Congratulations on making it through another turbulent year! As we toast our glasses to hopes of new opportunities and growth in 2023, it’s important to take some time to review what we’ve learned through the year and adapt to changes that are unfolding into the new year.
This was an important year of discovery as Forrester continues to understand the needs of B2B sales in a hybrid, buyer–led, and ever-changing world. Many sales and operations leaders are beginning to explore sales performance management (SPM) solutions to better plan and execute in a highly volatile market. Before exploring any SPM solutions, what strategic orientation do revenue leaders need first to align their sales planning and execution? At the center is getting customer and revenue leaders who are working to become customer-obsessed to understand that leadership, strategy, and operations must all be oriented around customer obsession. To be successful today, organizations must be:
- Customer-led. This is the age of the customer, and empowered customers are driving the future of selling. We must clearly meet them where they are in their buying journey and serve them how they want to be engaged.
- Insights-driven. Actionable insights enable us to be more predictive and prescriptive in our decisions and actions to accelerate growth. Compared with beginner firms, advanced insights-driven businesses are 8 times more likely to report that they grew by 20% or more.
- Fast. Adaptive companies grow 3.2 times faster than their industry peers. Being adaptive requires being able to change as needed and to continually optimize the business to align with buyers. Agile and digital processes are now table stakes to capture new opportunities and minimize risk.
- Connected. Elevate your revenue engine with tightly integrated sales, marketing, customer success, and finance teams. Collaboration on strategic planning, annual planning, and ongoing continuous planning is necessary to create a seamless buyer journey and optimized revenue streams.
Revenue and operations leaders who are oriented on customer obsession are better prepared to realize the impact that SPM solutions can have to more predictably build, optimize, execute, and achieve their sales plans. Today, sales and marketing teams are somewhat aligned but recognize that more must be done. Forrester’s Winter Sales Survey, 2022, shows that almost two-thirds (62%) of revenue ops and sales ops leaders and professionals say they plan to intentionally increase their alignment between sales, marketing, and customer success in 2023. But there are still some challenges to bring that to life, beyond strategic alignment and best practices, and Forrester has seen this manifest in SPM technology. In The Sales Performance Management Landscape, Q4 2022, we reviewed 22 SPM vendors that echoed these recent shifts when asked about three major trends in the landscape:
- SPM turns data into predictive insights. More robust modeling and advanced analytics are being simplified to ease the challenge of deriving insights from data. Expect vendors’ approach to converting market, account, and sales data into predictive insights for planning to become more intuitive, guided, and easier to perform.
- Planning mandates a more shared and collaborative experience. The value of connected planning is elevated as it evolves to enable faster decision-making in a more shared and collaborative experience with automated notifications and effective communications. A more distributed ability to create, update, and align planning models drives greater ability to quickly pivot, adjust, and optimize plans.
- Sales planning expands to revenue planning. As the shift from siloed functional planning to aligned revenue planning becomes the expected norm, SPM platforms will accelerate their evolution to more tightly aligned and robust revenue planning that includes sales, marketing, customer success, and finance.
To better understand how SPM vendors are currently serving clients to drive greater predictability and agility to optimize business performance, check out The Sales Performance Management Landscape, Q4 2022, or schedule an inquiry to speak with us directly.