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After Hybrid workplace, it’s the era of Hybrid selling: LinkedIn State of Sales APAC 2022

81% of buyers in India agree that working remotely is making buying easier.

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, announced the launch of the sixth edition of its State of Sales APAC 2022 report to understand how the pandemic and the rise of remote work accelerated the proliferation of sales technology. Based on the responses of 750 buyers and 750 sellers in India, survey findings reveal top 3 emerging trends that are shaping the future of sales in India:

  • The pandemic disrupted the sales process — permanently and positively.

  • The continued rise of sales technology and data-driven selling

  • Top performers are thriving due to their intelligent use of technology

“Over the past two years, the rise of remote work has accelerated the use of technology across industries. Our data shows that three-quarters (73%) of sellers in India today are relying on sales technology at least once a week – which clearly means that data is driving the future of sales. By empowering sales teams with accurate real-time data, tech is helping sellers enhance their outreach, gain valuable customer insights, and build better experiences,” said Abhai Singh, Head, LinkedIn Sales Solutions for India.

The pandemic disrupted the sales process — permanently and positively

In today’s predominantly digital era, 4 in 5 (81%) buyers in India feel that remote work has made buying easier today. Sellers too have felt this pull, with every 1 in 5 (22%) clocking deals worth $500,000 or above without ever meeting the buyer in-person. With the number of sales professionals without any remote work experience dropping to one-fourth during the pandemic, it is evident that remote working is here to stay.

The survey indicates younger sales professionals are placing a higher emphasis on soft skills, so they can develop closer relationships with their buyers or clients and close better deals. The survey also reveals that the ability to build trust is the #1 most important factor for closing deals among younger (under 35 years) sales professionals (21%), as compared to older (over 35 years) professionals who prioritise metrics like ROI (16%) and price (17%).

The continued rise of sales technology and data-driven selling

Companies are increasing their appetite for data-based insights to better gauge buyer intent and drive greater sales. This is especially true amidst the ongoing Great Reshuffle when buyers and sellers are constantly considering shifting roles. In fact, more than 8 in 10 (84%) sales professionals in India have lost at least one deal to an important decision maker changing roles in the past year alone. Therefore, access to the right intel has become mission-critical for sales functions across the board.

To avoid these repercussions, 3 in 4 (73%) sellers in India are now using sales tech at least once a week to get access to accurate real-time data, indicating the growing preference for CRM systems and sales intelligence tools in the industry. Findings also suggest that younger (under 35 years) professionals are leading this tech-savvy shift, given that they are 1.2x more likely to use CRM tools for 3+ hours in a week as compared to their older (over 35 years) counterparts.

But as more businesses turn to tech, sales managers must seek ways to deal with the impending challenge of ‘dirty data’, with 2 in 5 sellers (46%) and CRM users (38%) identifying incomplete and inaccurate data as their largest data challenge.

Top performers are thriving due to their intelligent use of technology

With 4 in 5 (83%) top performers (those reaching 150% quota or more) in India admitting to always putting the buyer first, it is evident that customer experience is dominating their minds – and tech is becoming fundamental to this pursuit. By helping them understand buyer behaviour, sales technology is allowing sellers to add value and maximise the experience for their customers. According to the survey, over 2 in 5 younger (under 35 years) sales professionals today are driving customer experience by using data more often for defining buying committees (42%) and targeting accounts more likely to buy on the basis of geolocations (43%).

The report further reveals that top performers are also more likely to leverage these insights more often than other sellers. More than 8 in 10 (83%) top performers in India trust conducting research before reaching out to prospective buyers. This reinforces the central role that data-led research is set to play in driving new and improved customer experiences in the future.

To know more about how the evolving sales landscape is gearing up for change, read the full report here.

LSS - State of Sales APAC 2022 edition.pdfDownload
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