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There is a term used in golf tournaments called “moving day”. 

This is the 3rd round of 4 and is the day where the players try to set themselves up for the final push to victory. As a result, you'll frequently see certain players advance up the leader board by leaps and bounds during this round, while others fall by the wayside and out of contention. 

If I can borrow the term and apply it to the business world, then I believe that 2023 is going to be a “moving year” and likely to be the most significant year in recent times. We have already seen 2023 start with some catastrophic events and the coming months are guaranteed to be anything other than usual. My prediction is that this year will see some big winners, and also some losers. 

If the past few years are anything to go by then there are some obvious things we need to contend with:

  • Capacity constraints will continue to be a major issue and with no quick fixes
  • The challenge of finding and retaining our best talent might reduce slightly but it will still be hard
  • The cost of doing business will continue to rise especially with OPEX and below the line expenses
  • Gross margins will continue to be squeezed
  • Inflation continuing to cause disruption

There’s nothing new in any of this, but we do think these challenges require some fresh thinking and solutions. 

So, what can we do to give ourselves the very best chance of making our move in 2023?

We believe the main theme for those of us in business this year should be “how to achieve more with less”. 

In other words, having a laser focus on productivity and in particular - these 5 areas: 

People: We will see a desire for quality over quantity in team members. Companies will look after their best people and look for better returns from them. We also noted in 2022 that more experienced, seasoned team members will become more and more valuable at the expense of the more youthful ones. Another significant trend is the desire for a more outsourced model, with the cost of team members having become so expensive, lets use people only when we need them. For us we have seen a significant growth in the adoption of our part time sales leadership service, we only see this trend continuing to grow.

Training & Development: Reduced head count will allow for companies to invest significantly in their team’s development. This fits well with the sentiment we saw from salespeople in our Mood of the Sales Leader 2023 survey, where they noted that the number one thing that salespeople want is to increase, above remuneration is their development. Development will need to be delivered consistently and not as a one-off event. To get the most from development, managers will need to have this as one of their top KPI’s in 2023 and their continued involvement is critical.

Process improvement: Companies are now examining all of their systems and processes to see where all the constants, duplications and inefficiencies are. Sales should be a significant focus for most companies as there is often a significant amount of waste in this areas. Having essential process in place will enable teams to work more efficiently, minimise errors and reduce wasted time and effort.

Technology: We saw last year a significant percentage of companies looking to invest more in technology, and in particular AI. We all need technology to support and enable us to work smarter, to automate and systemise all of the transactional areas so that we can get on and work in the more valuable areas. Everywhere I go at the moment, the conversation is all about Chat GPT. I spoke with a world-renowned AI expert recently and her comment was that she believed that Chat GPT was the biggest tech innovation since the iPhone. Watch this space!

Working environment: If the pendulum does swing back to favour the employer over the employee we expect to see some changes. It will mean that working from home for many may be reduced to potentially 4 days in the office 1 day at home ratio as opposed to common 3/2. Many senior teams would argue that the increase in working from home has had a negative impact on culture, has created silos in businesses (from those that can and those that can’t) and for many businesses the cost has been seen in productivity loss. I have seen it first hand, some people can work home well and in some cases it can increase their productivity, but for many it hasn’t.

2023 is undoubtedly going to be a significant year for all in business.  I predict it is likely to be harder than in 2022, but as we saw when Covid first disrupted business, there will still be plenty of opportunities for those who want to take advantage of the ‘Moving year”. 

The question is – will it  be your business on top of the leader board in 10 months’ time?

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