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Salesforce Research surveyed more than 2,300 global sales leaders to discover: The unifying goals, stumbling blocks, and success metrics for today’s sales team How high-performing sales teams are evolving to stay ahead of the curve Areas where sales is doubling down to supercharge business in the next 12–18 months This report highlights sales trends in 2015, including the central role of sales teams in an integrated customer success platform. Throughout the report, data is examined relative to sales performance to identify patterns for overall customer success. About This Report In this report, we define high-performing sales teams as those that most consistently keep up with prospects’ and customers’ changing expectations. Additionally, high-performing teams are far more likely to rate their sales capabilities as outstanding or very good and are increasing the size of their sales force in the next 12–18 months. Conducted in early 2015, this survey resulted in responses from 2,372 full-time global sales leaders from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Due to rounding, not all percentage totals in this report equal 100%. Respondents included customers and contacts who had opted in as well as third-party panelists. Salesforce Research, part of Salesforce, provides data-driven insights to help businesses transform how they drive customer success.
The “2015 State of Sales” survey asked more than 2,300 global sales leaders about their priorities, challenges, metrics, and strategies for the year. Here’s a quick look at the current state of sales. Defining Success for Today’s Sales Leaders
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Where there’s analytics in use, there’s likely a winning sales organization. High-performing sales teams are 3.5x more likely than underperforming teams to use sales analytics. Top teams are also 4.6x more likely than underperformers to rate their basic sales analytics capabilities as outstanding or very good. For these leading teams, analytics likely provide visibility into accounts and help dictate where to focus energy for the most productive customer and prospect conversations. 01 | Analytics Use Soars Among Top Teams
Analytics Becomes a Dominant Sales Tool Data analysis helps sales teams make more informed decisions and find improvement opportunities. The best sales teams not only collect customer data, they analyze and act upon that data to make more informed, behavior-based decisions that fuel customer success. Here we see the percent of leaders rating their sales analytics capabilities as outstanding or very good. 01 | Analytics Use Soars Among Top Teams
While high performers have already cracked the code on analytics, the surge among sales teams at all levels is spiking and expected to continue. Among all sales organizations surveyed, there’s a 58% increase in planned sales analytics use from 2015 to 2016. With this rise in new technologies making it easier for reps to derive real-time insights, we expect sales organizations to widely increase and improve their sales analytics capabilities. 01 | Analytics Use Soars Among Top Teams
The universe of smartphones, tablets, and apps in the consumer world has created equal demand for always-connected mobile access in the business world. Today’s top sales organizations are significantly more likely* to use mobile sales apps for everything from lead management to sales forecasting, letting them close business from anywhere. In fact, nearly 60% of high-performing sales teams already use or are planning to use a mobile sales app. High performers are 2x as likely as underperformers to use or have plans to use a mobile sales app. 02 | High Performers Sell More with Mobile Among all sales leaders surveyed, use of mobile apps for salespeople will more than double in the next two years (125% growth).
The Best Sales Teams Are Mobile Masters Top performers are nearly 5x more likely to have outstanding or very good capabilities in mobile sales, wielding smartphones to dominate sales. Here we see the percent of leaders ranking their mobile sales capabilities as outstanding or very good. 02 | High Performers Sell More with Mobile
Organizations that are rising to the top are those that have mastered a holistic customer approach — they know that today’s sophisticated buyer has an equally complex and unique relationship with your business, extending to every sales, marketing, and service touchpoint. High-performing teams understand this and they see sales as the responsibility of the whole company, adopting a true team-selling approach. 03 | Teams That Sell Together, Win Together
Top sales performers are also connecting with customers in more ways than ever before. The data shows that winning sales teams have top-rated capabilities across a broad range of channels. High performers, for example, are 4.7x more likely than underperformers to rate their capabilities in omnichannel sales interactions as outstanding or very good. Whether gaining a single view of the customer or managing discussion forums, the scope of capabilities mastered by top sales teams continues to evolve. 03 | Teams That Sell Together, Win Together
High-performing teams maximize technology to meet the demands of today’s sophisticated customers (a challenge cited by 47% of respondents). High-performing sales teams use nearly 3x more functionality than underperforming teams, freeing them from process-heavy tasks and giving them more time to actually sell. 04 | High Performers Are High Tech
04 | High Performers Are High Tech
To download the full report, click here.