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Article 16 min read

73 important sales statistics for 2023

From sales funnel facts to sales email figures, here are the sales statistics that will help you grow leads and close deals.

By Donny Kelwig, Contributing Writer

Last updated March 23, 2024

Sales teams love numbers. Given the many ways to measure success—KPIs, ROI, quotas, sales pipeline velocity, and churn—it’s easy to get overwhelmed by raw information. And that’s not even considering outside data and statistics that inform trends across the entire industry.

With the avalanche of internal and external sales statistics out there, it can be difficult to know which ones are most relevant to your sales strategy. And with more sales teams going back to the office in 2022, we’re all wondering: What’s changed? What’s important to know? And what do best practices look like as we make the transition back to cubicles and swivel chairs?

Get ready for the ultimate list of sales statistics and facts. From follow-up stats to sales productivity figures, here are 73 important sales stats that should be on your radar for 2022.

  1. Follow-up stats

    Prospective customers have notoriously short attention spans. A difference of five minutes can plummet your chances of qualifying a lead by 400 percent. So needless to say, the way that you respond to prospects matters.
    Let’s take a look at some sales follow-up statistics you should know.

    Sales statistics for emails

    Only 8.5 percent of all outreach emails get a response. If you reach out to the same contact multiple times, you’ll receive 2x more responses.
  2. To construct the most successful outreach campaign, you should plan to contact multiple prospects multiple times. This type of sequence will boost your response rates by 160 percent.
  3. Most prospects are happier to communicate through email than via phone, text, social media, or in person. 8 out of 10 prospects prefer emails to other forms of communication.

    Cold calling sales stats

  4. B2B sellers, however, should call prospective buyers directly. Over 50 percent of decision-makers prefer to be contacted over the phone.
  5. If your team is part of the 48 percent of salespeople who never attempt follow-up calls, rethink your strategy: 80 percent of sales require five follow-up calls to be successful.
  6. There are certain times of day when cold calls are more successful. The best time to qualify leads through cold calls is between 4 pm and 5 pm or between 11 am and 12 pm.
  7. There are also certain days when prospects are more willing to talk. The best day to make contact with potential clients is Thursday, with Wednesday close behind. Meanwhile, the most inactive weekday for cold calling is Tuesday.

    Social selling sales stats

  8. Social selling is bigger than ever, and for good reason. Social sellers are 66 percent more likely to reach their quota than those using traditional prospecting techniques.
  9. Additionally, 78 percent of salespeople that make use of social media outsell their peers.
  10. By taking advantage of social selling, companies can increase their win rates by 5 percent and increase their deal size by 35 percent.
  11. Breaking it down by social media platform: companies acquire 80.3 percent of their B2B buyers from LinkedIn, 12.7 percent of their buyers from Twitter, and 6.7 percent of their buyers from Facebook.

    Response time sales statistics

  12. Only 7 percent of companies respond within five minutes of a prospect’s form submission. Meanwhile, 50 percent don’t even respond until five business days later.
  13. But that can hurt you—35 to 50 percent of sales go to the company that responds first.
  14. Live chat is an easy way to respond within five minutes. If you don’t use live chat, you’re behind the curve: It’s estimated that 85 percent of companies will offer live chat as part of their support by the end of this year.
    Key takeaways: Speed means everything in the world of sales. As the sales follow-up statistics show, prospects are looking for answers when they reach out. But within a few minutes of clicking off of a webpage, you’ll start to lose their attention. If you’re comparing CRM software, look for one that can help your team respond to leads the moment they show interest.

    Sales funnel facts

    As technology progresses, there are ever-evolving opportunities to increase your team’s outreach and customize the buyer’s journey. Let’s review a few recent sales trends that are important to know for keeping your sales funnel up to date.

    Prospecting sales statistics

  15. Prospecting is hard. More than half of salespeople believe it’s more difficult to get in front of prospects than it was five years ago.
  16. And when surveyed, 40 percent of salespeople agreed that prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process.
  17. That might explain why 90 percent of companies feel the need to make use of two or more lead enrichment tools to gather information about new leads.
  18. The prime stage for connecting with a lead is the consideration stage, once leads already have an idea of what a company has to offer. 60 percent of leads want to touch base during this stage, while 20 percent prefer the decision stage, and 19 percent favor the awareness stage.
  19. If you’re using blogs and articles for your sales funnel, make sure the information you want your prospects to know is near the top. The average Internet user spends only 37 seconds reading an article.

