Sale Training

Selling is a transaction where a good or service is being exchanged for money. It also refers to the process of persuading a person or organization to buy something.

Learn more about selling and how it works.

What Is Selling?

At its essence, selling is handing over something of value in exchange for money or another item of value. But to get to the point where someone is willing to part with their money to obtain an item or service often requires persuasion.

Not all sales transactions are equal. There is a huge difference between buying gas for your car and buying a car. In the first instance of buying gas because the tank is empty, there's no persuasion involved.

Buying a car, on the other hand, is often not an imminent need. It involves a larger investment to obtain and generally requires a salesperson to assist you.

How Selling Works

If you're selling a product or service, you need to focus your selling efforts on communicating the benefits to the buyer. People buy solutions or items they believe will make their lives better or happier or fulfill a specific need.

For example, if you're selling long-term care insurance, the potential buyer should understand the high costs of long-term care and the benefits of not having to worry about paying for those costs. The buyer needs to understand how the product or service will satisfy a need or improve their lives.

Another example is the hula hoop. Did anyone ever actually need a hula hoop? No. But they're fun and can be a form of exercise. Promoting the hula hoop as a form of fun fitness is an example of selling benefits.

Requirements for Selling

Selling is crucial to business success but is often a task many dread. Fortunately, sales can be learned and can be done without being smarmy or obnoxious. Here are a few traits and skills needed to be a successful salesperson:

  • The ability to build long-term relationships with customers one at a time: Most good salespeople think long-term about how they can leverage the current sale into more business in the future from the same customer or with referrals.
  • The ability to listen to the customer: Too many salespeople spend their time attempting to talk the prospective customer into buying without finding out what the customer actually wants. Customers buy solutions or things that make them feel good. You can't do that if you don't know what the customer needs or wants.
  • Tenacity: A good salesperson knows that it may take several attempts to make a sale and never gives up on a potential customer. Instead, they have a follow-up system to stay in touch with prospects. Somewhere down the line, an email or phone call reminder might close the deal.
  • Self-motivation: Successful salespeople have a high level of initiative. They constantly look for new opportunities and view setbacks as learning experiences. They hold themselves accountable for their performance and don't blame others or current economic conditions for lack of success.
  • Self-promotion: This might include handing out business cards and other promotional materials, developing and using an email list, creating a website, and using social media postings.
  • Investing in the community: Giving back to the community you work in by donating to charities, sponsoring community groups, and engaging in volunteer activities is not only good for the soul, but it's also good for business. Investing where you work increases the likelihood that customers will return the favor when they need your products or services.

Types of Selling

There are various sales tactics and systems, some of which are effective and some that should be avoided. Here are some of the most common approaches:

  1. High-pressure sales: Sales professionals are often told buyers are liars and that to get the sale, they need to push hard and not take "no" for an answer. Most buyers don't want to be pressured, though. High-pressure sales usually fail or lead to a buyer that regrets their purchase.
  2. Transactional selling: This approach focuses on making quick sales; there's no attempt to form a long-term relationship with the customer. While transactional selling tends to be looked down on, it does have its place. Looking at it from the customer's point of view, sometimes a simple transaction is all the customer wants or needs. For example, buying gas for a car or a new outfit.
  3. Consultative selling (relationship selling): This approach involves developing an on-going relationship with the customer. The salesperson's goal is to get to know the customer's needs and wants so they can do the best job of giving the customer what they want.
  4. Collaborative selling: This style takes relationship selling one step further in that the sales approach involves developing a partnership between buyer and seller. It involves a high level of trust from the buyer that the seller has their needs foremost in mind.

The approach you should use depends on your personality, industry, and customer. As a salesperson, you'll be more comfortable with some selling styles than others, and you'll probably be more successful with sales as a result.

Key Takeaways

  • Selling is a transaction where a good or service is being exchanged for money. It also refers to the process of persuading a person or organization to buy something.
  • If you're selling a product or service, you need to focus your selling efforts on communicating the benefits to the buyer. 
  • Successful salespeople have several traits, including the ability to build relationships and the ability to listen to customers. 
  • There are several sales techniques; some should be avoided, while others focus on building mutually beneficial relationships with customers. 
The unfortunate reality is that sales is no longer simply a career path, it's a life skill that we all need to develop. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a restauranteur or a teacher in a classroom, the ability to influence, engage and ultimately convince your audience to take action is a critical skill-set to master.The top 5 skills for a career in sales
  • Confidence - maintaining a positive attitude.
  • Resilience - communicating with conviction.
  • Active listening - understanding the customers' needs.
  • Rapport building - selling your personality.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit - continual self-improvement.
We’ve gathered the most surprising, horrifying, and enlightening sales stats on cold calling statistics, social selling, sales training, facts, 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. 

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. 

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. 

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.To learn more about ways that you can activate and motivate your sales team to start leveraging social networks in the overall sales function, contact us.

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

85 Key Sales Statistics That'll Help You Sell Smarter in 2022

Aja Frost
Aja Frost


The best sales efforts tend to be informed by trends within the broader sales landscape. That's why staying on top of key sales statistics is so crucial for salespeople looking to prospect effectively, research incisively, conduct well-received outreach, and remain as productive as possible.


To help sales professionals get there, we've compiled a list of facts and figures currently shaping the practice in 2022 — including information pulled from HubSpot's recent survey of over 1,000 global sales reps, managers, and leaders.

