Skip to content
All posts

What is the sales strategy for 2024?

HubSpot's 2024 State of Sales Report

What is your sales strategy for 2024? Explore B2B and B2C sales objectives, obstacles, and emerging trends while gaining insights into how 1400+ professionals plan to adapt to AI and other industry shifts.

As HubSpot's Senior Trends Researcher, I've closely monitored the evolutionary changes of 2023. However, there's a seismic shift reverberating through the sales landscape that could prove to be the most impactful of them all. While we spent the entire year speculating about AI's disruptive potential in marketing, customer service, and SEO, its impact on sales stands out as a profound transformation in human interactions. To unearth these insights, I conducted a comprehensive survey involving 1,477 sales professionals worldwide. This survey aimed to uncover their primary areas of focus and gain a deeper understanding of how AI will reshape their roles as we step into 2024.

Sales Trends Report 2023_02-300 (1)

Sales Benchmarks

Before delving into the pivotal themes of reshaping sales metrics, let's provide you with some sales benchmarks to gauge your business's performance:

  • Average sales win rate: 21%
  • Average sales close rate: 29%
  • Median deal size: $4,000 (with 47% of all deals falling in the $1-$5,000 range)
  • 91% of sales professionals engage in upselling, contributing to 21% of company revenue on average.
  • 87% of sales professionals also engage in cross-selling, which similarly accounts for 21% of company revenue on average.

Sales Trends Report 2023_20-300

Top State of Sales Findings & Trends

The Age of the AI-Powered Buyer Is Here

Even before the advent of AI, buyers were already taking the initiative to conduct their own research. In fact, an astonishing 96% of sales professionals revealed that by the time they engage with a potential customer, that individual has already researched the product or service of interest.

Furthermore, an overwhelming 71% of consumers have expressed a preference for gathering information on their own rather than relying on human interaction.

Untitled (1)

In today's sales landscape, the power of AI tools has revolutionised the way buyers gather information. With these advanced tools at their disposal, buyers are now more knowledgeable and confident than ever before. As a result, they rely significantly less on sales professionals to provide them with the necessary information. This shift in buyer behavior has transformed the dynamics of the sales process, highlighting the need for sales professionals to adapt and find new ways to add value to the buyer's journey.

Sales Trends Report 2023_04-300


Where Does AI Leave Sales Reps?

Rather than focusing on sharing information, sales pros will act as consultants. They’ll prioritise building strong relationships, boosting buyer confidence, understanding their needs and challenges, and using AI to offer a highly relevant, personalised experience. 

Sales Trends Report 02-300

To put it simply, utilising AI by both parties will result in a better experience by fostering stronger relationships, more productive conversations, and shorter deal cycles.

Sales Trends Report 2023_05-300

Hitting quota may feel harder than ever before. 

Unsurprisingly, surpassing targets or quotas remains the top priority for sales professionals.

Top Sales Goals

Improving the efficiency of the sales process, exploring new markets, capturing a larger market share, and enhancing the alignment between sales and marketing are also key priorities for sales professionals. (We will delve deeper into these areas later in this report.

Sales Trends Report 2023_06-300

To add to the complexity, more than half of sales professionals (54%) reported that selling became increasingly challenging in 2023. 

Top Sales Challenges

Surprisingly, numerous obstacles from the COVID era continue to persist, as sales representatives identify inflation and supply chain complications as significant hindrances to sales success.

Sales Trends Report 2023_07-300

Sales professionals also face the challenge of a scarcity of high-quality leads. A mere 59% of sales reps believe that the leads generated by their marketing team meet the desired standard.

Moreover, sales representatives often encounter longer deal cycles. On average, the sales process involves five decision-makers, which contributes to the prolonged nature of closing deals. In fact, 28% of respondents pointed out that lengthy sales processes are the primary reason why prospects ultimately decide against making a purchase.

Sales Trends Report 2023_08-300


Moreover, let's dive into the achievements of sales professionals throughout the year 2023 and uncover the remarkable potential of AI in amplifying their impact.

Sales professionals are still meeting or exceeding goals (and hope AI will help even more).