    Lead qualification stats

  20. Over 30 percent of salespeople say that budget is the number one reason deals fall apart for their clients, followed by timing (25.5 percent), decision-making (18 percent), value (12 percent), and connection (12 percent).
  21. Sales leaders believe 50 percent of the clients they speak with aren’t a good fit for the product or service they’re selling.
  22. Only 25 percent of leads that sales teams generate from marketing strategies are ready to meet with a sales rep.

    Inbound vs. outbound sales statistics

  23. 59 percent of marketing professionals believe inbound marketing strategies lead to the most high-quality leads. Only 16 percent of marketers believe outbound strategies offer more high-quality leads.
  24. Inbound marketers tend to have more confidence in their strategies than outbound marketers. 68 percent of inbound marketing professionals see their efforts as “effective,” while only 48 percent of outbound marketers could say the same.
  25. 52 percent of outbound marketers say their strategies are “ineffective,” while only 32 percent of inbound marketers have the same belief.
    Key takeaways: For a long time, inbound sales have slowly outpaced outbound sales in terms of lead quality. Even outbound marketers aren’t finding enough value in their systems. Prospecting and pipeline management are more effective when the client shows interest on their own.
    Inbound sales will continue to grow in 2022. Make sure your team is staying on top of their inbound sales leads and reaching out at the right time with the help of a CRM.

    Sales call facts

    We’ve reviewed how cold calling affects the sales industry in sales follow-up statistics, but there’s more to sales calls than just cold calling. While Zoom took over in 2020, phone calls are still the primary form of communication between prospects and reps.
    Here are some sales statistics for phone and video calls that can help inspire your sales strategies in 2022.
  26. Cold calling isn’t dead. 27 percent of sellers say making phone calls to new contacts is very effective.
  27. Don’t give up just because your clients say no at first. 60 percent of customers will say no four times before they agree to a deal, but only 12 percent of sales reps are willing to keep trying after the fourth no.
  28. Also bear in mind that, “Sorry, it’s a bad time” doesn’t always mean no. If sales reps call back at a pre-set time and date, 42 percent of people would be more willing to make a purchase.
  29. That said, don’t be too insistent. If your sales tactics are overly aggressive or pushy, you could drive 84 percent of buyers away.
  30. By opening with the phrase, “Did I catch you at a bad time?” your success rate for booking a meeting drops by 40 percent—down to a meager 0.9 percent. Meanwhile, opening with a more personal, “How have you been?” increases your success rate by 660 percent.
  31. Successful salespeople talk for 54 percent of each sales call, while less productive salespeople talk for only 42 percent of any given conversation.
  32. Try making your language more collaborative. By saying “I” instead of “we,” you could be lowering your success rates by 35 percent. This is even more important for possessive words. The use of the word “our” instead of “my” is 55 percent higher in successful cold calls.
    Key takeaways: Sales calls are a difficult balance. Your team needs to be persistent, but they should always know when to stop pursuing a lead. If your team is struggling to walk this line, try using a sales app. This will help your reps organize their info and save time so they can try more effective sales techniques.

    Sales email figures

    We’ve mentioned a few follow-up stats for sales emails, but email as a lead nurturing tactic is still extremely relevant in 2022. With more resources for remote work than ever before, mastering emails is a great way to boost your team’s sales performance.
    Here are a few sales statistics that can help shape your team’s email communication and marketing strategies going forward.
  33. Personalizing the body of an email can boost that client’s response rate by 32.7 percent.
  34. There are four main reasons why prospects sign up for email campaigns: 34 percent seek special offers, 29 percent are looking for discounts, 22 percent want to learn more about a company’s products, and 15 percent simply like the brand.
  35. 42 percent of prospects are likely to take a look at a brand’s website once they receive an email. But a surprising 38 percent of prospects are willing to go further and make a purchase after seeing an email.

