Sales in Business-to-Business is quickly changing. Sales managers will not disappear, but many are struggling to adapt. Technology is making gains in sales controlling. Buyers have a wealth of information at their fingertips. Today, customers place a lot of their B2B purchases online.

How did we get here? Let’s review together some interesting facts and statistics about sales in B2B.

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1. There are 68 % more sales people per manager

Are you stressed as a manager? No surprise. In 2010 there was one manager per 1.7 people employed in services & sales (EU28). In 2015, this proportion grew to 2.9, a surprising 68 % increase (45 % in Germany).

Source: Eurostat. Employment by sex, age, professional status and occupation.

[bctt tweet=”There are 68 % more sales people per manager – feeling the pain?”]


2. 89 % of B2B buyers use the internet for their purchase

By now, this should be common knowledge. 89 % of the B2B buyers use internet for vendor selection. Same as anyone would do in a private sphere, purchasers research online before contacting sales. This per the 2014 B2B Path to Purchase Study conducted by Google/Millward Brown Digital.

Source: Navigating the new path to purchase – Millward Brown Digital

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3. Three in four enterprises in Germany uses social media for B2B sales

We tend to believe Germany lags in modern trends. However, already three in four companies use social media for B2B sales. A 2016 Survey of sales and marketing managers in B2B in Germany found that 75 % of them supports their sales activities with social media.

Source: Statista – Survey of Social media as B2B sales support in Germany.

[bctt tweet=”Three in four enterprises in Germany uses social media for B2B sales”]


4. 78 % of SMEs are already investing in data analysis

No organisation will survive the next decade, without using the power of Big Data & Analytics. Fortunately, a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Accenture and SAP in August 2014 found that from 526 B2B companies in Canada, US, UK, France, and Germany, 78 % of them are already investing in analytics.

Source: Forrester Consulting – Building The B2B OmniChannel Commerce Platform Of The Future



5. Today’s sales process takes 22 % longer than five years ago

Are you a sales manager under pressure? Do you believe that your customers are taking longer and longer to make up their minds? Well, you are not alone. Accounting to the American statistics website Biznology, a sales decision today takes on average 22 % longer than they did five years ago.

Source: Biznology – 37 facts on the future of Social Selling vs. Cold Calling

[bctt tweet=”Today’s sales process takes 22 % longer than five years ago”]


6. There are 8 % more sales controllers per sales manager and the trend is accelerating

Not much of a surprise neither. With more data, companies need more resources to analyse it. In the past years, the average number of sales controllers per each sales manager kept going up. Using data from the employment agency in Germany, by an 8 %. Studies in other OECD countries indicate a similar trend. In the USA for example, the number of management analysts is growing at an annual 14 %, almost three times faster than the growth of sales managers.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – Management Analysts
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – Sales Managers | Sozialversicherungspflichtig und geringfügig Beschäftigte nach der ausgeübten Tätigkeit der Klassifikation der Berufe (KldB 2010)


7. Half of all B2B purchases will be made directly online by 2021

If your company does not support an online channel, is time to get worried. B2B buyers expect to make around of 50 % of their purchases online, without the intervention of a sales rep.

Source: Forbes – Predicting The Future Of B2B E-Commerce


8. 80 % of buyers say “no” four times before saying “yes”. However, 92 % of sales representatives give up after four negative answers

This fact is a killer one. It means that only one in ten salespeople stand a chance to close a deal. Of course, this might vary from one industry to another. How many follow-ups does it take in your case? Are you not measuring this? You should.

Source: The Marketing Donut – Why 8 % of sales people get 80 % of the sales?


9. An average B2B sales lead in technology costs $ 31

The average cost of a B2B sales lead fluctuates broadly by industry. Leads for marketing products/services ($ 32) and technology ($ 31) are at the low end, followed by business/finance ($ 43). At $ 60 each, healthcare leads are most expensive.

How much does every prospect represent for you? How many of them will convert into paying customers?

Source: B2B Marketing Insider – What is the cost of a lead?


10. The average marketing budget of a tech company is 4.3 % of its total turnover

This comes from a 2016 survey conducted by bitkom among 1,300 of its German members in managing functions. Only two-thirds of this marketing budget is invested online (32 %).

Source: Bitkom – Marketingbudgets und -maßnahmen in der ITK-Branche (in German).


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Interesting to read:

Some Use-Cases of our Software:

Use Case: How cross- and up-selling based on Qymatix Algorithms is helping a medical components manufacturer to sell more.
Use Case: Predictive Analytics reduced customer churn while increasing sales team satisfaction and engagement.