55 Shocking Sales Statistics That'll Change the Way You Sell in 2023

55 Shocking Sales Statistics That'll Change the Way You Sell in 2023

Sometimes, it takes the cold, harsh truth to burst your cozy little bubble. And sometimes, it takes 55 cold, hard facts. Enter: crucial sales statistics that'll change how you sell in 2023.

These sales stats reflect uncomfortable truths that sales teams deal with every single day. You and your team might be losing hours of productivity—and money—due to these mistakes.

Don't treat these stats as the final law on selling. Instead, let them inspire you with new ways of solving problems.

How to Use Sales Statistics to Guide Your Sales Strategy

Sales stats generally come from data research companies like Neilsen and Statista. These companies run surveys, scour the internet, and analyze data to generate statistics that explain the state of the sales industry.

For example, they might survey sales reps and report that 67% of sales reps take advantage of sales enablement. Sometimes they might also ask sales teams if they met their goals and share stats like “45% of sales teams that exceed their quotas use sales enablement tools.”

These stats can help guide your own strategy, especially when they are specific to your industry or niche. For example, if 75% of SaaS companies use a CRM, there’s a good chance that it's a successful strategy you should test.

Keep in mind that sales stats can vary by industry. Average close rates in the software industry, for instance, are different from average close rates in the finance industry.

Make sure the stats you use to guide your sales strategy are relevant to your company/sales approach.

Now, let's dive into the sales statistics!

Sales Email Statistics

Email can be every salesperson’s best friend, but too often it’s used incorrectly. Some people don’t know how to cold email effectively. Other people don’t spend enough time on what’s possibly the most crucial element of an email—the subject line.  And others need to send that unresponsive prospect a breakup email.

These stats prove email can be powerful–if you do it right.

1. Email is 40 times more effective at getting new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. — McKinsey

Email is incredibly effective, but can eat up your time if you don’t do it right. Make use of templates and personalized messages, which you can do right from Close’s interface.

2. Email marketing has 2x higher ROI than cold calling. — MarketingSherpa

You read that right. Email is twice as powerful as cold calling, so make the most out of your emails. Close can send emails from inside the app, so no more screen-juggling.

3. 47% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line and nothing else. (And it goes both ways: 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on it.) — OptinMonster

First impressions can make or break a potential sale. Tell people right away that you’ve got something worth their time by writing effective subject lines.

4. 43% of email recipients mark emails as spam based only on the email address. — Convince and Convert

Even if you’re sending a message from a legitimate email, people may still think it’s spam, so think carefully when sending a message.

5. 35% of professionals read emails on a mobile device. — Convince and Convert

Short and sweet wins when it comes to mobile. You can save short templates in Close and send them with a single click.

6. Subject lines with the recipient's name are 2.6% more likely to be opened. — MailUp

Personalized subject lines also help to create rapport.

7. 14.7% of emails are caught by spam filters. Avoid using words and phrases like "act now," "free trial," and "bargain" to improve your chances of landing in the inbox. — Ortto, 2022

Email services like Gmail work hard to protect their users from spam—a little too hard, sometimes. If your email subject lines use one of the above mentioned words/phrases, it may get sent to the spam folder. Even if it's completely legit. Best to avoid them.

8. The best time to email prospects is between 8:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. — GetResponse

That’s a whopping seven-hour window, so test to see when your prospects are most likely to engage. Nail that winning cold email, and set reminders for yourself to follow up.

Sales Call Statistics

The phone call has been the backbone of sales for decades, and it’s still a driving force. But it’s not easy. Not everyone is a cold calling pro who knows how to immediately capture a prospect’s attention on the phone.

Here are some revealing stats to help you optimize your calling processes.

sales stats person on a phone call

9. 92% of all customer interactions happen on the phone. — Salesforce

Email is great, but sometimes, nothing beats talking one-on-one with your prospect. Become an expert at cold calling, and reap the benefits.

10. 85% of prospects and customers are dissatisfied with their on-the-phone experience. — Salesforce

When you’re on the line with a prospect, you can’t take any chances. Having everything that relates to the current prospect right in front of you will make your outbound sales efforts easier and more productive.

Our sales communication platform automatically displays the entire conversation history and context around this deal on the lead page when you’re speaking with them.

