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47 Online Sales Management Statistics You Must Learn: 2019 Data Analysis & Market Share

Category: B2B News

One of the biggest problems that sales teams today are getting reliable predictive information. Sure, we can backtrack and monitor our past performances but can we predict the future well? Sales technologies can help our predictions more reliable. But we sometimes feel uneasy in trusting them fully. That is why in this article we have compiled key online sales management statistics to keep you up to date with the field as it interfaces with technology even more. 

Online Sales Management Statistics featured main

Rise of Mobile and Online Sales

We are online more and more. Baby Boomers, Generation X, and the Millennials seem to be in a deep and loving relationship with their mobile phones. This is why a phone is still very useful in sales-related activities even in the digital age. Technologies like mobile marketing software are called upon by companies to round out their marketing and sales efforts. Markets will likely continue to move towards this direction and businesses should move with it. Many businesses still need to play catch up.

  • Online sales of physical goods reached 504.6 billion USD in 2018 (Statista)
  • Customers only open 23.9% of sales emails in 2015 (TopoHQ)
  • 63% of US customers stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service (Forrester)
  • 60% to 70% of luxury sales in the world are influenced by digital media (Forrester)
  • 72% of highest-spending luxury customers use social media to interact with their favorite brands (Forrester)
  • US B2B market will reach $1.13 trillion by 2020, most revenue  from digital (Forrester)
  • Only 25% of business respondents have equipped their salespeople with social engagement tools (Forrester)
  • Only 8% have optimized social engagement for sales (Forrester)

E-commerce Share in Total Retail Sales (2016 - 2019)

Year-on-Year Growth per 1st Quarter

Growth Percentage

Q1 of 2016

Q1 of 2017

Q1 of 2018

Q1 of 2019

Source: Statista

Designed by

The data above is really a cause of alarm for some businesses that are resistant to change. Sure, technology adoption can be hard especially with veteran salespeople who are still used to traditional cold calls. But the world is not stopping for one particular business. Company executives are expecting their revenue will move to digital. Are you ready? 

Key Challenges for Sales Professionals

Selling, apparently, is a difficult job. Sales management data show that sales managers face great challenges at work. It is not just about managing sales but is also about managing people. People can be your leads or your staff. There are some ways to nurture leads and increase sales. But being consistent with them and with other best practices is no small job. On top of that, managers are usually responsible for the lifecycle of a salesperson from onboarding to development. The plate can be very full. 

  • 53% of sales managers find great difficulty in lead generation in 2017 (CSO Insights)
  • 31% of salespeople find competing with low-cost providers as their biggest problem in 2019(Richardson)
  • 18.5% experience difficulty because of poor sales/marketing alignment in 2017(CSO Insights)
  • 19.6% of sales managers find establishing their ROI challenging in 2017 (CSO Insights)
  • 19.9% suffer from the lack of common sales process in 2017 (CSO Insights)
  • 19.6% feel that they have an ineffective sales process in 2017 (CSO Insights)
  • 14% of salespeople find gaining appointments as the biggest challenge in 2019 (Richardson)
  • 17% of salespeople find maintaining profitability to be their biggest problems in 2019 (Richardson)
  • 12.2% of sales managers worry about  inaccurate sales forecasts in 2017 (CSO Insights)
  • 19.2% suffer because of long new-hire onboarding times in 2017 (CSO Insights)
  • 18.6% of companies don’t offer training for sales managers in 2017 (CSO Insights)
  • 5.5% of companies don’t offer training for salespeople in 2017 (CSO Insights)
  • 66% of B2B purchasing time is spent on researching without sales reps in 2017 (Gartner)

Key Challenges of Salespeople

Sales management reports show the great challenges being faced today by managers. If you are in the market for sales automation software, it is better to shortlist the ones that could help your struggling colleague. Great ones can automate workflows so sales managers can do more important things like developing the team. Remember that coaching can help salespeople achieve their quota by 10%. Just outsource the tedious and clerical jobs to your friendly AI. 

The Sales Profession and Performance

Just like any other professions, sales is an art and a science. Not many can get it right away. Not everyone seems to like being in the profession. But there are those special people that are built just right for the job. Some key sales management statistics below show how rare it is to find a high-performing and happy salesperson. This rarity is exactly what makes them valuable.