Download Now: 2023 Sales Trends Report [New Data]

Let's dive in.

Sales Prospecting Statistics

Sales Follow-Up Statistics

Sales Email Statistics

Sales Call Statistics

Social Selling Statistics

Sales Productivity Statistics

Referral Sales Statistics

Sales Career Statistics

Inside Sales Statistics

Sales Technology Statistics

Remote Sales Statistics

Sales Statistics [2022]

Sales Prospecting Statistics

1. Top sellers spend an average of 6 hours every week researching their prospects. (Crunchbase)

2. Need and budget are the two biggest factors in whether a prospect connects with a rep. (RAIN Group)

Sales Follow-Up Statistics

3. 64% of sales professionals who cross-sell say email follow-up is the most effective cross-selling strategy (HubSpot)

4. 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes. (Invesp)

5.48% of salespeople never even make a single follow up attempt. (Invesp)

6.80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls whereas. (Invesp)

7. 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up call. (Invesp)

Sales Email Statistics

8. Personalizing email subject lines leads to a 22% increase in open rate. (

9. 33% of people open emails based on the subject line alone. (SuperOffice)

10. Email is almost 40 times better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter. (The Brevet Group)

11.<43% of sales professionals say email is the most effective channel for selling (HubSpot)

Sales Call Statistics

12. 69% of buyers have accepted cold calls from new providers. (Crunchbase)

13.57% of C-level buyers prefer to be contacted via phone. (Crunchbase)

14. Organizations that don’t cold call experienced 42% less growth than those who used the tactic. (Crunchbase)

15. On average, it takes eight cold calls to reach a prospect. (Crunchbase)

16. Once you’re talking to the decision-maker, six is the ideal number of calls to win a sale. (Crunchbase)

17. The best time of the workday to make sales calls to prospects is between 4:00 to 5:00 pm. (Callhippo)

18. The best day to call your prospects is Wednesday. (Callhippo)

19. The second best time to call prospects is between 11:00 AM -12:00 PM. (Callhippo)

20. The best time to make sales calls is within an hour of receiving their initial inquiry. (Callhippo)

21. The worst times to call prospects are Mondays and the second half of Fridays. (Callhippo)

Social Selling Statistics

sales statistics surrounding social selling22. 56% of sales professionals use social media to find new prospects. (HubSpot)

23. 67% of sales professionals who use social media to find new prospects say Facebook is one of the most effective platforms. (HubSpot)

24. 63% of sales professionals who use social media to find new prospects say LinkedIn is one of the most effective platforms. (HubSpot)

25. 62% of sales professionals who use social media to find new prospects say Instagram is one of the most effective platforms. (HubSpot)

26. 51% of sales professionals who use social media to find new prospects say YouTube is one of the most effective platforms. (HubSpot)

27. 48% of sales professionals who use social media to find new prospects say TikTok is one of the most effective platforms. (HubSpot)

28. 39% of sales professionals who use social media to find new prospects say Reddit is one of the most effective platforms. (HubSpot)

29. 55% of sales professionals use social media to research prospects and their businesses. (HubSpot)

30. 74% of sales professionals who use social media to research prospects and their businesses say LinkedIn is one of the most effective platforms. (HubSpot)

31. 66% of sales professionals who use social media to research prospects and their businesses say Facebook is one of the most effective platforms. (HubSpot)

32. 60% of sales professionals who use social media to research prospects and their businesses say Instagram is one of the most effective platforms. (HubSpot)

33. 45% of sales professionals who use social media to research prospects and their businesses say Twitter is one of the most effective platforms. (HubSpot)

34. 45% of sales professionals who use social media to research prospects and their businesses say Reddit is one of the most effective platforms. (HubSpot)

35. 45% of sales professionals who use social media to research prospects and their businesses say YouTube is one of the most effective platforms. (HubSpot)

Sales Productivity Statistics

sales statistics surrounding productivity metrics36. 47% of sales leaders track CRM usage as a productivity metric. (HubSpot)

37. 41% of sales leaders track calls made as a productivity metric. (HubSpot)

38. 37% of sales leaders track emails sent as a productivity metric. (HubSpot)

39. 36% of sales leaders track conversations as a productivity metric. (HubSpot)

40. 35% of sales leaders track use of sales tools as a productivity metric. (HubSpot)

41. 33% of sales leaders track proposals sent as a productivity metric. (HubSpot)

42. 31% of sales leaders track number of follow-ups from high-quality leads as a productivity metric. (HubSpot)

43. 30% of sales leaders track scheduled meetings as a productivity metric. (HubSpot)

44. 54% of sales leaders say calls made is one of the most important productivity metrics to track. (HubSpot)

45. 54% of sales leaders say number of follow-ups from high quality leads is one of the most important productivity metrics to track. (HubSpot)

46. 54% of sales leaders say CRM usage is one of the most important productivity metrics to track. (HubSpot)

47. 54% of sales leaders say proposals sent is one of the most important productivity metrics to track. (HubSpot)

48. 52% of sales leaders say conversations is one of the most important productivity metrics to track. (HubSpot)

49. 50% of sales leaders say demos or sales presentations is one of the most important productivity metrics to track. (HubSpot)

50. 48% of sales leaders say social media interactions is one of the most important productivity metrics to track. (HubSpot)

51. 47% of sales leaders say use of sales tools is one of the most important productivity metrics to track. (HubSpot)

52. 47% of sales leaders say emails sent is one of the most important productivity metrics to track. (HubSpot)

Referral Sales Statistics

53. 56% of sales professionals get leads from existing customer referrals. (HubSpot)

54. 66.5% of sales professionals say leads generated from customer referrals are the highest quality leads they work work. (HubSpot)

Sales Career Statistics

sales statistics surrounding sales careers55. The median OTE for an SDR is $76,000. (Bridge Group, Inc.)

