11 Reasons I’m Thankful That I’m Not in Sales

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Courtney Kay

VP of Field Marketing

After a satisfying Thanksgiving meal and the benefit of a few days off to reflect, I thought I’d talk about something I’m thankful for this year. I am thankful that I’m not in technology sales. Why? Because these 11 stats show just how hard it is to influence, identify and close deals today – harder than it’s ever been before…

Sales has to work a lot harder to reach buyers (and a lot more of them!)

1. It takes about 8 calls to get someone on the phone and only 2% of cold calls result in an appointment (LeapJob)  – Tweet This

2. It takes a minimum of 5 follow up touches after the first contact to turn a prospect into a customer… 92% of sales reps give up at 4 touches or less (The Marketing Donut)  – Tweet This

3. The average B2B buying team includes 5.4 stakeholders. Sales needs buy-in from each to close a deal. (CEB)  – Tweet This

Expectations are a lot higher when they do reach these buying teams

4. 90% of buyers want sales people to speak to how their organization (based on size, industry etc.) can implement the solution (TechTarget Media Consumption) – Tweet This

5. On the very first call, 85% of buyers want sales reps to speak specifically to their solution in comparison to the others on the shortlist and 60% expect them to know the solutions they currently have installed. (TechTarget Media Consumption)  – Tweet This

We (marketing) aren’t getting sales the information they need

6. 87% of organizations do not currently deliver sales intelligence and breaking news in real-time (CMO Council) – Tweet This

7. 80% of companies admit that they don’t currently deliver the right level of intelligence to the teams on the front lines (CMO Council) – Tweet This

8. 89% of reps feel that despite their research efforts, they are missing opportunities because they can’t keep up with the data now available (Lattice Engines & CSO Insights) – Tweet This

9. 92% of B2B buyers engage with sales professionals who are known industry thought leaders (LinkedIn) – Tweet This

Neither their buyers nor their management are satisfied with their performance

10. Only 1 in 5 sales reps is effective at meeting the expectations of and creating value for executive buyers (Forrester) – Tweet This

11. Sales management is only satisfied with the performance of 33% of its new hires (CEB) – Tweet This

It’s not that we’re doing the wrong things in marketing by any stretch… in fact, we have been going to extreme lengths to personalize prospect experiences and are seeing some great results! The challenge for technology sales reps is that today they need more than just the contact info of the lead we spent time generating and qualifying, they need the context of what made that lead a lead. What we in marketing can do for our sales teams is expand the insight we pass along, i.e. what persona we classify the lead as, what buy cycle stage we feel they’re in, what content (vs. campaign they engaged with) and what topics we’ve seen their activity on. Further, we can help them by thinking beyond the contact and starting to communicate that intelligence at an account level, to help expose the buying team members they’ll inevitably need to influence.

I think my New Year’s resolution will be to improve upon the information I’m passing along to our sales teams to make them thankful for my team next Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment below or feel free to connect with me on Twitter.

IT buyer preferences, marketing and sales alignment, marketing intelligence, sales, technology marketing

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