Top salespersons leverage tech and do more research on potential clients, says LinkedIn

Top salespersons leverage tech and do more research on potential clients, says LinkedIn
Salespersons who widely use technology and do more research on their potential customers before reaching out to them are the most likely to succeed in an increasingly competitive selling market, a new study from LinkedIn shows.

More than three-quarters (76 per cent) of the top salespersons globally say they “always” study their potential clients before approaching them, compared to just 47 per cent for other sellers, the State of Sales 2022 report from the Microsoft-owned professional network showed.

"The actions of top-performing sellers are paving a better pathway to selling the way buyers want to buy," California-based LinkedIn wrote in the report.

"Top performers use technology, yes, but they don’t use it to simply knock on more doors. Instead they use it to knock on the right doors, finding the welcoming buyers and delivering the right message at the right time."

Companies are increasingly using tools to improve their sales strategy and win over clients as they seek to outperform each other in a crowded market.

The value of the global sales intelligence market — in which various technology tools are used to potentially drive up sales — was estimated at $2.78 billion in 2020, and is expected to grow to $7.35bn by 2030 at a compound annual rate of 10.6 per cent, according to Allied Market Research.

The LinkedIn report showed that sales professionals spend less than one-third of their time doing actual selling, as they spend more time on administrative and other non-selling tasks. In theory, more time spent on sales would bring in more revenue.

On the other hand, almost 90 per cent of buyers say they are more likely to consider a brand if a seller challenges or changes their perception on a particular product or service.

"The adoption of sales technology is at an all-time high. But in too many cases, the rise of sales technology is frustrating for buyers," LinkedIn wrote in the report.

"Sales tech often leads to sellers simply becoming more efficient at spamming potential buyers."

The global figures are lower compared to the US and Canada, where almost 90 per cent of the top performers say they "always" conduct research on their prospective clients, compared to 49 per cent of other sellers.

A big sale also does not need to be in person: the study found that almost one third of sellers globally were able to close a deal worth more than $500,000 without having met a client face-to-face. In the US and Canada, this is at 40 per cent.

Keeping track of customers is also important to maintaining a strong revenue stream. The study revealed that, globally, 81 per cent of sellers had deals lost or halted in the past 12 months because of a key person leaving a client or prospect company; this figure rises to 86 per cent in the US and Canada.

Meanwhile, in the UK report, LinkedIn said the top-performing salespeople – those who hit more than 150 per cent of their sales target – don't actually spend more time making sales; instead, they are doing careful research before they begin their outreach, with 82 per cent saying they “always” conduct research before reaching out to potential customers.

A notable trend in the country is that the top performers are twice as likely to use sales technology on a daily basis, with almost half claiming their company has responded to change by adding new sales technology tools.

"Sales has always adapted to change – but salespeople have never had so much change to adapt to in such a short space of time," LinkedIn wrote.

Almost eight out of 10 salespeople in the UK said they had deals lost or stalled due to a key client leaving, the report added.

LinkedIn's State of Sales report surveyed about 15,000 buyers and sellers across 11 countries. The reports for Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands and Singapore are scheduled to be released soon, LinkedIn said on its website.
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