What — and how many — sales systems are you using, and how much are you spending? How effective are they? These are important questions for any sales organization to be asking, but oftentimes these questions aren’t asked, or they’re asked with no benchmarks. That’s where we come in. Time for some sales systems statistics!
About the sales systems research
This was a study by AI-based, growth acceleration platform leader InsideSales.com. The State of Sales Study was developed in partnership with the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP), Top Sales World, and the Association of Professional Sales (APS). The study consists of 1,151 companies across 28 countries. (Not a bad sample size.)
Time spent selling remotely
That increased a rather large 89% from 2013 to 2017, with 45% of field sales reps now indicating they sell remotely. In terms of sales team structure, generally inside sales reps sell remotely. In this study, 43.5% of those surveyed were inside reps, and the rest were field reps. (Inside reps is expected to increase to about 45% by the end of this year.)
Why did time spent selling remotely increase?
You probably guessed it: technology. The average number of sales technologies used by the surveyed companies is expected to grow 18% by the end of 2018 — and currently an average rep uses 5.2 different sales systems tools, which in and of itself is a 10% increase from 2016. The average spend on tech per sales rep was $4,581 in this data set, with e-signature, gamification, and forecasting tools being the tech sales systems that saw the biggest increase.
Are sales systems and tech helping quota?
Yes and no. We’ve seen research recently that quota-hitting keeps dropping, which has some roots in logic. In this survey, the average quota for an account executive was $793,566 — and it was hit 60.9% of the time. The average base salary was $42,833 for an inside sales account executive, but their on-target earnings were $96,299, which is an almost 50/50 split of variable and base.
What should this teach you about sales systems?
Tech is continuing to eat the world. But you need to use it in a smart way. 5.2 tools per rep isn’t huge, but if that keeps increasing 10% per year, eventually reps will feel overwhelmed with the amount of tools they have to use for their job. The key is to use tech and sales systems to automate out the less-worthwhile parts of a rep’s job, and make sure the human interaction and deal-building can increase. That’s how you use tech wisely. Too many sales organizations try to automate to the hilt in the interest of productivity, but that can backfire on them in terms of building out the right relationships.
Anything else you’d add that you’ve seen on sales systems and technology?