Hubspot’s Newest State of Inbound 2015 Report – Continued

As promised, let’s jump into the state of inbound sales section of Hubspot’s newest State of Inbound 2015 report.  Don’t forget to download the whole thing, or just get the highlights here on my blog.

Here are the key takeaways from the sales section of this report:

  • “Social selling is still more hype than reality”
  • “Sales technology budgets have shrunk since last year.  In addition, sales departments that have adopted emerging sales tools don’t cite confidence with those tools.”
  • “Different roles within the sales team experience different CRM obstacles. While manual data entry is still the biggest CRM problem overall, executives struggle with lack of adoption, and managers cry lack of integration with other tools.” –> Ain’t that the truth!
  • “Prospecting is the most difficult step of the sales process.  This issue is compounded by the fact that salespeople lack vital information before they reach out to leads.” –> Here is where prospect nurturing plays such a vital role!
  • “Field sales isn’t really dying.  Despite sensational articles declaring the demise of field sales, hiring data shows that outside reps are getting hired (and fired) at more or less the same rate as inside reps.”
  • “Executive buyers are not very trusting of salespeople.  To regain credibility among executives, salespeople should arm themselves with content and become active on social networks.”
  • Sales Priorities–>
  • “The overall company top sales priorities
    • Improving the efficiency of the sales funnel
    • Improving existing sales technology
    • Reducing the length of sales cycle
    • Training the sales team
    • Social selling
    • Investing in sales enablement
    • Investing in a CRM”
  • “These are the top sales priorities by level in a company [I chose to focus on the top 3 out of 8]
  • Executive:
    • Closing more deals
    • Improving the efficiency of the sales funnel
    • Reducing the length of sales cycle
  • Non-executive VP or director:
    • Closing more deals
    • Improving the efficiency of the sales funnel
    • Improving existing sales technologies
  • Manager or senior manager:
    • Closing more deals
    • Improving the efficiency of the sales funnel
    • Improving existing sales technologies
  • Individual contributor:
    • Closing more deals
    • Improving the efficiency of the sales funnel
    • Training the sales team”
  • Sales Technology–>
  • “…budgets for sales technology have decreased form last year’s estimates. Of respondents who were privy to their sales tech budgets, 93% indicated their companies planned to spend $100,000 or less, with 78% spending less than $25,000.”
  • “In addition to falling budgets, sales teams that have adopted new tools haven’t been blown away by them.”
  • “24% of teams do not use a CRM.”
    • “Even more alarming is the fact that approximately 46% of salespeople in our survey are not exclusively using dedicated technology to store lead and customer data.  Instead, they’re relying on physical files, Google docs, and other “informal means” in place of or in addition to a dedicated system.”
  • “Unsuccessful sales teams are 2X more likely to use Excel, Outlook, or physical files to store lead and customer data.”
  • Sales Challenges–>
  • “Although salespeople by and large have proven their resilience by tailoring their process to the modern buyer, there are still some challenges that arise from this seismic shift.”
  • What part of the sales process do reps struggle with most?
    • 42%–> Prospecting
    • 36%–> Closing
    • 22%–> Qualifying
  • How much information does your company have about a lead before a sales rep reaches out?
    • 43%–> Contact information
    • 31%–> Social media information
    • 21%–> Website interaction history
  • “…when Marketing and Sales collaborate, salespeople are privy to more lead information…And there’s more god news for the marketing side of the spectrum.  Salespeople struggling with prospecting can expect more relief over the coming year–‘increasing the number of contacts/lead’ is marketers’ number one or two priority, depending on company size and B2B vs. B2C.”
  • What is your biggest CRM challenge?
    • Manual data entry
    • Lack of integration with other tools
    • Difficult to track my sales funnel
    • My sales team does not use it
    • Invalid/incorrect data
    • Managers don’t use it
  • “While executives identify manager non-adoption as the most pressing hurdle, managers themselves report lack of integration with other tools, with manual data entry close behind.”
  • Sales Trends –>
  • “The buzz might make you think the trusty field sales rep will imminently go the way of the dinosaur.  But…inside sales reps actually stand a better chance of being laid off than their counterparts in the field.”
  • “Popular culture often paints salespeople as employees who care about the size of their paycheck and little else. [However…] Our survey asked salespeople what they look for when deciding whether to pursue a position at a new company.” [I chose the top 5]
    • Opportunities for growth
    • Work-life balance
    • Compensation
    • Culture
    • Company performance
  • “With this in mind, sales leaders need to create new growth opportunities for reps who might not be suited for management if they hope to recruit and retain solid sales talent.”

I hope these two summaries helped but please do me a solid and go and download Hubspot’s report so you can have it handy.  All you have to do is click the links at the top of this post, or click the big image at the top.

Thanks for reading & stay tuned for more report summaries coming your way!

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