With one analyst giving a global recession a 98% likelihood, it’s almost guaranteed that businesses will face significant challenges in the new year. Corporations have responded to the anticipated slow growth — along with astronomical inflation rates — by freezing strategic investments and implementing cost containment measures to build their resiliency.
As a result, the sales environment has become increasingly difficult. What can vendors do to prepare for selling during a recession?
Most critically, companies must take a look at their org chart, tightly aligning internal teams from product and customer success to sales and marketing. Each person within those aligned teams must know what success looks like for their organization. And with a market downturn on the horizon, success means one thing: revenue.
How does a singular focus on revenue impact internal roles and responsibilities? Companies, recognizing that revenue generation and growth are more than just sales, will increase job titles focused on revenue. Instead of sales and marketing operations, we will begin to see revenue operations. In turn, chief sales officers will be replaced with more outcomes-oriented chief revenue officers.
Revenue Reigns Supreme
Efficiency and transparency improve when the line between marketing and sales blurs and executives understand that revenue should be a company-wide initiative. As leaders shift their thinking and recognize that the responsibility for driving revenue falls on sales, marketing, and customer success teams, comprehensive roles with revenue in the title will become more popular. Here are some of those roles:
- Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) – a senior executive who is responsible for driving revenue growth and overseeing all revenue-generating functions within an organization. The CRO is typically responsible for leading the sales, marketing, and customer success teams, and aligning their efforts to optimize revenue generation.
- Revenue Account Manager – This person is responsible for managing relationships with key accounts to drive revenue growth.
- Revenue Analyst – This person is responsible for analyzing data and making recommendations to improve revenue performance.
- Revenue Data Scientist – This person is responsible for using data and analytics to drive revenue growth and/or machine learning and AI to score and target prospects as well as predict revenue growth.
- Revenue Growth Manager – This person is responsible for identifying and pursuing new opportunities for revenue growth.
- Revenue Manager – This person is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to optimize revenue generation for a business.
- Revenue Operations Manager – This person is responsible for coordinating and optimizing the various processes, systems, and data that support the end-to-end revenue cycle.
- Revenue Planner – This person is responsible for developing revenue forecasts and budgets.
- Revenue Strategy Director – This person is responsible for developing and executing long-term revenue strategies for a business.
- Revenue Success Manager – This person is responsible for helping customers achieve their desired outcomes and maximize the value they receive from a product or service, in order to drive revenue growth for the company. The Revenue Success Manager may also be responsible for identifying upsell and cross-sell opportunities with existing customers, and for developing and implementing strategies to increase customer retention and expansion.
Revenue-centric roles will increasingly pop up on job boards because they capture the objectives of marketing, sales, and product teams, shoving them under one umbrella. In effect, this aims traditionally differing goals towards the same foolproof north star: profit generation.
New revenue roles also open the door for a refreshed organizational perspective. B2B businesses previously focused on smarketing — the marriage between sales and marketing teams — and building alignment. But siloed tech stacks and competing interests divided marketing, sales, and customer success teams, turning true cohesion into a pipe dream. A rejuvenated org chart centered around revenue is a crucial fix because it encourages smarketing team members to work together, not just in parallel. This unity equates to fewer hours wasted on non-important projects and, most importantly, greater revenue generation.
Sales-marketing cohesion can drive 32% higher revenue.Aberdeen
Now imagine the possibilities of total alignment through revenue.
New Roles = New strategies
Businesses must also invest in technology that supports the new revenue operations structure. Historically, marketing and sales teams have worked in separate tech stacks, creating siloed data and disconnected teams. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
RevTech will define the marketing and sales landscape. RevTech bridges the gap between marketing and sales, coordinating data and pushing organization-wide efforts toward a single purpose: revenue. When teams are aligned around one core objective, business growth, improved profit margins and higher sales rates are not only possible but likely.
Getting marketing and sales teams in sync is key, but the next piece of the puzzle is equally important. Product teams must also align with their friends in sales and marketing to deliver results. Business leaders should consider combining product and marketing teams under the same manager for the best synergy. Furthermore, when re-aligning teams, it’s critical to adopt technologies that allow visibility and insight into customer sentiment. When marketing or sales teams don’t share this data with other teams, customer success agents don’t have insight into how to deliver a great product.
And having a RevTech stack that provides a solid customer experience is more important than ever. Today’s customers expect a highly personalized experience.
66% of B2B customers expect the same or better personalization in their professional lives (vs. in their personal lives).Forrester
Businesses can no longer survive by clumsily passing off leads or pushing out generic content to customers. Prioritizing RevOps titles and investing in a solid RevTech stack takes the guesswork out of creating a seamless experience for employees and customers alike.
Every recession will end. Some businesses will use the market downturn to get creative, be cautious with spending, and prioritize revenue-focused tech and responsibilities. Other businesses will slash marketing budgets at the first sign of a slump and have a difficult time regaining their footing when market recovery begins. Don’t let your organization fall into the latter category.