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The Current State of Sales Described in 12 Stats

Salesforce recently released the 2015 State of Sales research report, a survey of over 2,300 B2B and B2C sales leaders that’s chock-full of insights about sales success metrics, challenges and obstacles, and technology adoption.

The report breaks up survey respondents into three categories: high performers, moderate performers, and underperformers. High performers are defined as “those that most consistently keep up with prospects’ and customers’ changing expectations.” They also tend to rate their sales capabilities as outstanding or very good and have plans to increase the size of their sales force in the next 18 months. In other words, successful sales teams are reliable and adaptable when others fall short.

So, what specific behaviors and traits help top sales teams rise above the rest? We’ve identified three key takeaways from the report and rounded up some statistics that back them up.

The sales technology landscape is growing rapidly — and top sales teams are keeping up.

Your CRM system is inarguably a crucial part of your business strategy, but it’s not the only piece of the sales technology puzzle. Today’s B2B buyers are increasingly sophisticated, and they expect businesses to be able to keep up. In 2015, top-performing sales teams know this, and they’ve adopted more (and better) technology to help grow their businesses. The following statistics demonstrate the serious growth of sales technology, from wearable tech to marketing automation tools.

74% of sales leaders plan to use sales analytics technology in the next 18 months.

Sales reps' use of mobile apps will increase 125% over the next two years.

High-performing sales teams use 3x more sales technology than underperforming teams.

83% of sales teams are currently using or plan to use wearables in the next two years.

The use of sales prospecting tools will grow 75% in the next 18 months.

The use of predictive analytics technology will grow 155% in the next 18 months.

High-performing teams are always finding new ways to connect with customers.

The best sales teams know it’s not enough to chat with a prospect on the phone and call it a day. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to use your CRM and marketing automation tools to track interactions with customers and sync information seamlessly between the two platforms. With so many potential channels for engagement — from trade shows and demos to LinkedIn and emails — high-performing sales reps are always seeking new, effective ways to engage with their prospects customers. As you can see from the following stats, this multidimensional approach to customer relationships makes a big difference.

High-performing sales teams are 4.7x more likely to excel at omnichannel sales interactions than underperformers.

High-performing sales teams are 4.5x more likely have a 360° view of their customers than underperformers.

73% of high-performing sales teams excel at collaborating with partners, customers, and prospects.

Empowered sales reps are successful sales reps.

It takes a while for new salespeople to get fully ramped up and ready to sell, so it’s no wonder that successful sales teams invest in educating their employees (and keeping them happy in the process). For some tips on training new sales reps — and keeping your veteran reps on their toes — check out our recent blog post about sales enablement. This is one area of your business you don’t want to skimp on, even if you’re a small business with a limited budget. Here’s why:

Companies with high-performing sales teams are 2.6x more likely than underperformers to invest over $1K in yearly training.

20% of underperforming sales teams don’t invest any budget in sales training.

93% of high-performing sales teams say their reps’ satisfaction is key to business success.

To read the free report in its entirety, click here — and then let us know your thoughts in the comments.