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Sales Tech On the Rise; But Trust Is A key Issue: Study

LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s ‘State of Sales 2019 — India report’ shows that a staggering 94% of sales professionals are using technology to close deals. This is LinkedIn’s first India-centric report in this space, which surveyed more than 500 sales professionals and decision makers, evaluates the best practices and top trends in the fast-paced and dynamic selling landscape.

The report shows that businesses are looking at investing more in sales technology in the coming year, as real-time customer insights and personalization give sales professionals a competitive edge. In fact, close to three-quarters (71%) of surveyed sales professionals said they expect their company to invest more money on sales technology next year.

The LinkedIn survey revealed that almost all sales professionals use technology to close more deals in India. In particular, sales teams are turning to cloud-based software to accelerate productivity, gather contextual details about customers, and automate tedious tasks. The survey shows that sales professionals who rely on sales technology also outperform their peers.

In India, as consumer skepticism of big brands peaks, earning and maintaining trust is the most important, the survey found. It states that 55% of decision-makers rank trust as the No. 1 factor in closing deals. The report also finds that the millennials are quicker than other age groups in using technologies and strategies, and are leading the charge on diminishing the sales and marketing divide.

“The growth in usage of sales tech and rise of planned investments are strong indicators that a significant shift is taking place in the sales landscape. Sales professionals are now adopting modern selling tactics by tapping into sales technology to glean personalized insights and build relationships at scale, said Edward Hunter, Head of Sales Solutions – India.

Here are some of the key takeaways  from the report:

Investment in sales technology on the rise

Close to three-quarters (71%) of sales professionals expect their company to invest more money on sales technology next year, the study stated. With sales tech on the rise, it’s no surprise that companies are pouring more resources into equipping their sales teams with these tools. Almost all sales professionals in India (94%) use sales technology to close more deals.

The study adds that 93% of modern sales professionals say they’re active on LinkedIn for business purposes, compared to other social media platforms such as YouTube (88%), Twitter (80%), and Instagram (79%).

Trust and personalization are key

Virtually all decision makers (98%) say they’re more likely to consider a brand’s products or services if the experience is personalized. For instance, if a sales professional has a clear understanding of their business needs (97%); if they are provided with personalized communications (95%); shares content relevant to their role (97%); or targets the appropriate people at their company for initial discussions (97%).

The study shows that decision makers are more likely to engage with sales when introduced through a mutual connection, particularly if the sales professional represents a strong brand. The influence of a strong brand (56%) ranked as the No. 1 factor cited by decision makers when choosing to engage with sales.

Also, as the Indian market thrives on relationship-based sales environment, trust is key to closing deals. Over 1 in 2 decision makers (55%) rank ‘Trust’ as the no.1 quality in a salesperson, and 32% sales professionals rank trust as the most important contributor in closing a deal – even above ROI (25%) and price (12%), says he LinkedIn report.

Sales and marketing divide diminishes

It is clear from the research that millennials are taking charge as nearly three-fourths (73%) millennials say that they anticipate spending more time this year on the use of sales technology, in comparison to 61% non-millennial sales professionals.

Millennials are eager to orchestrate marketing and sales efforts for better results. Millennials, who tend to outperform non-millennial sales professionals say they see excellent leads from marketing at 17% higher rates than non-millennials

Finally, with 59% of them saying that they work “very closely” with marketing, the top sales professionals in that generation are 11% more likely than their senior counterparts to spend more time working with marketing.

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