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13 Ways Revenue Leaders Can Deliver Growth in the New Year

Commit to a plan for 2022 action, fueled by optimum digital buying experiences, team alignment, and customer-centric selling.

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Revenue leaders consider tactics to continue delivering revenue growth in the new year. [Marko Geber/Getty]

Predictable growth is the name of the game in the new year, and you need the right tools, tips, and techniques to make it happen.

As our recent Sales Summit revealed, the old ways of selling — aggressive quotas, in-person sales calls, nagging pipeline reviews — just don’t work anymore. It’s time to #ThinkOutsidetheQuota.

That’s why we tapped frontline sales leaders to help. Their advice on finding (and keeping) top talent, managing remote teams, and leveraging data for big wins is the secret sauce you need in the year ahead.

No more struggle. This is a year for growth, and it starts with these tactical insights.

1. Embrace ambiguity

Pip Marlow, EVP & CEO A/NZ & ASEAN, Salesforce

There’s been so much uncertainty over the last couple of years. If you spend all of your time trying to control everything, you’re not spending time on what’s most important. Embrace the ambiguity — don’t fight it.

Also, hold tight to your values. It doesn’t matter how much your circumstances change, it’s important to hold on to what you really believe in. This will be your anchor when everything else is shifting.

Learn more: “Building Resilience for the Post-Pandemic World”

2. Give yourself time to innovate

Jessica Sibley, Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), Forbes

We’ve learned that sometimes, in order to increase revenue, you need to pause, slow down, and reevaluate your business to really understand and explore new opportunities, new products, new platforms. Data is at the heart of that innovation. It helps us understand in real-time what’s working and what’s not. How can we be better at what we do? That’s really the home run.

Learn more: “Wait … Then Innovate”

3. Recruit like you prospect

Denise Hayman

Denise Hayman, Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), Sonrai Security

The war for talent is real. You have to approach your recruiting strategy like your prospecting strategy. Who’s your ideal employee? Define it. Know what experience you need. Then, go after the best candidates. These folks are getting outreach from recruiters all the time, and you have to be different. My recommendation: Bring your CRO, COO, CEO in to help. There’s nothing more impactful than a C-level reaching out directly to talent.

Learn more: “CRO Focus: What Trends Should Be Top of Mind in 2022?”

4. Retain top talent with incentives and transparency

Kevin Martin See, VP of Channel Development, 7Summits (an IBM Company)

In this new digital-everything world — especially following the pandemic — you need to hold on to good people. In order to keep these people, you need to drive incentives, and align expectations. At 7Summits, for example, we’ve seen that incentivizing employees who want to earn additional Trailblazer certifications works! A win-win situation for all parties.

Also, be honest and transparent. This creates a culture of trust. We have a weekly meeting where we share updates from across the business, which fosters honesty at all levels, from C-suites to the entry-level associate, ultimately permeating to all client and partner relationships as well.

Start training: Build the Soft Skills & Technical Know-How You Need to Advance Your Sales Career

5. Prioritize diversity and inclusion in your workforce

Cynthia Barnes, Founder & CEO, National Association of Women Sales Professionals

If we’re going to move the needle and drive change for diversity and inclusion in sales, our leaders have to be intentional. They have to walk their talk. Take a look at your policies — the most important of which is paid maternity leave. Aim to create an environment where everyone can thrive, not just hit their sales quota. The success of your sales team, individual contributors, sales leaders, and organization depends on your willingness to create a culture where everyone can thrive.

Learn more: “Diversity Sells”

6. Create a single source of truth to empower go-to-market teams

Allison Montgomery

Allison Montgomery, VP of Sales Enablement & Operations, Deluxe Corporation

Sales enablement is critical for any company that is embarking on sales transformation. [It’s] really about bringing go-to-market strategies to life — partnering not only within the chief revenue officer’s organization, but across product, finance, and HR teams to ensure you can deliver value to customers.

The importance of a single source of truth is key. We’ve been able to leverage technologies like Quip to ensure everyone has the insights they need [to] succeed.

