The Shocking Data Almost No Sales Reps Have About Their Prospects
Posted By : Gil Aranowitz / Posted In : Digital Smarts

The Shocking Data Almost No Sales Reps Have About Their Prospects

HubSpot recently released their State of Inbound 2015 Report, which focuses on the challenges and priorities faced by marketing and sales professionals. And while numerous learnings stood out for us, one thing we found really surprising — The critical information that almost no sales reps have about their prospects.

Today’s buyer is notably different than the buyer of decades past — or even just a few years ago. Decision makers enter the sales process much more informed about sales offerings than they used to be, and they’re seemingly busier than ever before.

Although salespeople by and large have proven their resilience by tailoring their process to the modern buyer, there are still some challenges that arise from this seismic shift.

For this years report, HubSpot surveyed salespeople about the hardest part of the sales process. Prospecting was the number one answer, with 42% of the vote. Closing came in second with approximately 36%, and qualifying garnered a 22% response.

This makes sense anecdotally. First of all, perfect fit prospects aren’t exactly in abundance, and can be harder to find in certain industries than others. Second, buyers’ attention spans are all but maxed out by the number of priorities, tasks, deliverables, and projects they juggle at all times. In order for a salesperson to grab a prospect’s attention with an email, call, or social media send, they must carefully customize and personalize their message — and there’s still no guarantee the buyer will read, much less respond.

The key implication here is that prospecting increases in difficulty the less information salespeople have readily available to them. A lack of lead behavior data means that sales reps must hunt for information on their own or forgo it entirely, boosting the odds that their message will be poorly received. So the more information salespeople have about their prospects going into prospecting, the more effective their efforts will be. Based on Hubspot’s data, just 30% of respondents have access to social media data, and 21% their lead’s website interaction history. Fewer than 43% have contact information — in other words, the bare minimum they need to reach out.

How does lead information correlate with sales success? When HubSpot viewed this question in terms of successful vs. unsuccessful teams, a split emerged. While a staggering 83% of respondents from failing teams said they either didn’t know what information they had before contacting a lead, or that the question was not applicable to them, a mere 17% of successful teams gave the same answer.

To put this in perspective, “don’t know/not applicable” was unsuccessful respondents’ number one response, and successful respondents’ lowest response.

Click here to view HubSpot’s full State of Inbound 2015 report.

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Posted on

October 12, 2015

Posted On : October 12, 2015