State of Prospecting and Lead Generation 2017

HubSpot published its State of Inbound 2017 business report last week. The report gives comprehensive insights to plan your future marketing and sales strategies as the data is collected from over 6,000 respondents! In this blog post, I'll go through the findings relevant to sales prospecting, lead generation and B2B sales in general. For those interested in marketing, I recommend downloading the report as well. But let's dig in!

What part of the sales process do sales reps struggle with the most?


Most people (38 %) agree that prospecting is currently the toughest part of the sales process. Besides prospecting, sales teams need help in identifying leads; luckily there are a bunch of solutions to help you with prospecting, lead identification and generation, one great example being Vainu.

When asked what is more difficult to do in sales compared to 2-3 years ago, 30 % of respondents answered identifying/prospecting good leads. This is understandable when you consider that the amount of data available is increasing with a speed almost impossible to comprehend. The solution to this challenge is a prospecting tool, an aggregator, which collects all relevant information on the relevant accounts into one place and keeps you updated whenever something happens.

What is your biggest challenge in using your current CRM?


When asked what is the biggest challenge in using CRMs today, 23 % of salespeople indicate data entry as number one. This is disturbing as much of the data entry that salespeople are forced to do could be automated. For instance, Vainu enables all the company information, both static and dynamic, to be integrated into your CRM so it is always up‑to‑date.

How much time per day does your sales team spend performing data entry or other manual tasks?


When HubSpot examined the amount of time salespeople are spending on data entry, they found that 32% of respondents are spending more than an hour per day on data entry! Imagine how monotonous work can lead to frustration and a negative view of the tools meant to make salespeople more effective and efficient. More importantly, imagine the time your sales team could have spent on contacting prospects and creating value to them instead of inputting information to the ever-expanding Sahara known as a CRM.

What has been the most successful channel for your sales reps to connect with a prospect?


Interestingly, when asked about the most successful sales channel, 62 % of people see phone and email as the best-performing option. Maybe it's not yet social selling's time after all? Though Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter do all together count as 21%, being rather close to email, for instance.

Which is the top source of sales for your organizations?


Contrary to the message by the rather vocal inbound marketing evangelicals, it seems that in the end, referrals and leads sourced by Sales are the top sources of sales for organizations. Together they are the top choice for 71% of people who answered the study.

So to conclude, based on the study with over 6,000 respondents, it seems that:

  1. Prospecting is the toughest part of sales process.
  2. Manual data entry is the biggest challenge in using a CRM and it takes way too much time!
  3. Phone and email are the most successful channels to connect with a prospect.
  4. Leads sourced by Sales are the top source of sales in organizations.

Do you agree with these numbers? Take part in the conversation on LinkedIn and on Twitter!

All images are from HubSpot's State of Inbound 2017 Business Report.

Topics: Sales

Miikka Jokela

Vainu's Growth Strategist by day. Songwriter by night. And mountaineer scaling +6000 meter peaks on holidays.