15 Sales Statistics That Will Change How You Think About Revenue In 2021


B2B sales is always changing, but nothing could’ve quite prepared us for the wild ride that 2020 ended up being.

While most of us have settled into the new normal and the challenges that come with it, sales leaders are looking ahead with uncertainty. There’s no telling how the sales landscape will continue to evolve, and sales representatives will need to stay agile if they want to hit their goals in an increasingly competitive market.

That’s why the team at Sales Hacker decided to put together a statistics round-up showcasing how things changed in this year and where they’re likely headed in the future. Here are the 15 most important sales statistics every salesperson should bookmark today.

Best Sales Statistics to Know in 2021

Short on time? Just looking for the highlight reels? We get it. Sometimes you just don’t have time to read an entire article. That’s why we went ahead and pulled out the five most important sales statistics and listed them here.

Still curious which sales trends will be on the rise in 2021? Keep reading for the most important sales trends your revenue organization should keep a close eye on.

1. 40% of businesses did not meet revenue targets in 2020

Meanwhile, 64% of sales leaders who doubled down on remote selling reported meeting and/or exceeding their revenue targets in 2020.

What this means for you

We’re all sick of hearing it, but COVID-19 did change the way consumers purchased products this year. B2B businesses had to pivot to a workforce going remote almost overnight. And with many companies planning to stay remote into 2021 (and some fully remote indefinitely), knowing how to navigate remote selling isn’t optional anymore. Sales teams that invest in remote selling and sales intelligence tools will continue to outperform their peers.

2. 68% of sales leaders plan to implement a hybrid or fully remote sales model in 2021

But 12% of sales leaders say they still have no clue which sales model they’ll use next year.

What this means for you

The uncertainty of what happens after COVID-19 is shaking up sales strategies. Many leaders are doubling down on what they see working, while others remain tentative. If you’re going to invest in a long-term sales model, it’s important to invest in the right tools. While the upfront cost for things like CRM, sales intelligence, and video conferencing tools might be tough to swallow at first, they will make your sales team much more effective.

READ THIS: Selling From Home? Use These Sales Tools to Hit Your Goals

3. 75% of sales reps say they have taken on new responsibilities at work

And 64% of sales reps expect their roles to change permanently even after the pandemic is over.

What this means for you

Investing in the tools your team needs to get the job done isn’t enough. It’s also important to ensure these changes don’t throw off your reps’ professional development and career plans. Be sure to schedule regular check-ins with your sales team to talk about their workload, their career aspirations, and how you can better support them.

Sales professionals need to be equally involved in advocating for things like their mental health as well as raises and promotions. The key is creating an environment where strong communication between leaders and employees is encouraged.

4. 89% of sales professionals say sales operations is critical role to growing their business

54% of companies report involving sales operations more in things like strategic forecasting, sales performance analysis, and more.

What this means for you

Sales operations normally handle administrative functions like recruiting, training, and onboarding new sales reps. With the shift to remote work, it’s important to include your sales operations teams in things like long-term hiring strategies, training new reps on social selling techniques, and more. Including your sales operations team in these important conversations will help your organization stay ahead of the curve and build a more cohesive overall sales strategy.

5. 78% of customers expect a consistent customer experience across departments and digital channels

And 86% of buyers say they are willing to pay more for a product if the company offers a great customer experience.

What this means for you

There’s probably very little your product does that the competition doesn’t – and this is true for most businesses. Creating a cohesive customer experience across all of your digital channels and departments can drastically improve your bottom line and customer satisfaction. A cohesive customer experience can make your brand seem more trustworthy, shorten the sales cycle, and eliminate confusion along the sales process.

READ THIS: It All Revolves Around Them: 4 Tips to a Customer-Centric Sales Process

6. 81% of non-C-suite employees have some influence on final purchase decisions

Your decision-makers are probably younger than you think too. Seventy-three percent of Millennial workers are involved in decisions to purchase products or services for their companies.

What this means for you

As companies expand and teams become more agile, executives are passing the purchasing power off to buying committees. Many B2B companies are looking for products that can be used across multiple departments.

Try using account-based marketing (ABM) strategies to discover who the key stakeholders are for your high-target accounts, and take the time to understand how your product can help each of them. Taking the extra time to research and craft a personalized pitch for the right people will save you a lot of time and frustration.

7. 90% of B2B customers start their journey with a Google search

And 59% of consumers say they’ll stop pursuing a product if they can’t find the information they need online.

What this means for you

As more customers begin researching online, sales professionals need to familiarize themselves with the content being created by their marketing team. Establishing an understanding of what educational resources are available and what information is being featured on the website can help you ensure you’re creating a cohesive message for the customer. If you haven’t already set a meeting with your marketing team to strategize initiatives for 2021, it’s time to send out the Zoom invites.

READ THIS: How to Forge a Stronger Relationship Between Sales and Content Marketing

8. 42% of sales leaders say the ROI of their sales analytics platform was significantly higher than expected

And nearly one-third of sales organizations say their organization has a company-wide data storage solution that houses all internal and external data.

