B2B Articles - January 29, 2018

20+ Sales Statistics that Matter for 2018

SalesSales tactics have changed over the past few years. Companies that have shifted from intensively relying on cold prospecting to improving on inbound tactics and lead nurturing to be more competitive in the marketplace and win more clients.

Understanding the buyer is crucial to success, and using buyer insights to nurture the prospect down the sales funnel is instrumental in signing them as a client. These 20+ sales statistics show that in 2018 and beyond, salespeople should focus more on understanding buyers, lead nurturing, and sales technology in order to orchestrate more wins.

Sales Statistics and Trends in 2018

1. 79% of all marketing leads are never converted to sales (SalesForce).

2. Only 5% of salespeople said leads they receive from marketing were very high quality.

3. 65% of customers are lost because of indifference, not because of mistakes.

Marketing efforts are wasted if salespeople never follow up with marketing leads. Sales and marketing teams must work together; otherwise, potential opportunities are lost. Marketers need to understand which leads convert in the sales funnel so they can alter campaigns. Sales teams need marketers to help write great nurturing content along the funnel to help move prospects down. Without these two teams working cohesively, prospects are forgotten and opportunities are lost.

Statistics on Understanding the Buyer

4. 95% of buyers chose a vendor that provided content to navigate each stage of the buying process (Demand Gen Report).

5. 70% of purchasing decisions are made to solve a specific problem (Impact Communications).

6. Discussing 3 – 4 buyer problems correlates with the highest likelihood of advancing the deal to a firm next step (Gong Labs).

7. According to buyers, here are the top ways to create a positive sales experience (HubSpot):

  • Listen to their needs (69%)
  • Don’t be pushy (61%)
  • Provide relevant information (61%)
  • Respond in a timely manner (51%)

Buyers want information to help them along the sales funnel, so salespeople need to work with marketers to provide it. Furthermore, salespeople that can listen and understand the buyer pain points and address these pain points, whether through content or on the phone, are likely to push the prospect along the funnel.

Lead Nurturing Statistics

8. Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%    (Aberdeen Group).

9. 57% of email recipients consider a message to be spam if it isn’t relevant to their needs, even when they know the vendor well (Adobe).

10. Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group).

11. Suppliers that make buying easy are 62% likelier than other suppliers to win a high-quality sale (one in which the customer buys a premium offering) (Harvard Business Review)

12. 82% of customers viewed five or more pieces of content from the winning vendor before making a purchase (Forrester).

Successful lead nurturing should be personalized to the buyer, as today’s prospects become annoyed by generalized content that doesn’t address their specific pain points. Salespeople that lack content aligned to the B2B sales funnel should seek help from the marketing team to provide this content, as it serves as useful touchpoints to remind the prospect about how the product or service can help meet the buyer’s needs.

Learn more: How to Nurture Content Leads

Sales Technology Statistics

13. Sales development reps use on average six tools (Sales for Life).

14. The average annual spend on sales technology is $3,894 per rep per year (Sales for Life).

15. The most popular sales tools include CRM, social prospecting, data and list services, email engagement, phone, and sales cadence (Sales for Life).

16. Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects see a 451% increase in qualified leads (The Annuitas Group).

17. Seven out of ten executives believe that technology will replace human interaction with customers in the next decade (Avande).

18. 22% of salespeople don’t know what a CRM is (HubSpot).

Sales technology is a useful tool that companies should embrace lest it take over their jobs. Salespeople who don’t utilize CRMs will be replaced, and those who use automation can optimize their days by offloading menial tasks. We’ll likely see more sales technology implemented within departments as its use increases lead pools and nurturing ability.

Sales teams that focus on understanding the buyer, producing content and sales collateral that addresses buyer pain points/aspirations and that use technology to reach this buyer will thrive in 2018. Those that ignore these new B2B sales tactics will fail to remain competitive in the market. These statistics show the future is buyer-centric and reliant on technology, so companies should take note and advance accordingly.


  • Salesforce, Marketing Automation & Your CRM #infographic, September 4, 2013 . https://www.pardot.com/blog/marketing-automation-crm-infographic/
  • HubSpot, State of Inbound, 2017. https://www.stateofinbound.com/
  • The Marketing Blender, Statistics Every B2B Company Should Know to Boost Sales and Get More Customers, 2016. https://www.themarketingblender.com/statistics-every-b2b-company-know-boost-sales/
  • The New Sales Imperative, HBR.org, Nicholas TomanBrent AdamsonCristina Gomez, April 2017
  • Demand Gen Report, B2B Buyer Survey Reveals Impact Of Social Media On Vendor Selection Process, September 11, 2012. https://www.demandgenreport.com/industry-topics/marketing-analytics/1702-b2b-buyer-survey-reveals-impact-of-social-media-on-vendor-selection-process.html
  • Impact Communications, Some Startling Statistics For Anyone in Sales, 2001. https://www.impactcommunicationsinc.com/pdf/nwsltr_2001/ICINwsltrpr0108.pdf
  • Gong Labs, This Is What a “Deal Closing” Discovery Call Looks Like, July 5, 2017. https://www.gong.io/blog/deal-closing-discovery-call/
  • HubSpot Research, Buyers Speak Out: How Sales Needs To Evolve, April 7, 2016. https://research.hubspot.com/buyers-speak-out-how-sales-needs-to-evolve
  • Aberdeen Group, Email Marketing: Get Personal with your Customers, April 28, 2015. https://www.aberdeen.com/research/4904/ra-email-marketing/content.aspx
  • Adobe,Subject: Email, We Just Can’t Get Enough, August 25, 2015. https://theblog.adobe.com/email/
  • The Annuitas Group, What’s Worth More?. https://annuitas.com/blog/2010/09/22/whats-worth-more/
  • Demand Gen Report, The Right Content Mix Is Crucial Early In The Buying Cycle, September 16, 2013. https://www.demandgenreport.com/industry-topics/content-strategies/2321-the-right-content-mix-is-crucial-early-in-the-buying-cycle
  • Forrester, Death of a (B2B) Salesman, April 14, 2015. https://go.forrester.com/blogs/15-04-14-death_of_a_b2b_salesman/
  • Sales for Life, How 900 Companies Build and Execute Successful Sales and Development Teams, September 25, 2017. https://www.salesforlife.com/blog/how-900-companies-build-and-execute-successful-sales-development-teams
  • The Annuitas Group, Marketing Automation by the Numbers (New Infographic). https://annuitas.com/blog/2011/06/28/marketing-automation-by-the-numbers-new-graphic/
  • Avande, B2B is the New B2C, November 2013. https://www.avanade.com/~/media/asset/point-of-view/the-new-customer-journey-global-study.pdf

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