The latest research in our industry sheds light on key components in the relationship between inbound marketing and the sales process. The Hubspot research team provides annual data that helps to pinpoint the challenges – and victories – experienced by almost 4,000 marketers in over 150 countries. In the 2015 State of Inbound report, we learn a lot about the need for increased communication – and why your sales team may be struggling.
The Problem With Lead Generation & Sales
42% of sales teams report that prospecting a lead is the most challenging. They simply don’t have access to basic, relevant information about the leads.
Out of the survey, a third have access to social media data, and only a fifth have access to the website interaction information provided by marketing’s lead generation. The worst statistic? Less than 43% have access to the contact information of their leads.
These statistics provide a sobering reality check for managers facing the problem with frequent burnout and turnover rates with their sales teams.
Failure vs Success
The data pool was divided between sales teams that were successful and growing, and those that were failing. Across the board, the answers they gave indicated key reasons why they were experiencing success or failure.
Failing teams overwhelmingly responded that they weren’t sure what information they had before contacting a lead. Less than 17% of successful teams said the same.
The question of success or failure may be multi-faceted, but without fundamental information and communication, the rest of the system falls short.
Collaboration is the Key to Success
Marketing and sales, by nature, go hand in hand. Inbound marketing and online lead generation are designed to generate and qualify leads.
If marketing is designed to pull the right information at the right time, how is it commonly shared with the team that carries out the “next step” of the sales process?
The Need for a CRM
24% of teams reported that they do not use a dedicated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to hold their client information. Rather, they hold this often sensitive information in Google docs, physical files, and other “informal” places.
We could literally write a book about the need for a secure CRM. Without an organized, dedicated location to hold relevant lead information, the sales team is faced with a tedious struggle to gain the right knowledge about potential clients.
Likewise, without a CRM, the data gathered by inbound marketing loses much of its potency and effectiveness.
Those who do use a CRM have a plethora of complaints about it, from capability factors to logistics. The number 1 struggle reported: the CRM their company uses requires manual data entry. Any CRM that primarily relies on manual data entry for updating is losing a significant amount of time and resources.
From that observation, the list ranges from managers that don’t use the system to complaints that the CRM does not integrate with other tools utilized by the business.
In short, the overwhelming challenge of a sales team concerns the inability to hold and monitor the wealth of lead information. The CRM that should have been the biggest asset to their sales process is poorly chosen, improperly utilized, and lacks basic modern capabilities.
Inbound strategies and data have come a long way since their initial appearance in the world of marketing. Years of careful monitoring and development still await. This year’s data, courtesy of Hubspot’s research team, indicates that although inbound marketing has come a long ways since its initial appearance, there is work that still has to be done.
Properly utilizing the data received through your company’s inbound process naturally increases the ROI of your marketing dollars – and provides your sales team with the basic tools they need to succeed.