Sales Industry Statistics: Field Sales Report in 2021 (Plus Outside Sales Statistics)

Today, many companies are still lacking the technology to support their outside sales teams. Without this help, they’re suffering.

Spotio conducted a survey to make a field sales report on how companies are doing on diversity and what they need to change.

This article will be about the challenges outside sales reps, their leaders and managers face; how they can manage time more efficiently to achieve quotas in a timely manner.

Companies in the Survey

The survey gathered these field sales report responses from over 250 people in the B2B outside sales industry.

  • For this survey, SMB is defined as those which generate less than $10 million in revenue a year.
  • Mid-market enterprises are those with annual revenue between $10 and $100 million.
  • Companies with annual revenue of over $100 million are considered enterprise-level.

This infographic summarizes the findings of our study. Keep reading for more information on outside sales industry statistics and what we found in our survey.

Inside Sales CRMs for Outside Sales Teams

There’s no one perfect CRM for all types of sales teams. Field and inside, for instance, have different needs that a CRM should be able to accommodate.

Our findings show that inside sales CRMs are not well suited for outside sales teams because the needs of these two groups differ.

If you don’t use the right tools, then productivity and results will suffer. CRMs for inside sales increase costs and decrease outside sales teams’ productivity because they’re not designed with an outside rep’s use case in mind.

The right CRM adoption can: 

  • Sales have increased by an average of 29%
  • Improve productivity by at least 34%

    The following is a list of common paraphrasing errors and how to avoid them:

  • With 42% greater accuracy, you can make better decisions.

For many SMBs, CRM is a foreign concept and even for those who have it in place, most are still using traditional inside sales systems to manage their outside teams.

There are many CRMs for mid-sized companies, but Salesforce is the most popular. Many smaller businesses still don’t have a CRM though.

There are a lot of companies that use Salesforce, and it is more popular in enterprise-level companies.

CRM Sales Industry Statistics


  • 59% of SMB companies surveyed have no CRM at all, and another 25% use a different type of system with limited functionality.
  • 16% of the companies surveyed use Salesforce, 13% use Microsoft Dynamics and 6% each use Hubspot or Zoho.


  • For companies in the mid-market, about 20% use Salesforce as their current CRM.
  • Microsoft Dynamics is one of the most popular platforms with 11% usage. With 3%, Hubspot isn’t too far behind, but Oracle only has 1%.
  • 12% of the companies in our study don’t use CRMs at all, and a further 12% also use other systems. Article: The company’s CEO is always happy to see someone who can think outside-the-box.


  • Salesforce is used by 28% of enterprise-level companies.
  • 12% use Microsoft Dynamics.
  • 1% use Oracle.
  • 5% of companies use other types of CRM. Article: When I first began hiring salespeople, I just assumed pay along with commissions and bonuses would be enough sales motivation.
  • 18% of respondents stated they didn’t have any diversity initiatives in their workplace.

One thing to note is that if a company doesn’t have CRM, they use ERP instead. This has other field sales tracking and mapping capabilities.

Biggest Challenges in Field Sales

There are many challenges that face sales staff, not just those on the outside team. In order to help them resolve these challenges properly, it’s important for managers and owners understand what they’re going through.

The article talks about the different types of sales jobs. A related topic is which type would be best for you, inside or outside.

Outside sales reps

Article: When I first began hiring salespeople, I just assumed pay along with commissions and bonuses would be enough sales motivation.

  • The biggest challenge they have is getting enough qualified leads.
  • The second challenge is that the sales process can be complex.
  • Communicating is a challenge for many managers. Communication is the number three most significant problem in management.
  • The fourth challenge is the administrative process, which can take a lot of time.
  • The fifth challenge for sales managers is to make sure that they are constantly monitoring quality.

Sales leaders

The five key challenges that outside sales leaders have are: 1) finding qualified candidates, 2) overcoming the salary gap from inside to out-of-the-box jobs and 3) managing a diverse workforce.

  • One of the biggest challenges they have is when people leave their company.
  • The second biggest challenge is giving their sales reps the support they need.
  • The third challenge is visibility, which is the ability to see what their outside sales team are doing in the field.
  • Another way to improve a company’s sales force is by providing them with customized and efficient tools.
  • A challenge is keeping accurate data in the customer relationship management system.


