100+ Important Sales Statistics [2022]: Figures, Salaries, and Statistics

By Chris Kolmar - Feb. 24, 2022

Research Summary. Sales positions make up a significant portion of the job force, although most never intended to work as a salesperson. Despite these high numbers, few buyers believe they can trust salespeople or that they can understand their needs. After extensive research, our data analysis team concluded:

  • According to 40% of salespeople, prospecting is the hardest part of the job.

  • 67% of lost sales are due to sales reps failing to properly qualify potential customers before beginning the sales process..

  • Persistence is key for salespople, as 80% of sales require 5 or more follow-ups.

  • Opportunity is also essential — 72% of companies with fewer than 50 new opportunities each month failed to achieve their revenue goals. That drops to 15% for comapneis with 51-100 new opps, and 4% for companies with 101-200.

  • 21% of the average salesperson’s day is comrpised of writing emails.

  • 42% of sales reps report that they don’t have enough information prior to making a sales call.

  • There are 13,715,050 sales jobs in the United States.

  • 80% of salesare made by 20% of salespeople.

the most difficult parts of the sales process, according to salespeople
Sales Statistics by: Successful Sales Techniques | Gender | Referrals | Email | Sales Training | Social Sales | Inside Sales | Outside Sales | Prospecting | Sales Calls | Sales Leads | Online Sales | Technology

General Sales Statistics

  • Nearly 13% of all the jobs in the U.S. (1 in 8) are full-time sales positions.

  • Only 39% of salespeople intended to go into sales. That makes 4.14 million accidental sales pros in the U.S.

  • Over $1 trillion is spent annually on sales forces.

  • Only 13% of customers believe a salesperson can understand their needs.

  • Only 3% of buyers trust reps. The only professions with less credibility include car sales, politics, and lobbying.

  • The median salary for U.S. sales representatives is over $55,000.

  • Today’s sales professionals spend just 34% of their time selling.

share of companies that fail to meet revenue goals by number of new opportunities each month

Sales Statistics by Successful Techniques

Most buyers want to connect with a salesperson after doing their own research. Once this happens, they want to hear collaborative and confidence-boosting words, be asked about their goals and pain points, and gain a sense of trustworthiness and optimism.

  • 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes, whereas 48% of salespeople never even make a single follow-up attempt.

  • 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.

  • 57% of people said they would be encouraged to make a purchase from a salesperson who doesn’t try to apply pressure or hassle them when following up.

  • Nearly 6 in 10 salespeople say that when they figure out what works for them, they don’t change it.

  • 19% of buyers want to connect with a salesperson during the awareness stage of their buying process when they’re first learning about the product.

  • 60% of buyers want to connect with sales during the consideration stage after researching the options and coming up with a shortlist.

  • 20% of buyers want to talk during the decision stage once they’ve decided which product to buy.

  • Here are the top ways to create a positive sales experience, according to buyers:

    • Listen to their needs (69%)

    • Don’t be pushy (61%)

    • Provide relevant information (61%)

    • Respond in a timely manner (51%)

  • how to create a positive sales experience

  • Successful reps are 10x more likely to use collaborative words like “us,” “we,” and “our” and avoid words like “I” and “me.”

  • The most successful sales pros use confidence-boosting lingo like “definitely,” “certainly,” and “absolutely” 5x more than low performers.

  • Prospects who are asked to take just a small step are twice as likely to spend. They spend just as much as those asked to spend a lot.

  • Curiosity, intelligence, and an agile mind are the biggest predictors of sales success.

  • Optimistic sales pros outperform pessimists by 57%. That’s even true when pessimists have better selling skill sets.

  • Nearly half of buyers think an essential quality in a salesperson is “trustworthy.”

  • Asking questions about your buyer’s goals and pain points leads to better sales success.

Sales Statistics by Gender

Although women generally outperform and achieve higher quotas than men, and also earn slightly higher commission rates, they’re typically paid less overall compensation.

  • Male-led sales teams are 76% men and 24% women vs. the general population 50/50 split.

  • Female-led sales teams more closely reflect the general population at 48% women and 52% men.

  • Women achieve 8% higher quota attainment than men.

  • 78% of men regularly achieve their sales quotas, while 86% of women achieve quota.

  • Women in sales outperform men by 3% but are paid 7% less.

  • Women earn a slightly higher commission rate than men but earn a lower base salary.

  • Women earn 77% of the total compensation of their male counterparts.

80% of sales are made by 20% of salespeople

Referrals are the lifeblood of a successful sales organization. Most customers trust referrals, are more likely to buy based on them, and have higher conversion and retention rates after purchasing.

