State of Inbound 2016 Finds Salespeople Are a Last Resort for Modern Buyers

by Henry Franco

Date

Sep 14, 2016 9:23:18 AM

All week long, we’re taking an in-depth look at data collected from HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2016 report.

HubSpot released its global 8th annual State of Inbound (SOI) report earlier this week, delivering insights into the biggest challenges and top priorities for marketers and salespeople based on trending data from thousands of the world’s foremost marketers and salespeople.

In coordination with the State of Inbound, HubSpot today hosts its first Inbound Sales Day, bringing together the stars of the sales industry to share their multi-million dollar playbooks.

The 2016 report uncovers a growing disconnect between buyer expectations and traditional sales tactics. As new technologies begin to shift the buyer’s journey, consumers find themselves changing where they buy and what they want from sales calls.

This year, the top priority of sales is to close more deals. Yet, 40% of salespeople say it’s getting harder to get a response from their prospects. Changes in customer behavior are widening the gap between buyer expectations and sales tactics.

Buyers want to talk to sales later. Traditionally, buyers spoke with sales during the awareness stage. Today, 62% of buyers turn to search engines and 48% to websites, according to HubSpot Research. Compared to only 2-3 years ago, the State of Inbound 2016 report found 57% of salespeople feel buyers today are less dependent on salespeople during the decision-making process.

“Technology has really shifted the power from the rep to the buyer,” says Brian Halligan, Co-founder and CEO, HubSpot. “Salespoeple today have to transform the way they sell to match with the modern buyer.”

Additionally, data from the report reveals opportunities for sales professionals to benefit from the inbound methodology:

  • 43% of sales reps say prospecting is the part of the sales process they struggle with most, followed by 36% who say they struggle with closing.
  • In lieu of a CRM, an astounding 40% use informal means such as Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to store lead and customer data. Twenty-one percent still use physical files and folders. Of those surveyed, 22% indicated they weren’t even sure what a CRM was.
  • 29% percent of salespeople are spending an hour or more on data entry each and every day. And the more time sellers spend on data entry, the less time they have to sell.
  • The average lead to customer conversion rate is under 20% for almost half of respondents.

Download the complete State of Inbound 2016 report for free, and register for Inbound Sales day here.

Written by Henry Franco

Henry is a Brand Marketing Associate at HubSpot. Prior to joining the company, he attended Dartmouth College, where he learned to love the outdoors (except when it's really, really ridiculously cold).

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