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The Top 3 Takeaways From Salesforce’s State of Sales Research Report

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NOTE:
  Adam Draper, Vice President of Sales, Introhive provides today’s guest blog.

With over 14 years of enterprise sales experience in the startup and Fortune 500 spaces, Adam is an expert at helping build and lead sales organizations in high growth markets and startup environments. Follow Adam on LinkedIn.

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Research from Salesforce shows that 57% of sales reps expect to miss their sales quotas this year. An overwhelming amount of tasks and administrative responsibilities that eat away at productive sales process are cited.

Salesforce Research, in their State of Sales Report, describes how sales and business development organizations are coping with these changes. Included are the use of data-driven approaches to sales, cross-functional collaboration, and systems integrations.

Below, we explore the top three takeaways from the State of Sales Report and how you can apply them to your sales organization to put your team on the path to success.

1. Sales Reps Only Spend One-Third of Their Time Selling

Salesforce’s report reveals that only 34% of sales reps’ time is actually spent on selling each week. This includes the time spent prospecting, meeting with clients face-to-face, and communicating with clients virtually.

66% of their time is spent on mundane, administrative tasks such as:

Lead prioritization Entering customer data into CRM Researching prospects Generating quotes Preparing for meetings.

All of this time away from clients has made it harder for reps to meet their quotas. Only 42% of sales reps are expected to hit their quotas this year. 

Image Credit:  Salesforce Research State of Sales Report

To minimize the number of mundane tasks that sales teams need to complete, successful firms are turning to automation. Through solutions like CRM automation or relationship intelligence automation, sales reps no longer have to manually input data.  The data includes capturing contact information, post-meeting notes, tracking their latest account activity, or digging into CRM for actionable relationship insights.

Instead, all of that busy work can be managed with direct email to CRM syncing for creating new contacts and updating activities. Using the data from the Salesforce report, automation could free up 42% of sales rep time typically spent on non-sales related activities. Following this path will increase the amount of time they spend on selling to 76%.

2. Top Sales Performers Rely Heavily on Data Insights

According to the State of Sales report, leading sales teams are 1.6 times more likely to use data analysis to prioritize leads and half as likely to prioritize using intuition. Data-driven lead prioritization takes the guesswork out of the process. Sales teams then have a more accurate and reliable way of measuring prospect traction and momentum.

However, many sales teams are missing this opportunity. As Salesforce reports, “data-driven lead prioritization is hardly universal. Only one-third of teams use this methodology by default, while others stick with more basic criteria such as geography, company size, or job title.”

80% of sales reps state that knowing whether a prospect has a past or existing relationship with their company is the most helpful insight in prioritizing leads and opportunities. 

It’s clear that customer relationship data is crucial for sales reps to effectively prioritize their communications. But with upwards of 30% of CRM data quality eroding within a given year, quality relationship data inside of sales organizations is hard to come by as it tends to be out-of-date, inaccurate or incomplete.

To increase the quality and accuracy of your CRM data, the system will require help from data enrichment and data cleansing services, like Introhive. For example, once a new contact is identified in your email inbox or calendar, Introhive’s AI and machine learning algorithm will analyze that contact record across 12 different online sources.  The sources include the web, LinkedIn, and databases to automatically build out a more complete contact profile before entering it into CRM. The system ensures that your sales team has the most accurate and complete information powering their data analysis and lead prioritization efforts.

3. Leading Sales Teams Break Down Silos

In order to win new business, three-quarters of organizations agree that connected processes across departments (marketing, sales, service) are of utmost importance. But only 49% of organizations have fully integrated systems, leading to lack luster sales performance. In fact, top sales teams are 2.1 times more likely than under-performers to have fully integrated systems, bringing their customer data into a single, shared view for the entire organization. 

To join the upper echelon of sales performers, firms need to bring disparate data sources together into a single, centralized system. Not only will this increase access to valuable customer data, but it will also encourage collaboration among sales, marketing, and service teams.

By breaking down silos to increase visibility into information, teams have a more complete view of the customer journey from marketing campaigns all the way to ensuring a light customer satisfaction rating. And salespeople agree, this connected view is important for myriad reasons: 

Image Credit:  Salesforce Research State of Sales Report

Accelerating the Path to Sales Success

Salesforce Research’s State of Sales Report revealed that sales organizations need to prioritize rep productivity, collaboration, and data analysis. And one way to free up more time for sales to spend more time selling is to invest into technology that automates mundane data entry in CRM.

For more insight into how other progressive organizations are accomplishing this, browse Introhive’s website to learn more about the platform’s CRM automation, data enrichment, and relationship mapping capabilities. By setting your team up with the right tools, you’ll allow your reps to spend more time selling (and selling well). About the 

Today’s guest blog is provided to help you achieve The Smooth Sale!


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Beginning January 29, you will find the Smooth Sale Blog on my LinkedIn Profile Page and Twitter.  It is with great appreciation that so many subscribed over the years.  My goal in writing is to be of service to my readership and provide encouragement for moving forward.


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