  • About 47% of top performers ask for referrals consistently, versus only 26% of non-top performers.

  • 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.

  • Consumers referred by a friend are four times more likely to buy.

  • When referred by other customers, people have a 37% higher retention rate.

  • B2B companies with referrals experience a 70% higher conversion rate.

  • Referred customers’ lifetime value (LTV) is 16% higher than that of non-referred customers.

  • Referral leads have a 30% higher conversion rate than leads from any other channel.

  • Referrals account for 65% of companies’ new deals.

  • Salespeople who actively seek out and exploit referrals earn 4 to 5 times more than those who don’t.

  • 91% of customers say they’d give referrals. Only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals.

  • 84% of buyers now kick off their buying process with a referral.

  • Companies with formalized referral programs experience 86% more revenue growth over the past two years when compared to the rest.

  • 70% of businesses claim that social referrals convert faster than any other type of lead.

  • 84% of B2B buyers start their buying search with a referral.

  • 92% of buyers trust product/service referrals from those they know.

  • 83% of customers are glad to give a referral after a positive experience.

how salespeople spend their days

Email Sales Statistics

Although most emails aren’t opened by prospective customers, it’s a powerful tool for lead generation—even more so than social media. And personalizing your emails and subject lines can further improve success rates.

  • Email is almost 40 times better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter.

  • 70% of salespeople stop at one email. Yet if you send more emails, you’ve got a 25% chance to hear back.

  • 89% of marketers say that email is their primary channel for lead generation.

  • 8 in 10 prospects prefer talking to reps over email, which matches the percentage of reps (78%) who use it.

  • Email marketing has a 2x higher return than cold calling.

  • 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.

  • Only 24% of sales emails are opened.

  • 40% of emails are opened on mobile first.

  • Personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened.

  • Using the words “Sale,” “New,” or “Video” in subject lines boost open rates.

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

  • Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%.

  • Email marketing results in an ROI of up to 4,400%.

  • Email marketing conversion rates were 15.11% in 2020.

  • On average, people delete 48% of their emails in five minutes.

Sales Training Statistics

Training is a crucial aspect for sales success, which not only helps salespeople attain their quotas but also vastly increases return on investment. Despite this, most companies spend relatively little on per-employee training, which can have a negative impact on overall performance.

  • 55% of the people making their living in sales don’t have the right skills to succeed.

  • Continuous training gives 50% higher net sales per employee.

  • The average company spends $10,000-$15,000 hiring an individual and only $2,000 a year in sales training.

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

  • The average new hire is fully productive in 5.3 months. 24% are ready in 1–3 months, and 16% take longer than seven months.

  • 81% of companies say productivity would improve with better process, skills, or competency training.

  • U.S. sales teams spend over $70 billion a year on training.

  • According to a recent survey, 84% of all sales training is lost after 90 days. This is majorly due to the lack of information retention among sales personnel.

  • According to a recent report, every dollar invested in sales training returned $29 in incremental revenues.

  • According to a recent report, the best sales training will improve the performance of an individual on average by 20%.

  • 65% of employees say the quality of training and learning opportunities positively influences their engagement.

  • High-performing sales organizations are twice as likely to provide ongoing training as low-performing ones.

  • Investing in sales training has a 353% ROI.

  • 80% of high-performing sales teams rate their sales training process as outstanding or very good.

  • 25% of sales reps believe they have not received enough sales training.

  • Businesses effective at providing training, coaching, and professional development outperformed others with 17% higher sales objective achievement.

  • Only 42% of businesses are effective in providing professional development for salespeople.

  • 61% of execs admit their sales managers aren’t properly trained in pipeline management techniques.

  • Companies that train managers to manage their sales pipelines see 9% faster revenue growth.

  • 64% of companies expect to spend less than $10,000 on training their sales team this year.

  • ¾ of all companies use classrooms as their main way of training sales staff.

  • High-performing companies are 2x as likely to provide their sales teams with ongoing training.

Social Sales Statistics

Social media is another powerful tool for salespeople, which converts faster than other types of leads, builds better relationships with clients, and also increases win rates and deal sizes. In fact, social selling accounts for half of the revenue received in several different industries.

  • 90% of top-performing sellers use social media in their sales strategy.

  • 71% of salespeople are using social selling tools.

  • 65% of salespeople who use social selling fill their pipeline, compared to 47% of reps who do not.

  • 50% of sales pros spend 3–10 hours per week using social selling tools.

