The 71 page State of Inbound 2015 report by Hubspot reveals startling information about the current landscape of marketing and sales, what digital marketing trends are immerging, and the keys to charting a successful path into the coming year and beyond. What follows is largely drawn from that report.
A Sluggish Adoption of Digital Sales Tools
In the age of computers and the Internet, I thought following findings odd. While both interest and the level of adoption of digital marketing automation tools in on the increase, the opposite is taking place with sales technology. Sales teams are being told: “Do more with less.”
CMOs need to prove marketing ROI to demonstrate the need for budget, sales success is most often measured by quotas. It would seem at first that CMOs have an easier time demonstrating the need for budget. However, by piggy-backing onto marketing automation software that integrates with sales, sales teams can utilize the same advantages as marketing does. Principally, by the use of smarketing (integrating sales and marketing) and with closed loop reporting, sales teams can demonstrate ROI right along side with marketing.
Sales has a Cost-Saving Advantage
Sales also has the advantage not having to fork out huge dollars for marking automation—the cost of adoption of high tech digital sales technology tools is minimal. Nevertheless, according to our data, sales departments are either not taking advantage of the technology or among those who have, the reception has been lackluster.
Our data shows that only 24% of companies are using a CRM. We think using a CRM should be the first choice of sales software, but it isn’t in actuality—email tracking software like Sidekick is. Of greater concern, is the fact that 46% do not rely on current technology to store or maintain customer data. Instead, it’s kept in physical files, Google Docs, or other “informal means.” Utilizing a CRM should be at the top of digital marketing trends but it is not.
The Impact upon Performance
Using the HR metric of hiring rates as a gauge of company growth and success, the data shows that “successful” teams relied on current technology whereas “unsuccessful” teams used antiquated processes like Outlook, Excel, or physical file to store and structure their sales data.
But it’s not only unsuccessful teams who aren’t fully using a CRM for sales data, even so-called successful teams indicated they were using Google Docs for some of their data. These statistics show the need for sales and marketing teams to come fully onboard with current technology that will produce efficiency and results. While it’s easy to develop a love / hate attitude toward digital technology and thus chop budgets, it may not be the wisest thing to jeopardize lead-generation and sales—the only fuel that drives success.
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