Hendrik Isebaert
Hendrik Isebaert 12 January 2023
Categories B2B, Technology

Will Business Sales Buck the Downturn? New Data from Showpad Suggests 2023 Will be a Strong Year for the Industry

Whilst the global economy is caught in the midst of a downturn, 2023 could be a strong year for business sales, according to new research from Showpad – the global leader in sales enablement technology – which surveyed amongst more than 500 sellers.

An Optimistic Outlook

Showpad has found there is widespread optimism amongst those who work in business sales, with more than two thirds (67%) saying they feel ‘positive’ about the business landscape in 2023, with just 11% saying they feel negative. 

They are, on average, forecasting sales growth of 17% next year for their business. Overall, 86% expect their sales to increase, with just 14% expecting them to go down.

Salespeople are also optimistic – and perhaps expectant – about their company investing in marketing, with 57% saying they expect their company’s marketing budget to increase, whilst 27% think it will stay the same. 

Challenges Remain

Amid the economic downturn, businesses and their sales teams won’t be immune to challenges, with a potentially difficult climate to navigate. The key challenges that salespeople expect to see in 2023, alongside the ever-present challenge of revenue generation and meeting sales targets, are: 

  • Retaining current clients (37%)

  • Understanding client/customer needs (33%) 

  • Generating strong leads (26%)

  • Adapting to changing behaviours and expectations amongst prospects and consumers (25%) 

  • Keeping up with the digital transformation and ensuring teams have the right tools (23%) 

Salespeople within organisations also feel there will be challenges from the wider business landscape, including:

  • The economy and inflation (52%)

  • The environment and sustainability challenges (34%) 

  • Adapting to hybrid working (30%) 

  • The risk of another wave of the pandemic (26%) 

  • The ongoing impact of Brexit (24%)

Showpad CEO shares his 2023 predictions:

Hendrik Isebaert, sales expert and Chief Executive Officer for Showpad, has identified four big shifts he expects to see shaping the market in 2023:

  • The move from a seller focus to customer-facing team approach (or as some analysts are calling it: the evolution from Sales Enablement to Revenue Enablement). We are seeing the entire account team becoming more involved in deals and ultimately customer success and the need to enable the entire team to drive deal velocity and revenue growth. 

  • The need for no-code intelligent workflows to be built into the enablement platform. Leveraging AI/ML to manage content at scale for the administrator plus the ability to surface the right asset at the right place and time will become super-critical for the time-poor account team.

  • Going beyond routine decks and demos to convince buyers by putting an emphasis on more engaging experiences – supported by modern storytelling capabilities. The account team can co-create with the buyer to build immersive and delightful customer journeys – from first touch to order, and on into the full customer lifecycle.  

  • An open and scalable ecosystem that allows customers and their partners to build with ease on top of our solution, customising it to their needs. 

Hendrik Isebaert, said: “Despite the wider economic climate, we’re delighted to see such optimism amongst B2B sales professionals in 2023. They are cognisant of the wider challenges they will face, but the vast majority are confident of improved figures for next year, and that their respective companies will back them with increased investment. This is good news for the industry. 

“We will also see wider shifts as the sales industry evolves – and we are currently evolving at a significant rate. Ensuring deals are done quickly and prompting revenue growth will be key in a downturn environment. The role of artificial intelligence and machine learning to manage content will also come to the fore, and providing engaging demos and captivating buyer experiences will be required, not just to maintain a competitive edge, but to keep up as well.”

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