  • 4 in 10 reps have recently closed two to five deals directly thanks to social media.

  • Half of revenue is influenced by social selling in 14 common industries, including:

  • Using social selling tools can increase win rates and deal size by 5% and 35%, respectively.

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

  • 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers.

  • 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level or vice-president-level executives use social media to make purchasing decisions.

  • 84% of CEOs and VPs use social media to make purchasing decisions.

  • 31% of B2B professionals said that social selling allowed them to build deeper relationships with their clients.

  • More than half of all B2B buyers use LinkedIn to support purchase decisions.

  • Sales reps who use social selling are 50% more likely to meet or exceed their quota.

  • 63.4% of sales reps engaged in social selling report an increase in their company’s revenue (compared to just 41.2% of non-social sellers).

  • 4 in 10 reps have closed 2-5 deals directly thanks to social media.

  • Using social selling tools can increase the average deal size by 35%.

  • 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on purchasing decisions.

  • Customers spend 20% to 40% more money on brands they have interacted with on social media.

  • Over 70% of marketers rank new customers’ acquisition as the top priority in their social strategy.

  • 84% of buyers who use social media have larger buying budgets than non-social buyers.

  • 72% of salespeople who use social media in their sales process outperform their peers.

  • Social sellers hit their quotas 66% more often than those who don’t use social media.

  • 54% of salespeople can track closed deals back to social media engagement.

  • 74.9% of companies that use social selling grow their sales teams in the next 12 months.

Inside Sales Statistics

Inside sales roles have increased faster than outside, especially among fast-growing tech companies, largely due to the lower cost per call and customer acquisition.

  • An outside sales call costs $308, while an inside sales call costs $50.

  • Inside sales teams pay 40%–90% less to acquire new customers.

  • Only 33% of inside sales rep time is spent actively selling.

  • Sales reps can spend up to 40% of their time looking for somebody to call.

  • Inside sales hires are growing at a 15% annual rate.

  • On average, inside sales roles have increased by 7% and sales development roles by 6% since 2015.

  • The average inside sales rep can make 33 cold calls per day.

  • Typical inside sales reps have 6.6 conversations per day.

  • Inside sales pros succeed with 18% of pitches.

  • The average yearly quota for an inside sales pro is $985,000.

  • For every outside sales rep that gets hired, 10 inside sales reps get hired.

  • 46% of fast-growing tech companies use inside sales and 21% use outside sales.

Outside Sales Statistics

While inside sales are growing faster, outside sales teams still constitute most of the sales force, who also attain their meaningfully higher quotas at higher rates. They also typically earn more than inside sales professionals.

  • Face-to-face or field sales teams make up 71.2% of the sales force.

  • 65% of outside account executives are attaining quota, which is 10% higher than inside reps.

  • Outside sales reps now spend 89% more time selling remotely than in 2013.

  • Outside sales pros see an average 40% closing rate.

  • The average yearly quota for an outside sales rep is $2.7 million.

  • Outside sales pros make 14% more than inside sales pros, on average.

Prospecting Sales Statistics

Prospecting continues to be a challenging part of the sales process, since nearly half of prospects aren’t a good fit for what’s being sold, although most sales professionals don’t spend most of their day doing it.

  • Salespeople spend just one-third of their day actually talking to prospects. They spend 21% of their day writing emails, 17% entering data, another 17% prospecting and researching leads, 12% going to internal meetings, and 12% scheduling calls.

  • More than 40% of salespeople report that prospecting is the most difficult part of the sales process. Behind that is closing (36%) and qualifying (22%).

  • Prospects are open to communicating with sellers at industry events (34%), via LinkedIn (21%), text (21%), voicemail (21%), and social media (18%).

  • where prospects are open to communicating with sellers

  • 50% of buyers like speaking over the phone, compared to 70% of reps. This percentage increases the higher up the ladder (VP or C-suite) you go.

  • More than 50% of prospects want to see how your product works on the first call.

  • 17% of salespeople think they’re pushy — compared to 50% of prospects.

  • 9 in 10 companies use two or more lead enrichment tools to learn more about prospects.

  • At least 50% of your prospects are not a good fit for what you sell.

  • The biggest challenges today’s salespeople face:

    • Establishing urgency (42%)

    • Getting in touch with prospects (37%)

    • Overcoming price objections (35%)

  • It takes an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect.

  • Over 80% of prospects become buyers if reached out to between 5 and 12 times.

  • Thursday is the best day to prospect. Wednesday is the second-best day.

  • More than 40% of prospectors don’t target the right audience.