Learn more: “Unlock Team Selling with Strategic Account Planning”

7. Make sure your data is clean before leveraging AI

Tigh Loughhead

Tigh Loughhead, Founder, Forcery

AI (artificial intelligence) is this big fluffy, amorphous nice-to-have but its usefulness depends entirely on the quality of your data — and where it lives. Too often, data gets siloed in certain teams or is inconsistent. Before you roll out AI, make sure your data is clean, assimilated, and funneled up to a single source of truth. Only then can you use AI tools to identify customer behavior patterns, opportunities for new sales and cross-sells, and a ton of other insights.

Read on: Dear Wiz: Help! I’m Drowning in Dirty Data!

If you spend all of your time trying to control everything, you’re not spending time on what’s most important. Embrace the ambiguity — don’t fight it.

Pip Marlow, EVP & CEO A/NZ & ASEAN, Salesforce

8. Make C-suites the voice of your marketing

Chloe Stewart

Chloe Stewart, Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), Pilot

After you identify the accounts you want to target, examine the titles of the buyers at those companies. Then, fold in C-levels from your own company to connect with C-level buyers at target accounts. If you’re selling to CTOs, for example, the CTO at your own company has a lot of insights they can share with other CTOs. They can also share similar challenges and strategy perspectives.

It’s less about what the format of the marketing content is — email, paid campaigns, phone calls — and more about how you execute. In other words, having C-levels deliver your marketing message cuts through the noise of competitor campaigns.

Learn more: “How Does a CRO Work with C-Suites to Empower Sales Teams?”

9. Ensure your teams connect with prospects on their turf

Nikki Ivey

Nikki Ivey, Head of Growth Development, Cultured Perspective

Show up to educational webinars and events geared to the audience you’re targeting. You can catch the names of those who show up and use these for prospecting, but more importantly, you can engage in conversation when you’re there (either virtually or in person). You’ll be able to go beyond what you think you know about the prospect audience and build relationships based on curiosity and empathy. This will make it easier to navigate future sales conversations.

Learn more: “Successful Techniques for LinkedIn Prospecting”

10. Drop the quota

John Barrows

John Barrows, CEO, JB Sales

The downward pressure put on sales reps to hit their monthly quota is so immense that it makes them do some very unnatural things. If I was a VP of sales of a larger organization, I would remove monthly quotas as soon as I possibly could. If your [team is] falling behind, use coaching.

Read on: Sales Quotas Won’t Exist in 2025 — Here’s Why

11. Use call recording software to gather key insights

John Fernandez

John Fernandez, Senior VP of Marketing, Glia

Between the shift of meetings online, the abundance of storage, and the increased sophistication of automated audio transcriptions, you need call recording software. You’ll gain insights into your sales cycles, your buyers, and their behaviors. Plus, sales rep training and coaching becomes so much easier.

Learn more: 10 Effective Sales Coaching Tips That Work

The war for talent is real. You have to approach your recruiting strategy like your prospecting strategy. Who’s your ideal employee? Define it. Know what experience you need. Then, go after the best candidates.

Denise Hayman, Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), Sonrai Security

12. Gamify selling for your reps

Dale Dupree

Dale Dupree, Founder & CEO, The Sales Rebellion

Take things like standard sales activities — emails, calls — and create gamification around them. Reward your reps for doing these things well with a point system. Track it on a leaderboard so they can engage in friendly competition.

Gamify nontraditional actions, too. For example, give reps an extra 100 points if they make someone laugh on a cold call. This creates intrinsic value to an action that helps a sale while also rewarding the rep.

Learn more: “Cultivating a ‘Sales Rebel’ Team Mindset That Boosts Revenue”

13. Focus on genuine communication

Tiffani Bova

Tiffani Bova, Chief Growth Evangelist, Salesforce

You have to be authentic if you want to connect with customers. How? I’d say you need guardrails for your team. What do you want them to do and not want them to do? How should they communicate in a way that’s both genuine and representative of your brand?

Learn more: “Methods and Advantages of Empathetic Selling”

What’s next?

Leveraging the strategies above to spur growth is only the beginning. To ensure ongoing success, stay in the know on the latest and greatest sales wisdom. Our new video series, “Think Outside the Quota,” features advice on how to grow your revenue from world-class leaders, including Shark Tank investor Daymond John and legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk.

Take a peek at our first episode below, featuring CEO of JB Sales John Barrows discussing the critical role of creativity on a sales team. Or, stream the entire series on Salesforce+.

CEO of JB Sales John Barrows on making the most of creativity in sales.

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