Sales blueprint: How to prepare your GTM team for a new year

As we quickly approach the cusp of a new year, GTM leaders face the pivotal task of setting their teams up for success in 2024. For your team to thrive and meet ever-growing pipeline goals, you'll need some forward-thinking strategic planning. Join LeadIQ and GTM leaders from Venafi and Labelbox as we delve into the planning, strategies, and tactics you must be doing now to set your team up for success.

James Barton

Head of Global Sales Development, Venafi

Lucas Hulleberg

Global Head of Sales Development, Labelbox

Joerg Koehler

VP of Marketing, LeadIQ

Watch on-demand

This webinar will teach you:

  • 📈 Forecasting and goal setting for 2024. Explore advanced techniques to predict market trends, customer behavior, and economic shifts.

  • 📊 Measuring and improving team performance in the new year. Discover how to make data-driven decisions when allocating resources, including budget, personnel, and technology, to maximize the effectiveness of your GTM team.

  • 💻 Leveraging data, automation, and AI. Stay ahead of the curve by exploring innovative technologies such as AI, automation, and data analytics that can streamline your GTM processes and boost productivity. Don't miss this opportunity to gain the knowledge and tools you need to drive success in the upcoming year.

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A SaaS sales team’s work is never easy. 

But due to a confluence of factors — like a wobbly economy, smaller budgets, and struggling to convince the team to return to the office — sales organizations face increasingly complex challenges as they prepare their 2024 strategies.

To help sales teams better prepare for the upcoming year and set attainable goals, our VP of Marketing Joerg Kohler hosted a webinar called 2024 sales blueprint: How to prepare your GTM team for a new year that featured:

  • James Barton, head of global sales development at Venafi and a member of LeadIQ’s customer advisory board and
  • Lucas Hulleberg, global director of sales development at Labelbox

Keep reading to learn some of the tips, tricks, and insights James and Lucas shared during the webinar to find out what some of today’s top-performing sales teams are doing to get ready for a new year.

What challenges do GTM teams face in 2024?

As SaaS organizations prepare for 2024, James encourages them to focus on optimizing the SDR experience, which “has always been an afterthought for organizations.”

“As SDR teams get bigger and bigger, they really need to focus on the enablement,” he explains. “I’ve even seen organizations hiring sales enablement professionals that only focus on SDR teams. If you don’t have that luxury, please speak with your enablement team to really get that track going.” 

While tons of sales teams adopted remote and hybrid working models in response to the pandemic, more and more organizations are finally going back to the office.

“I think sales and sales development teams were the biggest victims of COVID,” James continues. “With everybody going remote, you miss out on that team dynamic — the lunches, the after-work happy hours.” 

In an age where professionals increasingly prefer remote work, sales teams will have to figure out how to convince teams to return to the office of move to hybrid/flexible models.

As someone coming from the analytics space, Lucas knows a thing or two about market saturation. Now that he finds himself working in AI, he believes organizations building with artificial intelligence will face a similar level of competition.

“I think a very common term you’re going to see a lot these days is AI for blank,” he says. “I think it’s going to be a really competitive market and one where it’s going to take some time for folks to really separate themselves from other organizations.”

Additionally, Lucas thinks that the state of the economy is going to force SaaS sales teams to rethink their approach.

“Selling enterprise SaaS is different now,” he says. “How can you help organizations and prospects you’re working with evaluate your product on their own terms in their own time — the way they want to — without necessarily falling into sort of the traditional sales motion? Organizations that find a way to perfect that art are going to be really successful.”

How to set the right goals and strategies for 2024

The way James sees it, sales success starts with bringing sales and marketing leadership together and getting them aligned. It’s important to begin planning goals for the upcoming year as soon as possible — even kickstarting the process in August — using historical data to better predict what might be possible in the future.

“If you’ve got a new SDR team, it’s a little bit more difficult because you don’t have the historical data,” he says. “But if you do have the data, you can really understand the ratios between soft success metrics like emails, phone calls, live phone calls, email responses to what I call ‘commissionable KPIs’ — meetings or new opportunities generated.”

While James encourages teams to use historical data to set goals, it’s also important to consider the organization’s future goals and make sure that proper headcount is in place to achieve those objectives.

Lucas also believes in the power of data. But for him, it’s important to consider how many pieces of activity reps need to take to get the outcomes that you’re looking for — whether that’s the total number of opportunities or pipeline generated — and see how that breaks down on a per-rep basis.

“Maybe you had a lower quantity but you had a smaller team and actually that team was a lot more efficient than when you had a larger team,” Lucas says. “Or maybe you see that, as headcount has changed over time, the amount of meetings generated per rep has actually stayed flat — that reducing hasn’t been able to generate more meetings per rep. If you know that’s going to essentially remain flat, then you know, based on historical numbers, to achieve a certain quantity you might need more people.”

How sales teams can deal with economic uncertainty

Our uncertain economic climate presents new challenges for SaaS sales teams. To achieve goals, Lucas says it’s critical to ensure the right incentives are in place that drive SDRs toward organizational goals without stifling their earnings potential.

“I think you also just need to make sure that you’re setting your team up for success as much as possible in terms of the tech stack you have in place,” he explains. 

At the same time, sales leaders need to make sure their teams have a strong understanding of their ICP and the right number of accounts to target.

To beat economic uncertainty, James suggests getting in front of every single person who could touch your product and using account-based intent data to inform your outbound strategy

“If you’re just blindly firing into the night, you’re going to have a really tough time cold calling,” James says. “But if you’re using intelligence coming from the data — especially partnering with your account-based marketers — you’re going to be far more successful getting traction in an even more competitive market.” 

Get prepared to crush sales goals!

It’s never too early to start getting ready for another new year. 

Since you’re reading these words, we suspect you’re interested in learning everything you can about how you can cover more ground in the new year and exceed your sales goals.

Check out the full webinar above to learn how you can ensure your next sales kickoff event is a success, how to think about team capacity and team quotas, why sales leaders should be allowed to experiment with different tactics, some GTM strategies both Lucas and James are planning to utilize, and more.