Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

The 'X factor' in sales in India: Technology

LinkedIn's 'State of Sales 2019 — India report' shows that a staggering 94 percent of sales professionals are using technology to close deals

Published: Jul 19, 2019 02:32:25 PM IST
Updated: Jul 19, 2019 02:45:42 PM IST

The 'X factor' in sales in India: TechnologyImage: Shutterstock
It’s confirmed, millennials are taking charge. LinkedIn’s ‘State of Sales 2019’ report for India, which surveyed more than 500 sales professionals and decision makers, evaluates the best practices and top trends in the selling landscape. Some highlights include, other than millennials calling the shots, the increased use of sales technology and the importance of trust in deal making.

This is LinkedIn’s first India-centric report in this space.

The report deals with five key areas: technology providing the competitive edge, the importance of human connection, marketing and sales orchestration, millennials tapping into marketing insights at higher rates and trust between business and clients being critical in the current business environment.

About 74 percent of sales professionals in India use customer-relationship management (CRM) tools such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. Moreover, almost 94 percent sales professionals are using technology to close deals, making it the ‘X factor’. This shows the penetration levels of technology in sales in India.

“The growth in usage of sales tech and rise of planned investments are strong indicators that a significant shift is taking place in the sales landscape. Sales professionals are now adopting modern selling tactics to glean personalised insights and build relationships at scale,” says Edward Hunter, Head of Sales Solutions – India, LinkedIn.

The report also shows how millennials (ages 21-38) are increasingly becoming assets for businesses, due to their penchant to quickly adapt to marketing and sales orchestration strategies. Unlike non-millenials, millennials are 59 percent more likely to work closely with the marketing team, which, in turn, boosts sales revenue.

In the Indian market, which is a relationship-based sales environment, trust is key to closing deals. About 32 percent of sales professionals said that trust between the client and business is crucial, and at times even more important than the return on investment (ROI). Additionally, the report also suggests that a client is more likely to engage with a sales professional if introduced through a mutual connection.

“Not only do we know how the best sales people are hitting their numbers here in India but this research was part of global survey of over 2,500 responses. This means we’re able to see how some of the macro trends can be harnessed in this part of the world,” Hunter explains.

For the report, LinkedIn surveyed successful B2B sales professionals in India to know more about their methodology and the technology they were using to give themselves the edge in today’s competitive world.