Every time I think I’ve gotten a grip on the weird, wonderful world of sales, I learn something new that forces me to change my perspective and question my beliefs.
Like just 17% of salespeople think they’re pushy — compared to 50% of prospects.
And along similar lines, only 3% of buyers trust reps. The only professions with less credibility include car sales, politics, and lobbying.
Ouch. Luckily, not all sales-related data will bum you out. This list of sales statistics has invaluable nuggets of wisdom on everything from sales prospecting to inside sales stats.
Sales Statistics 
Sales Prospecting Statistics
1. More than 40% of salespeople say this is the most challenging part of the sales process, followed by closing (36%) and qualifying (22%). If you find prospecting to be the most difficult part of your job, you’re not alone.
2. HubSpot Research found 72% of companies with less than 50 new opps per month didn’t achieve their revenue goals, compared to 15% with 51 to 100 new opps and just 4% for companies with 101 to 200 new opps.
3. 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.
4. 60% want to connect with sales during the consideration stage, after they’ve researched the options and come up with a short list.
5. 20% want to talk during the decision stage, once they’re decided which product to buy.
6. It takes an average of 18 calls to actually connect with a buyer.
7. Only 24% of sales emails are opened.
8. Nine in 10 companies use two or more lead enrichment tools to learn more about prospects.
9. At least 50% of your prospects are not a good fit for what you sell.
10. 77.3% of respondents said their company provides at least one quarter of their leads.
Sales Follow-Up Statistics
11. 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes whereas 48% of salespeople never even make a single follow up attempt.
12. 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls whereas 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up call.
13. 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.
14. 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.
15. 70% of salespeople stop at one email. Yet if you send more emails, you’ve got a 25% chance to hear back.
16. 42% of people would be encouraged to make a purchase if the sales rep called back at an agreed-upon, specified time.
17. 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
Sales Email Statistics
18. Email is nearly40x more effective than either Facebook or Twitter at new customer acquisition.
19. Eight out of 10 prospects want to talk to sales reps via email over any other medium.
20. 89% of marketers say that email is their primary channel for lead generation.
Sales Call Statistics
21. 41.2% of salespeople said their phone is the most effective sales tool at their disposal.
22. 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
23. The use of collaborative words had a positive impact on the calls and using “we” instead of “I” increased success rates by 35%.
24. 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.
25. 63% of Sales Leaders believe that virtual meetings are just as or more effective than in-person meetings.
Social Selling Statistics
26. 65% of salespeople who use social selling fill their pipeline, compared to 47% of reps who do not.
27. Four in 10 reps have recently closed two to five deals directly thanks to social media.
28. Half of revenue is influenced by social selling in 14 common industries, including computer software, healthcare, and marketing and advertising.
29. Using social selling tools can increase win rates and deal size by 5% and 35%, respectively.
Sales Productivity Statistics
30. HubSpot Research’s survey of salespeople revealed more than half rely on their peers to get tips for improving. 44% looked to their manager, 35% to team training resources, and 24% to media.
31. Nearly six in 10 salespeople say that when they figure out what works for them, they don’t change it.
32. Only 7% of top performers report pitching, while 19% of non-top performers pitch their offering.
33. 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.
34. 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%)
35. The biggest challenges today’s salespeople face:
- Establishing urgency (42%)
- Getting in touch with prospects (37%)
- Overcoming price objections (35%)
36. Budget is the most common reason stronger sales opportunities fall apart.
37. A survey by sales strategist, Marc Wayshak, found that 41.2% of respondents said the phone is the most effective sales tool.
38. Only 24.3% of salespeople exceeded their quota last year.
Referral Sales Statistics
39. About 47% of top performers ask for referrals consistently, versus only 26% of non-top performers.
40. 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.
41. Friends’ social media posts influence the purchase decisions of83% of US online shoppers.
42. Consumers referred by a friend are four times more likely to buy.
43. When referred by other customers, people have a 37% higher retention rate.
44. B2B companies with referrals experience a70% higher conversion rate.
45. Referred customers’ lifetime value (LTV) is 16% higher than that of non-referred customers.
46. Referral leads have a30% higher conversion rate than leads from any other channel.
47. Referrals account for 65% of companies’ new deals.
Sales Career Statistics
48. OTE for an AE is $115,000.
49. The typical AE spends 2.7 years on the job and takes 4.7 months to ramp.
50. One in four salespeople majored in business. The second most popular major? The degree of life. 17% never attended college.
51. Only 39% of salespeople intended to go into sales.
Inside Sales Stats
52. According to CSO Insights, just 33% of inside sales-rep time is spent actively selling.
53. PointClear emphasized the cost-effectiveness of inside sales when it discovered that the average outside sales call will cost $308. Meanwhile, the average inside sales call costs $50.
54. Personalization can help breed inside sales success. When both the message and subject line are personalized, emails have an average open rate of 5.9%and a click rate of .2%.
Sales Technology Stats
55. The number of types of tools used consistently among the majority of respondents went up by 300%.
56. Most organizations are spending substantially more on technology now than two years ago.
57. Sales enablement tool usage is up 567%.
Remote Sales Stats
58. 94% of surveyed employers report that company productivity has been the same (67%) or higher (27%) since employees started working from home during the pandemic.
59. PayScale analyzed thousands of salaries and determined that remote workers make 8.3% more than non-remote workers with the same job and qualifications, and 7.5% more in general—not accounting for years of experience, job title, or location.
60. According to Upwork, 41.8% of the American workforce continues to work remotely. Although an estimated 26.7% will still be working from home through 2021, 36.2 million Americans (22% of the workforce) will be working remotely by 2025.
Sell Smarter From These Sales Stats
Are you surprised at what you’ve learned, too? Numbers might not tell the whole story, but they certainly illuminate many aspects of it. Keep checking this page for updates. As new data comes out, I’ll add it to the list.
To learn more, read about some of the top challenges inside sales is facing.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.