With the rise of new digital channels, the sales profession is undergoing significant change. A new report by DueDil reveals that although over two-thirds of sales teams are hitting targets, there is cause for concern for B2B development teams across the board.
Today marks the release of DueDil’s first annual State of Sales Report, in which we identify the most important trends and challenges occurring in the sales industry today.
To achieve this, we conducted a survey of over 1,400 sales and marketing professionals, covering a wide cross-section of the B2B sales world. We found that there are a series of major capability gaps between what sales teams consider important, and what they are actually able to deliver.
The survey identified six areas where a capability gap exists, which can be broken down into three areas:
- Generating quality leads
- Generating sufficient leads
- Qualifying information on prospects
For example, while 89% of respondents considered generating quality leads to be either ‘important’ or ‘very important’, only 55% said that their companies were ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ in this area.
The majority of respondents failed to increase the number of leads generated each month, with only 37% doing so. A large number of businesses could improve on this figure by addressing a set of key practices identified in this report as important contributors to success.
Key practices for sales success
Nine key practices were identified that differentiated between those who made target and those who did not. As the graph below shows, there is a pronounced difference in capabilities between these groups.
The biggest differentiators highlight the importance of utilising company data in lead generation:
- Keeping data up-to-date (23% difference between those who do and do not practice)
- Harnessing external data (21%)
- Sizing the market (21%)
The effect of enabling all nine of these practices is dramatic – those that did so were more than 10 as likely to generate enough leads and almost twice as likely to hit target.
Signs of stagnation
Over half of survey respondents (52%) said that their sales process took less than a month, while 32% said that their process was concluded within two weeks. However, only 21% said that they had been able to speed up the process over the last year – suggesting difficulties in developing the sales cycle.
It is apparent that even better results could be achieved by addressing the capability gaps identified in this report. Even those companies which hit sales targets would be well advised to analyse their performance in these areas, in order to maintain their competitive advantage going forward.
Find out more – download the report
If you’re interested in the full findings and the methodology behind it, you can download the report here.