HubSpot has been tracking the goals and priorities of the inbound organizations for the past nine years. This blog post assembles trending data from all those reports.
The data has remained remarkably constant over the years. This is to be expected, as the driving forces for marketing and sales activities - generating more leads, converting more customers, etc., remain the same. However, there have been a couple of interesting shifts on the sales side.
Sales is evolving
In 2015, salespeople indicated that referrals were their top source of leads. That has dropped 11% in the past two years. Today leads directly sourced from sales are ranked in the top position. Additionally, sales’ assessment of marketing-sourced leads dropped by 8%. This trend suggests that sales think they can hunt down much better leads than inbound marketing can. Marketing leaders should address this issue as soon as possible.
Q: Which is the top source of leads for your organization?
CRM is used more
We have also seen some interesting shifts concerning using the CRM programs. In the past, up to 16% of sales teams didn’t bother using their existing CRM. Now, adoption is much higher (only 6% reported that their team didn’t use a CRM). However, it has also been reported that manual data entry is a headache. Incorrect data within CRM program is another growing concern.
Many CRM software companies have made strides to solve the integration problems that firstly plagued the systems, causing a 5% drop in complaints about the integrations. And, true to its purpose, tracking the sales funnel is less of an issue for marketing and sales teams, dropping from 14% in 2015 to 9% today.
Q: What is your biggest challenge concerning your CRM?
Converting leads stays priority
Priorities and challenges have seen only small changes over the years. Converting leads into customers is a continual focus for all marketers.
Q: What are your company's top marketing priorities for the next 12 months?
Likewise, salespeople continue to focus on closing more deals. Social selling has gained ground though; it’s now the third highest priority in 2017 after ranking near the bottom of this list in 2015.
Teams are less focused on improving sales technologies, which may indicate maturity of these tools. We came to this conclusion based on the fact that making the sales funnel more efficient and reducing the length of the sales cycle has gone down on the list of marketing and sales priorities.
Find out more about trend data in the new State of Inbound 2017 report!
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