8 trends to help you smash your sales goals in 2023


Sales leaders need to continually demonstrate value and leverage technology to get ahead.
Sales leaders need to continually demonstrate value and leverage technology to get ahead. | Image source: Getty Images

Over the past few years, we’ve seen rapid changes in the sales landscape, so what will 2023 bring? With talk of a recession, purse strings (and headcounts) are tight. Sales leaders need to continually demonstrate value and leverage technology to get ahead.

Here are the sales trends you can capitalise on in 2023 to do that …

  1. A Revenue Operations Model is where it’s at

Gartner predicts that by 2025, 75% of the world’s highest-growth companies will deploy a revenue operations (RevOps) model. Simplified, a RevOps model means that rather than working in siloed functions, you adopt a mindset and methodology across the business that follows the flow of revenue from a customer point of view.

Adopting a RevOps model stops customer data from being passed from system to system and creates a single source of truth. It transforms the customer buying experience into one stream-lined journey, which accelerates the process and enables a more personalised experience too.

  • SMarketing is just smart

A revenue-enablement approach recognises that the sales team cannot achieve success alone. Aligning sales and marketing departments – AKA SMarketing – not only ensures maximum conversion, results and experience but can help generate 209% more revenue, according to a report by Marketo.

Forbes outlined that three-quarters (74%) of top-performing companies report good alignment between their sales and marketing teams, compared with just half (49%) of other firms. Bringing together sales and marketing makes sense – both functions are focused on revenue, and both play a part in the customer journey from awareness, to understanding, to action.

  • It’s all about customer expansion

In tough economic times, B2B organisations will look to grow in the places they know and the places they understand. As a result, B2B growth strategies will tilt heavily toward retention and cross-sell and upsell opportunities – would you like fries with that?

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is increasing in popularity. ABM involves identifying your highest-value accounts and then working to completely personalise the buyer journey for them by tailoring comms, content and campaigns.

  • Customer experience officers

I’m sure it’s not news to you that customers have higher expectations – they want your services to be accessible all the time, hyper-localised and personalised too – thank you!

The focus on experience is so strong that brands like Adobe and Adweek are appointing chief experience officers (CXO) to ensure that it is made a foundational element of business strategy. But customer experience officer or not, the important takeaway is that everything needs to be looked at from the customer’s point of view, so get in their shoes.

  • The end of the sales profession?

No, don’t hang up your boots yet. The sales profession is here to stay, but the role they play in influencing sales alongside eCommerce and self-serve purchasing needs to be redefined. According to the 2021 Gartner Digital Buying Survey, 43% of B2B customers prefer a rep-free experience. And if you drill down in the data further, 54% of millennials prefer a rep-free experience, and the number of decision makers in this category is only growing.

Buyers are increasingly moving away from traditional sales channels and instead engaging with digital channels for B2B purchases. B2B procurement organisations forecast that 59% of their annual B2B purchases will be through websites and other online channels by the end of 2023.

  • Big data energy

In the LinkedIn Global State of Sales Report, almost half (46%) of sales representatives said their biggest challenge was incomplete data. While the shift to digital, contactless and immersive selling might make you want to run screaming for the hills, it’s actually an incredible opportunity, IF you can get it right.

Having the ability to leverage data at speed will be a competitive advantage. Companies with a tech stack that’s been cobbled together are going to fall further and further behind. Data is the gold in your organisation, and you need to treat it that way.

  • Make friends with tech

From research to customer experience, technology should be your BFF in the sales process. Using everything from a CRM to LinkedIn research tools, 82% of Australian top sales performers do research every time they reach out to a prospect. If you’re reaching out uninformed, make 2023 the year you do a deep dive before sending that email or picking up the phone.

AI and automation will become your superpowers when it comes to customer interactions. Automation means you can respond and add value in real-time while interacting with multiple buyers who have multiple needs.

  • Culture is King (or Queen)

It’s an employee’s job market, which means that as well as a focus on customer experience, businesses increasingly need to think about employee experience if they want to keep their best people. The competition for the most talented and skilled workers is fierce.

The last few years have seen huge movements of talent, with workers reassessing where, how and for who they want to work. Investing in your talent and offering them the opportunity to work in a way that works for them is key. Flexibility is no longer a buzz word you can throw around that really means ‘finishing early on a Friday’. High-performers want hybrid work environments, ongoing opportunities to grow and learn and value-orientated workplaces that care about their people.

Each of these trends tie back to two things – leveraging technology and being laser-focussed on customer experience –these should be your focus in 2023.

Abbie White is a leader in the field of high-performance sales, and is the founder of sales transformation company, Sales Redefined.