The State of Sales: Key Findings and Trends for Success in 2024 [Full Report Inside]

Salesroom Team
The State of Sales: Key Findings and Trends for Success in 2024 [Full Report Inside]
Table of contents

In the past year alone, the sales landscape has undergone significant shifts, with 42% of companies reporting a decrease in win rates and 61% of sales reps finding selling more challenging than a decade ago (Lightspeed, Sales Insights Lab).

With teams shrinking and managers stretched thin, traditional selling methods may no longer cut it, pushing companies to innovate if they want to survive. With 80% of B2B sales now virtual, it's time to rethink sales strategies (Prezentor).

Recognizing the urgency for sales teams to adapt, we conducted a comprehensive survey to grasp the challenges, trends, and opportunities defining the sales arena in 2024. Drawing insights from industry experts and practitioners, our goal was clear: to equip sales teams with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate today's dynamic market.

"Understanding the pulse of the sales industry is paramount to our mission at Salesroom. This report reflects our commitment to providing invaluable insights that empower sales professionals to excel in a rapidly evolving market," shared Roy Solomon, CEO and Co-Founder of Salesroom.

This article presents the findings of our surey, offering actionable insights and recommendations to help sales teams navigate the complexities of modern selling and drive success in today's competitive landscape. Let's dive into the key findings and explore how they can impact your sales strategy moving forward.

Bridging the Confidence Gap: Reps are Struggling with Objection Handling

Key Finding #1: Only 11% of sales professionals feel very confident in customer calls, with 70% citing objection handling as their top challenge.

Here’s the kicker: While just 2% of reps feel very confident, a whopping 20% of managers do. There is clearly a significant confidence gap between frontline salespeople and their managerial counterparts.

“We weren’t surprised to see a notable difference in confidence levels between sales reps and managers,” said Daria Danilina, Co-Founder of Salesroom. “If anything, it just highlights the crucial need for targeted training to boost sales performance and drive revenue growth.”

Given objection handling's prominence as the number one challenge when it comes to virtual selling, there is a critical necessity for focused training initiatives.

How can organizations effectively bridge this confidence gap and elevate sales outcomes? Read the full report to find out.

Coaching Challenge: The Disconnect Between Managerial Oversight and Impact

Key Finding #2: 80% of respondents have a manager present in their sales calls, yet inadequate sales coaching and limited time to feedback remain significant challenges in achieving quota attainment.

Despite the common presence of managers in sales calls, the coaching and feedback they provide often fall short, impeding sales professionals' ability to meet quotas effectively.

It's startling—four out of five sales calls involve a manager, yet only 17% of sales professionals find this method effective in addressing sales challenges and closing deals. Instead of merely observing calls and not letting go of the reins, managers should utilize tools and data to pinpoint where their efforts would have a more significant impact—such as providing active training and coaching.

"We were genuinely surprised by the revelation that 80% of respondents have a manager present on every or most sales calls," Daria shared. "When considering the limited time available for feedback and coaching, it's crucial for managers to recognize the potential of alternative approaches to truly empower their sales teams and drive success.”

Roy agrees, emphasizing, "The conventional approach of managerial oversight during sales calls is evidently not yielding the desired results. With the availability of tools that provide live coaching during calls, managers can now empower their teams without the need for constant presence, allowing for more efficient use of their time."

In fact, we asked if salespeople would find value in such a tool, and the answer might surprise you. Check out the full report to uncover how sales professionals perceive the potential impact of live coaching tools on their performance and productivity.

Methodology Mishaps: Sales Professionals Struggle with Consistency

Key Finding #3: 75% of sales professionals do not consistently follow their sales methodology, but 72% of respondents recognize the potential of AI in improving adherence.

Sales organizations invest considerable time and resources in training their teams on sales methodologies. Despite this, three-quarters of sales professionals acknowledge their inconsistency in following these methodologies during customer interactions. 

"We asked respondents whether they consistently adhere to their established sales methodology when they are interacting with customers, and found that three-quarters of sales professionals do not," said Daria. "While teams spend a large amount of their budget on sales and training methodologies, they fail to put effort into making sure they actually use it."

In fact, according to Gartner, sales reps forget 70% of the information they learn within a week of training, and 87% will forget it completely within a month.

"With that in mind, 72% of sales professionals see the value in an AI tool that integrates the meeting plan into the meeting environment, supporting them in following their methodology or meeting plans with accuracy and intent," continued Daria.

No surprises here: Sales professionals would do better if they had dynamic tools in place to guide them through the meeting and support them in following their sales methodology or meeting plan every time.

Data Dilemma: Balancing Time and Accuracy in CRM Management

Key Finding #4: 68% of sales professionals say note taking and data input are their most time-consuming tasks. Despite heavy time investment, just 2% feel their CRM data is accurate and consistent

Sales people spend a significant amount of their time on repetitive tasks like note-taking and data input into CRM systems, with 43% spending between 10 and 20 hours each week. That’s as much as half their work week!

Even with the substantial time commitment, confidence in the accuracy and consistency of CRM data remains low. A staggering 75% of sales pros express less than 80% confidence in their CRM data's reliability, and none of our respondents could claim full confidence.

“The truth is, manual tasks such as updating the CRM consume a significant amount of time - time that could otherwise be allocated to closing deals," remarked Daria. "While these tasks are indeed necessary, they don't necessarily have to be carried out manually. Even when done manually, the data is often inaccurate, as we can clearly see by these results”.

In fact, the average company loses 12% of its revenue as a result of inaccurate data (Internal Results). If only there was a solution… Read the full report to uncover it!

Embracing GenAI: Leveraging New Technology for Sales Success

Key Finding #5: Almost 80% of sales professionals recognize the value of AI tools in automating repetitive tasks and providing real-time sales coaching, battle cards, and insights.

As the sales landscape continues to evolve, the acknowledgment of AI's potential by sales professionals is a testament to the industry's forward-thinking mindset. This recognition speaks volumes about the desire for innovation and efficiency in driving sales success.

Roy expressed enthusiasm about the potential of AI, remarking, "We're on the cusp of a breakthrough with large language models (LLMs) that can revolutionize how sales teams operate. These models offer a unique opportunity to strike a balance between structured data—like deals and contacts—and unstructured data sets, such as conversations and meeting notes. Imagine a scenario where reps are better prepared for every interaction, remember crucial details, and are more attuned to their buyers' needs and objections. Ultimately, it's about enhancing the human touch in sales, fostering deeper relationships, and instilling confidence in both buyers and sellers."

He further added, "Our vision is to develop a smart GPS for sellers that guides them through every meeting. In the next few years, we'll likely look back and wonder how we managed without AI assistance in our buyer interactions."

Discover how AI-powered tools like genAI are shaping the future of sales effectiveness and efficiency in the full report.

Roadmap to Excellence: Strategies for B2B Sales Performance

The State of B2B Sales Performance: Challenges, Strategies, and the Key to Success report presents both challenges and opportunities for professionals in the field. From navigating virtual selling environments to addressing confidence gaps and embracing the potential of AI-driven solutions, sales teams are facing a dynamic landscape that demands adaptation and innovation.

As we look ahead, it's clear that success in sales will require a combination of strategic planning, targeted training, and the adoption of cutting-edge technologies. By leveraging the insights and recommendations outlined in this report, sales teams can position themselves for success in an increasingly competitive market.

Ready to dive deeper into the insights and recommendations? Access the full report now and equip your team with the knowledge to excel in the evolving world of sales.

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