The second annual State of Sales report is packed with stats, insights and tips to help boost your team’s performance.
Salesforce Research surveyed more than 3,100 global sales professionals to reveal how sales is evolving in the changing customer climate. The results – the 2016 State of Sales report – looks at the strategies, tactics and technologies that separate the leaders from the pack.
Today, customers are more connected and informed than ever before – and that means higher expectations of businesses. Top sales teams are responding by doubling down on the customer experience, redefining their success metrics, collaborating with other teams, adopting a mobile mindset, aggressively training reps and embracing advanced tech.
Customers demand fast, always-on, and personalised experiences, yet most sales teams continue to be hindered by slow, inefficient processes. Now, intelligent technologies that can automate and simplify the sales process are finally within reach.
High performers are actively adopting capabilities such as predictive intelligence, guided selling and artificial intelligence to streamline processes and drive customer success. For example, high-performing teams are currently 3.5 times more likely than underperforming teams to use artificial intelligence.
Here are more key stats from the report on trends defining the new era of selling:
In the increasingly customer-driven market, sales teams are rethinking how they define success. Customer experience/success is ranked as the top KPI type used by sales teams to measure success.
Sales teams must connect across the company in order to achieve a seamless and personalised customer journey – 73% of sales professionals say collaborating across departments is ‘absolutely critical’ or ‘very important’ to their overall sales process.
Collaborative sales strategies extend beyond internal teams — 76% of high-performing sales teams rate their collaboration between partners and customers/prospect as ‘outstanding’ or ‘very good’.
Sales teams are finding the most success when they blend personal interactions with technologies that scale. While in-person remains sales’ top communication channel for connecting with customers, high-performing teams are combining personal engagement with self-service channels.
High-performing sales teams are 2.7 times more likely to say it’s ‘absolutely critical’ or ‘very important’ to connect with customers using online communities.
Despite the pivot to customer-centricity, sales reps are still bogged down by administrative tasks that hamper customer engagements. On average, sales reps spend 64% of their time on non-selling tasks.
What was once considered futuristic tech that can potentially transform the sales process is now within reach. Triple-digit growth is expected for sales teams’ adoption of artificial intelligence (139%), predictive intelligence (118%) and automated lead-to-cash processes (115%) over the next three years.