeople are pushy.
Again, we’re back to the idea that buyers have a negative view of modern-day sellers. Perhaps this is down to the countless door to door sales they’ve been subjected to in the past. And let’s be honest, nobody likes those!
Obviously, this speaks volumes about the approach sellers have. Clearly, they’ve trying to oversell products/services, and consumers don’t like it.
However, the most intriguing thing of all is this statistic:
4. 6% of sellers believe they’re pushy.
How crazy is that?
50% of buyers think sellers are pushy, but only 6% of sellers agree with them!
That means a whopping 94% of sellers don’t think they’re overly pushy. This is troubling, as a seller is unlikely to change their approach if they don’t think there’s an issue with it! So, it’s no wonder quotas aren’t being reached.
5. Only 19% of buyers are interested in talking to salespeople during the initial stage of the buying process.
When buyers are researching what products to buy, they don’t want a seller’s input. They’d rather make up their own mind until they’ve narrowed down their search a little bit.
So, if sales reps get involved too soon, they’re likely to be met with some resistance.
6. 60% of buyers want the input of sellers during the consideration stage.
According to HubSpot stats on buyers, more than half will want to talk to a salesperson in the consideration stage of the buying process.
This is the stage where they have a few options, they kind of know what they want, they just need some extra help and information.
Interestingly, this decreases to 20% in the final stage of buying.
Inside Sales & Cold Calling Statistics
You’ve seen some general stats, so let’s start breaking things down into different areas of sales. Next up, we look at inside selling and cold calling to see what some of the trends are across all industries.
7. 44% of Inside sales pipelines are generated through marketing.
One of the most interesting sales pipeline statistics is that just under half of Inside sales come from marketing materials.
What does this mean?
Effectively, sellers rely on killer marketing strategies to draw leads in and fill their pipeline.
8. 37% of big companies depend on inside sales as their primary strategy
This shows a growing trend that sellers are moving away from face-to-face sales.
Inside selling can be done remotely, which means there’s the chance to possibly find more prospects in a shorter space of time. Thus, the chances of closing sales will increase.
Also, it could be an indication that some sellers think outside sales are too pushy, so they’re switching to inside.
9. Sales reps spend over 40% of their time looking for new prospects.
Probably one of the more staggering sales statistics we’ve found. Nearly half of your time is spent just looking for new people to call. Think about how much time is wasted per week trying to find the right prospects.
This stat screams that something has to be done to improve the efficiency here!
10. Only 2% of cold calls lead to an appointment.
According to Salesforce statistics, 98% of cold calls don’t end with the buyer booking an appointment with the seller.
That is remarkably low, but it gives us a good idea as to why the next statistic is also pretty low…
11. A mere 27% of sellers think cold calling works.
Less than a third of sales agents truly believe in the effectiveness of cold calling. This is quite crazy when you think that 37% of companies use Inside sales as their top strategy, and the majority of these sales revolve around cold calling.
The question is:
Why don’t people have any faith in it?
Well, it’s most likely down to this…
12. On average, it takes 18 calls to find a buyer.
Sales reps will have to make around 18 calls before they finally find a buyer. Again, that’s a lot of time wasted on calls that yield no success at all.
When you look at this, it’s no surprise the majority of sellers think cold calling is ineffective! After all, so much of your time is spent talking to people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer.
To add to this, studies show that…
13. 15% of cold calling is spent leaving voicemails.
Yes, another of our cold calling statistics that point to the somewhat unproductive nature of this method. 15% might not sound that significant, but it can be. Especially when you consider that a lot of people don’t even pay attention to their voicemails. But wait:
It’s not all doom and gloom. Cold calling can be more effective when you’re smart with your methods
Cold Calling Effectiveness Stats
We’ve decided to put the following stats in their own section because they have more to do with how you can make cold calling more effective. So, if you want to boost your cold calling conversions, these are the stats to pay attention to:
14. 58% of consumers are keen to talk about pricing in the first call.
Selling is all about taking the right approach. According to this stat, you shouldn’t be afraid to speak about product pricing in the first call. Let the buyer know how much it costs, and it can save time and money.
If your product/service is too expensive for them, you can quit while you’re ahead and find a new prospect rather than talking to them for 15 minutes, agreeing to a second call later on, then revealing the price only to hear they don’t find it affordable.