What this means for you

Remote selling has made sales prospecting a lot harder. Sales intelligence tools have been key in helping many revenue organizations bridge the gap remote work created. These tools often integrate in with other marketing and sales platforms, providing your company with a holistic and data-driven approach to scoring leads, nurturing relationships, and closing deals. And with remote work looking like it’s here to stay for a while, sales analytics tools are set to increase in popularity.

9. 61% of sales high-performers report using a CRM to automate parts of their sales process

…compared to 46% of underperforming sales leaders who reported not using a CRM for their sales automation.

What this means for you

CRM is becoming a must-have solution for B2B tech stacks. CRM systems allow salespeople to automate the tedious, repetitive tasks that come with prospecting. The more administrative work you can automate for your sales team, the more time they can focus on creating a personalized selling experience for leads.

It’s also important to note that as more of your competitors adopt CRM systems to automate their own sales processes, you’ll need to stay one step ahead. The real differentiator comes down to the sequences you created for your reps within your CRM. At a time when personalization in your sales outreach can make or break a deal, you’ll want to ensure everything in your CRM is optimized for the best customer experience possible.

READ THIS: This Sequence Sat in Our CRM for Months. Then It Boosted Demos by 5%.

10. 35% of people decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line alone

And 69% of email recipients make decisions on whether or not to report email as spam based solely on the subject line.

What this means for you

Customers are on guard because they’re bombarded with spam emails almost daily. You’ll need to stand out from the dozens of other pitches in their inbox with a headline that catches their attention. That’s why many teams are turning to tools like The Cold Email Grader, which allows reps to test their cold email copy and headlines with the power of AI. The Cold Email Grader gives salespeople a scorecard for their email copy and offers suggestions on how to improve the readability, tone, and sentiment of their emails.

11. AI adoption by sales teams is projected at 139% within the next three years

As it stands now, roughly 40% of sales tasks can be performed by AI.

What this means for you

Artificial intelligence isn’t here to steal your job; it’s actually here to make it easier. AI technology is quickly being integrated into most sales intelligence tools to assist reps with lead scoring and sales outreach. AI makes it possible to automate repetitive tasks and freeing reps up to do more direct selling. As technology becomes more integrated into the daily work of sales reps, it’s going to be crucial for reps that want to succeed to familiarize themselves with these new technologies.

12. The average new sales rep needs at least 10 weeks of training to be successful in their role

However, a quarter of sales professionals say they received poor or insufficient training before beginning their current role.

What this means for you

Hiring the right people won’t matter if you don’t train them correctly. Your sales leaders should be actively working with HR to develop an employee onboarding experience that evolves alongside our new working environments. Sales leaders should also note that employee education doesn’t stop after the first month on the job. Continued education and investing in your sales teams professional development will help them ramp up faster, keep them on the cutting edge of sales strategies, and feel more confident in their selling skills.

READ THIS: Equip Your Reps to Win More Deals With These 5 Keys of Product Knowledge Training

13. 70% of B2B sales professionals say that social referrals convert faster than any other type of lead

And 31% of B2B professionals say social selling has helped them build better relationships.

What this means for you

Relationship building doesn’t just happen face-to-face anymore. Reps who are looking to bypass sales gatekeepers and email inboxes can opt to social selling, a strategy where reps build and cultivate relationships with prospects on different social media platforms. If you’re finding yourself spinning your wheels with old sales outreach tactics, try your hand at sliding into a prospect’s DMs on LinkedIn.

14. 92% of interested buyers reply to sales reps during the 14-day window of opportunity

And nearly 87% of these buyers replied within two days of their most recent message.

What this means for you

Sales reps have less than time they might think to get the attention of prospective buyers, but there’s no need to panic. Sales engagement tools can help consolidate all of your sales communication channels (email, calls, social, and more) into one easy-to-use platform. This ensures that your sales reps will never miss another customer communication. These tools are also powerful enough to automate multichannel communication sequences and internal workflows with ease.

15. 68% of B2B customers are lost because of indifference or perceived apathy, not because of mistakes

The most successful sales reps report reaching out to buyers nine times across various channels.

What this means for you

Sales reps should plan to reach out to prospects every 1.5 days during the 14-day window. That doesn’t mean you should send them nine emails in 14 days. Instead, try creating a sequence that works for your selling style. This could look something like emailing them first, connecting on LinkedIn two days later, and then following up with a cold call a few days after that. This varied approach gives you multiple opportunities to catch a prospect’s attention while giving them control over how they communicate with your team.

READ THIS: Timeless Tips for Kick-Ass Sales Sequences

Selling more means seller smarter

Looking ahead to 2021, there’s a lot of uncertainty about which sales strategies will work and which will fall flat. One thing that never goes out of style is listening to your customers and only pursuing the highest quality leads. No matter how you use the statistics in this article in your sales strategy next year, remember to stay persistent and stay personal.


Colin is the Director of Marketing at Sales Hacker. Before that, he led the strategy team at a marketing agency, and worked with hundreds of B2B brands to build winning inbound strategies. Outside of work, Colin is the world’s biggest dog lover, and spends as much time as possible outside.

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