SalesTech Star

Pipedrive’s State of Sales Report: Despite Pandemic, Sales Professionals Became More Successful and Satisfied

Pipedrive, the leading CRM for sales and marketing teams, today released its annual State of Sales report, featuring key insights from global research on the perceptions, implications, and unexpected opportunities for the industry. New research finds that almost half of sales professionals (49%) became more satisfied in 2020, and with only 12% experiencing a decrease in their satisfaction, the data suggests that the pandemic has been an opportunity for salespeople to show their worth, which is reflected both in their increased job success and satisfaction, as well as in their positive attitudes to the contribution that sales could have to economic recovery in 2021. 

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“The pandemic has had a profound impact on the way we understand working, as well as increased the risk for work-related stress and burnout. It’s interesting to see that most sales professionals, who tend to work long hours and weekends, adapted to the new situation relatively well and feel optimistic,” said Jeff Heckler, Global Head of Customer Success, Pipedrive. “Sales has always been a difficult field to work in—even before the pandemic. It is not just about selling skills, rather it is a mixture of experience, knowledge, problem-solving, empathy, and communication. It’s quite possible that extensive experience and skill sets in so many different areas helped sales professionals to cope with the new situation faster and more easily.” 

A year of opportunities for salespeople 

More than a year ago when the pandemic hit, the global 2019-2020 State of Sales survey echoed a troubling trend for workers everywhere, suggesting that over two-thirds (70%) of sales professionals were feeling underappreciated in the business world and at risk of burnout. This newest State of Sales report indicates that almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents work over 40 hours a week and 83% at least sometimes work weekends. However, this extra effort is paying off, as 59% of salespeople believe they became more successful at sales in 2020. 

After the initial turbulence at the beginning of the pandemic, 2020 proved to be a year of opportunities for salespeople, with 81% of respondents saying that they expect an increase in their sales in 2021. Almost all of salespeople (92%) believe that their role will have a positive impact on the economy in 2021, and over three-quarters report that sales will be either important (24%) or very important (54%) to the recovery of the economy.

How working from home impacted the industry 

Unsurprisingly, six in ten (60%) sales professionals stated that the place they work from the most has changed over the past year, with 41% of sales professionals mostly working from home. Compared to 2019, there was an 18% increase in the number of English-speaking respondents working from home, and a 10% decrease in those working from an open-plan office. 

Even though the majority of sales professionals have coped well with the change, there is a slight difference in success rates for those working from home vs.elsewhere. The working week has also spread out for people who are working from home, with a higher percentage of this group saying they work weekends. Overall, however, people working from home are working fewer hours.

The right training and CRM technology leads to success

The vast majority of respondents (88%) are regularly working on improving their soft skills, which is helping them to be more successful. Those who regularly work on soft skills are 11% more likely to usually or always hit their regular sales quota. Lastly,  individuals who use technology and automation tools for lead generation are 26% more likely to have reached their annual sales target last year.

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