How to set yourself up for success this year
How to set yourself up for success this year

Does hitting quota feel like scaling a cliff for you, too?

Goals are manageable for revenue teams that build their B2B prospecting strategy on a solid foundation. We did some digging and found the best tactics reps can use to get more done with less effort -- and still top the leaderboard 😉.

Prioritize these fundamental shifts now to scale your pipeline mountain like a pro. 🧗

Outbound is changing – are you ready?

2023 was a challenging year for sales (but you already know that).

  • 40% of reps expected to hit quota
  • 60% of companies say it’s harder to get buyers’ attention
  • Average sales cycles increased by 27 days

And if you weren’t living under a rock in Q4, you probably saw the industry-wide panic about Google and Yahoo’s joint announcement to take on mass cold outreach.

The uptick in AI-generated and spam emails hitting inboxes instigated the announcement. Google and Yahoo have since retracted their plans, but the announcement got teams thinking about what would happen if one of their outreach levers disappeared.

Three foundations you need to master right now to hit quota

#1 Quality over quantity

In the past, outbound prospecting was a numbers game. If you hit up 1,000 people, you could expect to book ten meetings.

Those were the good old days…

Now reps compete with a lot of noise when they’re prospecting. It’s getting harder and harder to stand out.

The numbers game doesn’t work like it used to! There are new rules to getting a positive response:

❌ Don’t spam contacts at accounts with endless messages.

✔️ Do focus on creating high-quality outreach and more creative prospecting tactics.

❌ Don’t rely on ‘spray and pray’ sequences without a trigger.

✔️ Do get more targeted by focusing on the account and prospects that will get you more bites.

#2 Leverage AI strategically

We love AI! ❤️

We even use it in our own product (more on that in a bit).

Lately, there's been a lot of discussion about using AI for everything -- including writing outreach messaging – and it’s gotten kind of out of control. Yes, tools like ChatGPT help reps shave time off of everyday tasks. shouldn't let AI power your messaging. It's too impersonal and ineffective. Trust us.

So, how can you leverage AI strategically without being spammy?

Simple: let AI pinpoint accounts and buyers that will actually convert. We do this at UserGems to focus effort across sales and marketing. Our product identifies key buying signals that show it’s a good time to reach out.

📶Signal: New hires or promotions

Why it works: New executives spend 70% of their budget in the first 100 days on the job.

📶 Signal: Status as a past buyer

Why it works: Past buyers are 3x more likely to buy from you again.

📶 Signal: Status as a past user

Why it works: Past users understand the value of your product and can open new doors to an account.

Using AI, UserGems dynamically marries that information with other data points from your CRM or Salesforce, then automatically:

  • Ranks prospects in order of most likely to buy
  • Ranks accounts in order of most likely to convert into an opportunity

When you use AI strategically, you can target the best opportunities first and stop wasting your time on cold leads.

#3 Use signals + defined plays

Salespeople are overwhelmed! There are hundreds of signals that might matter, but which ones matter most? And even then, it doesn’t matter how valuable they might be if no one is acting on them.

Some reps ignore their backlog of signals. Others track too many and overcrowd outbound sequences, making them less targeted. Both are losing strategies.

Here’s what we do at UserGems 👇

Using our product, we put the signal + play strategy into action with our outbound team.

1. UserGems surfaces who reps should add to B2B prospecting sequences based on clear parameters.

2. Reps can then manually add them or automate the entire process in UserGems.

3. When UserGems sees that someone has changed jobs, reps can sequence them based on:

  • The past relationship
  • The new account type
  • Their new persona

This approach helps our reps focus on reaching warmer prospects when they are more likely to make a purchase. It works because every buying signal our reps get has an action attached – they know exactly what the next steps are and why they're reaching out.

These types of plays are scalable and drive the best results (and your team will be much happier talking to warm leads than chasing cold ones 🥶).

Impress your boss with these tips for success from sales leaders

We know you're reading this because you want to hit quota, top the leaderboard, or impress your boss – or all three! So we asked our team for their best tips 👇

According to Sara Angell, Director of Account Development:

  • Work with RevOps to pull data on where you’ve seen the most success. Dig into where you haven’t been winning and make improvements in those gaps.

And here's what Derek Wang, Director of Sales, had to say:

  • Dedicate a day to cleaning up opportunities and leads. Are they all worth your time? Are you actively approaching the good ones?
  • Pick 20-50 accounts you’d love to bring in and collaborate between sales and marketing. SDRs should research accounts thoroughly to understand their businesses and start connecting with key contacts on LinkedIn. Marketing can set up hyper-targeted ads for these critical accounts.


Generate pipeline and hit quota faster

We know it’s getting harder to stand out in the crowded B2B sales landscape. But you can do the work now to make winning easier down the road!

Our advice? Build your pipeline generation strategy on the three principles we outlined.

  1. Focus on quality over quantity – in choosing prospects and doing outreach.
  2. Use AI strategically to focus effort where it has maximum impact,
  3. Establish well-defined signals and plays for your best bets (this is even more effective at the team level),

A little planning now will result in much less wasted effort all year!

By the way, UserGems helps revenue teams find their ideal customer accounts and buyers so they can get more bites and win more deals - without all the effort doing it manually would require. Book a demo to learn more.

Want to get more pipeline with less work?