At AutoGrow, we’ve made some significant changes to our sales funnel in the last year, and the results have been astounding.
If you’ve been following our growth reports since we started them in January of this year, we’re averaging 80%+ monthly revenue growth—and I don’t expect it to stop there. In fact, I think we’re just scratching the surface.
In 6 months or a year, who knows where we’ll be. Watch and see! (next growth report coming in a few days…)
As a marketer yourself, you may think you’ve heard it all and it can be easy to feel cynical. Or perhaps, over-confident if business is going well with leads are rolling in…
But here’s the thing… No matter what stage you’re at:
There’s always room to grow.
Enjoying the game of marketing is about pushing to the next level.
In this post, I’m going to share research I’ve done over the past year—so you can take your own sales funnel “game” to the next level. Here are 40+ mind-blowing stats I’ve curated, right here, so you don’t have to look elsewhere.
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Lead Nurturing Stats
1.Sales people don’t know where to begin. 37% of marketers say the most challenging part of their job is prospecting, and without that crucial first step, it’s difficult to build a pipeline. If you find yourself in that position, check out our blog post How to Build a Sales Funnel That Actually Works—step 1 is all about creating awareness.
2. Good sales funnel leads to increased growth. According to Salesforce, a full 68% of companies have not identified or attempted to measure a sales funnel, and the same survey showed that a whopping 79% of marketing leads are never converted into sales. Coincidence? I think not. Without a working sales funnel, it’s near impossible to convert leads into sales.
3. Lead conversion should be your #1 priority. A 2018 survey by Hubspot revealed that only 69% of marketers feel their top priority should be converting leads into customers. No matter how good your pipeline is, marketing efforts are wasted if salespeople never follow up with prospects.
4. Follow-up is key. Answer questions, send quality emails, make yourself available, do whatever it takes to stay in front of your customer. Because nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. That’s HUGE.
5. This is important because… 96% of visitors to your website aren’t ready to buy anything (yet). That doesn’t mean that they’re never going to make a purchase—it just means that they’re not going to do it on their first visit. It’s important to create a way to keep track of them for continued communication.
6. Be persistent. 44% of salespeople give up after just one rejection. That’s well below the average of 5 attempts needed to make a sale. Use your sales funnel to keep track of contact attempts, and never quit before you reach that magic number.
7. The first horse out the gate wins. Well, that may or may not be true in horse racing, but it’s certainly true when it comes to marketing. 30–50% of sales are made by the first vendor to respond. Setting up automations—rather than relying on human contact—can help ensure your customers receive an immediate reply.
Digital Marketing Stats
8. If you’re not doing business online, you’re not doing business. A 2015 Google study showed that a full 89% of B2B researchers used the internet during their research process, and 81% of B2C shoppers do the same. This isn’t surprising in today’s internet-centric world, but that number is only going to keep growing.
9. Know your target audience. According to MarketingBlender, 73% of consumers report feeling frustrated when your website offers content (ads, promotions, etc.) that has nothing to do with them. Gone are the days of the hard sell—today’s customer wants relevant, useful information, and when you give them that, they’ll give you loyalty.
10. Put the important stuff up front. The average internet user spends a total of 37 seconds reading an article. That’s not 37 seconds before they decide if they want to keep reading, or 37 seconds before they click on a link—it’s 37 seconds TOTAL. Whatever you want to get across to your audience needs to be stated right up front, before they have the chance to move on and miss it.
11. Consistency is key. 63% of consumers need to hear a company’s claims 3–5 times before they actually believe them. That means being consistent with your branding. Don’t just throw an opt-in on your website and call it a day—share your message on your social media, your blog, and your newsletter, and share it often.
12. Ads are great, but don’t expect too much. According to PageFair, the global number of desktop and mobile devices that block ads grew to 142 million in 2017. While you should certainly still invest in paid advertising, don’t make it your only marketing channel.
13. Video is everything. According to Google, 70% of B2B buyers and researchers are watching videos throughout their path to purchase. Video is growing at a crazy rate, and if you’re not using it as part of your funnel, you’re missing out. Hosting live chats, doing product demos, and creating how-tos are some easy ways to get started.
14. Only half of businesses understand SEO. Despite the benefits of ranking well, a 2017 study by HigherVisibility revealed that only 254/500 businesses had even a basic understanding of SEO. Failure to understand these concepts can limit your ability to rank—and since most internet users won’t look beyond the first page of Google results, showing up is critical to success.