15. 2.54% of consumers want to know how the product works.
Tell your sales prospects how your product/service functions and what it does. Buyers want to know how things work, so they get an idea of whether or not it’s the right thing for them.
Following on from this…
16. Only 37% of buyers want to know why they should buy the product.
Stop telling people why they should buy your product. Buyers don’t want to hear about this in the first sales call!
Think back to the first stats we showed you before all these sales call statistics – consumers think sellers are pushy. Much of this comes from the need to try and force the benefits of a product onto consumers and tell them how amazing it is. They don’t like this, particularly during the very first call.
17. The best days for cold calling are Wednesday and Thursday.
You have more chances of closing sales when you call on either Wednesday or Thursday. This is because these two days are perfectly placed during the working week. On Monday and Tuesday, most people are recovering from the weekend and getting back into the swing of things. On Friday, it’s time to wind down for the upcoming weekend.
So, Wednesday and Thursday are perfectly placed in the middle – but what about the best call times?
18. Calling between 4 and 5 pm results in the most engagement.
The sales statistics indicate that late afternoon/early evening is the best time to call your prospects.
Well, it’s usually because most people will be at work during the day. So, this is the time they’re winding down and leaving – which means they’re more likely to pick up the phone and listen to what you’ve got to offer.
19. Cold calling success increases by 74% when you ask between 11 and 14 questions.
Buyers want you to ask questions, but they don’t want you to ask them too many. As such, this range is seen as the Goldilocks of cold calling questions. It’s not too many, it’s not too few, it’s juuuust right!
You have nearly 75% more chance of achieving a successful outcome when you ask this many questions in your lead calls.
Social Selling Statistics
Social selling is the act of calling upon our good friend social media to help out with your sales strategy. As it happens, there are some pretty compelling sales stats that you need to know about:
20. 70% of sales reps will use social selling.
A recent study found that nearly three-quarters of sales agents use social selling devices and platforms. Effectively, a large proportion of reps are taking to different social media channels as a way of finding prospects.
How effective is this? Well, it certainly seems to have an impact on the relationships you build with prospects…
21. 31% of B2B professionals believe they create deeper relationships through social selling.
This is one of our favorite business sales statistics, as it indicates that social selling is perhaps more effective at developing strong relationships. As all good sales agents know, you must have a good connection with your prospects.
If the relationship is deep and strong, the chances of closing a sale will surely increase? Well, it’s funny we mention that, because…
22. Sales reps that use social selling are 23% more likely to exceed their quota.
(A Sales Guy Consulting and Social Centred Selling)
Pretty crazy, right? You can increase the possibility of not only achieving your quota but exceeding it by nearly a quarter through social selling.
This is one of those sales agent stats that you have to make a mental note of. Especially if your sales team is struggling to even reach their quotas.
23. Around 33% of businesses don’t have a social selling alignment.
This means that a third of businesses don’t align social selling with their overall marketing strategy. In effect, they don’t plan their social media strategy alongside their social selling one.
It’s not rocket science:
You need these two things to be aligned to gain the most success. If your marketing is built around the idea of generating leads and sales, you have a better chance to achieve this.
24. LinkedIn is the best platform for social selling.
Various businesses were asked which selling methods were the best and most effective, and 12% of companies said that LinkedIn came out on top. That’s not just out of social media platforms – it’s out of all their different selling methods.
So, it’s safe to say that LinkedIn is the platform you need to concern yourself with – particularly when looking for B2B Sales & leads.
25. 61% of businesses earned more money after adopting social selling.
What better way to end our social selling statistics than with a bomb like this?! Nearly two-thirds of businesses will increase their revenue after taking up social selling.
Now, if that doesn’t convince you of how valuable this method is, nothing will!
It shows that there is a clear and direct correlation between social selling and revenue increase. So, if your current strategy is lacking, consider adding social selling into the mix.
Sales Email Statistics
We’ve looked at cold calling statistics, social selling, and now we turn our attention to email. Lots of companies use email marketing as a way of trying to grow leads and gain sales. But how effective is it, and what are the key things to know?
Let’s find out.
26. Less than 24% of sales emails are opened.
The exact figure is 23.9%, and it shows that around a quarter of your emails won’t even be read.