    Sales email subject line facts

  36. Personalizing the subject line of an email increases the response rate by 30.5 percent.
  37. Certain buzzwords in subject lines can have a huge impact on email open rates. Words like apply, demo, connect, conference, and opportunity increase open rates. Meanwhile, words like confirm, join, press, social, and invite can deter a prospect from opening emails.
  38. Lengthening email subject lines can improve response rates. Longer subject lines have a 24.6 percent higher average response rate compared to shorter ones.
  39. The best response rates for emails were seen when the email had a subject line with a character length between 36 and 50.
    Key takeaways: Proper formatting and personalization are two factors that sales teams need to consider when building email campaigns. Prospects have different reasons for signing up for email outreach, so if you’re looking to improve your sales process, personalizing their experience can make all the difference.

    Inside and outside sales statistics

    In today’s technology-driven world, there’s not always a need to meet a client for lunch to close a sale.
    Inside sales continues to be one of the fastest-growing areas of sales in 2022. Between faster response times and fewer opportunities to spread germs, inside sales has a wide range of benefits.
    Let’s take a look at a few sales facts that demonstrate how inside sales overshadows outside sales in 2022.
  40. Over 70 percent of B2B buyers no longer want to meet sales reps in person, but they are open to remote meetings.
  41. Traditional in-person B2B sales have plummeted by 52 percent since COVID-19.
  42. The good news is that digital meetings typically cost less. Between travel fees, meeting schedules, and business lunches, the average outside sales call costs $308. On the other hand, the average sales call for inside sales reps costs $50.
  43. Inside sales reps who worked from home during the pandemic spent about 24 percent of their day selling. The rest was spent on administrative work, prospecting, and internal meetings. But teams that make use of sales force automation can reduce the time they spend on tasks that don’t require human interaction.
  44. 41 percent of sales leaders say their prospects are more willing to communicate digitally, and 38 percent say their customers want to make purchases through ecommerce stores.
    Key takeaways: Inside sales is on the rise in 2022. Companies spent the last two years discovering the effectiveness of inside sales, and they’re hesitant to go back to how things were before 2020. Sales technology is constantly evolving, and there are more ways than ever to connect with prospects without meeting them in person.

    7 secrets of sales leadership

    Read the full list of sales leader secrets to find out how these managers are getting the most out of their teams.

    Sales statistics for referrals

    Marketing strategies require resources to bring in more prospects. But when your team gets referrals, there’s very little cost involved. It’s like free advertising. As such, referrals are a great way to get in touch with high-quality leads.
    Here are a few sales figures that will show you how your reps can take advantage of referrals in 2022.
  45. Odds are, your team needs to ask for more referrals. About 40 percent of sales reps rarely ask for referrals, and only 18.6 percent stay on top of referrals for every client they come in contact with.
  46. 92 percent of consumers are willing to trust companies when referrals come from people they know.
  47. When consumers are acquired through referrals, they have a 37 percent higher retention rate, and they’re four times more likely to make a purchase.
  48. In B2B sales, 65 percent of a company’s new sales result from referrals.
  49. Referred customers have an 18 percent lower churn rate than customers acquired through other sources.
    Key takeaways: Referrals result in more high-quality nurtured leads—with less advertising. Between higher retention rates, more purchasing potential, and increased spending, sales teams need to place more focus on asking for referrals in 2022. Even if an incentive is necessary, companies will need to spend only a few resources to gain valuable clients.

    Sales facts for onboarding

    With more sales reps willing to work in an office environment after the pandemic, sales leaders need to stay on top of their sales onboarding strategies. Without the right training, new employees can cost companies a large chunk of resources.
    Let’s take a look at a few sales facts for hiring and training.

    Sales statistics for training

  50. On average, reps at winning organizations take four weeks to complete an onboarding program and are fully ramped in four to five months.
  51. Over 90 days, new hires will retain just 16 percent of all sales training they receive.
  52. Companies spend an average of $2,020 per sales rep on training.
  53. Ongoing training often includes role-playing, which can be beneficial. The average company requires sales reps to do two to three role-play sales scenarios per year, but top-performing companies average four role-plays per year.
  54. Long-term training is important and—unfortunately—overlooked. 85 percent of reps report being coached on closing open deals, but only 24 percent report being coached on long-term skills.

