So the B2B segment perhaps most impacted by the current tumult in SaaS and tech buying is sales productivity tools.
It’s not just the 11th tool for calendering or the 99th tool for sequences. Even perhaps the #1 break-out leader, Gong, isn’t totally immune from headwinds. We did a great deep-dive with their SVP of Sales and Sam Blond (ex-SVP Brex, now Partner at Founders’ Fund) as part of CRO Confidential here:
And if perhaps the most disruptive sales app of the last generation is hitting some resistance, it’s no surprise it’s even harder on many others.
Clearly, a new theme is vendor consolidation, versus the vendor explosion we’ve seen for the past 2 years.
And yet … and yet … I don’t know anyone that wants to sell less ;). I don’t know anyone giving up their CRM, or their marketing automation. Or that doesn’t need sales intelligence to fuel their outbound efforts.
So I spooled up a SaaStr survey to see just what’s happening, and the results tie to what I’m personally seeing as well:
There is a lot of cutting going on. 36% of you are cutting your sales tools, back, at least cutting a few.
But … most of you aren’t. 40% are sticking mostly with what you have, and 24% are adding to your sales stack.
Now, I bet that 24% was closer to 90% just 12 months ago. In 2021, it seemed like everyone was adding every sales tool possible to fuel productivity and growth.
Today, that may be down to 24% from 90%. That’s a lot of change. It’s deceleration like perhaps we’ve never seen in SaaS. We’ve seen up and downs, but never the pace of acceleration we saw starting in late 2020 … and never the pace of deceleration in some categories we started to see in the summer of 2022. But IMHO, it’s not a recession per se, and perhaps not even a downturn. It’s riding the downslope back to normalcy after an epic upslope.
It’s a reset. From a crazy era of growth at all costs.
If today, only 24% of potential prospects might buy your sales tool, down from 90% a year ago … well, that’s a massive change.
But your job is to find that 24%.
Grow 0% if you want. But that’s just an excuse if 24% of your customer base is still buying more in 2023.