It’s near impossible to be effective in sales without the use of the internet these days. In the 2011 Sales Performance Study by CSO Insights, they researched how sales people were leveraging the internet to get their jobs done.

On average sales reps will spend 24.1% of their time each week on research and lead generation activities. It’s no wonder why sales people go to the internet for help when almost 10 hours a week is spent researching contacts and companies.

Top 12 Ways Sales Leverages the Internet  - CSO Insights

The important task of sales research.

The study found that sales research is still the most important activity of how sales people leverage the internet. This is a positive sign in the case that sales people are now at a tipping point when it comes to understanding that it’s more important to sell to people and not contacts. 77.2% of the sales people must be onto something that makes them better at selling.

Now look at the number of people leveraging the internet to actually move people through a sales cycle.

  • 56% conduct webinars
  • 48% of their time is in web based meetings
  • 46% are giving online demos

Sales leaders should be looking for ways to increase these numbers. The best way to do this is to help your sales team on how to be more effective in sales research and decrease the amount of time they spend in that area.

Two flavors of internet research

Companies fall into one of two buckets when it comes to enabling sales people with sales intelligence. Companies either empower their sales people with technology to aid in this effort or they expect a sales person to do all of this on their own. You can imagine what will have a better impact on a sales teams ability to generate more opportunities and increase revenue. The best in class companies which made up 61% of the businesses surveyed leveraged technology to conduct searches for sales reps while 37% left the work up to the individual sales rep.

Spending 10 hours a week on research obviously takes a toll on winning more deals. Though research is important, companies should be looking at ways to increase the amount of time sales people are actually selling.

 

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