Managers have to deal with a lot of challenges, including inaccurate data.

Managers need accurate data to make important decisions and delegate tasks like territory assignments, leads, and prospects.

The sales industry statistics show that the percentage of African-Americans in management positions is less than 5% and Hispanic representation has not increased since 2000.

Article: “How do you motivate your employees?”

  • The majority of leads that are not qualified never make it to the final sale.
  • With data, managers can’t accurately make decisions without accurate information. Data becomes inaccurate quickly.
  • Data entered into databases is only 91% complete, making it much more difficult to pursue leads.

This means that we need better data, which in turn requires tools and a platform for increased accuracy.

Time Management

The main issue for effective field sales reps is time management. It takes up about half of their day to plan and manage their sales, not prospecting potential leads or customers.

Outside sales staff are too focused on manual tasks and not enough time is spent selling, which is their primary job.

Good salespeople are the ones that know how to manage projects.

Of their time selling:

  • One in seven hours is spent prospecting by sales reps.
  • 13% of a salesperson’s time is spent on managing existing accounts.
  • Of the time that sales reps spend on their job, 13% of it is spent connecting with customers.

Of their time not selling:

  • When sales reps are on the phone, they’re doing administrative tasks 13% of their time.
  • 13% of a salesperson’s time is spent researching prospects.
  • Sales reps spend about 13% of their time driving to meet with potential customers.
  • Every 13% of the time, sales reps are entering data manually.
  • Sales reps spend only 1% of their time on planning and preparing.
  • It’s estimated that sales reps spend 1% of their time prioritizing leads.

It seems that outside sales reps could all make better use of their time if they had the right tools and platforms to give them a leg up on staying organized.

Quota Attainment

There’s a lot of wasted time and missed quotas for outside sales teams.

The survey divided the sales teams into three groups.

Article: The salary ranges for these different categories were:

  • Low performers: reps who don’t even meet the base quota their company sets for them.
  • The company’s medium performer is someone who achieves between 26% and 75% of the quota.
  • High performers are salespeople who achieve 76% of their quota or higher.

For SMBs:

  • 41% of their staff was not performing well.
  • 45% of their staff was just mediocre.
  • And only 14% of their staff are high performers.

For Mid-Markets:

  • 20% of their staff are ineffective.
  • One-third of their staff was in the low range, another third were high performers and one-sixth fell into the medium category.
  • The company had 11% of their staff as high performers.

For Enterprises:

  • 29% of their staff was not performing well.
  • 56% of the company’s staff was average.
  • The company had a lot of low-performing workers

The sales industry statistics show that the majority of reps in SMBs are failing to meet their quotas, and when combined with those who have a medium performance rating, 86% fail to meet 75%.

More people are spending time at the mid-market company level. The percentage of employees in these companies is 89%.

Based on the sales industry statistics, for companies with over 1,000 employees, 85% of them are male.

There are a lot of companies that need to improve their quotas and more importantly, hiring strategies.

Outside Sales Enablement/Technology

But there are still improvements to be made, including better outside sales enablement and technology.

  • Outside sales reps feel that better access to prospects would help them do their jobs more easily.
  • Outside sales managers say their biggest need is to provide the tools and software necessary for reps so they can be as successful in the field.
  • A majority of outside sales executives agree that the most important need for their reps is software and tools.

All sales teams need better technology, and at all levels of staff the most significant need is access to leads from tools that help reps do their jobs more effectively.

Key Takeaways

â–¶ Small businesses, mid-sized companies, and large corporations all have a significant percentage of outside sales teams without CRM software to help manage them.

Outside sales teams can improve their time management, but it will require the right tools and CRMs to do so.

â–¶ As teams fail to reach their quotas, companies need to integrate technology like CRMs and improve the performance of employees. It’s time for quota attainment success rather than constant failure.

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

We have over 60,000 monthly readers that would love to see it! Contact us and let's discuss your ideas!

Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was written by Content at Scale, a solution that uses AI + a team of optimization specialists to publish hundreds of high quality, SEO optimized content straight to your blog. It’s the first and only solution that allows you to truly scale content marketing.