Wrestling with Slower Sales 

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Chris Gale

May 14, 2024 • 2 min read

Were there lessons from the slower revenue many enterprises experienced in 2023?

It’s been hard for many startup founders to tease apart how much slowness in 2023 was due to macro forces in the economy, and how much was from just being a startup trying to find a product/market fit. If you were in this position, you were working to speed up the sales cycle and make it more profitable just as a condition of existence.

While some of the slowdown was attributed simply to smaller budgets that led to sales constraints, one particular frustration was repeated in conversations we had as part of our annual 2023/2024 market intelligence process:

Executives were encountering a “consensus sale” situation that seemed to be worse than years before.

Instead of being able to find a decisionmaker and working with them toward a deal, leaders reported that they and their team were seeing buying decisions becoming increasingly conditional on more individuals with vetoes and less of a stake in the product.

So how did executives fix this problem? Some of the solutions shared with us included –

  • Focusing narrowly on aspects of the product that addressed prospect revenue and impacted topline rather than bottom line.It appeared that businesses selling products or services primarily aimed at the bottom line were subjected more to consensus sales.
  • Investing in search marketing to increase hits from browser searches is boosted by a thought leadership engine.In one case, this was enhanced through thought leadership written by respected people in the industry, in order to make the product the respected solution for its particular audience.
  • Focusing on more client conversations and protecting the time needed to make sure they were approaching the market effectively. This was the strategy of a business within a larger enterprise concerned with developing a new identity and marketing messaging after a series of acquisitions.
  • Orienting on sales-driven thought leadership. Developing pieces that could easily fit into the sales team’s hands and be used in moving leads and prospects through the funnel.

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