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91 Essential Sales Statistics: 2019 & 2020 Data & Strategies Analysis

Category: B2B News

The sales industry has reached a turning point in the age of the customer. Gone are the days of aggressive sales pitches and traditional selling strategies. In the modern business landscape, a deep understanding of your target market reigns supreme. This is why companies need to slowly embrace sophisticated sales strategies that include utilizing sales software, AI, and predictive analytics to keep their edge over the competition. Moreover, it pays to stay abreast of the latest sales statistics to know where the industry is headed.

The question now is: how is your company keeping up? Are you prepared to handle the sales challenges that the industry has in store for you? In this article, we will be discussing the most noteworthy data on sales this 2019. From sales prospecting and customer relations management (CRM) data to talent management and sales tech facts. We have covered as many topics as we can to give you insights on the shifts in the industry. This way, you can thoroughly prepare yourself for success in the coming years.

key sales statistics

General Sales Statistics

While the times may have changed, it seems old habits are still prevalent in a typical sales rep’s routine. Many still allocate time to manual data entry and prospecting. They also spend a lot of time on emailing and scheduling calls instead of actually getting in touch with potential clients.

However, through 2019 and beyond, we will see priorities shifting. Sales teams will eventually put more emphasis on optimizing sales efficiency and cutting down the amount of time spent on customer cycles. Moreover, we will observe a higher demand for sales technology.

  • Sales conversion rates across industries only have an average of 2.46%–3.26%. (Statista)
  • Of the 5.7 million sales representatives worldwide, 47.2% work from inside the office while 52.8% meet with prospects face-to-face. (SalesForLife, 2017)
  • Sales agents spend only a third of their productive hours talking to prospects. The rest of their day is allocated to writing emails (21%), entering data (17%), researching leads (17%), team meetings (12%), scheduling calls (12%), training (11%), and reading up on industry reports (11%). (HubSpot, 2018)
  • The top sales priorities of companies are closing more deals (75%), improving sales funnel efficiency (48%), reducing sales cycles (32%), social selling (28%), staff training (27%), sales tech investment (23%), sales enablement (16%), and CRM investment (13%). (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2018)

Overview of Sales Challenges

With the recent technological advancements and changes in the demands of clients, it seems that many sales teams fall short in terms of preparation. As you can see below, many are struggling with finding prospects and closing deals. Some even feel ill-equipped to perform their sales responsibilities.

With that said, now might be the time for sales teams to review their processes and see what aspects of it they can optimize. This way, they can easily plan how to overcome selling challenges in the near future. It might also be wise to start considering the utilization of new tools for sales that are built to adapt to the shifts in the modern business landscape.

  • The top-selling challenges for 2019 are competing against low-cost providers (31%), creating competitive differentiation (26%), and consistency in executing team meetings with prospects (26%). These are followed by adding value to customer conversations (22%), maintaining profitability (17%), building trust (16%), and gaining appointments (14%). (Richardson, 2019)
  • Sales agents struggle most with prospecting (37%), closing (28%), identifying the lead (18%), and qualifying leads (17%). (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2018)
  • 81% of sales teams don’t audit their processes regularly. (Data Dwell, 2019)
  • 1 in 5 sales teams doesn’t have the necessary resources to reinforce their workflow. (Data Dwell, 2019)

Top Sales Priorities

Sales Prospecting Statistics

When was the last time you found a prospect and closed a deal within a day? Chances are, not recently. According to the sales prospecting statistics we’ve culled, the process has become more difficult over the years, especially with consumers being more evasive of appointments. Also, many sales reps are having trouble reaching the right prospects. To optimize prospecting efforts, you can consider focusing more on proving the value of your products and services.

