When it comes to trends and shifts in the world of professional sales, it can be difficult for sales leaders to see the forest for the trees. We continually hear buzz words like, “customer experience” and “sales enablement,” with ominous references to the shifting role of sales professionals. What’s often missing is clarity in defining these elements and their tangible impact on the sales world. A recent Salesforce blog, 15 Sales Statistics that Prove Sales is Changing, does an outstanding job of articulating what has changed, what customers really want, and what is driving sales success today. There are not many articles worthy of the label “must-read,” but these research-based insights should not be missed:
Excerpts from Salesforce blog: 15 Sales Statistics that Prove Sales is Changing
Originally appeared: 11.7.17
Which trends define this new era of selling? We’ve taken research findings from the second annual “State of Sales” report to map out four big trends, and 15 sales statistics, that underscore just how much sales is changing.
Trend #1: Customer Experience Is Now the Top Sales Benchmark
In today’s connected marketplace, informed customers have more power to dictate which businesses lead and which fall behind. Sales teams, unsurprisingly, are eager to crack the code on customer centricity. This renewed focus on the customer is spurring considerations around how sales teams quantify success.
Here are a few interesting sales facts that illustrate the rising importance of customer experience.
- 51% of sales leaders are focused on increasing customer retention through deeper relationships. They are nearly as focused on customer retention as sales prospecting (56% focused on growing leads/new customers). Top sales teams care just as much about creating long-lasting customers through memorable experiences as they do about making the sale.
- High-performing sales teams are 2.8x more likely than underperforming teams to say their sales organizations have become much more focused on personalizing customer interactions over the past 12–18 months. (Bear in mind that “high-performing” sales teams are only the top 20% of 3,000+ sales professionals surveyed.) By offering more personalized selling experiences at scale, top sales teams are winning the attention of prospects and customers who are tired of one-size-fits-all tactics.
- 79% of business buyers say it’s absolutely critical or very important to interact with a salesperson who is a trusted advisor — not just a sales rep — who adds value to their business. Customers demand smarter sales experiences, and they want sales reps who are personal consultants that help them address their challenges instead of treating them like another lead in the pipe.
Read the entire article here.