RAIN Group, a global sales training and performance improvement company, announced today that its research division released the findings from its most recent study on sales prospecting.
Spearheaded by the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research (CSR), the group of analysts studied 488 buyers, representing $4.2 billion in purchases across 25 industries, as well as 489 sellers who outbound prospect, to uncover what is working (and what isn’t) in sales prospecting.
"Selling has changed tremendously in the last 10 years, but prospecting has changed even more,” said Mike Schultz, co-president of RAIN Group and bestselling author of Insight Selling. “Previous outside research suggested that 57 percent of the purchase decision is complete before a customer calls a supplier and 67 percent of the buying journey is done digitally, giving sellers the false impression that buyers don’t want or need to talk to them early in the buying process. Our new research reveals that buyers want to talk to sellers much earlier in the sales process and debunks many common myths.”
The study covered a variety of topics, including when buyers want to talk to sellers, outreach methods that buyers prefer, factors that influence a buyer’s likelihood to connect, content types that capture buyer’s attention, and factors that influence a buyer’s ultimate purchase decision.
Below are a few of the most surprising discoveries from the sales prospecting research:
Buyers want to talk to sellers early in the sales process.
- 82% of buyers accept meetings with sellers who proactively reach out to them
- 71% of buyers who accept meetings want to talk to sellers early in the sales process when they’re looking for new ideas and possibilities to drive stronger results to improve their business
- 62% of buyers who accept meetings want to talk to sellers when they’re actively looking for a solution to solve a problem or fix what’s broken
Cold calling works and it’s even more powerful when paired with other tactics.
- 58% of buyers say that for the most recent meeting they agreed to the seller connected with them over email
- 54% of buyers say that for the most recent meeting they agreed to the seller connected with them over phone
- 52% of sellers say it takes between five to 10 touches to connect with a new prospect for the first time.
Buyers want a mix of valuable content and to hear about your capabilities.
- 69% of buyers are influenced to accept a meeting or otherwise connect when the provider shares primary research data relevant to the buyer’s business
- 67% of buyers are influenced to accept a meeting or otherwise connect when the provider shares content 100% customized to the buyer’s specific situation
- 67% of buyers are influenced to accept a meeting or otherwise connect when the provider shares descriptions of the provider’s capabilities.
Sellers who bring value, win more sales. Most sellers aren’t doing this.
- 96% of buyers say their purchase decisions may be influenced by sellers who focus on the value they can deliver the buyer
- 93% of buyers say their purchase decisions may be influenced by sellers who collaborate with buyers
- 58% of sales meetings are not valuable to buyers
Since 2005, the RAIN Group CSR has provided leaders with critical insights to support strategic decision making and sales performance improvement. The division produces rigorous research reports and benchmarks the company’s clients across a variety of topics, with a special focus on learning the keys to top performance and understanding the psychology behind why buyers buy.
"These stats are game-changing for how sellers prospect,” continued Schultz. "If sellers want to break through to top executives, fill their pipelines, and win more sales, they need to re-evaluate their prospecting efforts and leave the myths behind.”
To learn more about the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research and access results from the study, visit: https://info.rainsalestraining.com/5-sales-prospecting-myths-debunked
About RAIN Group
Founded in 2002, RAIN Group is a global sales performance improvement company that has helped hundreds of thousands of salespeople, managers, and professionals in more than 62 countries significantly increase their sales results. Headquartered in the greater Boston area, global office locations include Bogotá, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Mumbai, Sydney, and Toronto. RAIN Group continues to expand both domestically and abroad. If you’re interested in joining the RAIN Group team, visit http://www.raingroup.com/. Follow RAIN Group on Twitter and LinkedIn.