  • 71% of consumers expect to hear from sales reps early in the buying process. (RAIN Group, 2018)
  • At least half of your initial prospects do not have any use for the products and services you are selling. (Marc Wayshak)
  • Majority of sales agents (66.7%) have only reached out to 250 or less prospects within a year. (Marc Wayshak)
  • 40% of sales agents say that getting a response from prospects is much harder now than 3 years ago. (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2018)
  • The biggest issues with prospecting are setting up appointments (14%), consistent cadence of contact across channels (13%), reaching the right stakeholder (12%), creating targeted strategies (12%), and lead qualification (10%). (Richardson, 2019)
  • You can increase the chances of sales success by 74% if you ask a minimum of 11 questions during the initial call. (Gong, 2017)
  • Prospects are willing to talk to sales personnel if they need the product or service offered (75%), if they have a budget for the product or service (64%), or if the sales rep can provide them with something of value (63%). (HubSpot, 2019)
  • You can make prospecting calls more successful by focusing on the value you can deliver them (96%), collaborating with them (93%), providing market insights to give them perspective (92%), and helping them understand their needs (92%). (HubSpot, 2019)

Biggest Sales Prospecting Challenges of 2019

Biggest Sales Prospecting Challenges of 2019
Setting up appointments: 14

Setting up appointments

Biggest Sales Prospecting Challenges of 2019
Consistent cadence of contact across channels: 13

Consistent cadence of contact across channels

Biggest Sales Prospecting Challenges of 2019
Reaching the right stakeholder: 12

Reaching the right stakeholder

Biggest Sales Prospecting Challenges of 2019
Creating targeted strategies: 12

Creating targeted strategies

Biggest Sales Prospecting Challenges of 2019
Qualifying leads: 10

Qualifying leads


Source: Richardson Annual Selling Challenges Study

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Sales Strategies Statistics

There’s one thing that successful sales teams have in common: they have thoroughly planned, regularly updated strategies. Sales professionals put effort into finding out how to best communicate with their leads. They are also in it for the long haul, making sure to map out sales plans well into the future to improve their agility. Moreover, they emphasize collaboration among departments.

Also, they often invest in reliable sales platforms at your disposal to make work more efficient.

  • The best channels for sales are telephone (36%), email (30%), LinkedIn (12%), and Facebook (7%). (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2018)
  • Over 50% of successful sales teams have a 12-month view of their plans while 10% map out the next three years. (McKinsey)
  • 47% of companies have generally aligned sales and marketing teams (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2018)
  • 75% of companies have refocused their sales strategies, while 54% of companies implemented new sales methodologies in 2018. (Sales Management Association, 2018)

Sales Data Usage

In the digital age, having a good product and flashy sales pitches are not enough to secure sales. It is best that you know your customers’ behavior and needs if you want to stand out. This is where sales data usage comes in handy. By leveraging analytics and actively collecting information from your prospects, you can provide them with a better sales experience that will secure more conversions in the future.

  • 57% of consumers choose to do business with a company primarily because of good customer service. (Salesforce)
  • Sales market research data reveals that 79% of consumers prefer interacting with salespeople who are trusted advisors that can add value to their business–not just sales representatives who are selling them products and services. (Salesforce, 2019)
  • 84% of vendors believe that VoC analytics plays a crucial role in forming sales strategies. As such, 59% are planning on investing before 2019 ends. (Kalypso Retail Digital Innovation Research, 2019)
  • 64% of shoppers are generally ok with vendors saving their purchase history and personal preferences for personalization purposes. (CustomerThink, 2019)
  • 62% of shoppers are more scared of their information being compromised now than they were two years ago. (State of the Connected Customer, 2018)
  • 59% of consumers say that companies should invest in sophisticated digital experiences to improve business. (State of the Connected Customer, 2018)

Cold Calling

Contrary to popular belief–or at least the 35,600 Google search results say –, cold calling isn’t dead. Many sales representatives still use it. However, a good chunk of professionals finds it ineffective primarily because there are too many factors to consider when you choose to use this method.

In the statistics listed below, you will see that timing your calls and calling repeatedly will give you a higher chance of reaching your prospects and keeping your message from ending up in voicemail. Furthermore, being prepared to answer any question that leads throw your way will also help you accelerate transactions.

