Important Sales Tactics and Stats for Startups


According to Hubspot, 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up, but 80% of sales require five. Green salespeople, unaware of what separates them from the veteran sales team can be detrimental for a startup’s bottom line over the long haul. Selling is a company’s lifeblood, and some novice sellers are never learning what’s required of them other than rudimentary outreach to prospects.

In order to help combat these situations, I’ve compiled the most important concepts of a great sales department and bolstered them with statistics from Hubspot that all startup founders and sales teams should heed:

Have Patience and Follow Up

  • 63% of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least three months – and 20% will take more than 12 months to buy. – Marketing Donut

  • The optimal voicemail message is between 8 and 14 seconds. – Sales Hunter

Qualify Your Leads to Save Time and Money

  • Only 25% of leads are legitimate and should advance to sales.  – Gleanster Research

  • At any given time, only 3% of your market is actively buying. 56% are not ready, 40% are poised to begin. – Vorsight

  • 50% of sales time is wasted on unproductive prospecting. – B2B Lead

  • In a typical firm with 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in most buying decisions. – Gartner Group

Work in Tandem with the Marketing Department

  • Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts. – SilverPop/DemandGen Report

  • 68% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it. – iMedia

  • 82% of buyers viewed at least 5 pieces of content from the winning vendor. – Forrester

  • 38% of CMOs said that aligning and integrating sales and marketing was a top priority in 2014. – CMO Council

  • Organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing functions enjoyed 36% higher customer retention rates. – MarketingProfs

Research Your Customers’ Buying Behavior

  • 70% of people make purchasing decisions to solve problems. 30% make decisions to gain something. – Impact Communications

  • 95% of buyers chose a solution provider that “Provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process”  – DemandGen Report

  • Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. –

Evolve Your Outreach Strategies

  • Only 2% of cold calls result in an appointment. – Leap Job

  • In 2007 it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8 attempts. – TeleNet and Ovation Sales Group

  • Email marketing has 2X higher ROI than cold calling, networking or trade shows. – MarketingSherpa

  • 80% of calls go to voicemail, and 90% of first time voicemails are never returned. – RingLead

Maintain Current Customers And Ask for Referrals

  • Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25-95% – Bain and Company

  • 91% of customers say they’d give referrals. Only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals. – Dale Carnegie

  • Customers are 4x more likely to buy when referred by a friend. – Neilsen

Remember that it’s not just about statistics, it’s about what you learn from them. Numbers will change with time. Build a strategy that’s right for your business by using these numbers as a jumping off point to get your bearings and see where your sales team can improve by adopting different tactics.

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Joseph Peterson March 16, 2016, 1:24 pm

    Great job collecting all these interesting stats, as always, Mr. Z!

    Still, as for the opener – “44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up, but 80% of sales require five” … Personally I don’t want that last telemarketer calling me back 4 more times because he imagines I’ll say, “No. No. No. No. Yes.” Salespeople probably ought to give up early on in many cases.

  • Aaron Strong March 16, 2016, 2:21 pm

    The best sales tactic is HONESTY.

  • Edward Zeiden March 16, 2016, 3:44 pm

    Joseph, I entirely agree. I collected the stats from Hubspot and the tactics I inserted myself. Farther down the page I go into detail about how cold telemarketing is more of a dated means of outreach. If sales funnels are setup in a correct manner, those that show no interest should be ruled out immediately. That would also fall into the “qualifying leads” tactic that I outlined a bit. Those that may fall into other buckets in the sales funnel are the ones that should be pursued. If prices are too high, they’re not ready to buy at that moment, more information is required before a purchase, approvals are needed from another employee first, etc. These all warrant follow up contact. Aggressive calling after a “no” only hinders your brand and trust.

  • todd March 16, 2016, 3:45 pm


    He didn’t collect all these stats. He copied and pasted them from the original article. Here is the link back since he failed to put it in.

  • Movecon March 16, 2016, 9:27 pm

    Stats are only… stats – often misleading and worthless.
    Depending on how you set up your criteria, the results will vary wildly.

    Question: are those stats to be followed by the purveyors of domain names and fine wine, alike?

    • Morgan March 17, 2016, 8:09 pm

      @Movecon – good point and very true, these are generalizations and you are 100% correct, they definitely don’t apply across all industries.


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