Because looking at statistics and numbers is as welcome for salespeople and sales managers as an IRS audit or a colonoscopy, they ignore the true value of it. There are, however, facts and statistics to help sell more in less time while wasting less time on useless tasks.

Here are 20 of my favorites:

Stat #1– Forty-four percent of salespeople give up after one follow up [Source: Scripted]. Takeaway: Make five or more follow-ups.

Stat #2– You are nine times more likely to sell Web leads if you follow up within five minutes[Source:]. Takeaway: Make responding a top priority.

Stat #3 – In firms with between 100 and 500 employees, an average of seven people are involved in most buying decisions [Source: Gartner Group]. Takeaway: Interact with all decision makers and influencers.

Stat #4– Seventy percent of all people make buying decisions to solve problems while 30 percent make decisions to gain something [Source: Impact Communications]. Takeaway: Understand customers’ motivations.

Stat #5– Eighty percent of closed deals require five follow-up calls after the initial meeting [Source: The Marketing Donut]. Takeaway: Be persistent because nearly half of your competitors won’t be!

Stat #6– Seventy-eight percent of decision-makers have taken an appointment or attended an event that came from an email or cold call [Source: DiscoverOrg]. Takeaway: Emails and cold calls can work.

Stat #7– The optimal length of a voice mail is between eight and 14 seconds [Source: The Sales Hunter]. Takeaway: Make your words count.

Stat #8– Ninety-one percent of all customers say they’ll give referrals, yet only 11 percent of salespeople ask for them [Source: Dale Carnegie]. Takeaway: Always ask for referrals.

Stat #9– More than eight out of 10 consumers are comfortable making a referral after a positive experience[Source: Texas Tech University]. Takeaway: Train technicians and employees to ask for referrals.

Stat #10 – People are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend [Source: Neilsen]. Takeaway: They’ll most likely buy more quickly than others too!

Stat #11– If you join LinkedIn groups, you are 70 percent more likely to get an appointment or an unexpected sale [Source: Vorsight]. Takeaway: LinkedIn groups can be a great source of new business.

Stat #12 – More than half of the typical buyer’s journey has been completed before they even talk to sales [Source: CEB]. Takeaway: Help customers focus on reasons they should work with you and your company.

Stat #13– Cold calling works best between 4 and 5 p.m. Next best time is 8 to 10 a.m. Worst time is between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. [Source:]. Takeaway: Make cold calling a late afternoon priority.

Stat #14– The worst times to try to reach a contact are Mondays from 6 a.m. to noon and Friday afternoons[Source: RingDNA]. Takeaway: Find other productive activities when customers aren’t available.

Stat #15 – An average buyer gets 100 or more emails a day and opens only 23 percent of them [Source: Tellwise]. Takeaway: Write good subject lines for your emails.

Stat #16– One-third of all email recipients open emails based upon subject line alone [Source: Convince and Convert]. Takeaway: Use the Internet to learn how to write compelling subject lines.

Stat #17– Salespeople who get referrals and capitalize on them earn four to five times more than those who don’t [Source: Top Sales World]. Takeaway: Get referrals and act on them.

Stat #18– After a presentation, 63 percent of people remember stories while only 5 percent remember statistics [Source: Chip and Dan Heath]. Takeaway: Use relevant stories to illustrate your key selling points.

Stat #19– Fifty-five percent of all buyers do their research using social networks [Source: IBM]. Takeaway: Optimize social network profiles and become skilled in social selling best practices.

Stat # 20– The average salesperson makes only two attempts to reach a prospect [Source: Sirius Decisions]. Takeaway: Try to reach a prospect seven times before moving on.

Put these stats to work for you in 2016!