  • 41.2% of sales reps say that their phone is the most effective tool for performing their jobs (Marc Wayshack, 2018)
  • Only 28% of sales agents find cold calling effective. (RAIN Group, 2018)
  • Sales representatives spend 15% of the time leaving voicemails rather than talking with prospects. (RingLead)
  • Cold calling statistics reveal that the best time to call prospects is on Wednesdays between 4 to 5 PM because this is when most people are at their most productive. Meanwhile, the worst time to contact prospects is on Fridays between 1 to 3 PM. (CallHippo, 2017)
  • Sales representatives often call six times before they successfully reach their prospect. (CallHippo, 2017)
  • More than half of consumers (58%) are already interested in talking about pricing during the first call. Meanwhile, others want to know how the product works (54%), understand what the company is trying to achieve (47%), how similar organizations use the product (44%), and why they should purchase (37%). (HubSpot Sales Perception Survey, 2016)


Emailing is a tried and tested sales method that many professionals have relied on for decades. Because of this, you should expect that your prospects receive dozens of sales emails daily–emails that they will delete if they find no value in the subject line of your message.

So, how do you make sure your emails get opened? For starters, you can start by stopping bulk emailing. Statistics show that personalization is where the money’s at. Just be sure to send your prospects information that they would enjoy reading and take extra time crafting your subject lines. This way, they won’t simply delete your email or put it in the spam folder.

  • Only 23.9% of the emails sent for sales purposes are opened by consumers. (TOPO, 2016)
  • A majority of sales professionals (95%) believe that bulk emailing is ineffective. (RAIN Group)
  • Personalizing emails can increase open rates by 26% (Campaign Monitor)
  • Subject lines with three to four words have higher click rates. (Boomerang App, 2016)
  • Emails that are written at a third-grade reading level have a 53% response. (Boomerang App, 2016)

Social Selling

Social media has been all the rage in the past few years. A vast majority of the global population stay connected using sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. So, it does not come as a surprise that many sales agents use these platforms to find and get in touch with leads. The only problem here is that many sales agents are not proficient when it comes to social selling, so it might be difficult to roll this out without proper training.

  • Over 70% of sales representatives take advantage of social selling tools. (LinkedIn State of Sales Report, 2016)
  • The majority of sales teams (62%) believe that social selling allows them to foster stronger relations with customers. (LinkedIn State of Sales Report, 2016)
  • 28% of sales agents allocate 3 to 5 hours per week for social selling. (LinkedIn State of Sales Report, 2016)
  • 61% of companies that implement social selling as part of their process have observed a growth in revenue. (Feedback Systems, 2016)
  • 72% of agents are not proficient with social selling, and 69% say that they were not given training for it. (Feedback Systems, 2016)


Word of mouth is perhaps the most effective method to boost sales. For most consumers, it is much easier to take the word of a colleague than a salesperson when it comes to buying advice. After all, friends and/or business partners won’t recommend products and services that they can’t attest to. However, it seems that a good chunk of sales representatives aren’t using this to their advantage.

  • Word of mouth is so powerful that it accounts for $6 trillion in consumer spending annually. (CMO, 2015)
  • Referrals are the top source of quality leads (33%). It is followed by direct sourcing (16%), and marketing (7%). (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2018)
  • Almost half of top sales reps (47%) ask for referrals consistently to find more leads. (Marc Wayshak, 2018)
  • 84% of B2B sales transactions begin with a referral. (Influitive)
  • 83% of consumers would refer products and services after a satisfactory sales experience. However, only 29% do so because the salespeople don’t ask them to. (Texas Tech, 2018)

Best Channels for Sales

CRM Statistics

Sales transactions are all about building relationships. This is why having a robust CRM software is a must for any company. You can use CRM to improve sales techniques and accelerate the sales journey. So, it only makes sense that a growing number of sales teams have integrated this into their routine.

The adoption of CRM technology has grown quite a lot over the past few years, and it is expected to reach greater heights in the future.