11. Sales reps spend about 15% of their time leaving voicemails. — Ringlead

That’s 15% more time you could spend making sales. Close’s streamlined interface gives you the ability to leave pre-recorded voicemail messages with the click of a button. You can hang up the call and have Close dial the next number while it leaves the voicemail for you.

12. The average sales rep makes 52 calls every day. — The Bridge Group

If you’re making 52 calls every day, they better be damn efficient. Make the most out of your calls with the best sales software. Some of our customers are making 200+ calls per rep a day (read more about how they’re doing this.)

13. If you call a lead in the first 5 minutes after they've submitted a web form, they're 100x more likely to get on the phone. — Inside Sales

Leverage this powerful fact. Track your leads’ web form activity, and you’ll be rewarded for your speed and attention.

14. You are 15% more likely to connect with your prospect between 8-11 am their time. — Xant

Many sales reps use time-blocking to ensure maximum productivity. If you find 8-11 am local time is when you get the best reach rates, schedule your call prospecting during these hours.

15. 57% of C-Level and VP-level buyers prefer to connect with sellers on the phone. — Top Performance in Sales Prospecting, Rain Group

While you find people ranting on social media all the time how much they hate having to talk with a salesperson on the phone—the people actually making buying decisions like talking with sales reps.

16. 69% of buyers accept cold calls from new providers, and 82% of buyers said they accept meetings with sellers who reach out to them. — Rain Group

Again, all the data shows that cold calling is still an effective way to drum up business.

Sales Follow-Up Statistics

If there’s one thing that too many sales reps suck at, it’s following up. It’s the same old story—you don’t want to be annoying, so you play it safe. But if you want to close more deals, you need to develop an effective outreach strategy.

Keep these stats in mind as you’re planning your own follow up plan.

17. 92% of salespeople give up after four “no’s”, but 80% of prospects say “no” four times before they say “yes”. — Marketing Donut

Sales representatives need to expect, accept, and embrace the no. Once they do, they can begin working to overcome them and make more sales.

18. 80 percent of sales require 5 follow-up calls. — Scripted

That’s a lot of follow-up calls and a lot of potential hassle. With Close, five calls equals five clicks, and you won’t even have to schedule a reminder. Our workflows and SmartViews ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

19. On average, it takes 8 follow-up calls to reach a prospect. — Telenet and Ovation Sales Group

That’s even more follow-up calls! (But with Close, it’s only eight clicks. ) Put in the work and your cold leads will become respondents. Who knows? They may eventually become paying customers, too. But you won't know until you follow up. Relentlessly.

20. 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up call. — Scripted

Being persistent shows you're serious about closing a deal. Knowing how to follow up correctly will boost your chances of reaching a prospect and landing a sale. Do both and you'll achieve more success.

Sales Productivity Statistics

Each year, sales reps waste hundreds of hours on boring tasks like entering data and logging prospect outreach. The sales team at Foursquare had this same issue–until they tried Close. It took reps 16 clicks to log a call in Salesforce but only 2 clicks in Close. Now, they have more time to spend interacting with prospects and closing deals instead of wasting time on manual data entry.

If that’s not enough to convince you to up your productivity, these stats will highlight just what's at stake.

21. Lost productivity and poorly managed leads cost companies at least $1 trillion every year. — Marketo

We don’t think you should even lose $1 due to lost productivity. Manage your leads efficiently and stay on top of things with Close.

22. 71% of sales reps say they spend too much time on data entry. — Toutapp

Close automatically logs all your interactions with prospects and leads. Emails and phone calls are automatically tracked—so you can spend more time closing deals and less time entering data.

23. 42.5% of sales reps take 10 months or longer to become productive enough to contribute to company goals. — IRC

We built Close to combat this loss of productivity. Close is intuitive, and our customers get new reps up and running in just one week. Even better, this simple onboarding hack can get new sales hires up to speed much faster.

24. High-performing companies are 2x as likely as underperforming companies to describe their sales processes as automated. — Velocify

Automation makes your life easier–and a world-class CRM can make all the difference.

25. Only 35.2% of a sales rep's time is spent actively selling. — Forbes

Manage your time and leads more wisely. Using a first-rate CRM (cough, Close, cough) will allow you to track everything you need to, all in one place. Stay focused on interacting with your prospect instead of doing busywork.

