State of sales and marketing: Both say their companies grew in 2022, even though year-on-year growth decreased

by | Jul 17, 2023 | Marketing, Public Relations

New global research from small-biz sales CRM firm Pipedrive examining sales and revenue trends across businesses shows optimism across both functions in 2023, even though it reveals two seemingly contradictory data points from the same group: despite the majority (63 percent) of respondents claiming that the companies they work for grew more in 2022, the actual percentage of year-on-year growth decreased from what the firm found in 2021.

The firm’s 2023 edition of its annual State of Sales and Marketing: The Economy Review 2022/23 finds that smaller companies were especially affected, with a clear correlation between company size and employee success.

State of sales and marketing: Both say their companies grew, even though year-on-year growth decreased

Size matters

The study shows that company size plays a pivotal role in employee and company performance. Small businesses face an uphill battle, with employees 14 percent less likely to hit their sales goals and having a 10 percent lower chance of company revenue growth compared to larger firms. Large corporations hold an advantage, boasting an 8 percent higher likelihood of consistently exceeding sales targets. But there’s a hidden danger in times of economic hardship—employees in companies that cut budgets and downsized teams face even greater hurdles, with success rates plummeting by up to 27 percent.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our global economy, driving the majority of job creation, and fueling economic growth. The data shows that to thrive in times of uncertainty, it’s crucial to lay a strong foundation for success,” said Dominic Allon, CEO of Pipedrive, in a news release. “By implementing a robust technology infrastructure, small businesses can unlock invaluable insights, streamline operations, and trim overall costs. This grants a competitive edge and relieves internal pressures such as manual processes, inefficient workflows, and increases overall productivity. In challenging economic times, technology becomes the lifeline that enables businesses to weather storms and emerge stronger than ever.”

State of sales and marketing: Both say their companies grew, even though year-on-year growth decreased

The survey data points to key areas small businesses can invest in when there are any signs of economic volatility

For example, the study found that companies that prioritize technology investments saw an 18 percent increase in business expectation for business growth in 2023. Businesses that neglected technology were twice as likely to worry about individual workloads, at over 40 percent.

Other findings include:

Optimism prevails as investments drive progress

A resounding 80 percent of sales and marketing professionals remain optimistic about the future. Encouragingly, businesses as a whole demonstrate a positive trajectory, with a greater proportion increasing investments in 2022 compared to previous years. The commitment to growth and development serves as a promising sign amid uncertain economic conditions.

Budget cuts and workforce reductions leave their mark

Concerns about personal and organizational futures are heightened for employees in companies that implemented budget cuts or downsized their teams. Intriguingly, reduced spending on employee benefits also correlated with increased worries. The impact of financial decisions on employee morale and long-term prospects becomes evident.

Power of support in the workplace

In the realm of professional support, 47 percent of respondents draw strength primarily from their own positive mindset. However, CEOs and founders derive encouragement from believing in their company’s vision. Crucially, a strong correlation surfaces between support from managers and colleagues, optimism, and achieving targets. Businesses fostering a culture of colleague support are poised to reap remarkable benefits, with respondents supported by managers boasting 18 percent higher optimism and enhanced sales performance by 9-11 percent.

Resilience and the power of technology

Despite challenges, individuals maintain a resilient outlook. Notably, those whose companies invested in technology display 18 percent higher hopes for company growth and reduced apprehensions about mounting workloads. Technology emerges as a key enabler of progress and resilience in a changing business landscape.

State of sales and marketing: Both say their companies grew, even though year-on-year growth decreased

Download the full report here.

The firm surveyed 983 sales and marketing professionals, business owners, and sales professionals. The sample includes people working for startups, SMEs and large businesses. The survey was conducted in February 2023.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter