11 Key Stats that you need to know as a sales leader

Sales is a numbers game, as any seasoned professional knows. Hitting your number, and making sure your team hits target, is the name of the game. In software companies, maintaining that consistent growth momentum is an even bigger challenge.

Hitting or missing target could mean the difference between a company succeeding, or failing. As a sales leader, you need to know your team is making every effort to get leads into the pipeline and close deals.

Consistency is key. Day in, day out, knowing your team is making a consistent effort can have a huge impact on those numbers when the end of the month or quarter rolls around. Sales is mission critical for the growth of any B2B business. Without an effective sales team, even the largest companies in the world don’t grow. A lot of research goes into how to improve sales performance, so here are 11 key stats you need to know as a sales manager.

#1: Buyers are in more control than ever: 79% of B2B buyer queries start in search engines. Whereas, 33% start with buyers asking questions on social media platforms. Promoting yourself online is how modern businesses find clients, thereby supporting sales campaigns.

#2: Don’t trust your team’s luck to last-minute attempts to hit target. HubSpot Research has found that calls made in the last month of any quarter have a much lower chance of converting.

#3: Be ready to discuss price. Six out of ten buyers want to have an idea of the price on the first call.

#4: Be persistent, especially when making cold calls. On average, it now takes between 8 and 18 calls to connect with a buyer. It used to take around 4 calls in 2007.

#5: 60 percent of buyers want to talk to potential suppliers during the consideration stage of the process; with 20 percent keen to talk to a few options when they are making the decision, according to HubSpot.

#6: Video is increasingly popular, with 7 of 10 watching at least one video during the buying process.

#7: Response times make a huge difference. According to Drift, only 7% of companies responded to a query within 5 minutes of an inbound lead form being filled in. Out of the 433 tested, over half failed to respond within five business days.

#8: The best time to make sales calls is between 4:00-5:00pm, usually later in the week (except Friday). The second best is 8:00-10:00am. The worst times are 11:00am and 2:00pm, according to InsideSales and the Kellogg School of Business.

#9: Hoping to get a response from emails? Send an email that is between 50 and 125 words, with subject lines that are only three to four words, and include at least one to three questions. According to Boomerang, after an analysis of 300,000 emails, those characteristics help ensure emails are opened and get responses.

#10: Ask questions. Want to close a deal? Then use a discovery call effectively, asking between 11 and 14 questions. Not only does this prove more effective, particularly if you’re asking about pain points - then recommending your product/service as a solution - but you are making it easier to qualify this prospect as a viable lead.

#11: Buyers want salespeople who listen. According to HubSpot, these are the most important traits buyers want from those they’re speaking to:

  • Listen to their needs (69%)
  • Don’t be pushy (61%)
  • Provide relevant information (61%)
  • Respond quickly (51%)

#12: Bonus tip. Here is why being persistent ensures your team has a better chance of hitting target:

  • 48% of Sales people never follow up with a prospect.
  • 25% of Sales people make a second contact and stop.
  • 12% of Sales people only make three contacts and stop.
  • 10% of Sales people make more than three contacts.
  • 2% of Sales are made on the first contact.
  • 3% of Sales are made on the second contact.
  • 5% of Sales are made on the third contact.
  • 10% of Sales are made on the fourth contact.
  • 80% of Sales are made on the fifth contact.