15. Blog. Not only is consistently putting out quality content great for SEO, but if your audience perceives it as valuable and useful information, they’ll come back more often. Before you get started, though, know this: not all blog posts are created equal. When it comes to search engines, they’re all about the long-form article—2,000 words or more seems to be the magic number.
16. Telephone is dead. Long live the internet. Only 2% of cold calls result in an appointment—all the more reason to expand your marketing reach beyond the handset. This, of course, doesn’t mean you should abandon telephone marketing all together, but it does mean you need to be strategic. See below for my thoughts on that.
Phone Marketing Stats for Selling Services
17. Slow and steady wins the race. If you’re like, well, almost everyone else, you coast until it’s do-or-die. That may work when it comes to filing your taxes or planning your summer vacation, but it doesn’t work for cold-calling. A study by Gong showed that sales reps who push all of their calls back to the last few weeks of the quarter have less success than those who keep it slow and steady all year long.
18. Don’t keep your prices a secret. Hubspot found that 56% of buyers want to discuss price in the first phone call—as they well should. Continuing the conversation is kind of pointless if they can’t even afford the product, right? (Note: I think this applies across the board, not just to phone calls. Clearly state your prices everywhere: website, landing pages, advertisements, etc.)
19. Don’t give up. It can take 18 or more calls before you actually connect with a prospect. If you don’t want to spend all that time on the phone (and you don’t want to pay someone else to do it), consider investing in auto-dialer technology. Just beware: many people dislike a computerized message and may not call back.
20. Be consultative—but not too consultative. Gong analyzed hundreds of thousands of discovery calls and determined this: those marketers that addressed 3–4 customer issues during the call (no more, no less!) closed 85% of the sales. Compare that to a 53% closure rate at 1 problem addressed, and a 69% rate at 5 problems addressed and, well, I think you know what you’ve got to do.
21. Have an open dialogue. Don’t talk at your customers, talk with them. The more back-and-forth conversation, the better your chances of closing the deal. At just over 3.5 speaker changes per minute, sales reps have a more than 75% rate of success.
22. Use positive language. In their analysis of over 500,000 sales conversations, Chorus found that high-performers use words such as “absolutely,” “definitely” and “certainly” in 1 out of 10 sentences. In addition, they have a far greater vocabulary in general than low performers, using 4,000+ different words in any 10-hour timeframe.
23. There is no “I” in team. Top performing sales reps are 10 times more likely to use the word “we,” versus “I” and “you.” Inclusive language displays a sense of empathy, and lets your prospects feel like you’re part of a team and you have their best interests at heart.
24. Keep it brief. One survey showed that the most effective voicemails are less than 15 seconds long. A telephone message is not the place to get into every last detail of your offer or proposal. Leave just enough information to entice the prospect into calling back—and then hang up.
Email Marketing Stats
25. Email marketing offers significant ROI. A 2017 study by MarketingBlender showed that email marketing yields a 2x greater ROI than telephone marketing—so if you’re not doing it yet, what are you waiting for?
26. Grow your list. On average, only 23.9% of sales emails are opened. This is why it’s important to constantly be growing your list. Think about it—with a roughly 24% open rate, if you only have 200 people on your list, that means only 48 of them are even opening your email. If, however, you have 2000 people on your list, 480 will see your message.
27. Stand out from the crowd. The average email user receives 147 emails per day, and deletes 71 of them right off the bat. This task takes them less than 5 minutes—clearly not long enough to even glance at any of those unfortunate trash messages. If you want to make the cut, you need to stand out.
28. The early bird gets the worm. Most people report wanting to read emails between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. This totally makes sense, because what’s the first thing everyone does upon waking? Grab their phone. Use an email marketing tool like Convertkit or MailChimp to schedule your messages appropriately, and get seen before they check out for the day.
29. Words matter. A study by Mashable showed that the most ineffective words to use in an email title are: confirm, join, assistance, speaker, press, social and invite. Weird, right? (What do you put in the subject line when you’re confirming an invitation to speak?) Apply, connect and payments are a few of the words you can use instead.
30. Don’t get too excited. A study by Boomerang showed that emails with all-caps subject lines had a significantly lower response rate—only 37%, compared to 50% for those with literally any other subject type. People just don’t like it when you shout at them.
31. KISS. Keep it simple, stupid. Another study by Boomerang showed that emails written at a 3rd grade reading level are optimal. Their response rate is an astounding 36% more than emails written at a college reading level, and 17% more than those written at a high school level.
