BigMachines First Annual Sales Industry Benchmark Report Finds Disconnected Yet Optimistic Sales Organizations

BigMachines today announced the results of its 2011 Benchmark Survey on the state of the sales industry. The results point to a significant disconnect between sales and the rest of the enterprise, as well as a need for sales and marketing to be more aligned. However, the survey also found strong signs for improved sales in 2011 with more than half of the respondents anticipating the average deal size to increase this year.

For this survey, BigMachines polled more than 100 sales professionals from a variety of industries including manufacturing, high tech and telecommunications. Respondents ranged from sales managers to C-Level sales executives. The goal of the survey was to pinpoint the issues, concerns and success factors impacting mid-size to enterprise companies today. The survey aimed to find the critical pain points of the sales industry, identify areas of positive growth and determine the impact of social media in sales, which according to the results, has been negligible. Significant findings from the survey include:

  • Sales Disconnect: More than 60 percent of respondents say the integration between sales and marketing is either siloed or needs improvement. Furthermore, 37 percent said the disconnect between sales and the rest of the entire organization is broken, emphasizing the need for more integration among departments.
  • Pain Points: Respondents identified two significant pain points in the sales cycle – 28 percent cited the lag time from quote to close and 19 percent noted that managing multi-channel selling are broken in the sales cycle. Multi-channel selling includes a mix of offline sales, online sales, mobile ecommerce sales and other sales channels.
  • B2B eCommerce Adoption: Forty percent of the respondents say they are currently using B2B eCommerce as a tool within their sales organization.
  • Driving Change: Nearly 46 percent said the key factor driving change within their company in 2011 is meeting sales goals and metrics.
  • 2011 Deal Size: Fifty-eight percent anticipate average deal size to increase in 2011, showing optimism for improvement in the economy and the renewed focus on the sales organization as a driver in corporate growth.
  • The Power of Face to Face: More than 75 percent say face-to-face contact yields the most success for connecting with customers and prospects and 20 percent say that events are effective, despite the recent emphasis on social media and online networking.

“Sales professionals across the industry are telling us that the disconnect between sales and the rest of the organization remains high, ultimately resulting in issues with meeting their overall goals,” said Will Wiegler, Vice President of Marketing, BigMachines. “While survey respondents are anticipating an uptick in deal size, we need to recognize that this lack of collaboration is affecting the number one objective for sales people and the driving force behind change in an organization: meeting goals and metrics. BigMachines recognizes that the results of our survey underscore the struggles the sales industry face on a daily basis and we continue to develop the tools needed to help sales professionals meet their goals and grow their business.”


1. What Industry do you represent?

Answer Options                                        Response %
High Tech 16.7%
Software 18.6%
Financial Services 2.0%
Health care 2.9%
Manufacturing 35.3%
Telecommunications 6.9%
Services 3.9%
Media 2.0%
Other                                                11.8%


2. How would you describe the integration of sales and marketing in your
organization when it comes to managing lead generation?




Answer Options                                        Response %
Siloed 7.1%
Tightly Integrated 23.5%
Effective & Efficient 16.3%
Needs Improvement                        53.1%

3. Which would you say is the biggest sales obstacle in your company?





Answer Options                                        Response %
Keeping the pipeline of prospects full 17.2%
Doing more with less budget 26.9%
Staying connected when on the road 9.7%
Providing accurate and timely
proposals to prospects
Working with outdated/inefficient
tools or technologies
Other 12.9%

4. What do you feel is driving the highest degree of change in your
organization and sales strategies heading into 2011?





Answer Options                                        Response %
The demand for self-service online 14.1%
Meeting sales goals and metrics 45.7%
The blurring of the line between
marketer and sales
Customer needs changing at an
escalated rate
Longer sales cycle 7.6%
Other 9.8%

5. When it comes to average deal size in 2011, do you see it:





Answer Options                                         Response %
Increasing 57.6%
Decreasing 7.6%
Staying the same 34.8%

6. Are you using B2B ecommerce as a sales tool in your organization?





Answer Options                                        Response %
Yes 40.7%
No 59.3%

7. If not, do you plan to incorporate B2B ecommerce in 2011?





Answer Options                                        Response %
Yes 16.7%
No 33.3%
Undecided 50.0%

8. Considering your overall sales strategy for 2011, how significant is it
to support ecommerce on mobile devices?





Answer Options                                        Response %
Very Significant 18.9%
Somewhat Significant 24.4%
Not yet supported, but very
No plans to support 31.1%

9. What do you think is broken in the sales cycle?





Answer Options                                       Response %
The disconnect between sales
and the rest of the organization
Increased need for mobile eCommerce
selling but lack of technology to support it
Managing multi-channel selling (juggling
off line sales, online sales, mobile
ecommerce sales, etc.)
Lag time from quote to close 28.4%
Other 12.5%

10. What channel has yielded the MOST success for you in connecting with
prospects and customers? Please rate your answers with 1 being the most
successful and 4 being the least successful.





Answer Options                 
Email 2.48
Face to Face contact 1.26
Social Media - Facebook,
Twitter & LinkedIn
Events 2.23

11. When evaluating a potential vendor, what channels do you turn to first
for information?





Answer Options                                       Response %
Industry publication 9.3%
Customer references 31.4%
Websites 47.7%
Blogs & other social media channels 3.5%
Other 8.1%



Comments for BigMachines First Annual Sales Industry Benchmark Report Finds Disconnected Yet Optimistic Sales Organizations

Leave a comment