South Africa shows the world how to sell

Content provided by a guest contributor.

For the second year running, data from cloud-based sales software, Pipedrive, reveals that South Africa is the best country in the world at converting leads into sales.

It may have been the Americans who pioneered selling as we know it, but research shows that, when it comes to today’s sales market, South Africa is showing the world how it’s done.

The findings come from cloud-based sales tool, Pipedrive. Every year, Pipedrive analyzes anonymized data from its customers to identify key trends in the global sales market. The most recent analysis looked at data from roughly 70,000 organizations across 34 countries and over 10 industries.

For the second consecutive year, South Africa has topped Pipedrive’s conversion rate league table, confidently increasing its average from 15% in 2016 to 21.5% in 2017. Ireland squeezed into second place in 2017 with a rate of 21.14%. New Zealand followed closely in 2016 with 14%, and came third in 2017 with 20.56%.

But it’s not just stellar conversion rates that make South Africans so good at selling; they close their deals quickly, too. Whereas the average salesperson takes 40 days to close 15.83% of their deals, the average South African salesperson takes 28.24 days to close 21.5% of their deals This is second only to the Brazilians who take an average of 27.95 days to convert 15.67% of their leads.

The ability to get to ‘yes’ quicker proves that South Africans are super-efficient with their time. As does the fact that they have one of the lowest activity (emails, phone calls or meetings) rates per deal won.

As Timo Rein, Pipedrive Co-Founder and CEO, explains in his review of the data:

“South Africans have a reputation for directness and an aversion to small talk. They get to the point quickly, so when it comes to the sales data, it does seem like South Africans understand the lay of the land far earlier in the sales process – they know when to step on it and when to throw in the towel.”

After speaking to South African salespeople about their superior performance, Rein observes:

“South Africans see an unusually straight link between making it in sales and being able to survive. This top-three African economy apparently has less of a safety net in the form of welfare, and more pressure to succeed. Many people point to a ‘if you don’t kill, you don’t eat’ metaphor.”

For more analysis and insight into the global sales market, read Timo Rein’s Global Sales Performance Review. For advice on how to succeed in sales, consider reading articles such as Closing the Sale and How to Learn Your Prospect's Needs.


The content in this article was provided by Pipedrive – the tool of choice for salespeople in scaling companies.

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