This is the biggest problem with email sales – how do you get people to open them in the first place? Believe it or not, it’s a lot easier than you think…
27. Boost CTR and conversions with personalized emails.
You can improve your click-through rate by 14% and your conversions by 10% just by personalizing your emails.
We’ll give you a few moments to let that sink in for a second…
Are you done? Okay…how crazy is that? Simply by writing the recipients’ names and making them less generic, you can significantly boost your CTR and conversions. This will make your email sales strategy so much more effective.
28. Emails with three to four words in subject lines have the highest CTR.
Never leave your subject lines empty when sending out sales emails. Instead, make sure they have at least three words, but no more than four. This is the perfect subject line length to pique someone’s interest and encourage them to open your email.
Any less and your subject line won’t make much sense. Any more and it’s too long for them to bother reading.
29. 80% of buyers see email as their preferred method of contact.
It seems like more and more consumers prefer to be contacted by emails rather than by any other means. Phone calls come second.
But does this sales fact mean anything to sellers?
Yes and no. Yes, it’s worth knowing how consumers like to be contacted. However, you could argue most people prefer emails because it gives them an excuse to ignore sellers!
As such, it’s not totally surprising to see this stat…
30. Only 5% of sellers find bulk emails successful.
A mind-boggling 95% of sellers don’t believe bulk emails are a successful online sales method. We think the reason for this is linked to another of our stats.
We spoke about personalized emails and how they can improve your CTR and conversions, but that could be way bulk emails don’t work. It’s harder to personalize emails when they’re sent in huge quantities. With that in mind, the majority of sellers don’t like this method!
Sales Training Statistics
You can’t forget about sales training! In fact, after looking at these sales statistics, you might even realize that a lack of training is what’s holding your team back. Take a sip of that double espresso, keep yourself alert, and take a look at these wild stats:
31. Sales success can increase by 29% when proper coaching is given.
(Vantage Point Performance)
A research study looked at different sales teams and tried to find differences between those who had proper coaching and those who hadn’t. It found that sales success can increase by up to 29% if your sales agents get the right training.
This goes to show the power that training can have. And buyers will also be more keen to do business with highly trained and skilled teams – as this stat shows…
32. In B2B Sales, 79% of buyers deem it crucial that sales agents are trusted advisors.
In essence, buyers want sellers to undergo extensive training to the point where they are trusted advisors. They’re less likely to engage with a seller who can’t provide any proof of training. We’ve shown plenty of sales agents stats in this article, but this one should really hit home.
Consider how many business sales you miss out on when you try and secure leads with a team of untrained novices!
33. 26% of agents feel like their training is ineffective.
Let’s clear this up for a second:
This stat doesn’t mean that 26% of agents think sales training is ineffective. Rather, they believe that the training they’ve been given is not effective.
What does this tell us? Companies need to up their training game!
34. Companies get a 353% ROI from investing in sales training.
An Accenture study found that for every dollar a company invests in training, it gets around $4.53 in return. So, that equates to a whopping 353% ROI.
In simple terms:
You will benefit from sales training, and the stats back this up.
On that note, if you want to invest money to improve your sales methods, then training is a fantastic place to start.
35. Technology-driven training is 57% more effective.
(Sales Management Association)
Research points towards technology as a key driver in sales agent performance improvements. People learn better and can improve their methods when they’re taught via technology.
Keeping that in mind, the days of face-to-face training days might be behind us.
36. Just under 60% of sales teams will increase the size of their workforce next year.
We’ve picked out this stat as it shows that sales companies are keen to expand. As a result, more money will most likely be invested in sales training as well.
As far as your sales team goes, it’s a case of the more the merrier!
Sales Conversion Rate Statistics
We’re fast approaching the end of this epic journey, and this section will bring you all the best conversion rate and sales success statistics. They should give you a better understanding of what closing percentages and conversion rates you should aim for.
37. 97% of converted leads are contacted by the 6th call attempt.
Ever wondered how many calls does it take to make a sale? Well, now you know! On average, the majority of converted leads are contacted by the 6th call attempt.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, and try again.
38. The average conversion rate across all industries is between 2.46% and 3.26%.
This is the big one. The stat you’ve all probably been waiting for. If your conversion rate lies between 2.46% and 3.26%, you’re within the average.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to know what is a good closing percentage in sales, you now have the answer.
