Despite another challenging year for many businesses, sales and marketing professionals managed to hit their targets and help their businesses grow in 2021.
Download our free State of Sales and Marketing report, which provides an insight into how businesses achieved growth in 2021, as well as how you can increase your own business’s chances of success.
You can also watch the video below for some of the key results, such as the fact that 71% of respondents said their company grew more in 2021 than in 2020. Meanwhile, 73% said their company achieved or exceeded its revenue goals, illustrating how businesses are coming out of the shadow of a difficult few years.
Building on a year of resilience
In last year’s State of Sales, we reported that, despite the challenges they had faced during the pandemic, the majority of sales professionals managed to reach their goals.
In 2021, respondents reported even greater success: In 2020, 58% of sales professionals hit their annual sales targets; in 2021, that number had risen to 64%.
However, the pandemic still had a noticeable impact. Those businesses that had to shrink teams and lower budgets due to the pandemic were 7 percentage points less likely to hit their targets than the average, at 57%.
Work habits continue to evolve
Sales and marketing professionals, business owners and their colleagues are still being stretched.
Only 22% of respondents said that they don’t regularly work additional hours, with 8% working more than 20 hours over their contracted time on a regular basis.
However, many report having improved their work-life balance since 2020, with a 10 percentage point drop in people working a working week that’s longer than 40 hours (63% to 53%).
There are also ways that the pandemic has affected people’s working lives. The majority (61%) of respondents said that Covid-19 has had a lasting impact on their company’s working conditions, with half (48%) saying they work more remotely.
A quarter, meanwhile, have digitized more processes, highlighting the adaptability of the industry.
6 ways to improve your chances of success
In fact, digitizing processes is not just a reaction to external influencers, it’s also a strategy to improve business growth.
Here are six strategies we uncovered that have a direct impact on how successful businesses are:
Invest in sales automation tools. Businesses that automated their sales data and activity management tasks were far more likely to have hit their sales targets in 2021.
Make sure you have a clear strategy. Respondents that said their company’s strategy, goals and mission needed improvement were more likely to report regularly missing their sales targets.
Integrate your sales and marketing teams and processes. Companies that said their sales and marketing were well-integrated were almost twice as likely to have exceeded growth forecasts than companies with poorly integrated sales and marketing.
Don’t be afraid to spend on marketing. Companies that increased their marketing spend in 2021 reported better growth than those that didn’t.
Use more digital marketing channels to help sales. The likelihood that respondents hit their sales quotas in 2021 grew in relation to the number of marketing channels their companies were using.
Use a CRM. 74% of respondents that use a CRM said their company grew more in 2021, compared to 59% of respondents that don’t use a CRM
For more strategies for success and key insights into the sales and marketing industries, download Pipedrive’s State of Sales and Marketing 2021/22.