Last year, sales professionals had their normal processes turned upside down very quickly due to the pandemic. In 2021, many of those changes are here to stay, according to LinkedIn’s 2021 State Of Sales Report.
Virtual selling became essential to business success, as it was the only way to engage with customers. Many buyers report they now prefer virtual selling, with 50 percent claiming that it has made purchasing easier for them. Despite 65 percent of sellers claiming they “always” prioritize the interests of the buyer, only 23 percent of buyers agree with this view.
There is significant room for growth when it comes to buyer behaviors, as only 39 percent of sales professionals claim their organization focuses their attention on buyers first. These sales behaviors may be responsible for holding back deals. Sellers must have accurate information and a great understanding of their situations.
86 percent of sales managers claim that the ability to adapt to change is more important in today’s world than it was five years ago. Change is something that sales teams are responsible for adapting to every day. With 67 percent of sales professionals reporting more challenges than expected with remote sales, the ability to adapt quickly is necessary.
As a way to adapt to change, sales professionals are turning to technology. According to the report, 77 percent of sales professionals plan to invest more resources into boosting sales intelligence tools.
Research also shows the growing reliance on social platforms such as LinkedIn. With 74 percent of sellers reporting they plan on expanding their LinkedIn networks in 2021.
“Overall, virtual selling has driven rapid digital transformation in sales.” Said Craig Rosenberg, Distinguished VP/Analyst, Gartner. “Early adopters were ready technologically for the sudden move to virtual, and now laggards are investing in technology infrastructure to support their reps. The early days of the pandemic were really the ultimate test.”