How high performing sales teams use technology to win in today’s economy


STATE OF SALES 2022: Insights from over 7,700 sales professionals on increasing productivity in today’s economy

Sixty-nine percent of sales professionals say selling is more difficult now than before the pandemic, according to the State of Sales 2022 report from Salesforce Research.

In the fifth edition of the “State of Sales” report, Salesforce Research surveyed more than 7,700 sales professionals worldwide to find out how sales organizations are driving value in an economic climate, meeting changing customer expectations and quality, reliability and more in sales activities as a partner. in business success and the use of opportunistic strategies to convert all agents into MVPs. Here are four key points from the report:

  1. The new marketing mantra: maximizing effectiveness. Companies are moving away from risky strategies as they battle inflation, supply chains, regulatory uncertainty, and political turmoil. However, marketers are under pressure to hit targets. It’s a big challenge.
  2. Marketing activities increase efficiency. Effectiveness assumes great importance. Sales ops is evolving into a more operational strategy, given the opportunity to allow agents to spend more time in customer conversations. Salespeople spend 28% of their week actually selling.
  3. Agents strive to meet and exceed the expectations of buyers. Buyers are looking for salespeople to meet them wherever they are, regardless of channel: ecommerce platforms, social networks, and personal assistants. Buyers then expect salespeople to act as good, trusted advisors. Organizations connect with consumers on an average of 10 channels.
  4. The seller’s experience gets a second look. Companies are reviewing training programs and benefits, while developing areas and marketing tools to set employees up for success. The new credit rating is limited, and is expected to gain 25% in sales teams in the next 12 months.

A deeper look into Marketing reports highlights these 10 key business trends in Marketing:

  1. The sale was intense – 69% of sales professionals agree that their work is difficult now. And 82% of salespeople say they have to adapt quickly to new ways of selling. The top five marketing challenges are: 1. supply issues, 2. inflation, 3. changing regulations, 4. political instability, and 4. health care. Additionally, 70% of sales leaders say their sales team is taking fewer risks now. To increase sales growth, businesses adopt these five main strategies: 1. improve cross-functional coordination, 2. adapt to manufacturing or virtual sales, 3. improve data consistency, 4. launch new markets and 5. updated equipment and technology.
  2. Organizations use an average of 10 channels to sell to the customer. The report found that buyers expect sales teams to show up wherever they are – on email, social media, and all the emerging channels they can go to. Indeed, 57% of consumers prefer to interact with companies through digital channels. Companies report that about one-third of the deals they close are general.
  3. Buyers expect an efficient sales team with sophisticated insights. The report found that 81 percent of retailers said buyers are doing more research before making a purchase. This is an eye-opening finding: 87% of business buyers expect salespeople to act as trusted advisors.
  4. Sales development is a team sport and requires business coordination. Cross-functionality is the #1 strategy of marketing leaders to increase growth. Two key statistics from the report: 81% of salespeople say their sales team helps them close. But 82 percent of salespeople say coordinating with other salespeople is at least somewhat challenging.
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    Big Teams Team Up to Close Business


  6. Marriage should be more important than courtship. The report found that 80% of salespeople say maintaining customer relationships after closing is important. Value-based communication, active listening and follow-through/accounting are the top 3 ways marketers maintain good relationships with customers after the sale is complete.
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    Customer Retention Has Become a Key Performance Indicator


  8. The development of marketing activities is the key to efficiency. The role of marketing activities is increasing in importance for marketing organizations. In 2020, 54% of marketing leaders say marketing activities are key to defining strategy – a number that has jumped to 65%. More than eight in 10 marketing professionals say that marketing activities play an important role in growing the business.
  9. Most of the time, sales teams don’t sell. As it stands now, agents spend 28% of their week actually selling. Others include important, but tedious tasks such as transaction processing and data entry. Only 37% of sales professionals strongly agree that their organization is using their CRM at all. Some of the most useful CRM features for sales are: 1. organization and management of materials, 2. automatic data entry, 3. intelligent customer understanding, 4. integration with internal systems, and 5. the ability to replace other marketing tools.
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    How Sponsors Spend Their Time During an Average Week


  11. Sales teams are immersed in tools and overwhelmed with information. The report found that 94% of sales organizations plan to upgrade their technology portfolio in the next 12 months. To increase sales efficiency, sales departments can prioritize their development around the features that are most popular with sales teams: reporting, CRM functions, and account/contact management, among others. The top 5 tools used by sales teams are: 1. Sales reports and analytics, 2. CRM, 3. account and contact management, 4. mobile sales applications for employees and 5. sales forecasting tools.
  12. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the forefront. The focus on efficiency and cost savings may bring an immediate push to artificial intelligence (AI). One-third of marketing teams are currently using AI. In the next two years, an additional 20% of organizations plan to do so. Eight in 10 CEOs and sales professionals with AI say it has improved the use of reps’ time at least moderately. Top professionals Professionals will be more likely to use AI than non-professionals.
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    Brainstorming Teams Boost Efficiency with AI


  14. Employee retention is still a concern for marketing organizations. Sales teams report 25% average turnover in the past 12 months. As of September 2022, nearly a quarter of agents are either looking for or plan to look for a new job within 12 months. Overall, about half of agents are at least open to leaving if something better comes along. At the same time, 85% of marketing leaders say they struggle to find the budget for the needed inventory. That number could rise if economic changes force executives to cut operating costs. Coaching is one way organizations keep sales professionals motivated. Sales professionals admit they receive valuable coaching from their manager, but only 26% say it happens weekly. Only 53% of sales leaders use coaching methods.
    The sales forecast is optimistic. The report found that 75% of sales professionals are confident in their sales teams’ ability to recycle — up from 63% in 2020.

    Top 5 Reasons Sales Professionals Want to Quit Their Job


The State of Marketing report is segmented by industry, country, company size and sales status. Growth drivers for sales vary by industry. With increasing challenges and changing economic conditions, it’s no wonder why many marketing professionals don’t expect to make a profit this year. To learn more about how marketing teams are poised to grow in the future, you can access the State of Marketing report here.


Business Development Factors by Industry



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