2023 GTM Trends and Predictions
No matter what is happening in the market we all have a responsibility to hit our goals.
The recent economic downturn has meant sellers have had to find new ways to achieve quota. A hard truth is this downturn is less about the relationship between buyers and sellers and more about the relationship between organizations and their valuations.
Regardless, inflation is up and revenue teams everywhere are grappling with bootstrapped buyers and customers cutting costs. Many leading organizations have had to make the difficult choice to let people go – sometimes losing whole departments.
The decisions that are being made at this moment could be what saves your 2023. It is critical we all take an unflinching look at what needs to be done differently, in order to build a strong foundation that carries us into the future. The economy will turn around. What can you do to be ready?
Let’s take a look at some of the predictions and talk about what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.
EMBRACE HYBRID WORK
This one is a bit contentious. There are many leaders, CEOs and organizations that are unhappy with the current remote-work trend – blaming remote workers for productivity drops and missed revenue goals.
The COVID-19 pandemic marked a historic shift in many perspectives. In the early months, when uncertainty reigned, many organizations reacted with lay-offs, which built a foundation of resentment for many employees and regretted attrition followed.
The nation’s “quit rate” reached a 20-year high in November 2021 (source). That talent loss has had a massive and lasting impact on organizations across the globe.
We get it, times are tough but remote work is not to blame – in fact, it may be key in attracting and keeping talent in 2023.
Don’t take our word for it, look at the statistics (source).
13% is the average productivity increase when workers work from home.
77% of workers who work from home, at least a few times per month, show an increase in productivity.
83% of workers surveyed prefer a hybrid work-from-home model.
But if hybrid and remote work is working, why are some top SaaS companies rolling back on remote work policies?
Change is hard and organizations may have overcorrected. Tech stacks bloated as leaders rushed to pivot to remote first, travel budgets were slashed, and team building became a series of depressing zoom happy hours. It was dark times.
Embracing hybrid and remote work does not have to mean shuttering your office space entirely or axing all in-person interactions.
In-person interactions will always have a place in customer and buyer relationships. Managing a remote workforce should not stop you from investing in customer visits, conferences, or business travel. It is critical that leaders also look for ways to connect internally.
Company offsites are a great option when executed well.
If possible, open up your off-sites to all employees, bring everyone together for a week to work on big problems, collaborate, and just get to know one another. Ensure employees are clear on your expectations and have concrete outcomes defined for the week. Examples of some outcomes are quarterly department plans, OKRs, or completed in-person project completion retros or completed project plans for new initiatives.
Balance time with social activities and structured work to reap the most benefits.
BUILD YOUR TECH STACK FOR EFFICIENCY
Business leaders will need to focus on getting the most out of their team, time, and tech in 2023.
There are any number of go-to-market strategies and sales methodologies that revenue teams can use to help drive their success, but revenue teams will continue to struggle if fundamental problems in the tech stack aren’t addressed.
The tech industry has done a disservice to the profession of sales. Thousands of companies have created point solutions that address micro problems without considering the complete seller workflow and experience.
The recent historic run of the bull market incubated many fledgling tech companies with great intentions but the tech industry’s disservice to sales persists. Thousands of companies have created point solutions that address micro problems without considering the complete seller workflow and experience.
The answer for leaders is to simplify, consolidate, and streamline.
When it comes to sales tech, there are many schools of thought – but there is no magic tech stack that will work for every business. Regardless, let’s look at the 7 tools that top revenue teams sweat by, time and time again.
Customer relationship management (CRM). A CRM system keeps a record of customer data, manages your sales funnel and sales pipeline, and can even automate certain sales tasks – but remember, your CRM is only as good as your data.
Lead Generation and Business Intelligence tools. A lead generation tool helps sales reps find new leads and prospects, think LinkedIn Sales Navigator and ZoomInfo, which can help you find and do research on qualified leads.
Sales Engagement. Once you’ve got those quality leads into your pipeline, you will need a tool that lets you (and your team) manage customer interactions throughout the buying journey. Platforms like Outreach or Salesloft let you build out custom and automated journeys, track rep activity and buyer engagement, and offer insight into what is working and what isn’t.
A calendaring tool. This one is a must-have for any team that regularly meets with prospects and customers, online. You can get away with just Google Calendar or Outlook, but a tool like Calendly makes it even easier for prospects to book your calendar directly (no more back and forth emailing).
Most quality Sales Engagement solutions should include calendaring – be sure to check before adding additional tech!
eSignature software. eSignature allows buyers and customers to easily review and digitally sign sales orders without the hassle of paper documentation. For your sales reps (and your Legal team) the automation, authentication and tracking make closing a deal quick, easy and secure. The most popular eSignature tools are DocuSign, Adobe Sign, and HelloSign.
Content Management. Content management solutions help drive consistency, onboarding, and internal training by providing a repository for all the resources you need to engage with buyers and customers, in one place. It can also be leveraged to store product and pitch training built by your sales enablement team.
In B2B sales or industries where you have particularly complicated buying cycles, having a content or asset management platform like this is very useful.
Skill Development solutions. In 2023 personal development is a key benefit employers are looking for and a critical component of building an effective revenue team. While your enablement team is focused on building training specific to your business it is important you provide a path for reps to develop the foundational skills they need to be successful in their role.
A recently conducted Talent.com study found that close to 60% of U.S. job seekers find benefits to be an important element when looking for a job, second only to salary.
INVEST IN DEVELOPING YOUR TEAM
A happy employee is more likely to be productive and less likely to leave for greener pastures. You should be investing in your people in 2023.
According to a recent article from Fast Company, “The current tight market has created a challenge for employers to attract the best talent, making it crucial for both employees and employers to be aware of, or close, any skill gaps. Offering the opportunity to job seekers and employees to develop or learn new skills is a solution for employers hoping to remain competitive in the market and increase the efficiency of their current team(source).”
We couldn’t agree more.
When employees are looking for learning, they are less interested in the organizational-specific stuff (like your product pitch) and are more interested in transferable skills.
The problem? Many sales enablement teams are already stretched too thin and their time is best served focused on the training and enablement unique to your organization. Because of this, your third-party skill development solution should be focused on foundational soft skills and not over-index on the newest, trendiest methodology.
This is where solutions like Sales Impact Academy come into play – we have spent a lot of time talking about why Sales Impact Academy so we will focus more on the key components you should look for when vetting and selecting a skill development solution.
Sales and customer management are not covered in traditional secondary education. You can get an MBA and never touch the real strategies and skills needed to be successful.
Discovery, objection handling, value selling, running quarterly business reviews, and calculating and communicating demonstrable value are often left to ‘on-the-job’ training.
There are a variety of approaches available to leaders to close the gap but not all are created equal. One-and-done training seminars are quickly forgotten and methodology overhauls take weeks, if not months, and often leave the enablement component in the laps of your enablement team – they don’t actually address the problem.
We recommend you focus on solutions that offer a programmatic approach, foundational skill coverage, and an emphasis on reinforcement.
2023 already looks to be another landmark year for business. Leaders must be deliberate in their investments; embrace hybrid work, optimize your tech stack, and invest in skill development to succeed in today’s market.