56. The median OTE for an SDR Manager is $128,000. (Bridge Group, Inc.)

57. The median OTE for a B2B AE is $132,000. (Bridge Group, Inc.)

58. The median OTE for an AE Manager is $156,000. (Bridge Group, Inc.)

59. The median OTE for a Director of Sales Development is $177,000. (Bridge Group, Inc.)

60. The median OTE for a Director AE is $218,000. (Bridge Group, Inc.)

Inside Sales Stats

61. Just 33% of inside sales-rep time is spent actively selling. (CSO Insights)

62. The average outside sales call will cost $308. Meanwhile, the average inside sales call costs $50. (Pointclear)

Sales Technology Stats

63. 22% of sales leaders say leveraging their CRM to its fullest potential is one of their top goals in 2022. (HubSpot)

64. 32% of sales professionals who leverage a CRM identified "helping you keep track of your leads" as being one of a CRM's biggest benefits. (HubSpot)

65. 25% of sales professionals who leverage a CRM identified "acting as an organized, centralized database" as being one of a CRM's biggest benefits. (HubSpot)

66. 24% of sales professionals who leverage a CRM identified "improving customer retention" as being one of a CRM's biggest benefits. (HubSpot)

67. 22% of sales professionals who leverage a CRM identified "offering detailed analytics and reports" as being one of a CRM's biggest benefits. (HubSpot)

68. 22% of sales professionals who leverage a CRM identified "acting as an organized, centralized database" as being one of a CRM's biggest benefits. (HubSpot)

69. 22% of sales professionals who leverage a CRM identified "helping you understand your customers and their needs " as being one of a CRM's biggest benefits. (HubSpot)

70. 20% of sales professionals who leverage a CRM identified "streamlining to sales cycle" as being one of a CRM's biggest benefits. (HubSpot)

71. 19% of sales professionals who leverage a CRM identified "helping you identify valuable opportunities" as being one of a CRM's biggest benefits. (HubSpot)

72. 19% of sales professionals who leverage a CRM identified "helping you plan and prioritize your schedule" as being one of a CRM's biggest benefits. (HubSpot)

73. 18% of sales professionals who leverage a CRM identified "increasing your productivity/reduces time spent on administrative tasks " as being one of a CRM's biggest benefits. (HubSpot)

Remote Sales Stats

sales statistics surrounding remote work74. 50% of sales leaders say reps will follow a hybrid sales model this year. (HubSpot)

75. 32% of sales leaders say reps will follow an in-person sales model this year. (HubSpot)

76. 17% of sales leaders say reps will follow a fully remote sales model this year. (HubSpot)

77. 44% of sales professionals who sell remotely say phone calls are the most effective channel for remote selling. (HubSpot)

78. 21% of sales professionals who sell remotely say emails are the most effective channel for remote selling. (HubSpot)

79. 18% of sales professionals who sell remotely say video chat is the most effective channel for remote selling. (HubSpot)

80. 43% of remote or hybrid salespeople say, "Selling remotely has no impact on my ability to sell." (HubSpot)

81. 36% of remote or hybrid salespeople say, "Selling remotely has made it easier to sell." (HubSpot)

82. 21% of remote or hybrid salespeople say, "Selling remotely has made it harder to sell." (HubSpot)

83. 46% of sales professionals who sell both remotely and in-person say, "Selling remotely is less effective." (HubSpot)

84. 23% of sales professionals who sell both remotely and in-person say, "Selling remotely is more effective." (HubSpot)

85. 31% of sales professionals who sell both remotely and in-person say, "Selling remotely and in-person are about the same." (HubSpot)

This list obviously doesn't cover every factor impacting the sales landscape in 2022. Still, every point here represents a key trend that can help you better understand the resources you can leverage, more effectively engage with your prospects, and ultimately see the hard results you're after.

55 Shocking Sales Statistics That'll Change the Way You Sell in 2023

55 Shocking Sales Statistics That'll Change the Way You Sell in 2023

Sometimes, it takes the cold, harsh truth to burst your cozy little bubble. And sometimes, it takes 55 cold, hard facts. Enter: crucial sales statistics that'll change how you sell in 2023.

These sales stats reflect uncomfortable truths that sales teams deal with every single day. You and your team might be losing hours of productivity—and money—due to these mistakes.

Don't treat these stats as the final law on selling. Instead, let them inspire you with new ways of solving problems.

How to Use Sales Statistics to Guide Your Sales Strategy

Sales stats generally come from data research companies like Neilsen and Statista. These companies run surveys, scour the internet, and analyze data to generate statistics that explain the state of the sales industry.

For example, they might survey sales reps and report that 67% of sales reps take advantage of sales enablement. Sometimes they might also ask sales teams if they met their goals and share stats like “45% of sales teams that exceed their quotas use sales enablement tools.”

