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Sales Cycles – A Look Back at 2023 and What Could Lie Ahead

By Thibault Lamy - Senior Consultant at Zeren.

In the world of tech sales, 2023 was a challenging year, to say the least.

It resulted in notable changes in the approaches and focal points of businesses in Europe, the UK, and the US. As we enter Q4 of 2023, we need to highlight the important observations and developments from the past year and prepare for what the future may hold.


Key Insights from 2023 

2023 was a year of adaptation and recalibration for many tech companies. The rapid pace of change and uncertainty pushed some companies to diversify their focus areas, often at an unsustainable pace. A lot of companies were running too fast, trying to be everything to everyone. 

One notable shift was a change in the approach to hiring. Some businesses, particularly in the cybersecurity sector, decided to narrow their focus. Instead of chasing enterprise-level clients, they opted to concentrate on the mid-market segment. This strategic shift allowed them to channel their resources effectively and return stronger in the long run. 


The Rise of Recurring Revenue Streams 

2023 saw a growing emphasis on recurring revenue streams, particularly through models like Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR). Many businesses within Europe and the UK have moved away from traditional licensing models. Instead, they embraced subscription-based revenue models, giving clients more flexibility. 

This trend is likely to continue in 2024 as companies recognize the benefits of aligning their revenue models with customer needs. Subscription models not only provide stable income but also allow customers to adapt to changing circumstances more easily. 


The Role of Business Intelligence and AI 

Business intelligence, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), emerged as a crucial tool for tech companies in 2023. Business intelligence solutions that offer insights into data and performance became highly sought after. Companies want a clear understanding of themselves, their staff, and their markets. 

AI-driven business intelligence solutions enable companies to move beyond basic KPIs and gain deeper, actionable insights. These tools are expected to play an even more significant role in 2024 as companies seek to make data-driven decisions and optimize their operations. 


Future Hiring Trends in Tech Sales 

Looking ahead to 2024, the hiring landscape in tech sales is expected to undergo significant changes. As the industry evolves, so do the roles within it. There has been a shift towards younger VPs in tech companies who are more open to hiring talent from diverse backgrounds, not just within the industry. 


Diversity and culture within sales teams are key. 2024 should witness a shift towards a more inclusive and culturally aware sales function. This will not only improve the working environment but also contribute to better sales strategies. 


As we enter the last few months of the year, it’s evident that the tech sales landscape is in a state of constant flux. Adaptation, data-driven decision-making, and a focus on recurring revenue models are the cornerstones of success.  By embracing change and staying agile, businesses can navigate the dynamic tech sales landscape and thrive in the year to come.