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500 sales leaders predict revenue growth, AI, and hiring

The Sales Confidence Index

Happy National Beer Day in Britain! Either this is going to be your UK rep’s best day or worst day. There’s no in-between on Beer Day.


In today’s Follow Up:

  • 500 sales leaders predict revenue growth, AI, and hiring 🎤 

  • Sales in the news 🗞️

  • Sales tools 🛠️

  • Sales jobs for closers 💰

Sales Fact of The Day

B2B buyers are 57-70% through their buying research before contacting sales.

The State of The Union B2B Sales Leaders

Outreach is the Liv Golf tour of the sales industry.

They’ve raised over $450m, are valued well over $4 billion, and used by more than 100K sales reps.

So what does this mean?

They aren’t the PGA Tour Salesforce, but they‘re pretty close. And they’ve got access to a lot of salespeople.

Earlier this month they released their Sales Confidence Index. It’s a quarterly survey of over 500 B2B sales leaders to see how optimistic (or pessimistic) they are about growing revenue.

In other words, are sales leaders feeling more glass half-full or half-empty?🥃 

Background on the survey:

The survey took place in April 2023 and included 500 B2B Sales leaders from the US & UK. The Seniority of the group is broken down into:

  • 30% VP

  • 31% Director

  • 27% Manager

  • 5% Sales Admin

  • 6% Individual Contributor

The full report is 16 pages, but ain’t nobody got time for that.

So your smart, jacked no b.s. friends here at The Follow Up have you covered.

Revenue Growth

85% of sales leaders expect to grow revenue in the current quarter and the most optimistic sectors are technology and telecom.

The reason for the optimism?

  • 37% say it’s because of customer buying Intentions

  • 34% say overall sector performance

  • 32% say customer budget

Oh, and maybe it’s time to start targeting sales companies, since 95% of sales leaders said investing in sales technology is a high priority.

Generative A.I.

Salespeople are using Generative AI like they’re cavemen who just discovered fire.

The report said 63% of salespeople are using AI for their day-to-day activities, whereas only 14% of salespeople say they’re not.

But, how are they using it? To create SDR robots? AI “companions”?



  • 56% are using it to update CRM data

  • 46% use it to respond to personal requests

  • 44% use it to generate emails

Between the 12 AI sales tools that get funded every day and the “Why you need AI in your sales process” posts, this trend doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon.

Adapt or die. 🤖 

Hiring and Sales Backgrounds

Hiring was the most conflicting data in the report.

While sales leaders are getting more and more optimistic about increasing sales, they are getting more pessimistic about increasing headcount.

In October 77% of sales leaders said they were increasing headcount, in January that number lowered slightly to 74%, and in April it dropped to 65%.

WHO are they hiring?

Business majors.

66% of salespeople major in business and 7% major in Computer Science.

While the numbers show a business degree is the best preparation for sales, you shouldn’t be hiring strictly business majors to fill out your team.

If all your sales reps are from the same background, you lose diversity of thought and perspective. By hiring different types of people, you can create a leg up on the competition.

One More Nugget 🍗 

Companies are experiencing a return to in-person.

From Fall ‘22 to Spring ‘23 the percentage of companies holding ONLY virtual meetings fell from 21% to 12%. And companies holding mostly in-person meetings increased by 10%.

It’s taken a long time, but we’re starting to see in-person meetings revert back to pre-pandemic levels.


  • The overwhelming majority (85%) of Sales Leaders still expect revenue to increase this quarter.

  • Hiring is slowing down.

  • Generative A.I. is next.

  • Return-to-office is happening.

What are your expectations for revenue this quarter?

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Sales Tip of The Day

Make sure to use multi-channel outreach on high-value leads. (Ex: email + phone + LinkedIn, etc.)

It’s easy to ignore one email. It’s hard to ignore an email + call + LinkedIn message + handwritten note.

Sales in the News

Sales Weapons of The Day

Cool Jobs at Cool Companies

A word from our LinkedIn Influencers:

Stop overcomplicating things & talk like a human.

Meme of the Day

And that’s a wrap!

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