These stats can help guide your own strategy, especially when they are specific to your industry or niche. For example, if 75% of SaaS companies use a CRM, there’s a good chance that it's a successful strategy you should test.

Keep in mind that sales stats can vary by industry. Average close rates in the software industry, for instance, are different from average close rates in the finance industry.

Make sure the stats you use to guide your sales strategy are relevant to your company/sales approach.

Now, let's dive into the sales statistics!

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Sales Email Statistics

Email can be every salesperson’s best friend, but too often it’s used incorrectly. Some people don’t know how to cold email effectively. Other people don’t spend enough time on what’s possibly the most crucial element of an email—the subject line.  And others need to send that unresponsive prospect a breakup email.

These stats prove email can be powerful–if you do it right.

1. Email is 40 times more effective at getting new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. — McKinsey

Email is incredibly effective, but can eat up your time if you don’t do it right. Make use of templates and personalized messages, which you can do right from Close’s interface.

2. Email marketing has 2x higher ROI than cold calling. — MarketingSherpa

You read that right. Email is twice as powerful as cold calling, so make the most out of your emails. Close can send emails from inside the app, so no more screen-juggling.

3. 47% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line and nothing else. (And it goes both ways: 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on it.) — OptinMonster

First impressions can make or break a potential sale. Tell people right away that you’ve got something worth their time by writing effective subject lines.

4. 43% of email recipients mark emails as spam based only on the email address. — Convince and Convert

Even if you’re sending a message from a legitimate email, people may still think it’s spam, so think carefully when sending a message.

5. 35% of professionals read emails on a mobile device. — Convince and Convert

Short and sweet wins when it comes to mobile. You can save short templates in Close and send them with a single click.

6. Subject lines with the recipient's name are 2.6% more likely to be opened. — MailUp

Personalized subject lines also help to create rapport.

7. 14.7% of emails are caught by spam filters. Avoid using words and phrases like "act now," "free trial," and "bargain" to improve your chances of landing in the inbox. — Ortto, 2022

Email services like Gmail work hard to protect their users from spam—a little too hard, sometimes. If your email subject lines use one of the above mentioned words/phrases, it may get sent to the spam folder. Even if it's completely legit. Best to avoid them.

8. The best time to email prospects is between 8:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. — GetResponse

That’s a whopping seven-hour window, so test to see when your prospects are most likely to engage. Nail that winning cold email, and set reminders for yourself to follow up.

Sales Call Statistics

The phone call has been the backbone of sales for decades, and it’s still a driving force. But it’s not easy. Not everyone is a cold calling pro who knows how to immediately capture a prospect’s attention on the phone.

Here are some revealing stats to help you optimize your calling processes.

sales stats person on a phone call

9. 92% of all customer interactions happen on the phone. — Salesforce

Email is great, but sometimes, nothing beats talking one-on-one with your prospect. Become an expert at cold calling, and reap the benefits.

10. 85% of prospects and customers are dissatisfied with their on-the-phone experience. — Salesforce

When you’re on the line with a prospect, you can’t take any chances. Having everything that relates to the current prospect right in front of you will make your outbound sales efforts easier and more productive.

Our sales communication platform automatically displays the entire conversation history and context around this deal on the lead page when you’re speaking with them.

11. Sales reps spend about 15% of their time leaving voicemails. — Ringlead

That’s 15% more time you could spend making sales. Close’s streamlined interface gives you the ability to leave pre-recorded voicemail messages with the click of a button. You can hang up the call and have Close dial the next number while it leaves the voicemail for you.

12. The average sales rep makes 52 calls every day. — The Bridge Group

If you’re making 52 calls every day, they better be damn efficient. Make the most out of your calls with the best sales software. Some of our customers are making 200+ calls per rep a day (read more about how they’re doing this.)

13. If you call a lead in the first 5 minutes after they've submitted a web form, they're 100x more likely to get on the phone. — Inside Sales

Leverage this powerful fact. Track your leads’ web form activity, and you’ll be rewarded for your speed and attention.

14. You are 15% more likely to connect with your prospect between 8-11 am their time. — Xant

Many sales reps use time-blocking to ensure maximum productivity. If you find 8-11 am local time is when you get the best reach rates, schedule your call prospecting during these hours.

15. 57% of C-Level and VP-level buyers prefer to connect with sellers on the phone. — Top Performance in Sales Prospecting, Rain Group

While you find people ranting on social media all the time how much they hate having to talk with a salesperson on the phone—the people actually making buying decisions like talking with sales reps.

16. 69% of buyers accept cold calls from new providers, and 82% of buyers said they accept meetings with sellers who reach out to them. — Rain Group

Again, all the data shows that cold calling is still an effective way to drum up business.

Want more customers? Pick up the phone!

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Sales Follow-Up Statistics

If there’s one thing that too many sales reps suck at, it’s following up. It’s the same old story—you don’t want to be annoying, so you play it safe. But if you want to close more deals, you need to develop an effective outreach strategy.

Keep these stats in mind as you’re planning your own follow up plan.

17. 92% of salespeople give up after four “no’s”, but 80% of prospects say “no” four times before they say “yes”. — Marketing Donut

Sales representatives need to expect, accept, and embrace the no. Once they do, they can begin working to overcome them and make more sales.

