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17 Facts About Inbound That You Need to Know Now

[fa icon="calendar"] 30-May-2017 09:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

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The State of Inbound is out!

It's a yearly survey we do at HubSpot and it reveals the top challenges and priorities facing businesses today in the realms of marketing and sales and changing consumer habits.

The survey also looks at the future to highlight new trends and channels that will soon affect the way we all do business. 

You can grab the global report here, however, I want to look at the EMEA results and share with you 17 about that you need to know now to plan the rest of your year and 2018. 

17 Facts About The State of Inbound That You Need to Know Now: 

  1. 62% of marketers say their top challenge is generating leads. 
  2. 63% of marketers believe their organisation's marketing strategy is effective. 
  3. 73% of C-level executives believe their organisation's marketing strategy is effective. 
  4. 55% of individual contributors believe their organisation's marketing strategy is effective. 
  5. 40% of marketers put proving the ROI as the second biggest challenge. 
  6. 71% of marketers say converting leads to customers is their top priority for the next 12 months, followed by growing traffic at 60% and increasing revenue derived from existing customers at 40%. 
  7. 46% say that inbound marketing brings higher ROI than outbound marketing, 12% say it's the other way around and 22% admit they can't calculate ROI. 
  8. 62% of marketers say that when thinking specifically about inbound marketing, SEO and growing organic traffic is their priority in the next 12 months followed by blog content at 55% and content distribution/amplification at 50%. 
  9. 48% of marketers are planning to add YouTube videos and 46% of them Facebook videos over the next 12 months, with Instagram at 37% and messaging apps at 24%. 
  10. 35% of marketers say that the most overrated marketing tactic is paid advertising (print, outdoor and broadcast). 
  11. 34% of sales people say that getting a response from a prospect is becoming more difficult, 35% say closing deals and 30% prospecting good leads. 
  12. 68% of sales people say that their top priority for the next 12 months is closing more deals, followed by improving the efficiency of the sales funnel at 46% and social selling at 31%.
  13. 32% of sales people admit to spending 30 to 60 minutes on performing data entry or other manual tasks. 
  14. 35% of sales reps say that phone is the most successful channel for connecting with prospects, followed by email at 29% and LinkedIn at 11%. 
  15. 37% equally say that their top source of leads are leads sourced by sales and referrals, whereas marketing leads are at 23%. 
  16. 57% say that inbound practices provide the highest quality leads against 27% as sales self-sourced leads. 
  17. 22% of respondents say their organisation's sales and marketing relationship is tightly aligned. 

To summarise it all, here's what's happening in marketing, sales and business overall and some tips. 

The State of Marketing

The top priority for marketers remains the same: growing traffic and then converting those visitors into leads and customers.

However, the environment in which we're doing marketing is changing with the need to test new (and unpredictable) technologies and platforms, including video, messaging apps, AI, and more. Video is the main disruptor now and social is the constant disruptor. 

If you haven't started experimenting with live video, social messaging, bots etc. now is the right time to do so to figure out what role new technology can play in your business. 

The State of Sales

Because people buy much differently than how they used to, sales reps report that prospecting is getting more and more difficult.

Sales people are now expected to be trusted advisors rather than typical hard sellers and understand the prospect's social media, product research and purchasing habits.

And in the mix of all of that comes new technology that is also expected of sales to adopt to speak the same language and use the same vehicles of communication as consumers.

Something you might want to consider is to start teaching your sales people marketing and business consulting skills to get them ready for this new type of consumers. 

The State of the Business

According to the research, executives and employees are not on the same page when it comes to how the workplace really works.

Execs think marketers should be creating YouTube videos and reps should stop calling people on the phone, individual contributors have different things on their plates, though.

Execs also believe that business operations are running much smoother than how employees see it which means that the top level is ready and eager to experiment with new things but employees are not there yet and are just trying to keep up.

The widening disconnect between Sales and Marketing is one example so you might want to look at how internal communication works within your company to fix this gap between the top and your individual contributors.  


What is your key learning from the State of Inbound 2017? 


Topics: Inbound Marketing

Iliyana Stareva

Written by Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is Chief of Staff to the EMEA President at ServiceNow. Before that, she held global and EMEA-wide positions at Cisco and HubSpot. She is also certified by the PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP)®. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or travelling the world.

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