LinkedIn survey highlights the new age of sales in India

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on September 15, 2020 Published on September 15, 2020

Professionals are increasingly relying on sales intelligence tools, a data-driven approach


Sales professionals in India are increasingly banking on sales intelligence tools with a focus on data, according to LinkedIn’s ‘State of Sales’ India report.

The report aims “to understand the potential impact of current economic challenges on the sales function in India.”

According to the report, professionals are increasingly relying on sales intelligence tools to close a deal, with 74 per cent of professionals labelling it as a critical factor while 95 per cent of the participants believed that sales technology is “important” or “very important”.

Virtual selling is also gaining popularity with salespeople upskilling themselves to sell amidst the new normal.


Measuring sales performance

With the increased use of sales tech, organisations are taking up a data-driven approach to drive sales, with a focus on long-term metrics to measure sales performance.

As per the report, 53 per cent of sales professionals are using data to the prospect while 47 per cent of professionals are using data to evaluate patterns from closed-won business to apply these learnings to future deals.

Sales organisations are using data to analyse and improve sales, with 48 per cent of respondents stating that their companies are using data to assess the performance of salespeople.

Key metrics to measure sales performance include customer satisfaction (42 per cent), customer retention/attrition (40 per cent), customer acquisition cost (37 per cent), and conversion rate (36 per cent).

According to the report, ‘problem-solving’, ‘confidence’ and ‘relationship building’ are the top three traits looked for by decision-makers and sales managers when hiring.


Trust, most critical factor

Buyers are also playing a key role in the overall decision-making process. Companies are considering the qualities that buyers are prioritising in their sales rep. Trust is the key factor that customers look for in a salesperson, with 50 per cent of buyers in India ranking “trustworthy” as the top quality in their sales rep.

This was followed by “problem-solving” (41 per cent) and “responsive” (40 per cent). 96 per cent buyers also stated that the salespeople they ultimately buy from are “trusted advisors”. Salespeople in India echoed a similar sentiment with 40 per cent of the respondents ranking trust as the most critical factor in closing deals.

“Today, more than ever, transformation is an inescapable reality in the sales organisation. The fact that three in four sales professionals are placing their bets on the power of sales intelligence tools to close deals is a strong indicator of how technology is becoming an integral part of the sales work flow, and how virtual selling is key to the new sales process. This, coupled with access to timely and relevant data, will help sales practitioners with crucial insights that can help them achieve targeted outreach and greater agility in their selling process. The technology relies on data to function, and so the two must be considered hand-in-hand to make a powerful difference,” said Abhai Singh, Head, LinkedIn Sales Solutions for India.

The report is based on survey responses from over 1,000 sales professionals, managers, and business decision-makers.

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Published on September 15, 2020
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