18. 80 percent of sales require 5 follow-up calls. — Scripted

That’s a lot of follow-up calls and a lot of potential hassle. With Close, five calls equals five clicks, and you won’t even have to schedule a reminder. Our workflows and SmartViews ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

19. On average, it takes 8 follow-up calls to reach a prospect. — Telenet and Ovation Sales Group

That’s even more follow-up calls! (But with Close, it’s only eight clicks. ) Put in the work and your cold leads will become respondents. Who knows? They may eventually become paying customers, too. But you won't know until you follow up. Relentlessly.

20. 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up call. — Scripted

Being persistent shows you're serious about closing a deal. Knowing how to follow up correctly will boost your chances of reaching a prospect and landing a sale. Do both and you'll achieve more success.

Sales Productivity Statistics

Each year, sales reps waste hundreds of hours on boring tasks like entering data and logging prospect outreach. The sales team at Foursquare had this same issue–until they tried Close. It took reps 16 clicks to log a call in Salesforce but only 2 clicks in Close. Now, they have more time to spend interacting with prospects and closing deals instead of wasting time on manual data entry.

If that’s not enough to convince you to up your productivity, these stats will highlight just what's at stake.

21. Lost productivity and poorly managed leads cost companies at least $1 trillion every year. — Marketo

We don’t think you should even lose $1 due to lost productivity. Manage your leads efficiently and stay on top of things with Close.

22. 71% of sales reps say they spend too much time on data entry. — Toutapp

Close automatically logs all your interactions with prospects and leads. Emails and phone calls are automatically tracked—so you can spend more time closing deals and less time entering data.

23. 42.5% of sales reps take 10 months or longer to become productive enough to contribute to company goals. — IRC

We built Close to combat this loss of productivity. Close is intuitive, and our customers get new reps up and running in just one week. Even better, this simple onboarding hack can get new sales hires up to speed much faster.

24. High-performing companies are 2x as likely as underperforming companies to describe their sales processes as automated. — Velocify

Automation makes your life easier–and a world-class CRM can make all the difference.

25. Only 35.2% of a sales rep's time is spent actively selling. — Forbes

Manage your time and leads more wisely. Using a first-rate CRM (cough, Close, cough) will allow you to track everything you need to, all in one place. Stay focused on interacting with your prospect instead of doing busywork.

26. Sales reps who use social selling are 50% more likely to meet or exceed their quota. — LinkedIn

LinkedIn is especially powerful for B2B social selling. Just don’t do social sales the wrong way.

27. Only 46.7% of sales reps globally meet quota. — Sales Hacker

Why? Because sales reps are working with clumsy CRMs and managing their time poorly. Don’t let it happen to you.

28. Less than 70% of employees are engaged at their jobs. — Gallup

Ask yourself, honestly: Is this your company? If so, you need to make some serious productivity improvements.

29. 65% of sales reps say they can't find content to send to prospects. — Upland

Having a conversation history that gives you context around each lead makes it easy to identify relevant content.

Miscellaneous Sales Statistics

We don’t leave any stone unturned. These stats cover everything from the importance of referrals to the necessity of value, and they’re as eye-opening as the past 31 have been.

sales stats about productivity

30. 91% of customers say they'd give referrals, but only 11% of salespeople ask for them. — Dale Carnegie

A referral can be the gateway to the next deal. Give value to your customers, and then ask them for a referral. Why should you do this? Because ...

31. 84% of B2B decision-makers start their purchase with a referral. —Influitive

If you don’t already have a process to get referrals, now is the time.

32. Increasing client retention by as little as 5% can boost profits by as much as 95%. — Bain & Company

How do you increase client retention? By constantly proving your worth and staying in contact with your clients. Close makes it easy to stay up-to-date with your clients.

33. Thursday is the best day to prospect. — Hubspot

The second best day to prospect is Wednesday. And the third best day? Today. ????

34. 50% of websites get only 15 seconds of attention. — MarketingProfs

Does yours stand out? Get honest feedback and use it to improve your site.

35. 44% of buyers feel that only 25% of their providers help them maximize their value. — Gartner

If you’re not maximizing value for your buyers, you could be on the way out. Constantly deliver the value that your buyers deserve.

36. 74% of buyers chose the company that was the first to add value. — Forbes

At the risk of beating a dead horse—give your buyers value!

37. 98% of all text messages are opened, compared to 22% of emails. - MobileMarketingWatch

Nothing against email, but text open rates blow email open rates out of the water. Luckily, with Close, you can send your prospects and customers texts with one click.

38. 65% of sales professionals say they “always” put the buyer first. However, only 23% of buyers agree that sellers “always” put the buyer first. - LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021

The same survey reported only 39% of sales professionals say their sales org delivers the buyer first behavior of providing free and easy access to product reviews “all the time.” If you lead a sales team, consider how you can support your team when it comes to putting your prospects and customers first.

39. 50% of buyers say that working remotely has made the purchasing process easier. - LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021

The rapid rise of remote work due to the pandemic has led to a shift to remote sales, and buyers are on board.

40. 67% of sales managers say that overseeing a remote sales team is more challenging than they anticipated. - LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021

We've been a fully remote sales team since 2014, and helped thousands of sales organizations around the world to make the shift to virtual selling. And now we've gathered all of our best, proven strategies in the free Remote Sales Team Playbook.

