2013 State of the Sales Rep Report: Content Drives Effectiveness

November 08, 2013 | Marit Fratelli
2013 State of the Sales Rep Report: Content Drives Effectiveness

Today’s sales reps face a myriad of hurdles when it comes to preparing for, presenting at and following up after meetings. Some of the challenges are out of their hands (56% of reps have a problem with technology not functioning), while others can (and should!) be addressed with a strong sales enablement and content strategy (33% of reps frequently can’t find the sales materials they need, for example).

These are just a few of the results revealed in Brainshark’s 2013 State of the Sales Rep report. We surveyed 416 sales reps and managers on how they prepare, present and follow up in regards to meeting with prospects and clients. Download the full report, and browse below for details on some of the key findings:


Preparation: Content Poses Many Hurdles for Sales Reps

Common content problems for reps include difficulty finding the content they need (51%), finding out-of-date materials (41%), or even knowing if the content they have is the most current version (39%). Interestingly, only 28% felt that the content they were provided wasn’t relevant to their prospects and clients. This could mean that while the data shows that sales-marketing alignment could be improved, marketers in general are still doing a decent job of creating relevant resources for their sales teams.

This is an important point, as according to sales enablement solutions provider Profitable Channels, the quality and effectiveness of your sales content directly impacts overall effectiveness. Their new report, Effective Content Strategy: The Key to Sales Success, outlines ways to overcome various sales content challenges.

2013-state-of-the-sales-rep-report

Cool stats to share:

44% of sales reps prepare for meetings in the prospects’ parking lot (Click to tweet)

61% of sales reps are sometimes, rarely or never part of the content development process (Click to tweet)

Compliance alert! 76% of reps use sales materials from their own hard drives (Click to tweet)

Presenting: 50% of Reps Present without a Key Decision Maker in the Room

The number one presenting challenge that reps cite is that the key decision maker isn’t present during the meeting. As we all know, it’s kind of hard to move a sale forward without that person present. This was followed by Internet connection difficulties (45%) and customers taking the conversation in different directions (39%) as other common game day challenges.

2013-state-of-the-sales-rep-report

Cool stats to share:

50% of reps deliver sales presentations WITHOUT a key decision maker in the room (Click to tweet)

47% of reps would rather forget to wear underwear than not have their tablets for sales meetings (Click to tweet)

49% of reps now use iPads or other tablets to deliver sales presentations (Click to tweet)

Following Up: Email is Far and Away the Top Follow-Up Method

At 92%, email is easily the most popular way reps follow-up with prospects after meetings (though the 33% who admit to in-person follow-ups might be even more interesting). Other data shows that the majority of reps view a same-day response to those emails as a key indicator that the prospect is willing to buy.

2013-state-of-the-sales-rep-report

Cool stats to share:

92% of reps follow up with an email following a sales meeting, while 33% follow up in person (Click to tweet)

Content RULES – Only 17% of sales reps feel they lack appropriate follow-up materials to share w/ prospects (Click to tweet)

That’s not all, of course. View the full report for more details on areas such as:

  • Where and when reps prep for meetings (some of these answers might surprise you)

  • The primary tools reps use during sales meetings

  • The non-business settings where many sales meetings are held

  • The comedy of errors that have plagued some reps during presentations (from the hilarious to the downright embarrassing)

… and much, much more.

After reviewing the report, sound off in the comments and let us know what you think of the findings. Do you face similar challenges? We’d love to hear your input!

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