Research shows that while sales professionals’ top concern is prospecting, a more pressing need is for a better way to identify the most promising leads earlier in the sales process and convert them to sales more quickly. These are the findings of a global survey of 1,636 sales professionals on the top challenges they face and 500 one-on-one qualitative interviews of sales professionals over a three-year period by Pipedrive, provider of the first CRM platform built from the salesperson’s point of view.
According to the survey, about half of the sales professionals who consider prospecting to be “quite” or “extremely” important struggle with it. When asked which activities in the sales process need the most improvement, sales professionals responded as follows:
Activities Needing Most Improvement
Increasing the conversion rate of deals
Moving deals through a pipeline faster
Increasing the average deal value
According to Jeff Paradise, Chief Revenue Officer of Pipedrive, “Every sales professional wants more leads. But the million-dollar question is, ‘What is the next best lead?’ We know from our in-depth interviews with sales professionals that chasing poor quality leads with a low probability of converting to a sale is an unproductive and costly waste of time. If salespeople could screen out poor leads quickly and focus exclusively on leads with the greatest likelihood of closing, they’d close more deals and increase their average deal value with a lot less effort.”
Continued Paradise, “Great salespeople seem to know intuitively which leads to follow. Others need help. CRM systems should evolve to helping salespeople find and stay focused on the best leads.”
Paradise added, “Our research gives us a deeper understanding of CRM needs from the salesperson’s point of view. Answering how we can help salespeople make every sales action one that improves, and doesn’t disrupt, the sales flow.”
Other survey results revealed that of the sales professionals who struggle with lead generation, 56 percent rely on leads being fed to them versus generating their own.
Sales executives were also asked to select their key sources for lead generation. “Prospects contact me” (68%) and “recommendation” (61%) were the top two lead sources, followed by “website leads” by half of the respondents. Other sources cited were, “conferences and events,” “social media,” “Google,” “LinkedIn,” “purchased leads,” and “door to door .”
“Lead quality by source is a critical starting point for salespeople. As expected, high-touch leads through referrals, or direct contact by prospects to salespeople are typically warm leads. Leads via the web, however, are diverse and range from hot to cold and could benefit from pre-qualification through automation. Automation can identify the nature of a prospect’s interest, their time frame, and if they are a decision maker. Pre-qualification can assure that salespeople invest time only in web leads that have a high likelihood of closing, “Paradise concluded.
About Pipedrive Research
Pipedrive’s research organization continually queries sales professionals for insights on issues and trends facing individual sales representatives and sales managers. The company conducted more than 500 in-depth interviews with sales professionals over a three-year period and has more than 10,000 interactions with individual sales professionals every year. Pipedrive also periodically surveys sales professionals, most recently in a survey of 1,636 sales professionals fielded in October and November 2018.
About Pipedrive Inc.
Founded in 2010, Pipedrive is the first CRM platform developed from the salesperson’s point-of-view. Today, Pipedrive is used by sales teams at more than 85,000 companies worldwide. Pipedrive is the top-rated CRM and has offices in Lisbon; London; New York; Prague, and Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia. Learn more at Pipedrive.com.