41. 86% of sales managers state that coping with change is more important in 2021 than it was five years ago. - LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021

This is not just true on an individual level, but especially on a team-wide level. If you've ever been in charge of leading a team, you know how challenging it can be to lead through change. Check out Sales team management: How to inspire change from within for actionable advice for sales managers.

42. 77% of sales professionals say their sales organization plans to invest “significantly more” or “more” in sales intelligence tools.  - LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021

Sounds like a good idea to us. Once you've used one of these tools to collect prospect data, use Close to reach out to them via phone, email, or text message.

43. 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

When you're closing large deals, it's important to build an army of internal champions. One of the most common mistakes we've seen sales teams make when it comes to selling to large organizations is that they assumed getting a "yes" from the decision maker is enough.

44. 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

As a sales rep, it's your responsibility to move the conversation forward. Check out our free book The Follow-Up Formula to learn how to master the sales follow-up.

45. 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 2021

We've been there ourselves—before launching Close, Steli was selling his online education platform to Oracle. Our team spent nine months on a deal. A Senior VP, Director, and multiple managers at different levels were involved. Then, just a few weeks before signing the deal, the SVP left and took with him an entire flock of employees, including everyone we were in contact with. We were left with nothing.

46. 44% of B2B buyers say they won't do business with a company if they can't use their preferred channels. - State of the Connected Customer, Salesforce

Part of your job as a sales professional is to remove friction from the buying experience. Don't force your prospects to do things your way. Have the flexibility to accommodate their preferred channels of communication if a deal warrants it. You can use a UCaaS platform to ensure that.

47. Only 12% of people actually believe a business when they say "we put the customer first". - State of Customer Service in 2020, Hubspot

We've all had experiences with companies that let us down once they got our money. In a crowded market, servicing your customers better than other vendors can be your competitive advantage.

48. The sales budget for technology is expected to grow 5% in 2021 over the actual amount spent in 2020 - Technology Alone is Not the Answer for Sales and Marketing Alignment, Gartner

The sales tech space is booming—and organizations are spending more money on it. If you're able to help sales teams make better use of technology, there's a lot of opportunity for you ahead.

If you found yourself wincing in recognition at any of the above facts, don't keep making the same mistakes. Sign-up for a free 14-day trial to experience using a powerful CRM that works for you, not against you.

Sales Training Statistics

What about sales training? There has to be a few interesting facts about that, right? As a matter of fact, there are. Here are eight sales stats about the power of training.

sales training stats a guy training people in front of a screen

49.  The average company spends $2,000+ annually on training for each sales rep.  - HighSpot

Your competitors spend a pretty penny to train their reps. If you aren't doing the same, you'll fall behind. Invest in your team and their sales performance will improve.

50. The ROI of sales training is 353%. Basically, $1 spent training your reps should produce $4.53 in return. - TaskDrive

Sales training is vital to the success of your company. One, because your competitors are already doing it, as described above. And two, because it will turn your reps into super sellers. The more training they have, the more they'll sell. Period.

Just remember, your reps aren't the only ones who should receive regular training. Management professionals need it, too. No worries, we've got you covered.

51. Sales training can boost an individual rep's sales performance by an average of 20%. - Salesforce Training

Want to help your reps achieve more? It's pretty simple: give them proven training materials to sharpen their skills. Then Bob, who normally closes 10 deals a month, will start closing 12. And Cindy, who normally closes 15 deals a month, will start closing 18. Win!

52. When salespeople use their company's methodology and receive consistent training, they attain quota 73% of the time. - SPOTIO

Most companies train their sales reps. Fewer companies provide their reps with ongoing training. Reps that receive regular coaching and advice tend to have better success rates.

53. 65% of employees claim that quality sales training positively influences their engagement. - SPOTIO

Reps that receive sales training achieve greater success. They also tend to be more engaged, which has its own benefits. Namely, retention. Engaged employees are more likely to stick around, which means you'll have less newbies to coach every day.

54. 59% of companies say the biggest obstacle to effective sales training is accountability. - BrainShark

Sales leaders need to keep their reps accountable. Don't just provide them with sales training materials, check in and make sure they're actually going through them.

55. Sales leaders who teach their reps to open cold calls with the question, "How've you been?" see rep success rates jump by 6.6. - Gong
Unless you manage a field sales team and your reps meet every prospect in-person, you're probably intimately familiar with cold calling. Guess what: a simple opening phrase like "How've you been?" will skyrocket your reps' success rates. Make sure they use it.

How Sales Tools Impact Sales Success

The sales statistics above will help you build effective sales strategies your team can use to reach new prospects, uncover new sales opportunities, improve email open rates, and more. But sales statistics alone won't move the needle…

You also need access to quality sales tools, such as a proven CRM system. Solutions like Close keep your reps on track and use automation to streamline the sales process.

Our platform also helps sales managers analyze team performance. That way you always know which direction to lead your department in.

Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Close today to see if it's the right tool for your sales team.

10 Psychological Traits That Make a Great Salesperson

Psychologists and salesmen have more in common than you think.

10 Psychological Traits That Make a Great Salesperson
Getty Images

People often compare athletes to salespeople.  Their competitiveness, work ethic, and drive to succeed correlate strongly, which is why you often see a sales floor comprised of a majority of athletes.

