Nov 30, 2023

Nov 30, 2023



Alex Bilmes

Alex Bilmes

Adapting to the new market: Navigating the Last Mile in 2024

Adapting to the new market: Navigating the Last Mile in 2024



Endgame CEO, Alex Bilmes, reflects on the market challenges for revenue teams and explains how to execute the Last Mile for a strong 2024.

2023 was an uphill battle for most leaders. A tough market added pressure to boardrooms, forecast calls, and manager/rep 1:1s. But a new year is a fresh start and Q4 is a healthy time to reflect honestly and get ahead of challenges for a strong 2024.

Here are 3 trends from a challenging 2023:

Flat is the new black

In this market, to keep valuations from dipping, teams needed 2x revenue. Boosting that valuation demanded teams push even harder. That created incredible pressure for sales teams to deliver revenue from anywhere they could find it.

NRR is key

Last year, the focus was on bottom-up motions. But this year’s revenue pressure has teams hyper-focused on growing high-value customers. Why? It’s 4x cheaper to upsell and cross-sell to the customers who already trust you—especially when it comes to larger enterprises—than to win over new ones.

Efficiency is required

Nearly 85% of sales leaders are struggling to secure the budget for additional headcount, which means that existing sales teams have to push the boundaries of productivity. This means stretching every individual’s efficiency to the max.

The decadence of 2021 and 2022 meant leaders hired a lot more people and purchased a lot of shiny new tools—automated email workflows, post-sales support systems, lead scoring tools—to chase incremental growth, no matter how inefficient it was. But that doesn’t work anymore.

Today’s sales teams operate in a web of software stacks, static playbooks, daily responsibilities, and noisy alerts.

Despite all the advancements in software, layers of management, and sophisticated enablement programs, what was true 20 years ago is still true today—reps spend less than 30% of their time selling. Because the more tools and processes that were added, the more complex everything got.

It’s time to get back to the art of selling.

How the Last Mile shapes sales tactics in 2024

A focused GTM strategy and a modern sales stack are table stakes for tackling these market challenges, but let’s consider the entire system at play.

This is what I call the “Last Mile”—from the front-line manager to each sales rep, operationalizing everything so everyone can execute the strategy. The Last Mile closes the gap between strategy and rep action. And it brings together the art and science of sales.

Here are the questions to ask, when it comes to the Last Mile.

Are your teams focused on the right things?

Everyone’s being asked to perform at unprecedented levels, but resources are shrinking. Budgets are tighter, teams are leaner, and yet—the targets are bigger.

The only way to survive this kind of pressure is to ensure every member of your GTM team  is focused on the exact right thing at the right time. There’s simply no time for ‘nice to dos.’

One of my advisors recently reminded me ‘there are 100 things I could be doing right now. Probably 10 things I think I have to do. But only 3 things that if I DON’T do, I die. Focus on those 3 things.’ Solid 2024 advice.

How do you test new revenue levers faster?

Change happens constantly at the highest level of every organization, whether intentional or not—strategy, products, business models, markets, org structures, personnel, etc. Because that type of change is usually top down, there's an inherent lag between decisions and execution.

It’s easy to say ‘let’s change.’ But the complex web of technology that revenue teams operate in means the degree to which those changes are actually executed in the Last Mile is usually very low.

Consider it from an individual rep level—just to develop an effective strategy for each customer, reps have to navigate CRM tools, sift through tons of data, translate and tailor that information into a bespoke strategy, and then execute flawlessly.

A top-performing rep might make this work on a perfect day for a straight forward deal. But this leaves zero room for rapid experimentation, let alone any ability to improve productivity for the entire sales team, or validate top-down business decisions.

Even if the business is agile in making decisions, to succeed in 2024 leaders have to be agile enough to test and learn when it matters most—new playbooks, verticals, segments, pricing and packaging, messaging, or any other lever that will impact revenue.

Are you getting value from your investments?

Sales leaders have invested heavily in tech stacks–spending time, energy, and capital to get the best software up and running. Unfortunately, many sales leaders tell me they’re frustrated that the ROI isn’t as strong as they need it to be yet. And that’s largely because despite having top-tier talent, cutting-edge technology, sophisticated processes, and access to infinite amounts of data, sales reps are overwhelmed. Infinite data requires infinite time to sift through, analyze, and understand.

Yes, they need all the context and information, but more importantly, they need to know exactly what to do next.

The good news is, two shifts have raised the ceiling for what’s possible: data warehouses and GenAI

  • Data warehouses, like Snowflake, consolidate information into a single system. This includes not just CRM and product data but also data from the internet, websites, and 3rd-party tools. In 2024, the best sales teams will be leaning on machine learning to analyze data, so that their reps can focus on what they do best—selling.

  • GenAI goes beyond just automating email drafts and managing email workflows. It's great for analyzing large, unstructured data sets, such as call transcripts and online content. This capability leads to a more personalized and targeted user experience since AI can interpret and translate complex information to adapt to each seller based on their skills and book of business.

In 2024, winning sales teams will leverage the power of GenAI to translate data into words that human beings can read, understand, and act on. This will enable technology to take on the manual and undifferentiated work for sales reps, so that they can focus their time on selling and building relationships.

The Last Mile will dictate whether you hit or miss your revenue target in 2024

As we approach 2024, we need to be honest about what’s driving success, and what’s not. Success in sales isn't just about having the best people, process, and technology independently—it's about combining them all in a meaningful way to drive impact. So, before the new year, please consider the “Last Mile.”

  • Are your teams focused on the right things?

  • How do you test new playbooks faster?

  • Are you getting value from your investments?

While many sales initiatives start strong, very few finish strong. As leaders, it’s our responsibility to not only make sure every member of the GTM team is set up to execute the Last Mile, but also bring the right energy—motivation, inspiration, and support—along the way.

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© 2024 Endgame

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© 2024 Endgame