Gartner Research

Future of Work Reinvented for Chief Sales Officers

Published: 11 August 2021


CSOs have a unique opportunity to reinvent the future of work. COVID-19 has been a disruptive force that sped up trends due to technology and generational shifts. This tool presents guidance on embracing this transformation to sustain sales performance plus attract and retain top talent.

All chief sales officers (CSOs) recognize the significant impact their functions have on customer relationships and organizational performance. As leaders, they are expected to increase seller engagement and performance plus strategically plan and transform for the future. Progressive CSOs have embraced digital buying, virtual selling and other technology advancements, but a seismic shift is shaking up how work gets done. We refer to this as the future of work reinvented. Figure 1 illustrates the common elements of Gartner’s Future of Work Reinvented framework.

Figure 1. Future of Work Reinvented Resource Center Overview

While not trivializing the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, the pandemic has forced corporate leaders into a social experiment on how and where we work. Moreover, it’s had a significant and indelible impact on commercial interactions — that is, how buyers buy, how sellers sell and how they engage with each other. The future of work impacts CSOs uniquely since their focus must be both internal and external.

Internally, CSOs should use the concepts in the future of work reinvented to attract, engage and retain top sales talent. Externally, CSO’s are confronting a fast-changing landscape. Seller activities and buyer work environments will not just return to normal once travel restrictions ease. Even when sellers are eager to travel, buyers might not be working in a headquartered office, colocated with the buyer stakeholders.

This presentation helps CSOs contextualize the broader concepts of the future of work reinvented and focus on the elements that most impact their organization. Specifically, CSOs have a unique opportunity to:

  • Embrace digital enablement.

  • Rethink the sellers’ workplace.

  • Shift talent and skills to the new, postpandemic world.

Recommended by the Authors


Dave Egloff Tom Cosgrove

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