While it is rarely spoken about, the similarities between psychologists and sales people is perhaps even more significant.  People seldomly make this comparison because the goals of psychologists and sales people are so fundamentally different.  While a psychologist's goal is to help another person with no personal gain, a sales person's goal is to close deals.

When you examine the underlying principles, techniques, and traits that each profession has, however, the similarities are remarkable.  Moreover, hiring sales people who possess traits of a psychologist will strengthen your sale organization.

Article continues after video.


Why This E-Commerce Entrepreneur Changed Her Mind About Influencer Marketing

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With a company's revenue and overall growth relying largely on the ability of its sales people to effectively generate leads and execute deals, it has become increasingly important for companies to find, recruit, and hire stellar salespeople and be able to distinguish them from less competent ones.  

When most people think of salespeople they think of energetic, charismatic, money-driven, and relentless.  Here are the 10 key traits to look to truly determine the prowess of a salesperson which are also apparent in psychologists.

1. Ability to Build Empathy

For two reasons, a salesperson must be able to build empathy with prospects and clients.

The first reason is that people buy from people they trust and feel comfortable with.  Product and price are secondary; the person behind the product is who the client is purchasing from.  If a salesperson can build rapport more effectively than a competitor, they will close deals more effectively too.

The second reason is that empathy is what enables the salesperson to elicit the problems and needs of the client, which moves the client towards closing the deal. The sale will close from the client's urgency, given the client's appreciation of the value the salesperson offers.

Psychology Today frequently stresses the importance of psychologists being able to build trust and empathy with their clients, noting that this is a key trait of successful psychologists.

Finding a salesperson who knows how to connect, build relationships, listen, and build rapport is important for your culture and success.

2. Ability to Listen and be Naturally Inquisitive

Listening is the most important part of any sales process.  The ability to ask provoking questions, get your prospect speaking, and practice reflective listening will elicit the prospect's pain points, arm you with the knowledge to close the deal, and get the prospect to trust you.

For psychologists, listening is the crux of their profession.  Asking questions and listening closely enables psychologists to extricate their clients' views and fix problems.  

To be a good listener, psychologists and sales people must be naturally inquisitive, always probing for more information to get to the root of their client's beliefs, wants, and problems.

3. Ability to put yourself in someone's shoes

A stellar salesperson knows how to think in terms of what the other person is thinking.  Sales people need to be able to understand and communicate on their prospect's term, because it is only then that they will be able to lead the prospect into arriving at their solution.

For a psychologist to be able to do their job, they must be able to think in terms of their client's world view and position.  Putting yourself in someone's shoes is the bedrock of empathy, which enables both psychologists and sales people to succeed in their jobs.

4. Intelligence and Ability to Infer

Sales people know that the prospect's opinions are not always stated explicitly.  Good sales people can make inferences and logical deductions, reading between the lines to understand the true meanings and desires of their prospects, and be able to elicit pain points strategically.

Likewise, a main goal of a psychologist is to understand the true feelings of their client based on the verbal and non-verbal cues that their client's display.

5. Communicate Effectively

Sales people need to be able to speak persuasively, effectively, and concisely.  Sales people are required to read their prospect and know how to adjust their tone, diction, and speed to match the conversation flow of their client.

Psychologists deal with patients who are 50 and others who are 10 years old, and they must have good awareness and control over their speech.

6. Emotional Stability and Regulation

When client's express frustration, anxiety or fear, it is critical that the sales person stays calm.  The ability to stabilize and regulate one's outward emotions is key for maintaining a professional and effective sales process.

A psychologist's ability to manage and succeed in a consultation with their client depends largely on their ability to extract feelings without showing frustration or sadness themselves.  With either profession, breaking character can lose the trust of the client.

7. Patience

Patience is a core quality of sales people, who need to nurture leads and move deals forward over months at a time.  Demanding a sale to early can ruin the deal.

For psychologists, patience is the name of the game.  Being able to stay calm and collected while your clients speak and vent is core to the role.

8. Problem Solving Skills

Sales people must be able to logically reason, and know how to turn any rebuttal into an answer.  A good sales person never takes "no" for an answer, and they can work their way around any objection.

A good sales person has the ability to create a bridge between problem and solution, understanding coherently the path he must take to make this logical sequence evident to his prospect.

Psychologists often run into unexpected problems, and they need to adapt and re-frame quickly in order to work through issues.

9. Self Awareness

Being aware of one's self and one's impact on the client is critical in making sure you are connecting with them when executing a deal.

For psychologists, being self aware is what enables you to make sure you are communicating on the same wave length as your client.

10. High Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is what defines good sales people and good psychologists.  Being able to understand, predict, and act based on what your knowledge of your client's feelings is pivotal for success.

High-performing sales reps demonstrate expertise in many areas including buyer engagement, communication, personalization and technology.

The original version of this article, authored by Scott Albro, was published by TOPO, now Gartner. 

Like many other professions, sales is facing some pretty radical changes. To survive in this environment, salespeople need a new set of skills. 

By analyzing trends and observing behaviors, we have identified a core set of 18 sales skills that help some of the world’s best salespeople succeed. 

Download now: Guide to Motivate and Retain Your Sales Team

No. 1: Understand what the buyer wants

Understanding the buyer is the foundation of effective selling, but it involves more than just knowing who the buyer is. Instead, it’s about identifying the experience the buyer wants to have as they consider making a purchase in your market. 

