Not too long ago it would have been difficult to imagine sales reps who didn’t have face-to-face meetings with potential customers. But the world has changed. Everything about the way we travel, work, and spend looks different today.
The latest sales statistics highlight some of the market turmoil caused by the pandemic while showing the acceleration of digital transformation as well as promising growth trends and soaring sales figures in individual industries. The following stats will walk you through specific sectors and point out some of the more surprising and interesting sales facts.
Even before the pandemic, virtual sales were on the rise, with many sales representatives reporting that they touch base with prospective customers and existing clients via video chat rather than traveling to meetings and lunches. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 62% also said they spend more time on their computers, tablets, and smartphones than they did a few years ago. These sales trends tell us that virtual selling is here to stay.
As is the case in many industries, the acceleration of the digital transformation process is evident in the sales sector. Artificial intelligence or AI is one of the technologies that’s being rapidly adopted, with 37% of sales teams implementing these advanced tools globally in 2020. That marks a 76% increase since 2018. According to recent sales statistics, 77% of sales leaders and 84% of sales ops professionals claim their digital transformation has become more rapid since 2019. The AI tools also help power CRM software, which is crucial for managing customer relationships.
The substantial increase in both the types and the use of sales technology tools is being fuelled by online purchasing. Sales stats from 2017 reveal that most organizations at the time used only two main tools: CRM software and online meeting tools. Two years later, leads list/database, social selling, account targeting, and skills training and recruiting were added to the list. With six tools in regular use, the sales sector started to see more opportunities for leveraging technology to better cater to customers.
A Litmus report dubbed 2021 State of Email reveals most respondents feel that only interactive content in marketing emails can get their attention. However, only 17% of marketers actually use such content when advertising their products or services. Depending on your target audience and relevant sales information and analytics, you can add interactivity into your emails by including an embedded video, animated GIFs, a form, faux video, or carousel. Think about creative SMS content, too, or employ mass text software to help you create one with catchy phrases.
Reaching potential buyers isn’t always easy. Consumers are generally suspicious when it comes to calls from sales reps and tend to avoid them by hanging up or not answering the phone at all. Likewise, only 23.9% of sales emails are opened, and others usually end up in a bin. The sales numbers indicate that more investment is needed into technologies that help locate potential buyers and improve the quality and quantity of communication.
Follow-up calls can make all the difference. But almost half of the salespeople (48%) never make a single follow-up attempt. Statistics that expose this passive trend among sales reps also indicate that consumers tend to change their minds if called at least four times. An astounding 60 percent of contacted prospects agree to buy a product or service during the fifth call, according to sales follow-up statistics compiled by the US consulting company, Invesp.
Even though follow-ups are essential for convincing customers to purchase your product, more than half of the respondents said they prefer buying from sales representatives who aren’t too pushy. Salespeople have a reputation for hassling potential consumers, and these figures show that they would improve their chances of making a sale if they change their approach.
Prospecting statistics reveal that even though most newly established businesses have to focus on acquiring new customers, the long-run focus should be on retaining them. Namely, it costs five times as much to gain a new buyer than to keep an existing one. Unfortunately, despite the convincing figures in favor of focusing on retention, only 40% of companies and 30% of agencies cultivate the same approach to acquisition and retention.
Following a sharp decline that saw sales plummet from 17 million in 2019 to just a little over 14.5 million in 2020, the car industry started showing signs of recovery by mid 2021. But according to United States car sales statistics, the positive trend failed to extend into the spring, with only 589,743 automobiles sold in October. Those are the lowest monthly sales figures in years.
Research from 2019 shows that the state of California registered more than 14.8 million automobiles that year alone. The state is also the biggest market for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and for used car sales. Statistics by state reveal that Texas had the second-highest number of automobile registrations, with just over 8.3 million cars registered. Texas is followed by Florida (7.8 million) and New York (4.4 million).
The US gun industry is having a good pandemic, with Americans buying handguns in record numbers. Research shows that in October 2020, around one million handguns were sold, marking a 65% increase compared to the same period in 2019. Gun sales statistics also reveal a spike in handgun sales in June 2020, when 1.511.710 items were sold.
(Association of American Publishers)
During the pandemic-induced global lockdowns, many people turned to books. Perhaps unsurprisingly, book sales generated $750.7 million in revenue in July 2021. Reading once again became a favorite pastime in many American households, who contributed to the 9.7% growth in this sector, compared to July of 2020.
According to book sales statistics, eBook revenues in July 2021 went down 16% compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, Paperbacks went up by 30%, generating $274.3 million in revenue.
Video games had a huge 2020 with more people than ever buying and playing games during the pandemic. Sales soared to $177.8 billion - an increase of 23.1% from 2019. The future looks equally promising, with some forecasts suggesting that the global gaming market will be worth $268.8 billion by 2025. Video game sales statistics for the US market in 2021 show that the industry is maintaining its upward trajectory.
The forced closures of bars and restaurants during the pandemic had a significant impact on alcohol sales. Draft beer’s share of total volume declined from 10% in 2019 to around 6% in 2020. Beer sales statistics also show that demand for canned beer rose from 60% in 2019 to 67% in 2020. At the same time, sales of beer in glass bottles remained relatively unchanged, accounting for 29% of the market share in 2019 and 28% in 2020.
Toilet paper hoarding in 2020 resulted in a spike in sales of 845% in March 2020, compared to 2019, with a total of $1.45 billion sold in a single month. In March 2020, 73% of all grocery stores ran out of toilet paper. By May, that figure dropped to 48%. Toilet paper sales statistics in 2020 exposed a somewhat disturbing and equally commercial side of consumer behavior in times of crisis.
Selling Girl Scout cookies has been a tradition in the US since 1912 and has become a lucrative business for many. Girl scouts sell about 200 million boxes of cookies each season and earn nearly $800 million in revenue. According to mouth-watering girl scout cookie sales statistics, the most popular variety is Thin Mints, followed by Samoas, Caramel deLites, and Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties.
In the choppy waters and hazy horizons of the pandemic-hit world, steering your business in the right direction isn’t easy. There are many challenges facing sales teams and managers, especially when it comes to locking down customers and promoting products and services. On the other hand, some industries are doing better than ever. Business sales statistics show that demand for canned beer, video games, and guns has never been higher. But that doesn’t change the fact that the future is uncertain for everyone, and the new business world is yet to shape out.
Compiling statistics based on comprehensive market research offers valuable insight into sales trends and trajectories in different sectors. Sales and marketing teams use this data to identify customers and boost sales.
The average sales conversion rate across all industries is 2.46%–3.26%. When it comes to individual industries, electronics have the highest conversion rate of 22%.
Statistics related to sales help businesses better understand what motivates customers, what they buy, and what they don’t buy. Some of the stats we’ve covered throw the spotlight on booming handgun sales, a shrinking draft beer market, and a struggling automobile industry.
The four main types of sales are transactional selling, solution selling, consultative selling, and provocative selling.
Sales metrics measure the performance of individuals, teams, or companies. Some of the most common ones that we included in our sales statistics are Annual Recurring Revenue, Average Revenue Per User, Quota Attainment, Win Rate, Conversion Rate, Sales Cycle Length, Average Deal Size, and Average Profit Margin.
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