  • Nearly 90% of sales reps emphasize the importance of anticipating customers’ needs.

  • Prospecting statistics reveal lack of motivation as the biggest challenge for two-thirds of sellers.

  • Sales facts reveal 60% of potential customers will say no at least five times before agreeing to make a purchase.

  • 83% of prospects who request info don’t buy for 3–12 months.

  • 58% of prospects want to know pricing on the first call. 54% want a product demo.

  • Only 15% of prospects want to talk about purchase authority on the first call. Less than a quarter want to talk about their budget or timeline.

  • 70% of prospects watch a video to help them decide, including product feature videos, how-tos, and reviews.

Sales Call Statistics

While calls are one of the most effective sales tools, it takes multiple calls to connect with buyers and close sales, and many professionals don’t follow up more than once. Furthermore, just under half of salespeople feel they don’t have enough information before making a call.

  • A survey by sales strategist Marc Wayshak found that 41.2% of respondents said the phone is the most effective sales tool.

  • In 2007 it took 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today, it takes 8 attempts.

  • It takes an average of 18 calls to actually connect with a buyer.

  • 80% of sales require five follow-up calls, which makes it all the more upsetting that 44% of salespeople give up after one just one follow-up call.

  • 42% of people would be encouraged to make a purchase if the sales rep called back at an agreed-upon, specified time.

  • Gong.io analyzed over 100,000 connected outreach calls and found successful salespeople talk for 54% of the call while unsuccessful salespeople spent only 42% of their time speaking.

  • 75% of online buyers want to receive between 2-4 phone calls before a company gives up; 12% would like a company to try as many times as it takes to get a hold of them.

  • The best time to contact a lead is between 4 pm and 6 pm on a Thursday.

  • 74% of companies don’t leave voicemails.

  • On average, sales managers make no more than two attempts to get a lead through cold calls.

  • 42% of sales reps report that they don’t have enough information prior to making a sales call.

  • 85% of prospects and customers are dissatisfied with their on-the-phone experience.

  • Sales reps spend about 15% of their time leaving voicemails.

  • When leaving a voicemail for a prospect, the optimal length is between 8 and 14 seconds.

  • 48% of sales calls end without an attempt to close the sale, and the national sales closing rate is 27%.

  • Close rates drop if the words “discount” or “contract” are used in a sales call.

  • More than 80% of buyers will meet the salespeople who reach out via call.

  • The use of collaborative words had a positive impact on the calls, and using “we” instead of “I” increased success rates by 35%.

  • Using “Did I catch you at a bad time” makes you 40% less likely to book a meeting, while asking “How are you?” increases your likelihood of booking a meeting by 3.4X.

  • The phrase “Show you how” lowers closing rates by 13% if it’s used more than four times in one sales call.

  • If you use your company name 4+ times in one sales call, you’ll hurt close rates by 14%.

Sales Leads Statistics

While nearly three-quarters of companies say converting leads into customers is their top priority, the majority of B2B marketers have not established lead nurturing nor qualified leads, despite the fact that nurtured leads greatly increase the opportunity for sales.

  • 74% of companies say converting leads into customers is their top priority.

  • Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads.

  • 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance.

  • 65% of B2B marketers have not established lead nurturing.

  • Companies excelling at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.

  • 51% of email marketers say email list segmentation is the most effective way to personalize lead nurturing.

  • 46% of B2B sales reps list lead quantity and quality as their top challenge.

  • 67% of lost sales result from sales reps not properly qualifying potential customers before taking them through the entire sales process.

  • 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales. However, only 27% of those leads will be qualified.

  • Just 44% of companies use lead scoring systems.

  • Only 25% of marketing-generated leads are typically of a high enough quality to immediately advance to sales.

  • There is a 10x drop in lead qualification when you wait longer than 5 minutes to respond and a 400% decrease when you respond within 10 minutes versus 5 minutes.

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

  • The average lead-to-close length is 102 days.

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

  • Sales teams are twice as likely (33%) to prioritize leads based on data analysis of “propensity to buy” rather than on intuition (16%).

  • High-performing sales teams are 2.8 times more likely than underperforming teams to say their sales organizations have become much more focused on personalizing customer interactions over the past 12–18 months.

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

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

  • The average sales conversion rate across all industries is 2.46%–3.26%.

Online Sales Statistics

Online content has a major impact on a customer’s purchasing decision, as most view anywhere between three and eight pieces of content during their research before talking with a sales representative or buying.

  • 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally.

  • 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on purchasing decisions.

  • 62% of B2B buyers say a web search was one of the first three resources they use to learn about a solution.

