Dave Eddleman and Mike Burnett, principals at Alexander Group, share four sales predictions for Business Services in 2023. These predictions stem from challenges Alexander Group is seeing from our research and client work.
Mike Burnett: If there’s one thing the 2020s have taught us so far, it’s the importance of keeping your tech stack, your infrastructure, and security up to date. So, while in the past, some business services organizations were slow to embrace the transformation from analog to digital or fully embrace the cloud, it’s now a GTM strategy mandate.
Announcer: It’s time for another episode of the Alexander Group Revenue Growth Model Podcast. Welcome, and enjoy.
Dave Eddleman: Hi, everyone. I’m Dave Edelman and welcome to our podcast. I’m here today with Mike Burnett. Mike and I lead the Business Services practice at the Alexander Group, and we’re here to talk about 2023 predictions. So, our first prediction is around HR and talent services providers. Mike, why don’t you give us the prediction around that area?
Mike Burnett: Sure. Thanks, Dave. And I hate to start on a negative note, but for 2023, we’re projecting a softening market for HR and talent solution providers. We’ve all read recent reports regarding layoffs in the technology space. There’s a lot of uncertainty around the talent landscape and the demand for talent. We saw this first-hand in a recent Alexander Group study where a large portion of business services go-to-market leaders were planning for flat to minimal investment in sales and marketing headcount, which is a sharp contrast from 2021 and 2022. If we were to extrapolate that trend and apply it to all business functions, that translates to lower demand for talent overall. And I think that’s going to put a lot of recruiters and HR talent solution providers in a challenging position for 2023.
Dave Eddleman: And along those lines, that sort of segues into our second prediction, which is around business process outsourcing or BPO and how companies are leveraging outsourcing in general.
Mike Burnett: Yeah. So, our second prediction is that we’re expected to see an increase in demand for BPO and business services outsourcing firms, mainly because organizations are going to be seeking to get better leverage and flexibility around their costs amidst growing concerns of a recession, perhaps later on this year. So as uncertainty and hesitation to hire rise, which will be a challenge for our friends in the talent solutions space, that can often be a benefit for outsourcers and BPO providers, where organizations are looking for more flexibility in terms of automating or outsourcing specific business workflows and not seeing it as a fixed cost on their books. In the past, we’ve seen this trend play out, and we’re expecting similar things for 2023.
Dave Eddleman: And so now our third prediction, and this is around digital transformation. We continue to see this trend across a lot of our sub-verticals within business services. It’s been happening for a few years, but it’s still on our list for this year. Mike, can you say a little bit more about digital transformation?
Mike Burnett: Sure, Dave. You’re right, this is a trend that we’ve seen and we continue to expect to persist for the near future. And that is, big data and digital transformation will keep IT services in high demand for 2023. If there’s one thing the 2020s have taught us so far, it’s the importance of keeping your tech stack, your infrastructure, and security up to date. So, while in the past, some organizations were slow to embrace the transformation from analog to digital or fully embrace the cloud, it’s now a mandate, and it feels like an easy prediction. But we’re anticipating that this will only continue moving forward, and we’re expecting to see continually high demand for these services in 2023.
Dave Eddleman: Sounds great. And now we’re ready for our fourth prediction, which has to do with sort of switching gears into the hybrid world and how sellers are transforming their interactions with prospects and clients in the virtual world. This has been around for a while, especially the post-pandemic year. But Mike, what do you think about this area?
Mike Burnett: Yeah, so I think we’re coining it the official death of the field rep, meaning that the hybrid field slash remote seller model is here to stay. As business travel really ramped back up in 2021 and 2022, a lot of commercial leaders were questioning how much time their sellers would spend in the field. And the short answer is a lot less than they were spending in the past. Now, don’t get me wrong, face-to-face time with customers is invaluable. But moving forward, we’re really expecting to see sellers spend maybe half as much of the time in the field as they were spending prior to the pandemic but maintaining the same level of productivity in this new norm, which is this hybrid field and remote sales model. So, this means different challenges, different talent profiles, different ways to think about upskilling your organization to really be successful, where sellers can meet with customers in person and still be high impact while also being just as effective and productive when they’re away from customers and working remotely as well. So that fourth prediction kind of spans all of our areas within business services. I think 2023 will be the year which will solidify the permanence of the hybrid remote field representative model.
Dave Eddleman: Excellent. And that concludes our 2023 predictions. So just to do a quick summary, the first prediction is a softening of markets for HR and talent solution providers. The second prediction is an increased demand for business process outsourcing and general outsourcing. The third prediction is a continuation of digital transformation and the fourth prediction is the official death of the field representative due to the hybrid and field remote sales model. Thank you so much for joining us. If you would like to get the latest insights and learn more about the Alexander Group, please visit www.alexandergroup.com.
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