The State of Sales: Brazil
July 25, 2019
The use of intelligent sales technology is becoming increasingly important for small, medium and large businesses. This finding is a crucial takeaway from LinkedIn’s Brazil State of Sales report.
A few figures from the State of Sales report demonstrate the powerful nature of this trend in Brazil: 77% of salespeople say they spend more time using this type of technology today than two years ago. Additionally, 95% of respondents say sales technology plays an important or extremely important role in acquiring new customers.
In this era of rapid and profound transformation, LinkedIn’s State of Sales report confirms that there is a significant shift in the profile of sellers and decision makers and in the very nature of the sales transaction.
Sales professionals are increasingly in demand and need to develop new skills to excel in a tough market. Almost four in five salespeople (78%) believe that their companies will invest more heavily in technology this year. This kind of investment is an effective way for an organization to keep a competitive edge.
Intelligent sales platforms, such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and social and professional networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, are an efficient means of reaching customers and closing new deals, especially in the B2B market. Benefits include increased productivity, lower costs, lead generation, and the collection of valuable data that impact decision making.
To be a successful professional today, it is essential to be well prepared, to reach potential clients at scale, and, at the same time, engage them with a more personal touch — combining technology and empathy. For 95% of buyers, a good salesperson must have a clear understanding of customer needs, in addition to personalized communication.
1. Technology Grows in Importance for Salespeople
For sales professionals, all kinds of technological tools, such as software that helps improve productivity and the collection of customer data, are important to the sales process. No respondents at all said that they could do their job without this type of technology. Of this group, 72% consider this kind of technology “very important.”
Among the most often cited sales technologies are the collaborative platforms (68%), networking platforms (67%), and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms (59%).
Compared to previous years of the report, there has been a significant increase in the use of all these tools. When asked about how often they use technology platforms at work, 77% responded that they use them more often than in 2017.
Using technology as a strategic way to close new sales is a practice adopted by 98% of salespeople. As a result, salespeople say their organizations are investing more and more in this area.
The social network LinkedIn and its Sales Navigator tool were listed among the top five most-used platforms by professionals interviewed in the State of Sales survey. Two out of every three respondents (66%) mentioned LinkedIn first. LinkedIn Sales Navigator, for its part, showed impressive growth: it appeared as an option for 45% of salespeople surveyed, compared to 22% from the previous year.
Both CRM tools and sales-driven intelligent platforms are used by sales professionals with increasing frequency. Ninety-three percent of salespeople say that CRM solutions play an “important” or “very important” role when closing a deal. And more than 60% of them spend up to five hours per week with these tools.
2. Smart Tools Make Sales Processes More Efficient
But why has the use of smart tools become more frequent and more important for salespeople and buyers in recent years? According to the professionals who participated in the survey, these tools help make the sales process more efficient, productive, profitable, and tailored.
Here are some of the key benefits that salespeople identified in using digital platforms:
- Build a stronger relationship with customers and prospects: 65%
- Connect more authentically with new customers: 64%
- Build a stronger brand: 62%
- Close more sales within the company: 61%
- Receive insights at the right time to connect with customers: 56%.
- Efficiency: 43%
- Ability to close more sales and generate more revenue: 40%
- Improved productivity: 33%
- Flexibility: 30%
- Ability to build more consistent relationships with customers and prospects: 29%
- Cost reduction: 24%
3. The Power of Social Media
Social platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and WhatsApp have become important allies of salespeople when they need to find information about a customer, follow the activity of a company, or even close a sale.
Here’s a cross-section of data from the report that indicates how crucial social media has become for salespeople:
- 67% of sales professionals say that they use social platforms in their day-to-day work.
- When asked about their importance to closing deals, 96% of them consider the use of this type of technology important or very important.
- 65% of salespeople say they use LinkedIn as an aide in sales.
Buyers and sellers are increasingly active in these digital exchange environments. Forty-five percent of salespeople say that they monitor prospects and company all the time; and 40% say that they monitor most of the time.
Buyers also rely on social networks to research companies and sales professionals. According to the survey, 39% of buyers always seek information on this type of media (LinkedIn and Twitter, for example), and 33% say they are more likely to get in touch with a salesperson who has an online profile on any of them.
4. Working Together: Marketing and Sales Unite to Drive Business
When there’s harmony between the marketing department and the sales team, it is a game changer for the performance of a company. The State of Sales report shows that salespeople believe that marketing plays a central role in helping to close deals, whether generating good leads or collecting valuable data.
More than 80% of respondents consider that marketing plays a “large” role in closing deals. When we analyzed just top performers (professionals who have surpassed their targets by at least 25%), this rate increases to 92% of salespeople.
In prospecting new customers, more than 90% of salespeople said they worked closely with the marketing team. Additionally, 59% stated that they work more closely with marketing today than in previous years.
Aligning communication between these two departments gives buyers a sense of security and trust. In the survey, 61% of buyers stated that consistency in the language used by the marketing and sales departments was very important when offering a product across different channels.
Additionally, 83% of buyers said they have experienced situations in which the messages from the two departments are different all or most of the time.
These indicators reinforce how important it is for companies to entrust and invest in strategies that unite the two departments around the same commitments and goals.
5. Empathy for and Knowledge of Their Business Is Crucial for Buyers
From a buyer’s perspective, certain aspects are crucial for the sales professional to get their business. The sales professional, in the buyer’s view, should:
- Have a clear understanding of customer needs (95%).
- Have a clear understanding about the role of the buyer (95%).
- Reach the right audience (96%).
- Tailor their communication (95%).
When asked about what influences the choice of provider and the solution offered by the sales professional, buyers once again stress the importance of knowing the needs of their company.
For 56% of them, it is of paramount importance that the salesperson is informed about the characteristics of the business; 32% said they would not deal with professionals who are unaware of their real needs.
Buyers also pointed out what qualities they consider most important in a salesperson. The three most frequent responses are reliability (53%), transparency (46%) and level of specialty in their area of expertise (40%).
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