Salesforce recently held its Q2 2023 earning call, and as always, it was ripe with insight into the industry’s horizon. Our Chief Revenue Officer, Andy Menzies, listened in and took down some notes.
Though Salesforce’s sales cycles slowed down during the quarter, more people on the buyer’s side got involved in the decision-making process, there was more focus on quick returns, enterprises compressed more significant transactions, and there was a strong trend toward vendor consolidation versus maintaining a diverse “zoo” of tech partners.
So, what does that mean for enterprise selling? According to Andy, there’s nothing radically new for anybody who has been through at least one severe recession, but here are the top three areas enterprise sellers should concentrate on.
1. Double up on renewals and expansions.
Talk to your marketing team and launch account-based programs targeted to current accounts (use Declan Mulkeen’s Let’s Talk ABM podcast for inspiration). Get on a plane and meet customers in person. Prevent churn at any cost.
2. Go deep with your research and personalize the client’s buying experience from the first interaction.
Ensure every buying group member knows you know all their current challenges and how their business works. Learn to navigate and influence the decision-making process from the very top (and if you are working with huge accounts, make sure to read Megadeals by Johan Aberg and Christopher Engman, with particular focus on the “decision lavers” model).
3. Re-package your offerings.
Focus more on short-term returns and scalability. Use risk mitigation language. Master the land and expand your strategy. This is vital for new logo acquisitions during a turbulent economy – no enterprise will be eager to start big with a new vendor, so it’s your job to show them how you can make their job easier!
Now more than ever, it’s essential that teams focus on strengthening their quality journey by selecting the proper testing solutions. Testing applications isn’t just a suggestion – it’s a necessity. Enterprise sellers are familiar with this paradigm, but taking this period of introspection as a time to level up and meet customers where they need us will make all the difference. Salesforce’s Q2 earning call underlines the importance of quality as people spend more time making the right decisions for their team when choosing a testing solution. No longer can teams rely on a one-size-fits-all solution or one that leaves a portion of their team in the dark due to a high-code platform. Our product and vendor evaluation guide for automated testing offers a guideline on where to start if you’re looking for a helpful framework.
What does the Salesforce leadership team have to say about it all? Here are some quotes from the call:
- Bret Taylor: “I think what you’re seeing is an increased focus on, I say, three things. One is time to value. The other is ensuring these projects drive cost savings, customer satisfaction, and top-line growth. And then the third is reducing complexity and vendor consolidation.”
- Marc Benioff: “We see customers becoming more measured in how they buy. Sales cycles can get stretched. Higher levels of management inspect deals. Nearly everyone I’ve talked to takes a more measured approach to their business.”
- Amy Weaver: “We started to see more measured buying behavior from our customers, which began in the last month of the quarter. This resulted in stretched sales cycles, additional deal approval layers, and deal compression.”
- Brian Millham: “We are seeing some compression in some of the larger transactions in our enterprise business, and it’s not a surprise … People take a more measured approach to their digital transformation, maybe starting with a smaller piece, but a land and expand strategy is something we’ve used for many, many years. Maybe some of these engagements are a bit smaller, but we see an acceleration in these customers in quarters to come.”
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