26. Sales reps who use social selling are 50% more likely to meet or exceed their quota. — LinkedIn

LinkedIn is especially powerful for B2B social selling. Just don’t do social sales the wrong way.

27. Only 46.7% of sales reps globally meet quota. — Sales Hacker

Why? Because sales reps are working with clumsy CRMs and managing their time poorly. Don’t let it happen to you.

28. Less than 70% of employees are engaged at their jobs. — Gallup

Ask yourself, honestly: Is this your company? If so, you need to make some serious productivity improvements.

29. 65% of sales reps say they can't find content to send to prospects. — Upland

Having a conversation history that gives you context around each lead makes it easy to identify relevant content.

Miscellaneous Sales Statistics

We don’t leave any stone unturned. These stats cover everything from the importance of referrals to the necessity of value, and they’re as eye-opening as the past 31 have been.

sales stats about productivity

30. 91% of customers say they'd give referrals, but only 11% of salespeople ask for them. — Dale Carnegie

A referral can be the gateway to the next deal. Give value to your customers, and then ask them for a referral. Why should you do this? Because ...

31. 84% of B2B decision-makers start their purchase with a referral. —Influitive

If you don’t already have a process to get referrals, now is the time.

32. Increasing client retention by as little as 5% can boost profits by as much as 95%. — Bain & Company

How do you increase client retention? By constantly proving your worth and staying in contact with your clients. Close makes it easy to stay up-to-date with your clients.

33. Thursday is the best day to prospect. — Hubspot

The second best day to prospect is Wednesday. And the third best day? Today. 😉

34. 50% of websites get only 15 seconds of attention. — MarketingProfs

Does yours stand out? Get honest feedback and use it to improve your site.

35. 44% of buyers feel that only 25% of their providers help them maximize their value. — Gartner

If you’re not maximizing value for your buyers, you could be on the way out. Constantly deliver the value that your buyers deserve.

36. 74% of buyers chose the company that was the first to add value. — Forbes

At the risk of beating a dead horse—give your buyers value!

37. 98% of all text messages are opened, compared to 22% of emails. - MobileMarketingWatch

Nothing against email, but text open rates blow email open rates out of the water. Luckily, with Close, you can send your prospects and customers texts with one click.

38. 65% of sales professionals say they “always” put the buyer first. However, only 23% of buyers agree that sellers “always” put the buyer first. - LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021

The same survey reported only 39% of sales professionals say their sales org delivers the buyer first behavior of providing free and easy access to product reviews “all the time.” If you lead a sales team, consider how you can support your team when it comes to putting your prospects and customers first.

39. 50% of buyers say that working remotely has made the purchasing process easier. - LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021

The rapid rise of remote work due to the pandemic has led to a shift to remote sales, and buyers are on board.

40. 67% of sales managers say that overseeing a remote sales team is more challenging than they anticipated. - LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021

We've been a fully remote sales team since 2014, and helped thousands of sales organizations around the world to make the shift to virtual selling. And now we've gathered all of our best, proven strategies in the free Remote Sales Team Playbook.

41. 86% of sales managers state that coping with change is more important in 2021 than it was five years ago. - LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021

This is not just true on an individual level, but especially on a team-wide level. If you've ever been in charge of leading a team, you know how challenging it can be to lead through change. Check out Sales team management: How to inspire change from within for actionable advice for sales managers.

42. 77% of sales professionals say their sales organization plans to invest “significantly more” or “more” in sales intelligence tools.  - LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021

Sounds like a good idea to us. Once you've used one of these tools to collect prospect data, use Close to reach out to them via phone, email, or text message.

43. 63% of purchases have more than four people involved—vs. just 47% in 2017 — and they can include different buyer roles—champions, influencers, decision makers, users, or ratifiers—from multiple departments. - Forrester’s 2021 B2B Buying Study

When you're closing large deals, it's important to build an army of internal champions. One of the most common mistakes we've seen sales teams make when it comes to selling to large organizations is that they assumed getting a "yes" from the decision maker is enough.

44. Although the number of buying interactions increases slightly every year (e.g., from 16 to 17 between 2017 and 2019), the number of buying interactions during the pandemic jumped from 17 to 27. - Forrester’s 2021 B2B Buying Study

As a sales rep, it's your responsibility to move the conversation forward. Check out our free book The Follow-Up Formula to learn how to master the sales follow-up.

