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Sales and marketing divide diminishes as millennials lead the charge: LinkedIn survey

The first State of Sales 2019 India report reveals how tech is transforming the sales landscape in India.

LinkedIn launched its first The State of Sales 2019 India report to understand the sales landscape in India better. Market Cube, a research panel company, conducted two online surveys from October 23 to November 13, 2018. For 2018, two sample groups were surveyed, representing both sales professionals and decision makers. The first was a sample of 500 professionals from India who primarily work in B2B sales. The second was a sample of 502 business decision-makers from India who have influence over purchasing decisions at B2B companies. Both samples included respondents over 21-years-old who are employed at companies of different sizes and functions. The report also references a group of "top sales professionals" who are defined as those who exceed their sales target by at least 25 per cent.

The B2B focussed report shows that businesses are looking at investing more in sales technology in the coming year as real-time customer insights and personalisation give sales professionals a competitive edge. In fact, close to three-quarters (71 per cent) of surveyed sales professionals said they expect their company to invest more money on sales technology next year. The survey revealed that almost all sales professionals (94 per cent) use technology to close more deals. In particular, sales teams are turning to cloud-based software to accelerate productivity, gather contextual details about customers and automate tedious tasks.

In India, as consumer scepticism of big brands peak, earning and maintaining trust is the most important, the survey found. It states that 55 per cent of decision-makers rank trust as the No. 1 factor in closing deals. The report also finds that millennials are quicker than other age groups in using technologies and strategies and are leading the charge on diminishing the sales and marketing divide.

Here are the key findings from The State of Sales 2019 India Report

Sales and marketing divide diminishes as millennials lead the charge: LinkedIn survey

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1. Businesses are increasingly investing in sales technology

• 93 per cent of modern sales professionals say they're active on LinkedIn for business purposes, compared to other social media platforms such as YouTube (88 per cent), Twitter (80 per cent) and Instagram (79 per cent).

Sales and marketing divide diminishes as millennials lead the charge: LinkedIn survey

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2. Along with trust, human touch and personalisation are key

• Virtually all decision-makers (98 per cent) say they're more likely to consider a brand's products or services if the experience is personalised. For instance, if a sales professional has a clear understanding of their business needs (97 per cent); if they are provided with personalised communication (95 per cent); shares content relevant to their role (97 per cent); or targets the appropriate people at their company for initial discussions (97 per cent).

• Decision-makers are more likely to engage with sales when introduced through a mutual connection, particularly if the sales professional represents a strong brand. The influence of a strong brand (56 per cent) ranked as the No. 1 factor cited by decision-makers when choosing to engage with sales.

Sales and marketing divide diminishes as millennials lead the charge: LinkedIn survey

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3. Sales and marketing divide diminishes as millennials lead the charge

• 73 per cent millennials say that they anticipate spending more time this year on the use of sales technology, in comparison to 61 per cent of non-millennial sales professionals

• With 59 per cent of them saying that they work "very closely" with marketing, the top sales pros in that generation are 11 per cent more likely than their senior counterparts to spend more time working with marketing.

Read the full report here.