39. Around 50% of prospects don’t care about your services.
Almost hard to believe, but true. Half of all your prospects don’t have any interest in what you’re offering. This goes a long way to explaining why conversion rates are relatively low across all industries. You spend a lot of your time talking to prospects who never really cared about what you were selling.
Talk about fighting an uphill battle.
What’s more, things are much harder now than they used to be…
40. It’s harder to get responses from prospects in 2019 compared to 2016.
HubSpot ran a survey and concluded that 40% of sellers find it harder to get responses now than they did three years ago. Could this be down to the buyer’s approach to sellers and how they feel like they’re too pushy? It’s a possibility, and a lack of innovation from the sellers’ perspective may also be a factor.
41. 75% of prospects are more likely to talk to sales agents if they need what’s on offer.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of prospects want to talk to sellers when they actually need what you’re selling.
It’s not rocket science:
If a buyer wants something, they are more than happy to talk to you about it.
But that’s not all, the price comes into play as well…
42. 64% of prospects are willing to talk to sales agents if they can afford the service/product.
Again, we shouldn’t be absolutely blown away by this – it’s common sense! You’ll find that over half of your prospects are keen to talk to sales agents when your product fits their budget. Logically, this is so obvious! Why would someone interact with sales reps if they know they can’t afford what’s being sold?
43. 57% of consumers will pick businesses based on the customer service level.
As far as sales success statistics go, we can learn a lot from this.
If you improve your customer service level, buyers are more likely to pick you.
From here, you’re a step close to seeing sales success because you should be able to capture more leads.
44. Average companies close 20% of qualified leads.
By comparison, the best companies close 30% of qualified leads. So, if your closing percentage is around 20%, you’re pretty much average. But, if it’s closer to 30%, you’re up there with the big guns.
Remember, this isn’t the same as your conversion rate! It’s the percentage of qualified leads you close.
Sales Referral Stats
If you’ve made it this far down the page, give yourself a big pat on the back.
Unless you just skipped everything and came straight here, then no pat for you!
This is our penultimate section, and it will tell you all the key sales referral stats you should really know about:
45. One-third of all leads come from sales referrals.
Referrals are so powerful for sellers – 33% of your leads will likely come from them.
The bottom line is that you need to start increasing your referrals if you want to increase your sales figures!
46. A massive 84% of B2B Sales start with a referral.
Things get even better when you look at business sales. Only 16% of business sales don’t begin with a referral. That’s mental!
Is there any reasoning behind this? It’s likely because business customers need to be more cautious when spending their money. Either that or the wrong product/service can lead to a loss. So, the best way to be certain is to see what other businesses are saying.
47. When the sales experience is positive, 83% of consumers will refer the product/service to others.
One way to get more referrals is to improve the sales experience for the customer. When you do this, the vast majority of your customers will go on and refer you to other people.
48. 71% of consumers make referrals because they’re asked by the company.
Only 29% of consumers make referrals by themselves with no influence from the company.
The key takeaway is that you probably won’t get referrals unless you ask for them!
Online Sales Statistics
To round off our sales statistics, we have a couple of online sales stats. These two facts should give you an idea of the scope of online selling and how successful it can be:
49. 1.92 billion online shoppers in 2019.
That’s approximately a third of the world’s population, and this figure is predicted to increase well beyond two billion by 2021.
50. Online sales have a 2.72% average conversion rate.
Think back to our section on conversion rate statistics and online sales fit nicely into the average bracket.
As a result, we can’t argue that online selling is much more effective than other methods.
Our Final Thoughts
These are the things you need to bear in mind:
The majority of sales agents fail to meet their quotas. To improve this, you should definitely invest in training – preferably using technology. Cold calling can still be effective, but you need to know when to call and what to say.
One of our biggest sales statistics is that referrals account for a third of all sales. So, focus on getting more of them whenever you close a sale. Hopefully, the rest of our stats and facts will help you figure out what’s holding your sales team back.
Now, you can get out there and start putting things right!
- Bridge Group inc
- Pacific Crest
- Inside Sales
- RAIN Group
- CSO insights
- A Sales Guy Consulting and Social Centred Selling
- CSO Insights
- Feedback Systems
- Aberdeen Research
- Boomerang App
- RAIN Group
- RAIN Group
- Vantage Point Performance
- Training Industry
- Sales Management Association
- Marc Wayshak
- Point Clear
- Texas Tech
- Texas Tech