LinkedIn has published its latest 'State of Sales' report, which looks at how buyers and sellers are adjusting their strategies as a result of COVID-19, and how that relates to your marketing approach.
The report is based on responses from over 400 buyers as well as 400 salespeople and sales managers in each region, which has enabled LinkedIn to put together dedicated 'State of Sales' updates for North America, Asia Pacific, Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the UK.
You can download the full report for the US and Canada here (with e-mail sign-up), with other regions coming soon - but here's a look at some of the key findings for the North American market.
First off, LinkedIn highlights seven key trends that are influencing the future of sales, which reflect the significant market shift as a result of the pandemic.
As you can see here, the main focus is on remote work, and adjusting processes to adapt to this new normal. While the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out is now well underway in many regions, the view is that while many people are able to work effectively from home, they will also increasingly want to do so, which changes the game in terms of maximizing sales performance.
But the remote workforce also comes with challenges - according to the data, 67% of sales managers are experiencing unexpected difficulties in maximizing efficiency through remote teams.
This could lead to more businesses pushing for a return to the office - but as you can see above, it also conflicts with increasing employee sentiment, which is in favor of remote work.
That will lead to a range of new challenges, with respect to process improvement, training, management re-assessment and more.
The report also looks at rising trends and expectations within the selling process, and how those expectations vary between buyers and sellers.
These are some important notes for those looking to improve their sales process, and could have significant implications for your strategies.
The report also outlines what buyers and sellers see as major deal breakers in 2021.
Again, these are some valuable notes, and it's worth checking out the responses in order to get a better understanding of the evolving marketplace, and how you should be looking to align your strategies with these shifts.
And of course, LinkedIn usage is a key focus:
"On the sales side, almost three-quarters (74%) of sellers say they are committed to expanding their LinkedIn network in 2021. More than half (51%) of sellers say they plan to write many more articles for LinkedIn this year.
Additionally, 40% say they are sharing “much more” third-party content, 36% say they are sharing “much more”
of their own company’s content, and 34% say they are interacting (sharing, liking, and commenting) with “much
I mean, it's a LinkedIn report, it's going to focus on LinkedIn specifically. But with the platform reporting ongoing increases in user engagement, it is worth taking note of these trends, and considering whether there may be increased value in boosting your LinkedIn presence and activity.
LinkedIn also provides some platform-specific pointers for salespeople:
"Our data indicates that having a complete LinkedIn profile could increase your chances of meeting or exceeding your sales targets by more than 2X, and it can increase InMail acceptance rates by as much as 87%."
There are some interesting notes here, and it's worth having a look over the full 47-page report if you're looking for ways to optimize your sales and marketing process, with a focus on LinkedIn.
You can download LinkedIn's full 'State of Sales 2021' report for the US and Canada here.