45. 85% of sellers say they lost or delayed at least one deal in the past year, because a key client stakeholder changed jobs. - LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021

We've been there ourselves—before launching Close, Steli was selling his online education platform to Oracle. Our team spent nine months on a deal. A Senior VP, Director, and multiple managers at different levels were involved. Then, just a few weeks before signing the deal, the SVP left and took with him an entire flock of employees, including everyone we were in contact with. We were left with nothing.

46. 44% of B2B buyers say they won't do business with a company if they can't use their preferred channels. - State of the Connected Customer, Salesforce

Part of your job as a sales professional is to remove friction from the buying experience. Don't force your prospects to do things your way. Have the flexibility to accommodate their preferred channels of communication if a deal warrants it. You can use a UCaaS platform to ensure that.

47. Only 12% of people actually believe a business when they say "we put the customer first". - State of Customer Service in 2020, Hubspot

We've all had experiences with companies that let us down once they got our money. In a crowded market, servicing your customers better than other vendors can be your competitive advantage.

48. The sales budget for technology is expected to grow 5% in 2021 over the actual amount spent in 2020 - Technology Alone is Not the Answer for Sales and Marketing Alignment, Gartner

The sales tech space is booming—and organizations are spending more money on it. If you're able to help sales teams make better use of technology, there's a lot of opportunity for you ahead.

If you found yourself wincing in recognition at any of the above facts, don't keep making the same mistakes. Sign-up for a free 14-day trial to experience using a powerful CRM that works for you, not against you.

Sales Training Statistics

What about sales training? There has to be a few interesting facts about that, right? As a matter of fact, there are. Here are eight sales stats about the power of training.

sales training stats a guy training people in front of a screen

49.  The average company spends $2,000+ annually on training for each sales rep.  - HighSpot

Your competitors spend a pretty penny to train their reps. If you aren't doing the same, you'll fall behind. Invest in your team and their sales performance will improve.

50. The ROI of sales training is 353%. Basically, $1 spent training your reps should produce $4.53 in return. - TaskDrive

Sales training is vital to the success of your company. One, because your competitors are already doing it, as described above. And two, because it will turn your reps into super sellers. The more training they have, the more they'll sell. Period.

Just remember, your reps aren't the only ones who should receive regular training. Management professionals need it, too. No worries, we've got you covered.

51. Sales training can boost an individual rep's sales performance by an average of 20%. - Salesforce Training

Want to help your reps achieve more? It's pretty simple: give them proven training materials to sharpen their skills. Then Bob, who normally closes 10 deals a month, will start closing 12. And Cindy, who normally closes 15 deals a month, will start closing 18. Win!

52. When salespeople use their company's methodology and receive consistent training, they attain quota 73% of the time. - SPOTIO

Most companies train their sales reps. Fewer companies provide their reps with ongoing training. Reps that receive regular coaching and advice tend to have better success rates.

53. 65% of employees claim that quality sales training positively influences their engagement. - SPOTIO

Reps that receive sales training achieve greater success. They also tend to be more engaged, which has its own benefits. Namely, retention. Engaged employees are more likely to stick around, which means you'll have less newbies to coach every day.

54. 59% of companies say the biggest obstacle to effective sales training is accountability. - BrainShark

Sales leaders need to keep their reps accountable. Don't just provide them with sales training materials, check in and make sure they're actually going through them.

55. Sales leaders who teach their reps to open cold calls with the question, "How've you been?" see rep success rates jump by 6.6. - Gong
Unless you manage a field sales team and your reps meet every prospect in-person, you're probably intimately familiar with cold calling. Guess what: a simple opening phrase like "How've you been?" will skyrocket your reps' success rates. Make sure they use it.

How Sales Tools Impact Sales Success

The sales statistics above will help you build effective sales strategies your team can use to reach new prospects, uncover new sales opportunities, improve email open rates, and more. But sales statistics alone won't move the needle…

You also need access to quality sales tools, such as a proven CRM system. Solutions like Close keep your reps on track and use automation to streamline the sales process.

Our platform also helps sales managers analyze team performance. That way you always know which direction to lead your department in.

Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Close today to see if it's the right tool for your sales team.