Every year, Outreach publishes a series of new predictions based on new data and trending themes we’re seeing across our teams, customers, and the industry at large.
As part of this year’s recap — and because we are salespeople, after all — we’re circling back to reflect on the big takeaways from last year too.
Join us as we revisit what we got right, what took us by surprise, and what it all means for this year’s themes of operational excellence and professional growth.
First, a reminder of our 2023 predictions. Do any of these sound familiar?
Quality over quantity: Conversion will win
The deal won’t end when the contract is signed
There’s no room to miss: Internal and external alignment will be hard-won
Diversity in sales teams will be a differentiator
The consolidation of sales tools has just begun
Last year, the industry braced itself for the impact of tighter budgets and fewer inbound leads. Sellers had to focus on sourcing and converting pipeline that would convert at a higher rate to make up for the shift.
We’ve seen the impact across our customer base. We were over the moon to learn that the reps at Worldpay added close to 100 million dollars in pipeline with the help of Outreach.
Case and point: Google and Yahoo recently announced new requirements for bulk email senders, reminding us that spray and pray was never the way to go. Building meaningful pipeline will require a shift. No need to panic, these rules are simply enforcing many of the same best practices we’ve been teaching Outreach customers for years. This has and will encourage more quality communication, and therefore, higher quality deals.
If you’re not already using a personalized, multi-channel approach, now is the time to start — and we’ve got all the resources you need.
In 2023, we advised sellers to rebuild their prospecting muscle and focus on the right deals that will grow over time with the right champions. But the sale doesn’t end when the deal closes.
New business is flashy, but when budgets were cut, customer turnover became a real consequence in 2023. And we’re anticipating more of the same in 2024. This means valuing new business, expansion, and even renewals equally — starting and maintaining customer relationships to encourage renewal, and ensuring that your compensation programs reflect that.
To help ensure sellers are winning long-term deals, sales leaders need the ability to see — at a glance — how deals are being worked and which buyers are engaged, with prospects and customers.
As you gear up for a new year of selling, ensure that your success metrics are aligned with your business's long-term goals.
Last year, we discussed the misconception that new deals will open and close in the same quarter. Nice in theory, less common in practice — especially for enterprise deals.
Gartner research shows that 55% of buying groups experience moderate to high levels of dysfunction, which in turn reduces the likelihood of closing a high-quality deal by 73%.
In other words, a few follow-up emails to the same stakeholder aren’t enough to keep deals moving forward. Multi-threading was a powerful solution in 2023, and will continue to be valuable in 2024. Outreach data indicates opportunities where more than one account contact is engaged are 37% more likely to close. That’s also where mutual success planning comes in. Together, the seller and a champion from the buying team map out the deal cycle, requirements, and milestones. This resource gives sellers and buyers clear visibility into their next steps and shared responsibility for realizing value.
And it works: Since their initial launch in 2021, the close rates of sellers who use Success Plans are 13% higher than those who don’t. It’s no wonder why Outreach customers have built over 11,000 Success Plans in 2023 alone.
Last year, Outreach leaders put it into simple terms: Expanding and embracing the diversity of your sales team and company isn’t just the right thing to do, it also makes teams more successful.
The data doesn’t lie. Amongst diverse sales teams, win rates and quota attainment are higher, while nine out of ten sellers agree diverse sales teams are more successful. Yet, we’re far from where we need to be. Women hold just 12% of top sales positions.
Previously, to bridge the gap between the status quo and the outcome we want to achieve, women leaders within Outreach created our own blueprint to make that possible — internally and for the organizations we support.
So, this year at Unleash 2023, we were thrilled to bring our Women in Sales Summit event back for its second year — in an even bigger way. Alongside the conference, we hosted an exclusive panel discussion and networking session. With over 250 women GTM leaders in attendance, we covered essential topics like finding executive sponsors, career advancement, and self-promotion.
In the following days of Unleash, more powerhouse speakers like Mel Robbins and Cassandra Worthy took to the main stage, inspiring us all to think about how we can be forces of change in our own lives. Even after the event, the outpouring of feedback we’ve received has been incredible. We’re honored to foster a community that will last beyond a single event. We encourage all organizations to make deliberate diversity efforts in 2024.
During the economic boom, companies bought tech as fast as they could. When sellers or managers asked for a tool to help them perform their role, they often got it, with little pushback. Last year, as budgets tightened, purchases fell under greater scrutiny.
In a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Outreach, 79% of respondents said their CFOs and finance teams got more involved in provider evaluations in the past two years.
We don’t see this changing any time soon in 2024. Now more than ever, teams must justify every single dollar spent. If a nice-to-have piece of tech isn’t well-adopted or delivering ROI, it’s on the chopping block.
In the last year at Outreach, we’ve seen that adoption rate is one of the biggest indicators of success, and gets teams more bang for their buck. When buying new tech has and will become more difficult, maximizing the use of current tech will be of tip top priority.
Our data shows that users who average three or more days of direct engagement with the Outreach app weekly book 2.25 times more meetings and have 33% higher revenue attainment than users with a lower engagement. That translates to 70% more closed revenue each quarter on average.
In place of point solutions, sales organizations are looking for new ways to get more from their existing technology investments.
Chat with our team to learn how you can use Outreach to generate more pipeline, manage deals, coach your team, and forecast — all in the same platform.
Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen the focus shift from just adapting to economic challenges to optimizing and refining strategies for long-term success. The change from “growth at all costs” to quality, targeted approaches, the increased role of AI in freeing up sales reps for more strategic work, and the continued emphasis on tech ROI and efficiency will carry over into this year.
Businesses will need to become increasingly agile, data-driven, and focused on long-term relationship building and strategic growth. But resilience and adaptability have always been core traits of successful sellers. And we’re here to support you every step of the way.
Request a consultation to make sure you’re getting the most value from Outreach’s sales engagement, deal management, and forecasting capabilities.
For more insights into what sales leaders are preparing for in 2024, check out our full 2024 predictions breakdown.