COVID-19 is changing how B2B buyers and sellers interact. Clever adaptable sales leaders are learning how to adapt to the next normal.

COVID-19 has destroyed lives and livelihoods and continues to do so in many communities around the world. The full implications of the pandemic are far from certain, it is already clear that its economic consequences are dire.

For sales leaders contemplating how to react, taking care of their people and customers must be a top priority. Even as they manage that reality, sales leaders also need to adjust how their organizations sell in the face of new customer habits and trying economic times. In many ways, the changes in customer behaviour are an acceleration of digital trends that were in motion before the pandemic hit.

To better understand how both customers and sellers are reacting, we looked at sales statistics from 2019. While companies are generally reducing spend, a sizable number are increasing or maintaining it, with rates depending on company size, sector, and—more than any other factor—location in the world.

One thing is clear, while there is a lot of trepidation and uncertainty, causing significant reductions in spending, companies are still spending.

Digital

No surprize then, B2B companies see digital interactions as two to three times more important to their customers than traditional sales interactions.

Remote

Almost 90 percent of sales have moved to a video-conferencing(VC)/phone/web sales model, and while some scepticism remains, more than half believe this is equally or more effective than sales models used before COVID-19.

Data is an amazing thing, when we look at it, we can see trends and insights that can help us be better at what we do. For example, imagine in 2018 to 2019 we knew that is takes, on average, 3.68 calls to reach a prospect. That knowledge hopefully encouraged you to make at LEAST 4 attempts to reach your prospects.

Now the problem is things have changed…

And with that, the data needs to change and be updated. However, what we are going through is unprecedented.

Looking at 2019, it took 8 calls on average to reach your prospect!! If you were going by previous data you’d be giving up at 4-5 attempts, missing tonnes of opportunities, so how many do we need to make in this COVID era????

To help here are some of the statistics out there from 2019 to help give you the insight and advantage you need to sell more. While our activity needs to increase, we don’t believe the methods have changed.

 

NOW

1) Studies show that asking between 11–14 questions during the course of a lead call will translate to 74 percent greater potential success. (Source – Gong.io)

2) Almost six in 10 buyers want to discuss pricing on the first call. (Source – HubSpot)

3) Customers are 4x more likely to buy when referred by a friend. (Source – Neilsen)

4) 80% of sales require five follow-up phone calls after the meeting. (Source – Marketing Donut)

5) Several industries reported a 50 percent revenue increase with social media selling. (Source – Forbes)

6) 75% of 1,000 executives polled were prompted to attend an event or take an appointment as a result of a cold call or email. (Source – DiscoverOrg)

7) 43% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends on social media. (Source – Neilsen)

8) About 47% of top performers ask for refferals consistently, versus only 26% of non-top performers. (Source – HubSpot)

 

THEN

9) In 2007, it took 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. In 2019 it took eight attempts. (Source – Spotio)

10) 79% of all marketing leads are never converted to sales. (Source – Salesforce)

11) The biggest challenges in 2019 salespeople face: Establishing urgency (42%), Getting in touch with prospects (37%) and Overcoming price objections (35%) (Source – HubSpot)

12) 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up. (Source – Scripted)

13) 40% of emails are opened on mobile first, and the average mobile screen can only fit four to seven words max in the subject line. (Source – ContactMonkey)

14) The best days to call are Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:45 to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.(Source – RingLead)

15) CRM system adoption increases sales by up to 29%. (Source – Salesforce)

16) 73% of executives prefer to work with sales professionals referred by someone they know. (Source – IDC)

17) 55% of B2B buyers search for information on social media. (Source – Blender)

18) The most successful reps use terms that inspire confidence, such as “certainly,” “definitely,” and “absolutely,” five times more often than low performers. (Source – Gong.io)

19) 79 percent of salespeople achieve quota by using a combination of social selling techniques. (Source – Microsoft)

20) On average, people made 33 dials per day. This is down from 38 in 2012. (Source – ForEntrepreneurs)

21) Research shows that 35% to 50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. (Source – InsideSales.com)

22) Adding the word “New” to your subject line can increase open rates by 23%. (Source – Adestra)

23) Only 7% respond to leads in the first five minutes after a form submission. More than half don’t respond within five business days. (Source – Drift)

24) Subject lines with three to four words get more responses than shorter and longer ones. (Source – HubSpot)

25) Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source – The Annuitas Group)

26) High-performing sales organizations are twice as likely to provide ongoing training as low-performing ones. (Source – HubSpot)

27) 32% of buyers post a review on social media. (Source – Avande)

SO!

Did any of these statistics shock you?

Were there any that you are finding to be happening to you right now?

Which ones have inspired you to work differently?

Statistic number 19 showed that a whopping 79% of salespeople achieve quota by using social selling techniques… however so many salespeople and sales teams are barely scratching the surface with it.

If you need help designing a customised, fun and highly charged training program to help you win more customers and grow your market share, contact KONA today on 1300 611 288 | info@kona.com.au for a confidential conversation.