We don’t really like statistics but sometimes we need to take note in order to adapt our sales approaches. One thing is for certain, things have changed and it is tougher out there. You might agree, but then again; why are there some sales people that are still thriving in these market conditions you may ask?
In recent studies throughout various industries, its shows why many struggle.
Only about 33% of buyers trust brands, but 92% of buyers trust recommendations from other buyers.
So you might ask, so what? Think about it; how many sales people still sell benefits and think that because they work for the name brands in the industry, they will get the sale. People still buy from people and trust other people, not necessarily companies.
Ask for recommendations and referrals as that will get you further. In another study, it shows that around 80% of customers will give referrals to sales people, but only 20% ask for them!
Sales reps that challenge customers’ assumptions and offer new insights make up 54% of high performers in a sales environment
Being the nice guy doesn’t get as you far! Start asking power questions and challenge your customers' current perceptions of things. It doesn't mean that "challenger" sale people don't build relationships, they do! However, their main focus is on changing customers current perceptions of how they see things.
Buyers are around 60% finished with the buying process before they engage with sales, (according to Forrester)
This is because of the internet and the vast amount of information out there. Customers do their own research and in most instances, have been in contact or bought similar products before. You need to find ways so that your future customers know about you or your services, even before you meet them the first time. Not possible? Well it is, with platforms like LinkedIn and other Social Media. Keep in mind though that you cannot sell over these, as that will alienate buyers. Inform, build credibility and become thought leaders.
Only 13% of customers believe a salesperson can understand their needs.
This is terrifying! It means that in around 87% of cases customers aren't happy with what sales people do. You might ask, so how come we still sell? In many sales situations, there are sales made because a sales person pitches up or calls at just the right time or is the 1st person at the door. This is why the other statistic is that, on average, sales people sell around 30% of buyers they see. It takes a bit more than luck to close 60% and up of your sales. This is where the real selling happens.
86.7% of companies that employed a specific sales methodology achieved improvement in their sales.
Why is this important? It means that those companies that have a specific plan of action they employ during sales, win more! These companies create a formal sales process that’s followed and managed such as “Where do you start and finish with the sales cycle?
How do you approach customers? What’s the first objective? What’s next? These companies also implement "opportunity planning processes" that are collaborative between sales and management. Where will your future sales come from? How to qualify them? Potential new markets and clients?
In order for us to thrive in these markets, our sales teams need to adapt their pitches, ensure they know their value propositions to clients, understand power questions and become insight seller.
If you thinks stats are boring, think again! They help us adapt and increase sales if we spend some time examining them and changing our approach. Good hunting!
Think you need another approach? Give me a call.