It’s the most wonderful time of the year, folks.
Presents are under the tree.
“Naughty” and “Nice” lists are being made.
Sales teams are frantically trying to close every deal they possibly can to hit Q4 numbers.
And Ambition is unveiling our patented “Year End” lists highlighting the top tools, trends, and topics of the coming year.
The Top Sales Trends of 2023
For many sales pros, 2022 was like a Charles Dickens novel.
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
It was a time when you could finally sling deals in public again without masks.
It was the beginning of a recession, mass tech layoffs, and the crypto winter.
Unfortunately, we project more tough times to come in 2023. But tough times don’t last, tough people do.
So let’s dive into the top sales trends of 2023 and see who’s going to be surviving strong in the new year.
Sales Trend: Personalization Will Be a Must
2023 is the year you don’t get to choose whether you personalize outbound or not.
Either you personalize and succeed, or you don’t and you completely fail.
I don’t make the rules.
This will be the year that sales organizations go all in on personalization or else suffer catastrophic quarters.
Get your personalization skills in order.
Learn how to research, build rapport, and add value super quickly in your outbound cadences by customizing your pitches to your prospects.
Sales Trend: Referrals Will Grow in Importance
Referrals have always been the most slept-on prospecting tactic for sales organizations.
But in 2023, they will become more vital than ever.
For all the hype “dark social” got in 2022, having a dark social presence just means you have a lot of happy customers referring you to brands on social media.
We expect tighter budgets and more rigorous buying processes in 2023. Deals will be harder to win, and there will be fewer of them to go around.
Brands that get an “in” via referral always have the upper hand.
Learning how to ask for referrals (yes, you should always ask) is going to pay off big time in 2023.
Make sure you do so.
Sales Trend: Gifting Will Fall Off
Not gonna front - I’ve never been a fan of gifting services like Sendoso or Alyce.
Feels a little too close to bribing someone to talking to me.
Which does not translate to a closed deal.
My time is precious. I don’t need half-interested prospects I guilt-tripped with a foot massage wasting my time and theirs.
I feel like gifting solutions lead to prospects doing demos for prospects that are never going to purchase.
That ain’t it, chief.
Expect gifting to continue to fall off in 2023.
Sales Trend: It Will Continue to Go Down in the (Text) DMs
The text DMs are the best friend of savvy sales reps around the world.
That will only continue to grow as text-first millennials achieve more buying power and we come to expect our sales counterparts to correspond with us appropriately.
I don’t need you shooting me long-winded emails I’m not going to read or leaving me voicemails I’m never going to listen to.
Instead, I need you to text me. Use emojis. Feel free to drop in abbreviations like NGL and HMU. I am much more likely to respond if you reach out to me via text like I want.
Sales Trend: Cameos Are for Closers
You know what sales “gift” is cheap, fun, effective, and doesn’t feel like a bribe?
I’m a huge fan of using Cameos for sales outreach.
I’ve seen it work firsthand and I highly advise using it.
Here’s how you do it.
Step 1. Find out what the prospect likes - a sports team, a movie, a TV show, etc. Some garden variety social media stalking should tell you what this is.
Step 2. Go to Cameo and find a celebrity to do a personalized video for the prospect on the cheap. Have him/her reiterate your talking points and say how they think it’s a great idea for y’all to work together.
Step 3. Send the prospect the Cameo.
Step 4. Await the DocuSign signature.
Note: this approach works best with prospects who are deep in your sales process. It’s best to use with prospects you have a contract out to awaiting signature (or you’re about to send a contract to).
Sales Trend: Coaches Will Create Quota Crushers
I always tell my reps there are two ways to do everything:
Their way and the right way.
I don’t care about the “badass email template” Sally SDR is blabbing about on LinkedIn.
I don’t care what the latest hack sales thought leader is telling you the right process is.
99% of sales thought leaders on LinkedIn are total morons.
The best sales leaders will keep their reps focused and disciplined when it comes to sales process.
The reps who listen will reap the benefits while the ones doing the “latest and greatest bullsh*t” they saw on LinkedIn will fall flat on their face like Ashlee Simpson circa 2003.
Sales Trend: Some of You Will Continue to Simp for LinkedIn DM’ing
It doesn’t work, bro.
It doesn’t f*cking work.
Stop doing it.
Sales Trend: Sending Emails at Weird Hours Will Be a Strong Flex
I’ve literally seen this tactic work for a solid decade straight.
I’m convinced it’s bulletproof.
Work it into your sales process now.
Here it is:
Foremost, make sure all your cold email outreach is appropriately personalized. Put some thought and elbow grease into your outbound emails. Show the prospect you’ve done your homework.
Then, schedule your emails to go out at bizarre hours. Midnight. Saturday afternoon. Monday morning at 4:30am. Super inappropriate times where only a psychopath would be working.
Pro-tip: busy people with buying power love working with other people who have crazy work ethic. The timing of your email send is going to be half as powerful as your messaging.
You’re telling this person - I’m the type of guy who’s thinking about you, my potential customer, at 10:30pm on Saturday night.
I’m not Netflix and chilling. I’m at my laptop, researching your customer, studying your needs, and crafting a solution to your problems.
(In reality, you might be Netflix and chilling. Just schedule the email to make it look like you’re not).
I’m a huge fan of this approach. A/B test your sends at off-hours with those at normal hours and see which ones do better.
Sales Trend: Remote Coaching + Recognition Will Be the Difference-Maker
The best sales teams in 2023 will be productive, engaged, and in sync - despite continuing to work as a hybrid or remote team in many cases.
We predict that coaches who thrive in managing reps remotely will be the catalysts for greatness in their organizations.
Coaches that excel in celebrating publicly and coaching reps up privately will create loyal, high-performing teams that crush their quotas in 2023.
Now is the time to find those leaders who thrive in this environment and equip them with the tools they need to transform their reps into all-stars.
The organizations who do this in 2023 will reap the benefits.
Other Sales Trends of 2023
Well, there you go. What did we miss? Any sales trend you or your team foresee that we should account for?
Best of luck to your sales organization in 2023.
Let’s make this the best year ever for sales teams around the world.