Every time I think I’ve gotten a grip on the weird, wonderful world of sales, I learn something new that forces me to change my perspective and question my beliefs.
Like just 17% of salespeople think they’re pushy — compared to 50% of prospects.
And along similar lines, only 3% of buyers trust reps. The only professions with less credibility include car sales, politics, and lobbying. Ouch. Luckily, not all sales-related data will bum you out. This list of sales statistics has invaluable nuggets of wisdom on everything from which words to avoid in your email subject line to the optimal number of questions to ask during a discovery call.
Here are 75 Key Sales Statistics That’ll Help You Sell Smarter in 2021.
Sales Statistics 
Sales Prospecting Statistics
- More than 40% of salespeople say this is theÂ most challenging part of the sales process, followed by closing (36%) and qualifying (22%). If you find prospecting to be the most difficult part of your job, you’re not alone.
- HubSpot Research foundÂ 72% of companies with less than 50 new opps per month didn’t achieve their revenue goals, compared to 15% with 51 to 100 new opps and just 4% for companies with 101 to 200 new opps.
- Gong’s data science team analyzed 15 months of data and foundÂ average salespeople made far more calls in the last month of the quarterthan the first two. And the success rate of those “eleventh hour” calls were usually lower than any other month. Devote time to prospecting each and every day. You should be prospecting just as much on the first day of the month or quarter as the last.
- Almost six in 10 buyersÂ want to discuss pricingon the first call.
- More than half of prospects want to seeÂ how the product workson the first call.
- One in four buyers want to discussÂ budget, authority, and timeline. This indicates that buyers are less concerned with the qualifying topics salespeople are usually most interested in:
- 19% of buyers want to connect with a salespersonÂ during the awareness stageof their buying process, when they’re first learning about the product.
- 60% want to connect with salesÂ during the consideration stage, after they’ve researched the options and come up with a short list.
- 20% want to talkÂ during the decision stage, once they’re decided which product to buy.
- It takes an average ofÂ 18 calls to actually connect with a buyer.
- OnlyÂ 24% of sales emailsare opened.
- Nine in 10 companies useÂ two or more lead enrichment toolsto learn more about prospects.
- Seven in 10 B2B buyersÂ watch a video sometime during their buying process. Use that to your advantage, and send them a customized video.
- Videos about product featuresare most popular, followed by how-tos and professional reviews.
- At leastÂ 50% of your prospectsare not a good fit for what you sell.
- 77.3% of respondentssaid their company provides at least one quarter of their leads.
Sales Follow-Up Statistics
- An analysis of more than 2,200 American companies found those who attempted to reach leads within an hour were nearlyÂ seven times likelier to have meaningful conversationswith decision makers than those who waited even 60 minutes.
- Drift tested the response time of 433 companies. OnlyÂ 7% responded in the first five minutesafter a form submission. More than half didn’t respond within five business days.
- The average person deletesÂ 48% of the emailsthey receive every day. This task takes them just five minutes.
- The vast majority ofÂ prospects want to read emails at 5 and 6 a.m. (Who knew there were so many early birds out there?) Use an email scheduling tool — like the one inÂ HubSpot Sales— to send your message at the perfect time.
- Here are theÂ most effective wordsÂ to put in your email subject line:
- And theÂ most ineffective wordsÂ to use in your email subject line are:
- According toÂ Boomerang’s analysis of 300,000 emails, an all caps subject line hurts response rates by approximately 30%.
- Subject lines withÂ three to four wordsget more responses than shorter and longer ones.
- The Boomerang team also foundÂ messages written at a third-grade reading levelare 36% more likely to get a reply than those written at the college reading level.
- The more you write, the less likely you are to get a response. Only one in three messages that are longer than 2500 words receive a reply. However, you shouldn’t be too brief: A 25-word email is roughly as effective as a 2000-word one. What’s the sweet spot? BetweenÂ 50 and 125 words— or around the length of this paragraph.
- Don’t just provide information — request some, too. Emails that containÂ one to three questionsare 50% likelier to get replies than emails without any questions.
Sales Call Statistics
- According toÂ Gong’s analysis of 519,000 discovery calls, there’s a clear relationship between the number of questions a rep asks and their chances of success. In other words, if you want your discovery call to go well, make sure you’re periodically posing questions to the buyer.
- Asking 15-18 questions over the course of your discovery call is only marginally more effective than asking 7-10. Aim for 11-14,Â Gong found.
- Wondering what to ask?Â Questions about your prospect’s business pain pointsand objectives are closely tied to a won deal.
- And when should you ask these questions? While average salespeople ask most of their questions at the beginning of a call — usually because they’re moving through a checklist –Â great ones space their questions evenly throughout the meeting. This makes the conversation feel like a natural back-and-forth rather than an interview.
- Top performing salespeople are up toÂ 10 times likelier to use collaborative wordsand phrases than low-performing ones. With that in mind, default to “we,” “us,” “our,” and “together” over “you,” “I,” “me,” and “your.”
- The most successful repsÂ use terms that inspire confidence, such as “certainly,” “definitely,” and “absolutely,” five times more often than low performers.