Your buyer has a set of expectations about that experience and your job as a salesperson is to exceed those expectations. You can’t exceed them if you don’t understand the experience that the buyer wants to have.

No. 2: Sell in a buyer-responsive manner

When a salesperson understands the buyer, they can engage in buyer-responsive selling. The idea here is to provide the buyer with what they want, when they want it. 

If, for example, your buyer needs a trial to evaluate your product but can’t allocate more than 30 minutes to it, give them a free trial that is easy to set up, easy to use and demonstrates the value of your product in five minutes or less. 

Download ebook: Future of Sales

No. 3: Use psychology to engage the buyer

There are a variety of psychological techniques you can use to create deeper engagement with your target buyers. One effective tip is to make sure that the customer knows you won’t take too much of their time. 

No. 4: Establish trust with the buyer

Buyers like to do business with people they trust. Good salespeople view their ability to establish trust with the buyer as a core sales skill. 

No. 5: Communicate succinctly

Buyers often value how information is presented more than the information itself. A good rule is to never try to communicate more than three important points in a single conversation with a buyer.

Download now: How sellers can close more high-quality deals

No. 6: Act on what the customer is saying

The best salespeople take action based on what they hear from their customer. It’s not good enough to just listen — you need to internalize what the buyer has said and then do something about it.

No. 7: Demonstrate subject matter expertise

Salespeople need to understand the buyer, including the pressing issues the buyer is facing and what they want as they work their way to a purchase. They also need to have expertise about their own product or service and the industry.

No. 8:  Help (as opposed to close) prospects

Buyers don’t want to be closed; they want to be helped. That’s why “always be helping” is the new “always be closing.” Remember this every time you interact with a buyer.

No. 9: Tell compelling stories

Buyers don’t really want to hear about your product or service. Good salespeople know this and weave the product or service they’re selling into a larger story that has an arc and ends with the customer receiving what they want, which is usually not your product. 

For example, when a business buys a phone system, they don’t really want to buy a phone system — they want to grow their revenue and recognize that the phone is an effective tool for doing that.

No. 10: Become great copywriters

Salespeople must be able to write. It’s one of today’s most important sales skills given how much sales uses email to communicate with buyers. There are a few rules to keep in mind when it comes to sales copywriting: 

  • The less you write, the better. Try to keep written communications short and sweet. 
  • Avoid using generic copy. You should take the time to personalize as many of your communications as possible.
  • Use bullets to format your copy. Lists are just easier for customers to digest. 
  • Finally, start and conclude your written communications with a call to action that asks the buyer to take a next step.

No. 11: Sell effectively over the phone

Field sales is moving inside and the face-to-face meeting is quickly becoming the 60-minute teleconference. As a result, salespeople need to be effective at managing sales calls using the phone. 

This requires different skills such as the ability to read the tone of someone’s voice or measure the cadence of the conversation to determine whether the prospect is satisfied or not. 

Download now: A Step Beyond the Challenger Sale

No. 12: Be socially active with target buyers

Social media has given rise to the field of social selling. A lot of salespeople view their participation on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as one of the more effective sales skills. 

Some of the best salespeople do things like organize dinners for groups of buyers they are interested in getting to know. Very little selling takes place at these mini-events. 

No. 13: Personalize interactions

Buyers don’t want the generic message or sales pitch; they want something that’s specific to them. One way to accomplish this is to weave messaging and content that is specific to the buyer’s demographics into your sales efforts. 

In a B2B setting, this might involve using specific industry examples. On the consumer side, it might involve tailoring how you communicate with a buyer depending on their age and gender. You can also reference recent events in the buyer’s personal or professional life (depending on the sales context) to personalize your interactions.

No. 14: Use a variety of marketing skills

Salespeople with advanced marketing skills tend to fare well. For example, content selling is an important skill that salespeople can use to move the buyer through the buying cycle. 

Sales management is borrowing from marketing and enforcing campaign-like structure on many sales activities. For example, some organizations are using a campaign format to structure how they conduct traditional sales activities like prospecting.

No. 15: Help prospects achieve next steps

It’s no longer good enough to agree on next steps, you actually have to help the buyer achieve those next steps. Let’s say a buyer you’ve been working with needs to get the CEO’s approval before they can make the final decision. You should provide the buyer with the information, content and tools they will need to persuade the CEO that your product or service is the right one.

No. 16: Use sales technology to boost productivity

Many sales organizations use technology to become more efficient and shorten the length of the average sales cycle. Salespeople who can use technology to become more productive have a significant advantage over their peers, as they are able to spend more time selling. 

No. 17: Link daily activities to quota

Achieving quota isn’t something that magically happens at the end of the month or the quarter. The best salespeople focus on the daily tasks or activities they know will set them up to achieve their quota.

This sales skill is usually learned over time but it’s invaluable. For example, a sales professional might know that if they have a certain number of meetings with prospects this month, that this will allow them to achieve quota next month. 

No. 18: Manage their pipeline like a portfolio

The best salespeople manage their pipeline much like a hedge fund manager would manage their portfolio. They invest time in a number of opportunities knowing that some will close and some will not. 

They track the performance of each opportunity, as well as the aggregate performance of their entire pipeline on a daily or weekly basis. They are also able to conduct a “bottoms up” analysis of their pipeline at any time to determine where they sit relative to their quota target.