2021 B2B Sales Survey: Remote Sales Teams Embrace Automation to Manage Increased Workloads and Hit Sales Goals
Groove recently surveyed 765 sales professionals to examine the impact of remote working on B2B sales teams over the past 12 months and compiled the results for a new industry report.
Research from “The New Normal: B2B Sales and Digital Transformation 2021” examines the impact of COVID-19 on B2B sales teams and how technology has helped them adapt to a remote-selling environment.
When B2B sales professionals were asked about the top sales technologies that have helped them work more effectively in a remote environment, CRM systems (87%) led the pack, followed by the ubiquitous web-conference platforms (84%) that we are too well familiar with after a full year of remote work. Most notably, sales engagement platforms (75%) rounded out the top three, pushing remote collaboration tools (71%) to fourth place. These four sales technologies are vastly more popular than other technologies, including social networks (51%), data sources (40%), conversational intelligence (29%), and sales enablement (13%).
The survey also revealed the importance of maximizing the productivity of B2B sellers in a remote working environment. Over 50% of respondents said their workloads have increased post COVID-19, while only 2% have seen a decrease in their workload.
To compound matters, it is clear that most sales teams won’t be returning to a pre-COVID selling environment anytime soon. Less than 6% of those surveyed are taking in-person meetings today and over 60% of respondents indicated that they won’t resume in-person meetings until the fourth quarter of this year or 2022 and beyond.
With increased workloads from remote working that will likely extend into 2022 and beyond, it’s not too surprising to learn that nearly half of the respondents have increased their use of sales automation technology to maximize productivity and collaboration.
Fortunately, the accelerated digital transformation and adoption of sales automation brought on by COVID-19 is having a positive impact on productivity. More than 55% of respondents said that they are more productive with remote working.
In addition to being more productive, over 81% of respondents indicated they have either delivered or outperformed on their goals as a result. While it was difficult for 17% of respondents, only 1% were unable to hit their sales goals. The survey also found that remote working has enabled more than a third of B2B sales professionals to generate more revenue.
While no one knew what kind of impact remote working would have on B2B sales at the onset of the pandemic, it’s clear that the accelerated digital transformation it brought about will have a lasting impact on sales teams.
In this new normal, B2B sales teams are relying heavily on sales automation to close deals and achieve revenue goals. The productivity, collaboration, and visibility provided by sales engagement platforms have earned them a permanent spot in the sales tech stack alongside the other three most popular sales technologies: CRM systems, web conferencing platforms, and remote collaboration tools.
“One year into our nationwide shutdown, it has become apparent that widespread remote work is here to stay,” said Chris Rothstein, co-founder and CEO of Groove. “The B2B sales landscape has changed dramatically, with industries that have been slower to adopt technology embracing digital transformation as a result. Companies are leaning into the uncertain economic outlook and are embracing the reduced costs and productivity gains that they’ve achieved over the past year with automation.”
Get the Full Survey Results and Analysis
You can access additional research findings and analysis in the new sales industry report: “The New Normal: B2B Sales and Digital Transformation 2021.”