By 2025, 60% of B2B sales organizations will transition from experience- and intuition-based selling to data-driven selling, according to Gartner, Inc. They will merge their sales process, sales applications, sales data and sales analytics into a single operational practice. This is driven by the movement to multi-experience selling, where B2B buyers now prefer to engage with suppliers through digital and self-service channels.
The Gartner Future of Sales 2025 report reveals that in order to stay relevant and drive revenue, sales organizations need to build adaptive systems that are based on hyperautomation of interactions and transactions between sellers and buyers, digital scalability for sellers and artificial intelligence (AI).
“The rise in interactivity between suppliers and buyers will lead to more interdependence of people, processes and technology that will render the traditional sales models less reliable over time — something for which most sales organizations are unprepared,” said Tad Travis, vice president analyst at Gartner. “Embracing this change means sales leaders must adopt the principles of hyperautomation – accept they have to meet customers where they already are and bring B2B digital commerce into the fold.”
Hyperautomation refers to an effective combination of complementary sets of tools that can integrate functional and process silos to automate and augment business processes. For sales leaders, this means automating sales process steps that were previously very analog and moving customer interactions and transactions into the digital channel they prefer, such as digital commerce.
As chief sales officers (CSOs) turn to enabling selling through all channels, they will have to rethink their sales force deployment model and focus investments on virtual selling and digital commerce channels. To do this, CSOs and other sales leaders should consider the following three actions:
Build an Advanced Sales Technology Roadmap: The top priority for sales technology programs should be to build a roadmap that includes advanced approaches such as predictive analytics and guided selling. AI can tell sellers what to do close deals and prospects as quickly as possible.
Prioritize AI-Based Guided Selling: While developing an advanced sales technology roadmap, sales leaders must prioritize where AI-based guided selling functions would be most relevant by identifying the least efficient parts of the sales value chain. This can include processes that require a lot of human educated guessing, such as what to do next on a complex B2B deal.
Invest in Technology that Attracts New Talent & Enables Virtual Selling: Technology not only can optimize processes, but it can help sales leaders attract top talent from the Gen Z demographic – who value remote work opportunities and digital collaboration. In addition, investing in technology allows sales organizations to ramp up virtual selling more quickly and improve the buyer experience. This includes arming sellers with high-quality audio and video hardware, and reliable remote meeting platforms that allow sellers to conduct productive customer interactions.
Gartner for Sales Leaders clients can learn more about how to adapt to buyers’ changing behaviors and preferences, build new sales models and systems, and embrace technology for better sales execution in “Future of Sales in 2025: A Gartner Trend Insight Report.”
About Gartner for Sales Leaders
Gartner for Sales Leaders provides heads of sales and their teams with the insights, advice and tools they need to address mission-critical priorities amid mounting pressures to drive growth through new and existing customers. With extensive qualitative and quantitative research, Gartner for Sales Leaders helps sales teams combat commoditization and price-based purchasing, develop critical manager and seller skills, elevate the value of sales interactions, unlock existing growth potential, and optimize sales force enablement. Follow news and update from the Gartner Sales practice on Twitter and LinkedIn using #GartnerSales.