In spite of the hurdles of navigating a more challenging sales landscape, an impressive 56% of sales professionals have surpassed their goals this year, while an additional 29% have successfully achieved their targets. Only a mere 15% have fallen short of expectations, highlighting the resilience and determination of these professionals in the face of adversity.

Sales Trends Report 2023_09-300

This is truly exciting news for sales professionals, as they recognise the tremendous potential of AI in further enhancing their performance. In fact, a staggering 66% of them believe that AI can greatly contribute to providing a more personalised experience for their customers and gaining a deeper understanding of their needs. What's more, 63% of sales leaders acknowledge that AI gives them a competitive edge in their industry, making it easier to outshine other businesses. With the power of AI at their disposal, sales professionals are poised to take their performance to new heights.

Untitled (2)

Sales professionals also see AI significantly boosting their ability to upsell, cross-sell, and down-sell customers. 

Sales Trends Report 2023_11-300

As the sales landscape continues to evolve, companies are constantly searching for ways to improve their performance. One strategy that has gained significant momentum is the utilisation of AI technology to recognise and respond to buyer emotions or sentiment. Surprisingly, our data indicates that 41% of salespeople are already implementing AI in this capacity, with an impressive 83% reporting its effectiveness. What's even more intriguing is that sales professionals who integrate AI into their emotional intelligence practices are 52% more likely to surpass their goals compared to those who do not.

Despite the overall success of sales professionals, companies are still focused on achieving more with less, leading to a renewed emphasis on efficiency. This trend underscores the importance of streamlining processes and harnessing AI tools to optimise productivity. By harnessing the power of AI, sales teams can save valuable time, allowing them to prioritise what truly matters – building strong relationships with customers and closing deals.

Sales organisations are hyper-focused on efficiency.

2023 has been widely recognised as the year of efficiency, especially within the tech industry. It's no surprise, then, that sales professionals are placing a strong emphasis on streamlining their processes. Currently, salespeople only allocate approximately two hours each day to actual selling, with an additional hour devoted to manual or administrative tasks. However, the rise of AI is having a significant impact in this area, allowing salespeople to save an average of two hours per day.

An astonishing 81% of sales professionals affirm that AI helps them decrease the time spent on manual tasks, while 78% acknowledge its role in enhancing overall efficiency. This growing focus on efficiency has also led 62% of sales pros to observe that their companies are taking fewer risks, with 70% reporting increased scrutiny of budgets compared to previous years.

Sales Trends Report 2023_12-300

Sales leaders are actively exploring ways to enhance efficiency, including the idea of streamlining their tech stack. In fact, a quarter of sales leaders admit that they are burdened with too many tools. Moreover, a staggering 45% of sales professionals feel overwhelmed by the number of tools in their tech stack. Interestingly, more than a quarter of them believe that if their company reduced the number of tools they use, it would not only boost efficiency but also allow them to dedicate more time to selling and generate higher quality data.


Most Effective Sales Channels

Overall, the most effective sales channels are in-person meetings, phone calls, email, social media, video calls, and live chat tools.

Sales Trends Report 2023_15-300

Sales enablement content is vital.

When it comes to the type of sales enablement content that's most effective at helping sales pros win deals, social media content, market research, reviews, customer testimonials, and product demos take the lead.


An insightful tip to align your teams and maximise their potential is to fully leverage your CRM. A remarkable 78% of sales professionals affirm that their CRM is highly effective in enhancing the alignment between sales and marketing. In fact, research shows that sales professionals who utilise a CRM are 79% more likely to report strong team alignment.

As we conclude, let's delve into one of the most promising opportunities for sales teams: engaging with current customers.

 Existing customers drive both revenue and new leads.

Focusing on your existing customers is a key sales strategy, considering they make up 72% of company revenue on average, while new customers account for just 28%.


Focusing on your loyal customers not only brings in significant profits but also yields valuable word-of-mouth referrals. Sales experts have identified that the most valuable leads come from recommendations made by existing customers, closely followed by those generated through social media and email marketing. So, by delighting your current customers, you not only secure revenue but also unlock the potential for exponential growth through positive recommendations and increased visibility.

Sales  Report 2023_22-300

Now that you’re up to date with just a few key highlights, check out our Free Gift of Why you need a CRM for your sales team. to learn more about the impact of AI and actionable ways sales pros are already leveraging it.

2024 planning