  • The global CRM software market is predicted to reach $35 billion by 2023 at a CAGR of 6%. (Market Research Future, 2019)
  • The adoption of CRM technology in the sales industry has grown by 113%. (LinkedIn State of Sales, 2019)
  • CRM has an ROI of $8.71 for every dollar spent (Nucleus Research)
  • A properly implemented CRM system can give you an ROI of 245%. (Forrester, 2017)
  • CRM statistics show that 91% of companies in North America utilize CRM systems (CRM Magazine, 2017)
  • 46% of top-performing sales teams use CRM tools for their processes. (LinkedIn State of Sales, 2017)

Why Utilize CRM Systems?

If you haven’t joined the bandwagon yet, then you should probably know what CRM systems can bring to the table. Several studies showed that it has improved productivity for many sales teams as it can automate many tedious tasks. Consequently, this allows your agents to make more time for sales-related activities and close more deals, which leads to higher revenue.

In addition to these, using CRM allows companies to spend less on each sale they make. This is because it helps them focus more on customer retention rather than new customer acquisition.

  • 50% of sales teams that utilize CRM have improved their productivity. (Forrester, 2017)
  • CRM applications can increase revenue by up to 41% per sales representative. (Trackvia)
  • A 5% increase in customer retention can improve profits by up to 90%. (Bain & Company)
  • For 80% of sales conversions, sales agents follow-up on prospects 5 times before closing the deal. (Marketing Donut)
  • New customer acquisition can cost at least five times more than simply focusing on your existing customers. (Invesp)

CRM by the Numbers

Sales Closing Statistics

Finding strong leads is difficult; converting them is an entirely different story. According to sales closing statistics, professionals are losing more deals than they are closing them every month. This can be attributed to the increasing competitiveness in industries and the difficulty of creating value propositions for prospects.

Also, sales representatives unknowingly make a number of conversation etiquette mistakes that can be hurting their chances of converting prospects.

  • Sales reps close 3x more deals at the end of the month but lose 11x as many. (Harvard Business Review, 2017)
  • The most challenging aspects of closing a deal include competing with low-cost providers (31%), positioning value propositions (17%), and combating the status quo to avoid “no-decision” (17%). (Richardson, 2019)
  • Using the phrase “let me show you how” repeatedly during a call can decrease close rates by 13%. This is especially true for B2B sales. (Gong, 2017)
  • Go easy on your company name. If you use it 4+ times in one sales call, you’ll hurt close rates 14%. (Gong, 2017)
  • Using the term “free trial” can lower close rates by 5%. (Gong, 2017)

How to Improve Closing Rates

So, how can you close more deals? Studies show that you don’t really need to overhaul your processes to do this. Just a few minor changes to your sales approach can improve customer interactions. For instance, simply being more selective of the words you say during a conversation and avoiding pushy sales pitches can help sales reps appear more approachable. Also, improving collaboration between sales and marketing teams for a more streamlined customer experience also helps.

  • Consumers say sales representatives can improve their experience by listening to their needs (69%), not being pushy (61%), and by providing relevant information about their products (61%). Meanwhile, there are those that say they should respond in a more timely manner (51%), provide options beyond their initial offers (49%), show genuine care for the success of their business (45%), and detail how their products can help them succeed (37%). (Hubspot, 2016)
  • Sales teams that closely collaborate with their marketing counterparts are 67% better at closing deals. (Marketo, 2016)
  • Salespeople who are successful at closing deals are 10x  more likely to leverage collaborative words during conversations. That is to say, they use words like “us,” “we,” and “our” instead of “I” and “me.” (Chorus)

Sales Reps close three times more deals

Leading Sales Software

  1. HubSpot Sales. A comprehensive sales tool with automation options that lets you streamline your sales processes with marketing and CRM efforts. Learn more about this product in our HubSpot Sales review.
  2. Freshsales. An intuitive platform that increases sales and aftersales efficiency using its CRM-framework. Read how it can help you gain and retain customers in our Freshsales review.
  3. Pipedrive. A platform that helps you manage sales leads and close deals with no hassle. Learn how it can optimize your sales processes in a much in-depth Pipedrive review here.
  4. Brightpearl. This retail and sales management software helps users run their retail business from sales to inventory. If you want to learn more about it, you can read our dedicated Brightpearl review here.
  5. Sales Creatio. This is a CRM and sales automation tool for businesses in different industries. In this Sales Creatio review, learn how its CRM-based sales automation features give you competitive advantages.

