Few outside of the sales industry may know this, but LinkedIn publishes a Global Sales Status Report every year. The focus of the last report was on how:
- the pandemic interrupted the sales process to improve it;
- increasing tech stacks are affecting performance
- top salespeople are taking advantage of these trends to get ahead.
Since LinkedIn is the leading social media platform for B2B sales, many sales reps and managers will use these findings to fine-tune and confirm if they’re using best practices, but there are also plenty of takeaways marketing teams need to be aware of.
What did you learn Sales: Research is the key
What Marketing can learn from all this: Names and contact information are not enough for sales to arrive
One thing that is undoubtedly true is the fact that top salespeople do a lot more research than less-performing salespeople. A total of 76% of top salespeople stated that they “always” do their research before reaching out to a potential lead. Only 47% of other sellers made the same statement.
This is in line with the report’s findings that true “cold” calls are disappearing, and “warm” calls are the standard of the best, with 88% of marketers saying they participate in “warm” calls. “.
The report states that sellers must now do “much more” research on buyers before contacting them than before the pandemic.
68% of buyers say they are unlikely to interact with a seller who communicates with information that is irrelevant to their job, so it is important for sales professionals to understand the following before communicating:
- Get an idea of your business needs;
- Understand the role of the lead in the purchase process ;
- Provide personalized communications.
When buyers receive messages that are relevant to them or challenge their current thinking, they respond well.
The marketing department can help your sales team by providing qualified leads with meaningful sales intelligence data…
What did you learn Sales: Sales technology stacks are growing
What can Marketing learn from all this: CRM and sales intelligence tools are the most important to invest in #SMARKETING
The vast majority of sellers said they planned to use sales technology “much more” or “more” often this year than in previous years.
The top sales technology types ranked first were CRM and sales intelligence tools, which tied for first place.
Vendors largely say that incomplete data is a major problem for them. Nearly half of all salespeople (45%) say they’ve lost sales because they have incomplete data that doesn’t fully correspond with what they know to be true about their customers.
Using buyer intent technology to find prospects who are ready to buy right now is becoming more critical to the sales process. Nearly 85% of sellers say determining buyer intent is important to their sales organization.
Sales organizations are using a variety of tools to measure buyer intent. Topping the list is LinkedIn Sales Navigator , which can be used to collect meaningful business data on leads and stimulate sales with personalized sales intelligence information ;).
What You Learned Sales: Salespeople only spend about 25% of their time selling
What Marketing Can Learn From All This: When you look at sales “activities,” you’re only looking at a small part of the work.
Sellers, according to our data, spend about a quarter of their time (27%) selling products and services. The rest of their time is spent updating their CRM, administrative tasks, internal meetings, and training.
In addition to these discoveries, top performers (identified as selling over 150% of share) spend 10% less time selling and replacing it with additional research, and spend an additional 18% more time updating CRM than their average performing counterparts.
The report quotes David JP Fisher (president of RockStar Consulting) as saying: “ Don’t be too quick to write off ‘non-selling activity.’ The modern sales cycle requires more than just smiling and calling a meeting to be successful. Research, training, and collaboration are key elements needed to move agreements forward. The key is to ask yourself if an activity has short-term or long-term value or if you are simply doing it out of inertia or poor planning.”
Marketing leaders can recognize that time allocations that differ from average employees are teachable skills and can work with sales management to ensure relevant research topics are being conducted that resonate with their messaging.
What Sales Learned: The Best Employees Work Closely With Marketing
What can Marketing learn from all this: meet monthly with sales and use their feedback
70% of the top performers in the Linkedin survey rated the leads they receive from Marketing as “excellent,” while only 43% of average sellers rated the leads they get from Marketing the same way.
The takeaway here is that top performers work with their marketing teams to understand buyer intent from various lead sources and what marketing messages resonated the most with the buyer, and therefore how to work with them. they.
The report recommends that sales and marketing teams meet monthly so marketing can keep sales up to date on the buying journey and understand how to best approach leads. But also to get feedback from sales about which content sources are working best, topics and questions that are coming up on their sales calls, and then Marketing can adjust their content strategy accordingly.
The salespeople who make the most significant sales are those who reach the right customers. They’re using the right technology, collecting the best data, and using that data to make sure they’re only sending messages that are appropriate for the customers they want to reach.
At the end of the day, sales and marketing should work toward a common goal, and while the world of marketing and sales evolve independently, understanding the trends and challenges of both will fuel a thriving organization.
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