The Sybill team and I got up close with sales and revenue leaders from across the country at the recently concluded Sales 3.0 CRO Summit. Meeting peers and customers from across the country was interesting. We shared new ideas and things we were working on, and it was clear - the sales landscape is most definitely on the cusp of major shifts.
With sessions ranging from virtual selling to the power of LinkedIn connections, the impact of AI in sales effectiveness and efficiency to cross-functional collaboration, growth and talent development to a slowing economy, there was nothing that keeps modern revenue leaders up at night that wasn't covered. Glad that Gerhard Gschwandtner hosted this event and got the sales and sales tech community together for some refreshing conversations.
As for the Sybill team, we found the affirmation that what we are building is indeed on the right track. With every session, it became more evident that efficiency and effectiveness, effective communication, easy access to insights, and genuine connections are at the heart of modern sales.
If you couldn't attend the Sales 3.0 CRO Summit, we have you covered. Check out all session summaries on the Sybill website. You don't want to miss the incredible insights, stories, and lessons from the trenches.
Top Sales Trends & Insights in 2023: Lessons from the Sales 3.0 CRO Summit
2023 is hard for any sales leader or professional. The economy refuses to recover quickly. Buying committees are larger. Buying cycles are longer. Frontline sales warriors are finding greener pastures. And sales teams are expected to deliver miracles with fewer resources.
In light of these macro trends, a few themes emerged across all the sessions.
2023 Sales Trend #1: Sales is a Team Sport
John Turner’s session on 'The Sales Victory Plan' underlined the crucial role of cross-functional alignment in modern sales.
John showcased an actual plan that he uses to dismantle insight silos. Combining data with his sales team's field insights, he enables a smoother flow of collective knowledge to other functional areas. All so that everyone, from HR to finance, marketing to customer success, is aligned on collective goals.
A significant shift in this direction is the switch from sales as a siloed function to revenue as a holistic team sport. I have seen this happening in several customer organizations, including Sybill. Organizations are moving beyond the traditional approach to sales. Many sessions underscored the importance of a broader revenue-centric approach.
Roderick Jefferson's transition from 'Sales Enablement to Revenue Enablement' and Hang Back's dive into 'Building a Revenue Leadership Team to Meet Tomorrow's Buyers Today' suggest that the future belongs to organizations that view sales as just one component of a holistic revenue generation strategy. Businesses are prioritizing tools and techniques that offer a panoramic view of the entire sales and revenue journey.
Chris Courneen, VP and Global Head of HR at MS International, also focused on the importance of onboarding, coaching, and leadership in sales. Increasingly, sales leaders are partnering with HR teams to formulate learning and development plans based on real-world performance insights.
Tools that foster communication and shared understanding across departments will become essential as more and more organizations move away from theoretical coaching and strategies to those rooted directly in the experiences of frontline sales teams.
Speaking of teamwork, here's the Sybill team making things happen at the Sales 3.0 Conference :)
2023 Sales Trend #2: Race for Talent
The 'Fireside Chat: Building a CRO Ready Organization' and the collaboration between sales leaders and HR suggest a keen emphasis on cultivating and retaining top talent in the sales arena.
The modern sales landscape requires not just skilled salespeople but also far-sighted leaders, strategists, and cross-functional champions. As the quest for talent intensifies, companies need innovative solutions and strategies to attract, nurture, and retain the best.
I believe the tools at the front and center will be those that allow sales pros to bring their inherent humanness to the yard. The bloat of tech stacks will eventually end. AI will automate a lot that can be automated, all so that sales pros do what they do best - nurturing long-term customer and inter-team relationships for collective success.
2023 Sales Trend #3: Not Just Sales Efficiency but True Sales Effectiveness
Sessions like Ken Hoppe's "Now More Than Ever, You Can't Throw Cash and Headcount at Sales – You Need Efficiency" and Elay Cohen's 'New Ways to Improve Sales Effectiveness and Sales Execution With AI" highlighted the urgency with which efficiency and effectiveness need to become the new normal in sales teams.
For obvious reasons, I especially resonated with Elay Cohen's perspectives on AI as the game-changer for sales pros, especially since we are still just about scratching the surface of what's truly possible with AI for sales.
Elay also highlighted that sales teams continue to use ChatGPT for some amount of automation and how there’s always some privacy risk involved with such tools. The future, most certainly, belongs to sales tools that can offer AI-powered efficiency and effectiveness in sales processes while also ensuring data confidentiality.
With sales teams navigating one of the worst economic slowdowns in recent history, the focus is clearly shifting from vanilla resource allocation to smart, efficient, and technology-driven sales execution. Doing more with less? Well, that's a cliche that continues to ring true!
2023 Sales Trend #4: Human Connections in the Age of Virtual Everything
Tyler Lessard's session on 'How Video is Changing the World of Selling' and Brynne Tillman's insights on 'Converting LinkedIn Connections to Conversations' reaffirm that sales has largely migrated to digital selling.
In the middle of this shift, the struggle to maintain the human touch is real. After all, that's precisely what enhances buyer experience, improves your brand and team's memorability, and eventually acquires and retains customers.
I especially enjoyed Deloitte Consulting’s Paul Vinogradov’s perspective on the sales process’ transition from product to solution to experience and its importance in modern sellers. Especially at a time of digital clutter, sales reps need to have insights and be smart about the customer and their business before they walk into every conversation.
Using tools that make sellers not only more efficient but also more human, all to humanize the virtual selling experience, will boost genuine connections and trust-building.
Work and More at Sales 3.0
We took some of these conversations outside the sessions and to the dinner table.
Here’s the Sybill team and guests at the dinner.
Sales 3.0 Session Summaries, Powered By Sybill
It's inspiring to see the sales community not merely react, but proactively innovate in the face of change. While AI and other technologies promise efficiency and process optimization, human connection, collaboration, and adaptability set apart truly successful sales teams. The tools of the future are those that enable and empower that humanness.
As the conference wrapped up, there was an air of optimism and eagerness to take on the world of sales with renewed zeal. Not too different from how the Sybill team is thinking about the future :)