In 2023, many sales organizations will focus on measuring and improving sales productivity. To build an effective strategy and plan to support it, you need to take a look at research focused on different parts of it. In this blog post, we’ve rounded up sales productivity stats from the leading research firms and vendors in the sales enablement space to put together stats bucked into a few different categories: customer experience; rep time management; sales managers; sales enablement; and technology usage. We’ve also included some recommendations for how to use this research to inform your own plan. But first…
What is sales productivity?
Simply put, sales productivity is how efficient and effective your sales reps are at hitting a variety of revenue milestones and goals. Of course, just because reps are making more calls and sending more emails does not mean they are necessarily progressing sales or generating revenue.
At Mindtickle, we define a sales productivity tool as anything that improves and measures the skills, will, and in-field behaviors demonstrated by reps.
That might include tools that hold reps accountable, such as email and call activity tracking; those that empower reps to better prepare for meetings and follow-up, such as Content Management Systems (CMS); and solutions that arm reps with insights that help them drive specific deals and accounts forward more effectively.
Read on to see some of the top sales productivity stats your organization must know and adapt to in 2023 and beyond.
- 63% of purchases have more than four people involved—vs. just 47% in 2017 — and they can include different buyer roles—champions, influencers, decision-makers, users, or ratifiers—from multiple departments. (Forrester’s 2021 B2B Buying Study).
- Once you’re talking to a decision-maker, the ideal number of calls to win a sale is six. (Crunchbase)
- The best time to make sales calls is within an hour of receiving their initial inquiry. (Callhippo)
- Only 7 percent of companies respond within five minutes of a prospect’s form submission. But that can hurt you—35 to 50 percent of sales go to the company that responds first.
- Although the number of buying interactions increases slightly every year (e.g., from 16 to 17 between 2017 and 2019), the number of buying interactions during the pandemic jumped from 17 to 27. (Forrester’s 2021 B2B Buying Study).
- 85% of sellers say they lost or delayed at least one deal in the past year, because a key client stakeholder changed jobs. (LinkedIn State of Sales Report)
- Over 70 percent of B2B buyers no longer want to meet sales reps in person, but they are open to remote meetings.
- In B2B sales, 65 percent of a company’s new sales result from referrals. (ThinkImpact)
- Referred customers have an 18 percent lower churn rate than customers acquired through other sources. (Extole)
- When consumers are acquired through referrals, they have a 37 percent higher retention rate, and they’re four times more likely to make a purchase. (Extole)
- 74% of buyers chose the company that was the first to add value. (Forbes)
Rep time management
- Only 35.2% of a sales rep’s time is spent actively selling. (Forbes)
- Top sellers spend an average of 6 hours every week researching their prospects. (Crunchbase)
- On average, it takes eight cold calls to reach a prospect. (Crunchbase)
- Organizations that don’t cold call experienced 42% less growth than those who used the tactic. (Crunchbase)
- The average sales rep makes 52 calls every day. (The Bridge Group)
- Sales reps who use social selling are 50% more likely to meet or exceed their quota. (LinkedIn)
- 67% of sales managers say that overseeing a remote sales team is more challenging than they anticipated. (LinkedIn State of Sales Report)
- Sales leaders believe 50 percent of the clients they speak with aren’t a good fit for the product or service they’re selling. (Sales Insight Lab)
- Long-term training is important and—unfortunately—overlooked. 85 percent of reps report being coached on closing open deals, but only 24 percent report being coached on long-term skills. (Mindtickle’s 2022 State of Sales Readiness Report)
- 65% of sales reps say they can’t find content to send to prospects. (Upland).
- 28% of organizations use 10 or more tools to drive sales productivity – but most still aren’t happy with their quota attainment and revenue results (Mindtickle’s 2022 Sales Enablement Outlook Report).
- 43 percent of salespeople made use of intelligence tools for their sales tracking and pipeline, which was a 54 percent increase from two years earlier.
How to improve your sales team using these statistics:
Based on these stats, we’ve got some recommendations for you below. Here are some of the top ways to apply these stats to put changes in place that actually improve your sales team.
- Roll out an enablement program around multi-threading to different personas. Make sure every rep understands how to drive urgency and qualify every persona. Consider creating a laminated “desk buddy” for each persona to help reps multi-thread. Use a revenue intelligence or conversation intelligence tool to score deal health and know with data if reps have engaged the right title and number of contacts.
- Refine your BDR process so that you are picking up the phone and reaching out to leads who visit your website right away. Consider an automated and highly personalized chatbot.
- Build a playbook for what reps do when a champion leaves the company, which is more likely to happen in the current economy.
- Put a really detailed referral program in place to incentive reps to ask for customer referrals and customers to provide them.
- Build a playbook around when/how reps can add value with each persona they engage.
- Automate note-taking and account hand-offs with conversation intelligence.
- Ensure you have an up-to-date cold calling process and playbook in place – cold calling is NOT dead.
- Implement MEDPIC, BANT, or another sales methodology to ensure sales reps are qualifying prospects. Track that this process is being completed in your CRM.
- Provide sales managers with detailed sales manager training on how to coach. Measure how many calls and deals they review and track that coaching was complete.
- Go beyond deal coaching to focus on skill development. In month one, focus on discovery. In month two, focus on perfecting the demo and telling powerful customer stories. In month three, focus on differentiating and handling objections.
- Put a tool in place to ensure top-rated and most viewed/shared content is easy for reps to find. Make sure reps can provide two-way feedback on the content you’ve created so that you know what is truly driving deals forward and what reps find useful.
- When possible, consolidate tools and prioritize tools that enable you to automate processes or access voice of customer insights that will help your reps uncover deal risks, better compete, and win more.
Interested in more research that can help define and drive your sales enablement strategy in the year ahead? Download our 2022-2023 Sales Enablement Outlook Report to take a look at original Mindtickle research.