By Mollye Rhea, President and Founder, For Momentum
In the same week, two of our professionals at For Momentum emailed me a slide with the same sales statistics. They’d seen the slide at two different industry meetings and thought the information was worth sharing. Since supporting cause professionals with pipeline development and sales outreach is a pillar of what we do here, we are always looking for the latest and best information.
If you Google “sales statistics,” numerous versions of the same blue slide with white text show up. Go ahead and try it. You’ll find the same stats in SlideShare presentations and blog posts. However, when you start tracking down the source of the slide—the National Sales Executive Association—you realize the slide is a fake. The National Sales Executive Association doesn’t exist.
We’ve been hearing a lot about fake news stories circulating on the Internet and social media. Now with the appearance of this slide in so many different places online, I wondered, “Where do we go to get credible sales statistics?” Below are some of the resources we’ve identified as having valid sales information.
Sales and Marketing Trade Associations
While the NSEA does not exist, other national sales trade associations are out there and are producing excellent thought leadership pieces. The National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP) offers articles and training on its website.
Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI) is a global sales and marketing professional association. Members enjoy online forums, educational webinars and access to Selling Power magazine.
MarketingProfs is a membership-based site for business-to-business (B2B) marketing and sales professionals. You can access some of their thought leadership for free or join to gain access to hundreds of articles, quick study courses and comprehensive how-to guides.
For those of us seeking sales statistics specific to the nonprofit and development communities, the Association of Fundraising Professionals offers a robust pool of resources. Digital copies of Advancing Philanthropy magazine are available to members. The Resource Center also contains a number of research reports and white papers on hot topics like cause-related marketing and sponsorships.
Of course, if you’re looking for the latest data in the cause marketing niche, you must visit the new Engage for Good website. Engage for Good offers electronic newsletters, webinars and Cause Talk Radio podcast episodes. Their annual, in-person conference in Chicago is the place to be for anyone in cause marketing.
Alltop, a website that aggregates stories from top news sites and blogs on select topics, displays the headlines of the five most recent stories for each popular news source. Here’s a screenshot of the tops sales blogs and posts on Alltop today:
Companies that provide software or other tools for sales professionals are good resources for sales statistics. Often they have their own blogs with dynamic industry research. Salesforce is the top global provider of client relationship management (CRM) software. If you’re searching for data to empower your sales team, the Salesforce Blog is a great resource that published nearly 1,500 blog posts in 2016. The company also just launched Salesforce Content Hub.
LinkedIn has become the number one tool for online sales prospect research. So it makes sense that the LinkedIn Sales Solutions Blog has become a popular hub of sales information. You can even subscribe to the blog and have the latest posts delivered directly to your inbox.
Forbes and Entrepreneur both offer dedicated sections of their websites to sales. Often this is where industry contributors write about the latest sales techniques, research and resources.
Books often have a hard time competing with articles and blog posts in terms of presenting timely information. However, these recently published books offer deeper analysis of sales trends and how you can apply them to your sales outreach. All of these authors have successful sales blogs that you can follow as well.
Cause Marketing Statistics
I hope you’ll allow me to plug a couple of our resources in the For Momentum Cause Library. We recently updated our Cause Marketing Statistics resource to include new data for cause marketing professionals. We are working to regularly update this resource that contains the latest information on the demand for cause-related marketing and audiences for cause.
Last year, we updated our research on the Cause Partnership Sales Cycle. This tool helps answer the question, “How long is it going to take to secure a cause partnership?” We’ve developed a couple of new versions of the research, including a two-page infographic and an MP3 recording of my presentation of the research to a group of corporate partnership professionals in Australia. You’ll find these new versions with the full research report here.
I keep thinking about those fake sales statistics. The reason most of us “Google and go” without questioning the validity of the source is because the information on the slide is believable. As sales and development professionals, at times we all need the stats to push us to send one more email or make one more phone call after the first three went unanswered. All of the credible resources listed above will give you the nudge you need, but don’t get so busy reading the research that you fail to execute. The information does us absolutely no good if we don’t put it to work.