B2B Sales Trends 2023

This is the 8th year in a row where we have predicted six trends for the upcoming year. Over the years, we’ve had a lot of hits but also a few misses. The past few years have shown that predicting the future is hard, but that doesn’t mean we won’t try!

Our predictions are generally based on qualitative data, namely the thousands of conversations we have with business leaders yearly. With that in mind, let's dive into predicting next year's trends!

B2B Sales Trends 2023

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1. From Siloed Ops to Revenue Operations

In 2019, we predicted the rise of SalesOps. Since then, other departments, such as CS, Marketing, and Finance, have gotten their own Ops people, who all excel at data, tools, and processes. This type of structure, where each department has its own Ops people, has been dubbed Siloed Ops.

Our prediction for 2023 is that companies will move away from siloed operations teams towards centralized operations teams, which will be responsible for the entire organization and focus on the entire customer journey. It’s the year of RevOps.

P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about RevOps, you should check out our RevOps series on YouTube or Spotify.

2. Interactive Demos will be everywhere

In 2020, we predicted that augmented reality would disrupt product presentations. With the rise of Product-Led Growth, which was already one of our trends in 2022, more and more companies want to provide free and creative access to their products and services. 

Our prediction for the coming year is that the time of simply screen-sharing demos over Zoom/Microsoft Teams is over. Instead, companies will start focusing on creating tailor-made interactive demos and providing more engaging product tours directly on their website without needing a salesperson to be present.

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3. Salespeople will need to become domain experts

Transactional sales will become more automated and self-service-oriented in the future, so sales professionals will have to shift their focus toward higher deal values. Because technology allows companies to create engaging automated demos—see trend 2—salespeople need to find new ways to stay relevant and add value to the sales process.

As such, many salespeople will become more like sales engineers and consultants. For example, salespeople selling accounting software will study accounting instead of sales tactics. This will help them become domain experts who add value to the sales process by putting things into the proper context.

4. Demand generation will continue to triumph over lead generation

Lead generation has been the primary marketing strategy for a long time. Create a lot of content, gate it behind an endless number of lead-capturing forms, and get visitors to exchange their email addresses for access to gated content. That was how Marketing generated leads.

However, more and more companies are discussing demand generation and shifting toward that strategy. Demand generation is about creating demand, i.e., educating your ICP target market about problems you solve and capturing demand by creating an excellent buying process starting from the website.

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5. Expect more stakeholders, longer sales cycles, and CFO involvement

The macroeconomic trends occurring in the global marketplace would have been hard to miss unless you've been living under a rock. Inflation, slower economic growth, and a more unpredictable business environment have all led to tighter budget controls and more careful investment decisions. 

So, we predict that CFOs will get involved even in smaller deal sizes as more buyers will look at cost savings instead of growth at all costs. Salespeople need to prepare for this by providing crystal-clear ROI and an ability to link their value proposition to their potential customers’ main objectives and key results.

6. Look-a-likes will finally become mainstream in B2B

You’ve probably heard talks about account-based marketing, customer clustering, segmentation, micro audiences, and next-best candidates. All these trendy topics have in common the requirement of identifying similarities and differences between the vast number of prospective companies. 

Fortunately, great technology is available that allows you to profile companies, and it can be automated so that it can be done at scale. 

We believe that 2023 is when RevOps teams—see trend 1—build personalized experiences at scale. For example, when sales bring in a new referral customer, that case study will automatically be placed in front of global look-a-likes on ad platforms, such as LinkedIn, and other places, such as the company’s website.

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We’d also like to highlight one trend from last year; hybrid salespeople. We’ve seen a fair amount of that development in 2022, and we firmly believe it’s not slowing down but revving up instead. Purchasing went omnichannel, and sales models will follow and go hybrid, too.

Review your strategies and tactics with our Sales Playbook Template.

Or: Download our Best Sales Tools in 2023 eBook to learn more about the types of tools out there that can help your sales team excel.

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B2B Sales Trends 2023 Mikko Honkanen

Mikko Honkanen is Vainu's co-founder with a strong background in SaaS industry and B2B sales.