Introduction: A human touch at scale
spent on training
spent on incentives
to retain sales talent$800B
growth in sales
reps since 20125.7x
is the median
annual pay for
of workforce will be
millennials by 202046%
people make up the
average buyer's circle6.8
The third annual LinkedIn State of Sales report studies this new
landscape, including the expectations of today’s B2B decision
makers and the modern selling strategies and technologies
employed by B2B sales professionals to scale their impact,
outperform their peers and close more deals.
Read on for the Key Findings from this year’s
LinkedIn State of Sales report—and how you can
use these insights to boost your sales performance.As a sales professional, your skills are in demand more than ever.
That’s because sales continues to be a top investment priority for
businesses. In the U.S. alone, companies spend $15 billion each
year training sales employees and $800 billion on incentives
to retain sales talent.
This investment is also opening up new opportunities for sales
professionals at every stage of their career. Sales development
representative roles have grown 5.7X since 2012, and the
compensation for experienced sales professionals is also on the
rise—the median annual pay for sales managers is $121,060, plus
bonuses. And as more organizations appoint a Chief Revenue
Ofcer (CRO), sales professionals have a path to advance to the
C-suite—CRO titles on LinkedIn are up 82% since 2015.
Despite this momentum, B2B sales has never been more
challenging. Highly personalized services like Netfix and Amazon
are driving customers to expect more from the brands they interact
with, including those with B2B sales teams. Millennials, who have
especially high expectations for personalization, are gaining
infuence in the workforce and will make up 46% of professionals
Sellers today must meet these heightened expectations while
building consensus among a larger group of stakeholders: the
average buyer’s circle is now 6.8 people. They must also team
up with their marketing counterparts to reach each of these
individuals at every stage of the path to purchase. To be successful
in modern sales, you need to build relationships at scale—tapping
into advanced sales technology to engage with the right contacts
faster, while fostering human connection and trust.
of CRO titles on
LinkedIn are up82%
Executive Summary: 5 key fndings
Technology gives sales professionals a competitive edge. Almost three-
quarters of sales professionals (73%) use sales technology to close more deals. Top sales
performers see networking platforms as “very important” to help close deals at a 51%
higher rate than their peers.
Decision makers expect understanding and human connection. Virtually all
decision makers (96%) say they’re more likely to consider a brand’s products or services if sales
professionals have a clear understanding of their business needs.
Marketing and sales orchestration helps close deals, but data silos remain.
The top sales professionals are working more closely with marketing and seeing better results,
but there’s room for improvement. Only 20% of sales professionals report a signifcant overlap
in the data used by marketing and sales to target leads.
Millennial sales professionals tap into marketing insights at higher rates.
Millennials (ages 21-38) are quicker to implement new strategies like marketing and sales
orchestration, which is contributing to their success as the highest-performing age group.
Without trust, fewer deals close. Sales professionals rank trust as the No. 1 factor in
closing deals (40%)—above ROI and price—and 51% of decision makers rank trust as the top
factor they desire in a salesperson.
is the x factor
for closing deals。
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