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75 Mind-Blowing Sales Statistics That Will Help You Sell Smarter in 2017

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 75 sales statistics has invaluable nuggets of wisdom on everything from which words to avoid in your email subject line to the optimal number of questions to ask during a discovery call.

Sales Statistics [2017]

Sales prospecting stats

Sales follow up stats

Sales email stats

  • The average person deletes 48% of the emails they receive every day. This task takes them just five minutes.
  • The vast majority of prospects want to read emails at 5 and 6 a.m. (Who knew there were so many early birds out there?) Use an email scheduling tool -- like the one in HubSpot Sales -- to send your message at the perfect time.
  • Here are the most effective words to put in your email subject line:
    • Demo
    • Connect
    • Cancellation
    • Apply
    • Opportunity
    • Conference
    • Payments
  • And the most ineffective words to use in your email subject line are:
    • Assistance
    • Speaker
    • Press
    • Social
    • Invite
    • Join
    • Confirm
  • According to Boomerang’s analysis of 300,000 emails, an all caps subject line hurts response rates by approximately 30%.
  • Subject lines with three to four words get more responses than shorter and longer ones.
  • The Boomerang team also found messages written at a third-grade reading level are 36% more likely to get a reply than those written at the college reading level.
  • The more you write, the less likely you are to get a response. Only one in three messages that are longer than 2500 words receive a reply. However, you shouldn’t be too brief: A 25-word email is roughly as effective as a 2000-word one. What’s the sweet spot? Between 50 and 125 words -- or around the length of this paragraph.
  • Don’t just provide information -- request some, too. Emails that contain one to three questions are 50% likelier to get replies than emails without any questions.

Sales call stats

  • According to Gong’s analysis of 519,000 discovery calls, there’s a clear relationship between the number of questions a rep asks and their chances of success. In other words, if you want your discovery call to go well, make sure you’re periodically posing questions to the buyer.
  • Asking 15-18 questions over the course of your discovery call is only marginally more effective than asking 7-10. Aim for 11-14, Gong found.
  • Wondering what to ask? Questions about your prospect’s business pain points and objectives are closely tied to a won deal.
  • And when should you ask these questions? While average salespeople ask most of their questions at the beginning of a call -- usually because they’re moving through a checklist -- great ones space their questions evenly throughout the meeting. This makes the conversation feel like a natural back-and-forth rather than an interview.
  • Top performing salespeople are up to 10 times likelier to use collaborative words and phrases than low-performing ones. With that in mind, default to “we,” “us,” “our,” and “together” over “you,” “I,” “me,” and “your.”
  • The most successful reps use terms that inspire confidence, such as “certainly,” “definitely,” and “absolutely,” five times more often than low performers.
  • Research from Gong reveals these are the worst words for your conversion rates.
    • “Show you how”: Drops close rates by 13% when used more than four times during a single call
    • “Discount”: Decreases close rates by 17%
    • “Contract”: Hurts close rates by 7%
    • “Free trial”: Lowers likelihood of securing next steps by 5%
    • Your company’s name: Harms close rates by 14% when used four-plus times in one call
    • “Competitor”: Makes you less likely to get next steps or close
    • “Million,” “billion,” “trillion”: Large quantities are too abstracts, so they harm close rates

Social selling stats

Sales productivity stats

Referral sales stats

Sales career 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.

HubSpot CRM

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