  • 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information from a series of articles versus an advertisement.

  • 93% of B2B buying processes begin with an online search.

  • 94% of B2B buyers will research online before finalizing a purchase.

  • 47% of buyers view 3-5 pieces of the company’s content before talking with a sales representative.

  • Almost 82% of buyers viewed 5-8 pieces of content from a vendor before buying.

  • 63% of sales leaders believe e-commerce allows their teams to focus on more important aspects of the job.

  • More than half of consumers believe their online research is superior to interaction with a salesperson.

  • 74% of B2B buyers do half their research or more online before they buy.

Technology Sales Statistics

Artificial intelligence, data-driven insights, connected processes, and analytics are playing an increasingly crucial role for sales professionals. Teams that implement them increase their qualified leads, perform better, and have higher gross margins.

  • Video conferencing is a sales tool that has increased in value the most since 2019.

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

  • Most B2B brands expect digital sales to be over 50% of their business within two years.

  • An increase in voice and visual search can boost digital commerce revenue by 30%.

  • 50% of teams leverage data to produce timely, accurate forecasts.

  • Businesses using marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.

  • High-performing sales teams are 1.5 times more likely to base forecasts on data-driven insights.

  • Only 46% of sales reps have data insights on customers’ propensity to buy.

  • 75% of business buyers say that connected processes are very important to winning their business.

  • 81% of sales reps believe it is important to have a connected view of data across the entire customer journey.

  • 79% of sales teams currently use or are planning to use sales analytics technology to increase efficiency.

  • 76% of sales professionals say using sales analytics has significantly or somewhat improved their ability to provide customers with a consistent experience across every channel.

  • AI is the top growth area for sales teams — its adoption is forecasted to grow 139% over the next three years.

  • Triple-digit growth is expected in predictive intelligence (118%) and lead-to-cash process automation (115%) in the next three years.

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

  • Companies that embrace digital technology innovation experience nearly 20% higher gross margin than the laggards.

  • 79% of sales teams currently use or are planning to use sales analytics technology.

  • Only 21% of small businesses said they are satisfied with CRM systems for sales analytics.

  • Two-thirds of organizations that use dedicated sales analytics tools said they have improved the outcomes of their sales activities and processes significantly (20%) or slightly (47%).

  • 75%–85% of top salespeople value CRMs, productivity apps, email marketing, and social selling as key factors in their success.

  • High-performing sales pros are more than twice as likely to use AI to guide their selling.

  • For every dollar spent on CRM, the average company sees an $8.71 return.

  • CRMs can boost sales by 29% and productivity by 34%.

Sales Statistics FAQ

  1. What is the average sales success rate?

    The average sales success rate is around 3%. This is across all industries. Average sales success rates can vary from below 1% to over 20%, depending on the product, market, and industry.

  2. What percentage of salespeople fail?

    74% of salespeople fail. In contrast, 20% of salespeople do well but could improve and 6% of salespeople are classified as “elites.” These numbers come from assessments of over 650,000 salespeople across the country and across industries from the Objective Management Group.

    The study also mentions that of this massive 74% subset of salespeople, the majority (3/4) can be trained to be competent at sales. But the bottom 25% are deemed untrainable.

  3. How many touches does it take to make a sale?

    It takes an average of eight touches to qualify a sales lead and set up a meeting or other conversion with a new prosepct. Experts suggest that eight touches be spread out over the course of about a month, with smaller increments of time between later touches than earlier ones.

Conclusion

The world of sales is always evolving, and a salesperson needs to keep on top of the latest trends in the field if they hope to keep up and succeed. Whether you’re looking to boost your sales numbers or evaluate your current sales team’s performance, these statistics should provide clarity on the current state of sales.

References

Hubspot Blog. 60 Key Sales Statistics That’ll Help You Sell Smarter in 2021. Accessed 6/14/21.

Brevet. 21 Mind-Blowing Sales Stats. Accessed 6/14/21.

Spotio. 130 Eye-Opening Sales Statistics For 2021. Accessed 6/14/21.

99 Firms. Sales Statistics. Accessed 6/14/21.

Salesforce. 26 Sales Statistics That Prove Selling Is Changing. Accessed 6/14/21.

Sales Hacker. 15 Sales Statistics That Will Change How You Think About Revenue In 2021. Accessed 6/14/21.

Xactly. Your Comprehensive List of Sales Planning, Process, Forecasting Statistics. Accessed 6/14/21.

Zety.com. 200+ Sales Statistics. Accessed 6/14/21.

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Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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