32. Show emotion—but not too much. Emails that show a slight level of emotion (positive or negative) elicit 10–15% more responses than emails that are neutral. Experiment until you find that sweet spot. (Much of what can be deemed “appropriate” depends entirely on your particular target audience.)
33. Keep it brief. When it comes to sales pitches, the audience just wants you to get to the point. In fact, the ideal email length is just 50–125 words—not much longer than most of these blurbs. Make them any wordier, and you risk losing your reader’s attention (and the sale).
Social Selling Stats
34. You can’t afford to not be on social. Companies who sell on social have a far greater ROI—57% vs. 26%. If you’re one of those businesses that’s been resisting that new-fangled Facebook, it might be time to get over your fears.
35. Seriously—get on that. For those not on social, the likelihood of hitting goals is a full 40% less—38% vs. 78%. Why risk it?
36. For real, though… Adults aged 18–34 are most likely to follow a brand via social media. That means they’re not visiting your website, they’re not checking your blog, and they are most certainly not reading your email newsletter. If you’re not on social, they’re not going to see you—period.
37. Not being on social affects some more than others. While a social media presence benefits all businesses as a whole, several industries get more than 50% of their revenue from those channels—among them are computer and network security, computer software, marketing and advertising, and management consulting.
38. Social proof is essential. 55% of buyers report using word-of-mouth referrals (via social media) to make purchasing decisions. Encourage customers to share testimonials on their social media by offering an incentive for referred business.
39. Sales reps who use social media are more likely to meet their goals. 79% more likely, in fact. Some ways you can make social part of your funnel? Respond to comments and reviews, live chat with your audience, post informative content and videos, and share your CTA.
All the Other Stuff…
40. Time is of the essence. A study conducted by Harvard Business Review showed that firms who tried to contact a lead within an hour of receiving a query were almost 7 times more likely to close the sale.
41. Almost a quarter of all companies never respond to leads at all. The same study showed that over 24% of companies take over 24 hours to respond to a lead—and 23% never respond at all. Does anyone have so much money that they can just throw leads in the garbage? No, I don’t think so.
42. Don’t be afraid of technology. On average, high-growth teams have 5 different applications in their technology stack, including dialing automation, social applications and analytics tools. Automating processes takes a lot of the busy work off your plate, allowing you to concentrate more on fostering connections and building relationships.
43. Ask for referrals. According to one survey, customers referred by a friend are 4 times more likely to make a purchase. Interestingly, 91% of customers say they’d give a referral, but only 11% of sales people ask for one. If you’re not already offering a referral incentive, maybe it’s time to think about it.
44. In fact… 84% of buyers kick off the purchasing process via a referral from a friend. Seriously—how are you not taking advantage of this yet?
45. Fewer opportunities = missed goals. Let’s just chalk this one up to common sense—the fewer opportunities you have in your pipeline, the less likely you are to reach sales goals. A study from Hubspot showed that of all companies with fewer than 50 opportunities in their pipeline, a whopping 72% did not reach their goals for the month. From there, the failure rate dropped drastically—at just 51–100 prospects, only 15% of the surveyed companies did not meet their monthly revenue objective.
46. Keep current customers happy. Did you know that retaining current customers is 6–7 times less costly than acquiring new ones? That’s why your pipeline shouldn’t just focus on gaining new leads—a significant amount of effort should be directed at selling to people currently on the books.
Want to learn how to generate 1000s of your own fresh leads every month? Check out my Sales Funnel Blueprint to create your own hardworking sales funnel today.
- Growth begins with a good sales funnel. If yours isn’t up to par, now is the time to shape it up.
- Lead conversion should be at the top of your marketing list. It’s far easier to convert leads you already have than to go out and find new ones.
- Telephone marketing might be on the way out, but it can still offer some significant ROI (if you do it right).
- When it comes to email, the best thing you can do is grow your list. With a large book of quality contacts, you can make pretty much anything happen.
- If your business isn’t online, you’re missing out on sales. Period. The vast majority of all consumers today begin—and end—their search on the internet.
- Get on social media. Right now. Having a presence not only adds legitimacy to your business, but it allows customers to share testimonials and word-of-mouth referrals, greatly increasing your chances of making a sale.
The main takeaway from all of this?
Be on social, send out emails, have a great website, set up different landing pages…
Or, in other words:
Plan and create your sales funnel.
Did anything in the stats we shared surprise you? Did you recognize any mistakes you’re making in your own business? Do you now have a better understanding of what you can do to fix them?
Let us know in the comments how you might adjust your own approach to marketing.
Keep Hustlin’, Stay Focused,