LinkedIn eBook: Discover How Singapore’s Top Sellers are Closing Deals

We sought after the best B2B sales professionals out there so we can find out how they smash quotas. For the first time ever, we’ve created a report that’s specific for sales professionals in Singapore.

LinkedIn eBook: Discover How Singapore's Top Sellers are Closing Deals
LinkedIn eBook: Discover How Singapore’s Top Sellers are Closing Deals

What’s inside:

  • Discover what gives sales professionals a competitive edge in Singapore
  • Find out what’s the No. 1 factor in closing deals
  • Take a look at what’s contributing to the success of millennial sellers
  • And much more!

Empower your sales teams with The State of Sales 2019 – Singapore Edition.

Content Summary

Executive Summary: 5 key findings in Singapore
Sales technology is the x factor for closing deals
Sales technology is ineffective without a human touch
The sales and marketing divide diminishes
Millennials are eager to orchestrate marketing and sales efforts
Trust is the top indicator for sales success
Conclusion

Executive Summary: 5 key findings in Singapore

  1. Technology gives sales professionals a competitive edge. More than four in five (83%) of sales professionals use sales technology to close more deals. Top sales performers see sales technology as “very important” to help close deals at a 42% higher rate than their peers.
  2. Decision makers expect understanding and human connection. Virtually all decision makers (95%) say they’re more likely to consider a brand’s products or services if sales professionals have a clear understanding of their business needs.
  3. Marketing and sales orchestration helps close deals, but data silos remain. The top sales professionals are working more closely with marketing and seeing better results, but there’s room for improvement. Only 22% of sales professionals report a significant overlap in the data used by marketing and sales to target leads.
  4. Millennials are eager to orchestrate marketing and sales efforts. Eighty-one percent of millennials say they see good or excellent leads from marketing at 10% higher rates than GenXers and Baby Boomers.
  5. Without trust, fewer deals close. Sales professionals rank trust as the No. 1 factor in closing deals (31%)—above ROI and price—and 54% of decision makers rank trust as the top factor they desire in a salesperson.

Sales technology is the x factor for closing deals

Businesses are increasingly investing in sales technology. In particular, sales teams are turning to cloud-based software to accelerate productivity, gather contextual details about customers and automate tedious tasks.

More than four in five of sales professionals (83%) use technology to close more deals. Of this group, 99% consider sales technology “very important” or “important.” The majority of sales professionals (59%) say they’re spending more time using technology. Looking at CRM adoption alone, 68% of sales professionals’ report that they use CRM applications.

With sales technology on the rise, it’s no surprise that companies are pouring more resources into equipping their sales teams with these tools. About 60% of sales professionals expect their companies to invest more in sales technology in the next year.

Why do top sales professionals find value in using sales technology?
Sales professionals found that using sales technology enabled them to be more efficient in their jobs (23%) and that it increased their ability to close more deals (20%). The difference is in the top sales professional group where they found the ability to close more deals as a top benefit (22%) rather than supporting work efficiency in their roles (18%). The reverse can be seen with those not in the top group. Efficiency rated higher (26%) as compared to their increased ability to close more deals (15%).

Why do top sales professionals find value in using sales technology?
Why do top sales professionals find value in using sales technology?

80% of sales professionals say they’re most active on LinkedIn for business purposes, compared to social media platforms like Facebook (81%), YouTube (71%), Instagram (70%), and Twitter (67%).

Technology usage across multiple platforms:

  • 68%: More than half of sales professionals (68%) use CRM applications like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics
  • 57%: use collaboration tools like Box, Google Docs, Microsoft Office and Dropbox
  • 60%: use networking platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook
  • 61%: use enterprise communication platforms like Salesforce Chatter, Slack, and Twitter

Sales technology is ineffective without a human touch

Personal connection matters. As beloved B2C brands have conditioned everyone to expect highly personalized recommendations, content and personalized interactions, decision makers have embraced similar expectations of the B2B path to purchase. Conventional sales approaches don’t stack up—buyers now find them cold, impersonal and obviously automated.

As a result, decision makers are more likely to consider a brand’s products or services when the experience is personalized, for instance if a sales professional has a clear understanding of their business needs (95%) or their role (93%); shares content relevant to their role (91%); provides personalized communications (91%); or targets the appropriate people at their company for initial discussions (91%).

Decision makers are more likely to engage with sales when introduced through a mutual connection, particularly if the sales professional represents a strong brand. A well-known company with a strong professional brand was the No. 1 factor (54%)cited by decision makers when choosing to engage with sales.

Which factors most influence decision makers in an initial engagement?

  • 54%: Representing a well-known company with a strong professional brand
  • 48%: Mentioning the sales professional’s company and product solutions
  • 44%: Providing specific information relevant to their current job
  • 21%: Referencing a common hobby
  • 18%: Referencing a similar education background
  • 44%: of decision makers say websites are a company’s top asset influencing purchasing decisions

Decision makers are least likely to engage with sales professionals who lack knowledge about their company (79%) and whose products or services are irrelevant to their company (75%).