  • Around 10% of the total labor force in the United States have selling-related occupations (SSRN)
  • Total expenditures for selling-activities is close to 5% of the GDP (SSRN)
  • It takes only 30 days for employees to forget 80% of their sales training (MarketingProf)
  • 17.6% rate their job as outstanding (Marc Wayshak)
  • 47.1% find their job to be “just good” (Marc Wayshak)
  • Only 24.3% exceeded their quota in 2018 (Marc Wayshak)
  • Only 30.8% generate referrals from existing customers while a low 7.3% exceeds expectations in this aspect (CSO Insights)
  • 81.6% of top performers spend 4 hours or more on sales-related activities (Marc Wayshak)
  • 61% of salespeople consider selling today to be harder than 5 years ago (Marc Wayshak)
  • 47% of top performers consistently ask for referrals (Marc Wayshak)
  • 17.6% of salespeople rate their job as outstanding (Marc Wayshak)

Selling: Performance and Job Outlook (2019)


of top performers spend 4 hours or more on sales-related activities


of salespeople consider selling today to be harder than 5 years ago


of top performers consistently ask for referrals


of salespeople rate their job as outstanding

Source: Marc Wayshak

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It is not just sales managers that suffer from job difficulties. Salespeople can too especially if they are unfortunate enough to be part of an organization that does not invest in training and coaching. Sales is both a people and numbers game. Learning how to make sales forecasts is well and good but the relationship game may be harder to teach. Sometimes the pressure to make the numbers is not supplemented by talent development. This does not make happy campers. 

The Sales Force Automation Software Market

The sales force automation software market is as fast-growing as it is big. Sales force automation reports indicate that the volume of purchases will continue to rise. It is good to note that although this may be true, adoption risk still remains to be the number one challenge for businesses. This is in the sense that they may buy software or some stack but members don’t use it well. 

  • Sales force automation technology comprises around 55% of the sales technology market (Gartner)
  • Sales force automation market size grew by 12.8% at $6.9 billion in 2018 where most growth is related to cloud-based products (Gartner)
  • The market was valued at 821 million USD in 2016. (Statista)
  • In 2022, it is likely to increase up to 1.22 billion USD. (Statista)
  • 57% use sales tools and technologies for lead generation and lead intelligence in 2018 (CSO Insights)
  • 56% use sales technology for activity management and tracking (CSO Insights)
  • Only 34.6% use predictive lead scoring tools in 2018 (CSO Insights)
  • 18.1% plan to purchase predictive lead scoring tools in 2019 (CSO Insights)

How Sales Use Tech

From the last two bits of sales automation statistics,  we can tell that many organizations are still stuck with lagging indicators to measure their performance. This is essential but this can be supplemented by predictive analytics. It seems that more and more firms now are getting on the predictive analytics train. Sales managers can use this for effective lead generation to improve performance. 

Usage of Sales Tools and Technologies

As mentioned, not everyone is in the analytics bandwagon just yet. But data shows that high-performing sales teams tend to be believers than naysayers. Data analytics software can help sales managers find patterns in seemingly disparate data sets. Having this can have a large effect on your business. 

  • In 2015, predictive analytics technology was the 2nd most-sought acquisition for sales development (TopoHQ)
  • Businesses that use analytics efficiently have a 10.5% YOY revenue (Aberdeen)
  • Analytics-savvy businesses increase customer satisfaction annually by 8.1% (Aberdeen)
  • When businesses use analytics well, they can increase social media mentions by 14.6 annually  (Aberdeen)
  • 94% of high-performing sales teams use analytics for sales performance prediction and measurement. This is a sharp contrast to 70% of other respondents who do not use analytics. (CSO Insights)
  • 76% of world-class sales teams are highly confident in CRM system data in contrast to just 30% of non-high-performing respondents (CSO Insights)
  • 62.3% of sales organizations only use lagging indicators to measure performance. Only 8% use predictive analytics. (CSO Insights)

Barriers to Sales Forecasting (2018)

Prediction and Decision-making Challenges

Too Subjective Judgments by Salespeople


Reporting is backward. Not enough predictive information


Limits in forecasting technology


Source: CSO Insights

Designed by

From the sales automation data above, we can say that companies who wish to have an edge over others are likely to prosper with analytics than without. Top sales operations do and they interface well with their tools. They take care of the human side of things in sales yet they keep on top of the numbers game through software. Also, the same goes for many business processes. For a more comprehensive understanding, check out what business process management software help you out with. 

From Data to Insights: What to Consider

As mentioned, salespeople can forget their training when time past. That is a big loss of investment. That is why many believe that sales force automation platforms are good investments. They don’t apply for leaves. Programs continue to work during weekends. They can keep up with the times. Also, they do what they are told. But they can’t replace good salespeople. They are there only to empower and not take over.

Researchers caution practitioners that although sales force automation tools can provide many possible benefits, these can’t be realized in every organization. This is because sales management tools only provide benefits to the company and end consumers when used correctly. Not every implementation is perfect and that is why having an expensive program is no guarantee for success. This might be cliche but success in this regard is always a good mix of hardware, software, and people.

There is no denying what the sales force automation statistics show. Top performing sales operations use technology more and better than under-performing ones. Also, the use of analytics seems to become more rampant soon. Data seem to point out that cloud-based solutions will be on the rise. Choosing the right sales automation software may just take your sales operations to the next level.


By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. No stranger to small business hiccups and drama, having been involved in a few internet startups. Prior to his for-profit ventures, he has had managed corporate communications for a Kansas City-based Children International unit.

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