- 41.2% of salespeople saidÂ their phone is the most effective sales toolat their disposal.
- Research from Gong reveals these are theÂ worst words for your conversion rates.
- “Show you how”: Drops close rates by 13% when used more than four times during a single call
- “Discount”: Decreases close rates by 17%
- “Contract”: Hurts close rates by 7%
- “Free trial”: Lowers likelihood of securing next steps by 5%
- Your company’s name: Harms close rates by 14% when used four-plus times in one call
- “Competitor”: Makes you less likely to get next steps or close
- “Million,” “billion,” “trillion”: Large quantities are too abstract, so they harm close rates
- Gong.io analyzed over 100,000 connected outreach calls and foundÂ successful salespeople talk for 54% of the call, while unsuccessful salespeople spent only 42% of their time speaking
- The use of collaborative words had a positive impact on the calls and using “we” instead of “I”Â increased success rates by 35%.
- Using “Did I catch you at a bad time” makes you 40% less likely to book a meeting, while asking “How are you?”increases your likelihood of booking a meeting by 3.4X.
Social Selling Statistics
- 65% of salespeople who use social sellingÂ fill their pipeline, compared to 47% of reps who do not.
- Four in 10 repshave recently closed two to five deals directly thanks to social media.
- Half of revenue is influenced by social sellingin 14 common industries, including computer software, healthcare, and marketing and advertising.
- Using social selling tools canÂ increase win rates and deal sizeby 5% and 35%, respectively.
Sales Productivity Statistics
- HubSpot Research’s survey of salespeople revealedÂ more than half rely on their peersto get tips for improving. 44% looked to their manager, 35% to team training resources, and 24% to media.
- NearlyÂ six in 10 salespeoplesay that when they figure out what works for them, they don’t change it.
- OnlyÂ 7% of top performersreport pitching, while 19% of non-top performers pitch their offering.
- Salespeople spend justÂ one-third of their day actually talking to prospects. They spend 21% of their day writing emails, 17% entering data, another 17% prospecting and researching leads, 12% going to internal meetings, and 12% scheduling calls.
- Around three in four organizations useÂ classroom trainingas their primary way to train salespeople.
- High-performing sales organizations are twice as likely toÂ provide ongoing trainingas low-performing ones.
- Sales professionals with three to four years of selling experienceÂ spend 50% more time on trainingthan those with two years or less and 110% as those with five years or more — probably because rookies aren’t sure if they’re going to stay in sales and veterans don’t believe they need to develop further.
- Sales development repsÂ use on average six tools.
- TheÂ most popular sales tools includeÂ CRM, social prospecting, data and list services, email engagement, phone, and sales cadence.
- Here are the topÂ ways to create a positive sales experience, according to buyers:
- Listen to their needs (69%)
- Don’t be pushy (61%)
- Provide relevant information (61%)
- Respond in a timely manner (51%)
- TheÂ biggest challenges today’s salespeople face:
- Establishing urgency (42%)
- Getting in touch with prospects (37%)
- Overcoming price objections (35%)
- TheÂ top sales prioritiesÂ are:
- Closing more deals (28%)
- Improving sales funnel efficiency (18%)
- Improving sales technology (11%)
- Google found nearlyÂ half of all buyers are millennials.
- And calling high might not be the best strategy anymore: While 64% of the C-suite has final sign-off,Â 81% of employees not in the C-suite influence purchasing decisions.
- Almost half of deals areÂ lost because of budget. 25% are marked closed-lost because of timing. Lack of authority, time to review, and urgency are the third, fourth, and fifth most common reasons, respectively.
- Budget is the most commonÂ reason stronger sales opportunities fall apart.
- A study of sales development organizations from 900+ companies found the average SDR performsÂ 94.4 activities a day, including social, call, voicemail, and email touches.
- These activities led to an average of 23.1 appointments set andÂ 72.3% of these appointments become opportunitiespassed to sales.
- An average of 12.5 opportunities are accepted per month andÂ 29.3% are closed.
- A survey by sales strategist, Marc Wayshak, found thatÂ 41.2% of respondents said the phone is the most effective sales tool.
- OnlyÂ 24.3% of salespeople exceeded their quotalast year.
Referral Sales Statistics
- 84% of buyers nowÂ kick off their buying process with a referral.
- Nine in 10 buying decisionsare made with peer recommendations.
- 92% of buyers trust referrals from people they know.
- After a positive experience, 83% of customerswould be happy to provide a referral. But salespeople aren’t asking — just 29% of customers end upÂ givingÂ a referral.
- About 47% of top performers ask for referrals consistently, versus only 26% of non-top performers.
Sales Career Statistics
- Forrester predictsÂ one million sales reps will be out of a job by 2020.
- Total compensation for SDRs is on averageÂ $72,000.
- Most SDRs spend aroundÂ 2.8 years in the role and require 4.1 months to ramp.
- OTE for an AE isÂ $115,000.
- The typical AE spendsÂ 2.7 years on the job and takes 4.7 months to ramp.
- One in fourÂ salespeople majored in business. The second most popular major? The degree of life. 17% never attended college.
- Only 39% of salespeopleÂ intended to go into sales.