We asked Sales Performance International executives and consultants what kind of changes we can expect to see for the sales profession in the coming new year and compiled their perspectives and opinions in our eBook, “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond”.

Steve Smith is a Senior Sales Consultant at SPI and manages large, global accounts.

What major trend do you see in your area of sales or learning performance expertise?
Companies that sell SaaS solutions are doubling down to increase customer retention and accelerate cross-selling and up-selling revenue. These efforts require a heightened focus on measuring and communicating value creation for the customer, and the ability to identify and secure second sales across an account team.

What is causing this trend?
New account acquisition is more challenging than ever. New competitors funded by VCs with deep pockets emerge out of nowhere, and everyone is competing for mindshare through a myriad of content marketing, digital advertising, and aggressive outreach. Buyers have become numb to these techniques and have stopped responding. Instead, buyers engage on their terms when they are ready, willing and able to buy. Given this trend, smart SaaS companies are focusing more resources on account retention and growth.

What opportunities or threats does the trend pose for businesses and sales organizations?
SaaS companies that churn through customers will face higher costs and lower growth rates. Conversely, those companies that do the best job of retaining and growing accounts stand the best chance of long-term viability and creating above market value for investors. Strong customer relationships is a gift that keeps on giving. Not only through recurring revenue but also in the feedback and co-creation that make good products great.

In light of the trend, what advice do you have for business and sales leaders?
Retaining and growing customers is more easily said than done. Landing a new customer requires effective marketing and sales teams, and a good product that is easy to use and delivers that value the customer expects. Retaining customers requires effective customer success management to help the customer drive adoption throughout their organization and get a compelling return on the investment in the product. Growth requires building credibility and trust with the customer, and the skill to identify additional needs of the customer you can fulfill and secure the business. Growth is accomplished best through a team effort of account executives, subject matter experts, and customer success managers. Having a common account management process and sharp cross-selling and up-selling skills helps immensely.

Download our eBook “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond” today!


Carrie Brown
Carrie Brown, Marketing & Demand Generation Consultant

Carrie Brown works with SPI as a marketing and demand generation consultant. With experience in copywriting, graphic design, and web development, Carrie uses her skill set to create and implement effective marketing strategies and campaigns for clients.

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