In the last 18 months, the nature of selling has changed profoundly. There are new ways to sell, new buyer expectations, and new working environments to contend with. LinkedIn’s latest State of Sales 2021 UK Report outlines some top UK trends in the world of sales today. Here are seven of the key findings.
1. Buyers have decided virtual selling is for the long term
Buyers are 2.5x more likely to describe purchasing remotely as easier than they are to say it’s more difficult – and only 12% say they now need to meet a sales professional in person before buying from them. Additionally, 45% of UK buyers say that working remotely has made purchasing decisions easier.
2. Sales organisations are trusting technology to drive them forward
Half of sales organisations have added new sales technology in the last year, with more than half expecting to grow investment again in the next 12 months – and a third expecting it to increase by 50% or more.
“Top-performing salespeople are willing to take the leap of faith and embrace new technologies in order to educate and engage.” Paul Lewis, Global Social, Digital Marketing, and Sales Enablement Lead, Pitney Bowes
3. Putting the buyer first needs to come front and center
48% of salespeople claim they always put the buyer first, but only 12% of buyers agree that this is the case. Additionally, top sales performers who exceed quota by 25% or more are twice as likely as their peers to always put a buyer’s needs ahead of their own organisation.
4. Unwarranted cold calls are killing deals
50% of UK buyers say repeated cold calling or email is the #1 reason for killing the deal. Most telling is only a third of salespeople acknowledge the damage these behaviours do.
5. Buyers want to be challenged – but regularly aren’t
80% of buyers say they want to be challenged in their way of thinking. However, only 46% say this often happens – and only 10% say that they experience it very often. Sales intelligence and data is the best way to help close this gap and add value.
6. Sales intelligence and data the differentiator
71% of salespeople say sales intelligence tools are critical for closing deals and top performers are twice as likely as their peers to describe them as extremely critical. Organisations are also applying data to planning through sales operations, with these roles growing 2.7x faster than traditional sales roles in the last year.
“CRM is no longer just a repository of data. You really have to leverage it as a hub of insights that you can tap into to understand how buyers are interacting with you.” Jeff Davis, B2B Growth Strategist.
7. Sales diversity is a key factor
Diversity is an important factor for sales success. 80% of UK buyers say they would rather buy from a sales organisation they see as more diverse. More diverse teams seemingly have a competitive edge over others.
You can find the full global report here.