Statistics on Sales Talent Management

Achieving good company sales has a lot to do with the skills of the representatives you employ. However, if you have yet to start hiring new employees, you might have trouble finding ones with the right credentials due to the increasing demand for trained sales agents. In fact, many sales teams nowadays even hire representatives who had no educational background in business.

So, a good compromise here would be to invest in training new sales employees. As you’ll see below, helping your staff members improve by giving them the guidance and state-of-the-art resources they need will all be worth it once you start seeing the results and reaping the benefits. Just be sure to set realistic timeframes for their progress, so you know when to expect returns on your investment.

  • 58% of sales teams said that they will increase the size of their workforce in the next year. (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2018)
  • The ROI of investing in employee training, 353%. (Accenture)
  • Teams that invest in technology for sales training and development are 57% more effective than teams that don’t. (Sales Management Association, 2018)
  • Only 24% of agents have a degree in business. (HubSpot Sales Survey, 2017)
  • Newly hired sales reps require an average of 10 weeks for training. However, they only become productive after roughly 11 months. (Sales Management Association, 2018)

Sales Enablement

In addition to technology and training investments, it also pays to put focus attention on sales enablement. Having a system through which sales personnel can understand the ins and outs of your products and services allows them to perform their job better. Furthermore, it bridges the gap between marketing and sales teams and allows them to assist prospects more efficiently, thus, letting them close more deals.

However, despite its many benefits, sales enablement remains an afterthought for many companies. Some simply don’t have dedicated functions for it or don’t even have an idea as to what it really is.

  • 61% of companies have a dedicated sales enablement function. (CSO Insights Sales Enablement Report, 2018)
  • Companies that have dedicated sales enablement have a 52.1% win rate, whereas those without only have 45.5%. (CSO Insights Sales Enablement Report, 2018)
  • 59% of organizations that exceeded their revenue targets say they have a defined sales enablement system. (Forbes, 2015)
  • The primary sales enablement efforts of companies are training services (68.1%), sales tools (58.5%), content services (52%), coaching (50.9%), and sales process improvements (49.6%). There are also those that onboard new hires (46.3%), invest in enablement tech (37.3%), focus on proposal development (22.9%), and put emphasis on competitive analysis (17.7%). (CSO Insights Sales Enablement Report, 2018)
  • 73% of top-performing companies rely on classroom training as their primary onboarding system for sales agents. (SiriusDecisions)
  • The number of times “sales enablement” was searched on Google have increased by 51.2% year over year. (Google, 2016)

Sales Talent Management Challenges

Talent management goes beyond finding the best employees and training them to perform their responsibilities. It is also about keeping them happy so that they feel fulfilled in their careers. Statistics show that many sales representatives aren’t meeting their quota and how a majority of them don’t enjoy their jobs

This is mostly attributed to the quality of work they’re given and the quality of training they receive. So, as you map out your talent management strategies, be sure to put yourself in their shoes to understand what it is they need to perform better.

  • A small fraction of sales agents (24.3%) exceeded their quota in 2017. (Marc Wayshak, 2018)
  • Only 17.6% of sales personnel enjoy their job. (Marc Wayshak)
  • Sales agents who spend at least 3 hours every day on sales-related activities are more satisfied with their job. (Marc Wayshak)
  • 26% of sales agents believe that their training is insufficient or ineffective. (Training Industry, 2018)