Online first impressions matter. Forty-four percent of decision makers say a company’s website is the top marketing asset influencing their purchasing decisions; 68% say it’s in their top two considerations.

Which top marketing assets most influence purchasing decisions?

  • 5%: eBooks
  • 6%: blogs
  • 8%: webinars
  • 10:% videos
  • 32%: events
  • 44%: website

The sales and marketing divide diminishes

Sales and marketing are starting to work more closely together, benefiting both sales professionals and decision makers alike. Fifty-one percent of sales executives say they work more closely with marketing than in past years. Overall, those who say they work “very closely” or “closely” with marketing forms more than 90% of sales professionals.

Top sales professionals have a stronger relationship with their marketing counterparts. They are 7% more likely to say they work “very closely” or “closely” with marketing in prospecting efforts than their peers.

On a scale of one (a very small role) to 10 (a very big role), 68% of the top sales professionals rate marketing’s importance in closing deals at an eight or above, while 57% of their average counterparts say the same.

Still, the data divide remains. While many sales and marketing teams are keen to partner more closely, data is often siloed in the technology platforms used by each function. Only 22% of sales professionals say they see significant overlap in the data used by marketing and sales to target prospects.

To what degree does marketing and sales data overlap to target leads?

  • 22%: Lots of overlap
  • 52%: Some overlap
  • 23%: Little or no overlap

This misalignment could contribute to the quality of leads sales professionals say they receive from marketing. Only 32% say leads from marketing are excellent and 45% say they’re good.

Marketing and sales misalignment impacts brand perception. Ninety percent of decision makers say consistent marketing and sales language about a product is “very important” (36%) or “important” (54%).

Nearly half (51%) say they often or always experience different messaging from sales and marketing when learning about a solution.

Millennials are eager to orchestrate marketing and sales efforts

In sales technology, both Gen Xers and millennials are eager to orchestrate sales and marketing efforts with the former recording a higher use of sales intelligence tools (64% vs 46% millennials). The opposite can be seen with millennials dominating the use of productivity apps (47% vs 31% Gen Xers).

A tight-knit relationship with marketing is paying off for millennials, who tend to outperform Generation X and Baby Boomer sales professionals.

On a scale of 1-10 (1 being small), 80% of millennials gave a favourable 7-10 rating on how big a role they think marketing plays in helping close a deal as compared to 62% of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

Eighty-one percent of millennials say they see good or excellent leads from marketing at 10% higher rates than GenXers and Baby Boomers.

Millennials credit a larger portion of their success to sales technology.
Across various types of sales technologies, more millennials credit CRM softwares, automated prospecting and buyer insights in helping them achieve their sales quotas.

Millennials credit a larger portion of their success to sales technology.
Millennials credit a larger portion of their success to sales technology.

Millennials are recognising higher marketing and sales orchestration as compared to others. About 19% more millennials say that there is ‘some or lots of overlap in data’ their marketing team uses to target and the data their sales team use to prospect. About 16% more millennials say they overlap in audience.

When thinking about using sales technology during the sales cycle, millennials rated work efficiency (24%) as the No. 1 in importance relating to the sales process. GenXers and Baby Boomers say the ability to build stronger relationships with prospects and customers (24%) as most beneficial and the ability to close more deals as a close second (23%).

Trust is the top indicator for sales success

It’s more important than ever for sales professionals to earn and maintain trust as consumer skepticism of big brands peaks.

Thirty-one percent rank trust as the most important contributor to closing a deal—even above ROI of the product or service (25%) and price (19%). An additional 22% rank trust second. Trust was number one for both the top sales group as well as the others.

Fifty-four percent of decision makers rank trust as the No. 1 factor they desire in a salesperson, followed by responsiveness (50%), expertise in the field (42%), problem solving (41%) and transparency (36%).

Sales professionals earn high marks from buyers
When asked how they perceive sales professionals they work with, decision makers “strongly agree” or “agree” sales professionals are:

  • 95%: Professional
  • 90%: Well informed about their industry
  • 90%: Well informed about their company

65%: Two-thirds (65%) of decision makers feel the sales professionals they work with are essential partners 65% all or most of the time (16% and 49%, respectively).

Conclusion

Today’s selling landscape comes with heightened consumer expectations and skepticism—without a personalized purchasing experience, you’ll quickly lose buyers’ interest.

That’s why it’s important to implement a modern selling strategy: tap into technology to scale, lean into marketing to align insights, but don’t forget real human connections are irreplaceable. Top sales professionals are closing more deals on a foundation of trust; relationships are still at the heart of selling.

This approach will enable you to better target prospects, personalize experiences and meet buyers’ expectations, today and in the future.

Source: LinkedIn: The State of Sales 2019 Singapore Edition