State of Tech Sales 2024

As another year closes, we again reached out to you, our community, to look into the crystal ball to find out what the tech industry has to look forward to in 2024.

We wanted to share a summary of this year’s findings along with some advice to help you act on it. Read now the state of tech sales in 2024.

A growth mindset in 2024

While 2023 saw more layoffs and budget-tightening, our survey respondents feel overall optimistic, with over two thirds saying they feel hopeful for the new year. Just one in six responded that they are still worried. This was reflected similarly in three quarters focusing on growth in 2024, while only 10% felt they had to continue cutting back next year.

We’re inclined to agree, as, while Q2/Q3 2023 saw a slowdown, and while December is typically a slower month in Europe, we’ve been experiencing an increase in demand for our business development services, with especially Series A and B tech companies keen on having everything set up to hit the ground running abroad in 2024.

After all, in this economic climate — or really any as a startup or scale-up — if you aren’t focused on growth, you won’t last long. We’re happy to help you go and grow in 2024!

Within that, almost half of respondents are including team expansion in their 2024 growth plans, with nearly two-thirds choosing the more flexible growth plan of a mix of full-time and contracted or outsourced teammates. This allows for more stability in uncertain times, keeping OPEX down, while treating everyone as a colleague, on the same calls.

It’s not surprising that our survey found that the most challenging role for our respondents to fill is sales, as they are the ones driving much of that growth.

For those considering outsourcing in 2024, speed to market and proven expertise are big stand-out reasons, followed by flexibility. Still, a third of respondents are not considering outsourcing at all, choosing to go the traditional HR route for all roles.

Also Read: Your 2024 SaaS Sales Guide

Will 2024 be the year of GenAI?

If 2023 saw the wider launch of generative AI platforms, will 2024 become the year where businesses actually gain measurable value from AI? Our community isn’t so sure. In fact, two thirds are planning to remain in the piloting and experimentation stage in the new year. This makes sense as our community is predominantly European, which has been much more reluctant to widely adopt generative AI tools than the U.S. Earlier this year, we even watched as Italy temporarily banned ChatGPT due to GDPR concerns. Europe’s commitment to data privacy will certainly be a strong consideration to all future AI adoption, and must be a priority for any companies looking to sell there.

That being said, especially in the field of software development and across communication and collaboration, generative AI has already been proven to dramatically increase productivity. Google’s Bard was even used to process the anonymous results of this year’s study, saving our team significant time.

If you aren’t at least piloting GenAI, you will soon be left behind. There is real value in AI assistance, but it must be leveraged strategically.

Unfortunately, many companies haven’t even written and communicated their own generative AI policy yet. This is a preventable risk. While the benefits of AI are unlocked within the context of your sector and organization, make sure everyone in your organization follows basic GenAI etiquette:

  • If you aren’t paying for it, you are part of a research project and training a global large language model (LLM.) Never put proprietary or personally identifying information into the chatbot. This is also how you avoid violating GDPR.
  • This is still new tech. Don’t trust the first response. Learn to prompt more specifically and ask follow-up questions. The quality of response depends on the quality of your prompt. Think of it as a conversation, not a Google search.
  • A chatbot is meant to give an output — whether it knows the answer or not. Make sure to ask the bot to only give an answer if it’s correct. Follow up and ask it for the provenance so you can know where that info is coming from with citation.

What is our community planning to leverage AI for in 2024? While we had an array of use cases, only one had a significant number of responses — more than half are looking to experiment with AI in sales, marketing, lead generation, and personalization.

We’re not surprised — personalization is essential to moving prospects down your sales funnel. And just like you, we love playing around with new tech. But so far we’re only finding GenAI great for brainstorming. It’s still unsuitably robotic for outreach. Experimenting with this side of AI seems a perfect plan for 2024, but don’t automate your prospect outreach or you’ll lose their attention fast.

Also notable — and potentially related since prospect outreach follows a metrics-based cadence — 39% of respondents said they are planning to experiment with AI for process automation.

Remember, tech workers are creative workers. The potential of AI lies in automating the mundane, so we can focus on building relationships and solving problems.

Also Read: Build Your 2024 Lead Generation Strategy

Where will you head in 2024?

Again, this could be our Europe-centric echo chamber, but 75% of our community respondents are looking to expand to Europe this coming year. As it was pick as many as you wanted, another 34% are expanding into North America, and 13% to Austral-Asia.

Looking in particular at European expansion, here is where our community would like to target in early 2024 (they could again choose more than one):

  • UK and Ireland - 47%
  • Spain - 30%
  • Germany - 23%
  • France - 11%
  • Benelux - 22%
  • Nordics - 9%
  • Italy - 9%

Want help getting there? Since 2023 (we're old enough to drink in the U.S. now!), we have been helping B2B tech companies expand across Europe through sales outsourcing, lead generation, and sales strategy and management. Contact us to schedule a conversation in the new year.

Who we interviewed

This was undoubtedly snowball sampling based on our own community and then asking our community to share with other respondents. As a result, 72% of our recipients are based in Europe and 21% in North America. Nearly half are service providers or consultants and just over a third are SaaS providers. The majority of our respondents are targeting one of these three verticals:

  • Sales and marketing
  • Financial services
  • Developer-focused tooling

We are really grateful to everyone who took five to tell us about their plans for 2024. May each of you enjoy some time off with your family and friends and let’s talk next year!

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