How Sales Leaders Can Optimize Revenue

By Mark Ebert, SVP of Sales, 6sense
A person types on a keyboard with a yellow watch to their left.

Excess costs and lost revenue potential cost revenue teams a tremendous amount of money – approximately $2 trillion per year, according to research from the Boston Consulting Group. Some of the main culprits in this waste? Inefficiencies, redundancies, and misplaced priorities. 

Waste is never a good thing, of course. But in this economy, sales leaders simply can’t let it slide. Our CEOs and boards still expect us to deliver predictable, strategic revenue growth regardless of economic uncertainty.

The good news? There are many ways sales leaders can streamline the go-to-market process to eliminate waste and optimize revenue. I’m particularly focused on three big areas that are within our control: optimized tech investments, the best data, and prioritization of the opportunities that are likely to bring in the most revenue. 

Optimized Tech Investments

As we move into 2023, Forrester predicts that organizations will shed one-third of the point solutions from their revenue tech stack. This economy presents a big opportunity for sales leaders to take a look at their tech stacks and determine what to keep and what to discard. Revenue teams looking to cut waste will likely trim those “shiny object” technologies they’ve purchased in recent years – especially if they were never fully integrated with existing tech stacks.

Instead, it’s smart to prioritize the tech investments that are proven to make revenue generation easier and more predictable. Foundational revenue technology that provides robust data, distills insights to create a competitive advantage, and connects with all the applications needed for successful execution is more important now than ever.

These types of technology serve as a sort of “central nervous system” for the revenue team. They’re what makes it possible to build omnichannel, end-to-end experiences and create multiplicative efficiency across marketing, sales, and customer success.

As more revenue teams start to play off of one sheet of music with centralized revtech, it will become clear which tech is essential and interconnected, and which tech falls into the “shiny object” category. This will allow us to streamline our technologies and keep only those that are truly integral to our success.

Clean, Current, and Useful Data

The waste that comes from losing out on deals we should have won might be the most frustrating for sales leaders. But it’s also very much within our control to fix. A key to doing that is to have high-quality data that can be turned into the types of insights that get you into the best deals faster than the competition. 

According to Forrester, “Success in 2023 will require relevant, reliable customer data to help sharpen audience targeting.” Companies that are still relying on things like form fills instead of data to identify prospects simply can’t be competitive anymore. 

We know that only 3% of Website visitors raise their hands and identify themselves by filling out a form. That means we’re wasting all the effort and expense we invested to drive the other 97% of people to our Websites unless we have another way of identifying them. But in a recent survey, only 26% of organizations said they could identify Web traffic that doesn’t fill out a form. 

To identify all those anonymous visitors and alert you to signals that a buyer is interested in what you’re selling, you need several types of data: 

  • First-party intent data from properties that belong to you, like your Website, your CRM, and MAP
  • Second-party intent data from sites you don’t own but which contain content about you, such as review sites
  • Third-party intent data from everywhere else on the Web that lets you know an account could be in the market for a solution like yours

It’s also important to have pre-intent data, which alerts you to prospects before they even begin their buying journey – allowing you to get into deals when there’s still plenty of time to help shape and influence them. 

Prioritizing the Best Accounts

In sales, time is our greatest resource. As sales leaders, it’s our responsibility to give our team the tools they need to prioritize and structure their days to ensure the most success in the least amount of time. The right tech and the best data combine to make that possible. 

With data that reveals previously anonymous buying activities, as well as technology that distills insights from that data, sales leaders can help their sellers do two very important things:

  • Identify the best accounts to work (the ones that are in-market for what you’re selling and are likeliest to buy)
  • Determine the right sales motions and all the right individuals to engage to make the deal successful

By keeping your sellers laser-focused on right-fit, in-market accounts – and by making it easy for your reps to engage multiple personas on those accounts – you can make sure they’re making the best use of every single day. So instead of low-impact activities seemingly done at random, you can serve up the activities that are likely to lead to the outcomes you need. 

I’ve seen this prioritization approach work time and again for my own team and for my customers. Within just two quarters of prioritizing accounts that are in-market, companies taking this approach can generate the same amount of revenue with 40% less effort, while improving average deal value and win rates and decreasing cycle times.

No Time for Waste

In any financial climate, wasting resources on the wrong accounts is bad business. But in uncertain economic times, it simply can’t be tolerated. The sales leaders who will pull ahead during the coming months are those who are best able to focus their efforts and resources toward the most profitable, likely-to-close accounts. Doing that will require smart technology, high-quality data, and the strategic prioritization they enable.  

Mark Ebert is SVP of Sales at 6sense, where he is responsible for Revenue Operations and Enablement teams.