    Sales statistics for hiring

  55. 44 percent of companies make use of AI-driven software to discover top salespeople.
  56. And 70 percent of recruiters agree that virtual recruiting will become the new standard.
  57. Most companies will spend between $10,000 and $15,000 on hiring a single sales rep.
  58. 19 percent of salespeople will work from remote locations permanently post-pandemic.
    Key takeaways: Many salespeople are underperforming in their roles. Setting clear goals and providing consistent training can help prevent turnover and assure a good ROI from your sales team.
    With one in five salespeople looking for remote sales work, it’s crucial to implement online hiring and training strategies. Not everyone is fully willing to come back to an office environment, so making those accommodations can give you access to top-performing sales reps.

    Sales statistics for productivity

    Similar to training and hiring, sales reps are still adjusting to remote work, and they’re starting to come back to the office. With these location changes in mind, it can be difficult to see what average productivity looks like in the workplace.
    So, let’s take a look at some productivity-based sales statistics so you can focus on important KPIs for your team.
  59. Quota attainment dropped 6.6 percent between 2018 and 2020—possibly due to adjustments to remote work.
  60. In 2021, 53 percent of salespeople reported working from home more than half of the time.
  61. Only 24.3 percent of salespeople exceeded their quota in 2021.
  62. That may be because reps are simply not getting in front of enough people. 66.7 percent of salespeople admitted they made contact with 250 or fewer prospects in the past year. Meanwhile, 15 percent of salespeople made contact with over 1,000 prospects in the same year.
  63. Conversational selling—where reps chat with prospects, as opposed to pitching—appears to be a successful tactic among high performers. Top-performing sales reps “pitch” their offer only 7 percent of the time.
  64. The most productive sales tool for 41.2 percent of salespeople is their phone. Between cold calls, warm calls, and hashing out details, calling prospects continues to be the best means of communication.
  65. 81 percent of sales and marketing teams don’t take the time to review and correct their sales processes.
  66. One in five sales reps believes they don’t have the right resources to keep their sales processes on track.
    Key takeaways: Within the last two years, sales reps dealt with ups and downs in their performance. It’s beneficial to review your team’s sales materials, KPIs, and resources. Sales dashboards can be a great way to organize this information into a single place. That way, reps can stay on top of their prospects and make their sales processes more consistent.

    Sales technology stats

    With most sales processes going digital in the last two years, companies are slowly starting to incorporate different types of sales technology into their day-to-day. As the hybrid workplace is now more prevalent than ever, here are some statistics that will highlight how quickly sales technology has grown over the last two years.
  67. 43 percent of salespeople made use of intelligence tools for their sales tracking and pipeline, which was a 54 percent increase from two years earlier.
  68. 77 percent of sales professionals say their company has plans to invest more heavily in sales intelligence tools.
  69. 54 percent of sellers believe sales technology is a great resource for building stronger relationships with their buyers.
  70. 54 percent of sales reps say digital sales tools help them win over more prospects.
  71. Of the technologies that sales reps identified as “very important,” 70 percent agreed that a CRM system fits into this category.
  72. 49 percent of sales professionals say they plan to rely on CRM software “significantly more.”
  73. 85 percent of sellers admitted they lost or pushed back a deal in 2020 due to a key client at a company changing their role—sales technology and access to automated contact data would have solved this problem.
    Key takeaways: Sales reps are starting to use technology in their day-to-day, and they don’t have any plans to stop in 2022. Between CRM sales software and data, teams are understanding the powerful tools that sales technology has to offer.

Discover why sales teams partner with a strong CRM

Successful sales teams leverage a sales CRM like Zendesk Sell to stay on track. Zendesk Sell is a powerful CRM for SMBs and industry titans alike. It enables your sales team to save time and connect with prospects faster than ever. Our customizable sales dashboards keep your team’s important info in one convenient place, while sales automation tools ensure your pipeline is organized and efficient.

Ready to see what a powerful CRM system has to offer? Millions of companies have already taken the first step toward automating their sales functions. Start your free trial of Zendesk Sell today to discover how a robust CRM can set your sales team up for success.

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