Attract the Right Job or Clientele:

The Top 3 Takeaways From Salesforce’s State of Sales Research Report

  Adam Draper, Vice President of Sales, Introhive, provides today’s guest blog.

With over 14 years of enterprise sales experience in the startup and Fortune 500 spaces, Adam is an expert at helping build and lead sales organizations in high-growth markets and startup environments. Follow Adam on LinkedIn.


Research from Salesforce shows that 57% of sales reps expect to miss their sales quotas this year. An overwhelming amount of tasks and administrative responsibilities that eat away at the product sales processes are cited.

In their State of Sales Report, Salesforce Research describes how sales and business development organizations are coping with these changes. Included are data-driven approaches to sales, cross-functional collaboration, and systems integrations.

Below, we explore the top three takeaways from the State of Sales Report and how you can apply them to your sales organization to put your team on the path to success.

1. Sales Reps Only Spend One-Third of Their Time Selling

Salesforce’s report reveals that only 34% of sales reps spend time selling each week. This includes prospecting, meeting with clients face-to-face, and communicating with clients virtually.

66% of their time is spent on mundane, administrative tasks such as:

  • Lead prioritization
  • Entering customer data into CRM
  • Researching prospects
  • Generating quotes
  • Preparing for meetings.

This time away from clients has made it harder for reps to meet their quotas. Only 42% of sales reps are expected to hit their quotas this year. 

Image Credit:  Salesforce Research State of Sales Report

Successful firms are turning to automation to minimize the number of mundane tasks that sales teams need to complete. Through solutions like CRM automation or relationship intelligence automation, sales reps no longer have to manually input data.  The data includes capturing contact information, post-meeting notes, tracking their latest account activity or digging into CRM for actionable relationship insights.

Instead, all that busy work can be managed with a direct email to CRM, syncing for creating new contacts and updating activities. Using the data from the Salesforce report, automation could free up 42% of sales rep time typically spent on non-sales-related activities. Following this path will increase the amount of time they spend on selling to 76%.

2. Top Sales Performers Rely Heavily on Data Insights

According to the State of Sales report, leading sales teams are 1.6 times more likely to use data analysis to prioritize leads and half as likely to prioritize using intuition. Data-driven lead prioritization takes the guesswork out of the process. Sales teams then have a more accurate and reliable way of measuring prospect traction and momentum.

However, many sales teams are missing this opportunity. As Salesforce reports, “data-driven lead prioritization is hardly universal. Only one-third of teams use this methodology by default, while others stick with more basic criteria such as geography, company size, or job title.”

80% of sales reps state that knowing whether a prospect has a past or existing relationship with their company is the most helpful insight in prioritizing leads and opportunities. 

Customer relationship data is crucial for sales reps to prioritize their communications effectively. But with upwards of 30% of CRM data quality eroding within a given year, quality relationship data inside sales organizations is hard to come by as it tends to be outdated, inaccurate, or incomplete.

To increase the quality and accuracy of your CRM data, the system will require help from data enrichment and data cleansing services, like Introhive. For example, once a new contact is identified in your email inbox or calendar, Introhive’s AI and machine learning algorithm will analyze that contact record.  The sources include the web, LinkedIn, and databases to automatically build a complete contact profile before entering it into CRM. The system ensures that your sales team has the most accurate and complete information powering their data analysis and leading prioritization efforts.

3. Leading Sales Teams Break Down Silos

To win new business, three-quarters of organizations agree that connected processes across departments (marketing, sales, service) are of utmost importance. But only 49% of organizations have fully integrated systems, leading to lackluster sales performance. Top sales teams are 2.1 times more likely than under-performers to have fully integrated systems, bringing customer data into a single, shared view for the entire organization. 

To join the upper echelon of sales performers, firms must bring disparate data sources into a single, centralized system. Not only will this increase access to valuable customer data, but it will also encourage collaboration among sales, marketing, and service teams.

By breaking down silos to increase visibility into the information, teams have a complete view of the customer journey, from marketing campaigns to ensure a light customer satisfaction rating. And salespeople agree that this connected view is important for myriad reasons: 

Image Credit:  Salesforce Research State of Sales Report

Accelerating the Path to Sales Success

Salesforce Research’s State of Sales Report revealed that sales organizations must prioritize rep productivity, collaboration, and data analysis. And one way to free up more time for sales to spend more time selling is to invest in technology that automates mundane data entry in CRM.

For more insight into how other progressive organizations are accomplishing this, browse Introhive’s website to learn more about the platform’s CRM automation, data enrichment, and relationship mapping capabilities. Setting your team up with the right tools will allow your reps to spend more time selling (and selling well). About the 

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