Top Sales Enablement Methods of 2018

Top Sales Enablement Methods of 2018
Training: 68.1


Top Sales Enablement Methods of 2018
Sales Tools Implementation: 58.5

Sales Tools Implementation

Top Sales Enablement Methods of 2018
Content Management: 52

Content Management

Top Sales Enablement Methods of 2018
Coaching : 50.9


Top Sales Enablement Methods of 2018
Sales Process Improvements: 49.6

Sales Process Improvements

Top Sales Enablement Methods of 2018
Onboard New Hires: 46.3

Onboard New Hires

Top Sales Enablement Methods of 2018
Enablement Tech Investment: 37.3

Enablement Tech Investment

Top Sales Enablement Methods of 2018
Proposal Development: 22.9

Proposal Development

Top Sales Enablement Methods of 2018
Competitive Analysis: 17.7

Competitive Analysis


Source: 2018 CSO Insights Sales Enablement Report

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Sales Technology Statistics

The tech industry is booming, and it will only grow bigger in the coming years. More and more companies are starting to realize how using sales software solutions and understanding sales data can improve their bottom lines.

But of course, if you have yet to utilize tech for your operations, don’t just invest all willy-nilly. Many companies take their time assessing their prospective providers. Down below, we’ve listed some of their criteria. You might also want to consider reviewing these sales software implementation problems so you can prepare yourself for any issues that you might encounter along the way.

  • The global sales performance management software industry is expected to reach a market size of $949 million by 2020. (Statista, 2019)
  • Companies that use lead-scoring algorithms have experienced up to a 20% improvement in conversion rates. (McKinsey)
  • 82% of sales reps say that sales technology is critical when it comes to closing deals. (LinkedIn State of Sales Report, 2016)
  • Predictive analytics technology is one of the priorities for sales development in 2015. (TOPO, 2016)
  • When it comes to purchasing business software, companies rely on word of mouth (55%), customer references (46%), media articles (38%), vendor-authored materials (38%), analyst reports (34%), crowdsourced review sites (27%), and sales personnel (22%). (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2018)

The Importance of Technology for Sales

Now, you might be thinking, using tech is great for improving sales, but is it really necessary to make changes to your current processes? After all, why fix what isn’t broken, right?

Well, it’s possible that you are still able to keep up with competitors now using your traditional methods. However, as customer demands become harder to meet and the pace of your industry becomes faster, you will have trouble closing more deals and finding new leads without tech.

In the statistics listed below, you’ll see that many sales professionals are still stuck doing manual processes. This leaves them with little time to focus on actual sales activities. Also, many shoppers now prefer to deal with companies that roll out tech initiatives. So, by opting not to use these tools, you are actually limiting your sales opportunities.

  • 27% of sales professionals waste more than an hour per day on data entry. (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2018)
  • 65% of sales managers say that the biggest challenge for them is the lack of time and resources to perform their job. (Data Dwell, 2019)
  • Companies that don’t utilize sales technologies have experienced a 12% decrease in their sales goal achievement rate. (Sales Management Association, 2018)
  • 56% of shoppers prefer doing business with innovative companies (State of the Connected Customer, 2018)
  • 59% of consumers believe that AI is now necessary to improve sales experience. (State of the Connected Customer, 2018)

Why Should You Invest in Sales Technology?

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Sources: Data Dwell, 2018 Salesforce State of the Connected Customer

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What Do These Sales Facts Mean for Your Business?

Sales is not easy, and if there’s one thing we can take away from our list of sales statistics, it’s that the job is about to get even more difficult. Reaching clients are harder; consumers are more demanding, and the pace of the industry is faster than ever.

The silver lining here is that you can get around these challenges. For example, making simple changes to your customer approach, such as timing calls, optimizing emails, and adding value to your sales proposals can have drastic effects on success rates.

In addition, now might be the time to consider retraining sales representatives. This means helping them get acquainted with new sales channels as well as learning the emerging best practices in the industry. By doing so, you can equip them with the information and resources they need to perform their responsibilities.

You can also try your hand at automation so representatives can focus more on sales-related activities than administrative duties. Luckily, there are plenty of sales software for small business and large companies alike that you can choose from. Just be sure to pick one that can meet your sales team’s requirements.

To sum up, we hope that this compilation of sales statistics was able to give you an idea of what changes and challenges you should be preparing for in the near future.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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