Conference Updates

May 18, 2021

Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference Americas: Day 2 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from the Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference, taking place this week virtually in the Americas. Below is a collection of the key announcements and insights coming out of the conference. You can read the highlights from Day 1 here.

On Day 2 from the conference, we are highlighting the latest on account-based strategies, AI for B2B guided selling and realigning channel partner selling. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

The Tenets of Successful Account-Based Sales Strategy

Presented by Craig Rosenberg, Distinguished Vice President Analyst, Gartner

Sales leaders must take the lead in developing and executing an account-based strategy to include sales, marketing and customer success. In this session, Craig Rosenberg, Distinguished Vice President Analyst at Gartner, discussed the three pillars of a successful account-based strategy. 

Key Takeaways

  • “This is not about account-based marketing, it’s bigger than that. Account-based strategy delivers across all functions - a go-to-market strategy for the entire customer facing organization.” 

  • “60% of organizations employing an account-based strategy had a significant pipeline lift. Not to mention a 3x better opportunity win rate.”

  • The three pillars of a successful account-based strategy include: target, orchestrate and measure.

  • Target: Sales organizations have to narrow down their target market to a set of target accounts to go after immediately - what we call Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs). 

  • Orchestrate: Orchestration leverages multiple channels and multiple functions to meet a specific objective for a specific list of target accounts. 

  • Measure: Measurement is different in account-based strategies because it’s based on a more simplified funnel with only five steps - target accounts, engaged accounts, meeting creation, opportunities and closed/won accounts.

Optimize Sales Execution With Artificial Intelligence for B2B Guided Selling

Presented by Tad Travis, VP Analyst, Gartner

Every B2B sales organization aims at better sales execution, which means closing more deals with increasingly efficient means of engaging with prospects. In this session, Tad Travis, VP Analyst at Gartner, explored how to optimize sales execution with artificial intelligence (AI) for B2B guided selling.

Key Takeaways

  • “Interest in AI-based guided selling applications is driven by the fact that traditional sales analytics have failed.”

  • “Guided selling at its essence is an identification of what action a seller should take next, but it’s actually quite complicated.”

  • “There are four functions or components that go into AI-based guided selling: next best actions, customer engagement, correlations and benchmarks, and customer verifiers.”

  • “The technology is changing very rapidly, and we predict that AI-based guided selling will definitely become an integral part of your sales technology stack going forward.”

  • “If you have not started yet, start with deal intelligence because the use cases are well established and the maturity of the algorithms are strong.”

(Re)Aligning Channel Partner Selling to Changing Customer Buying

Presented by Tom Cosgrove, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

B2B buying has evolved dramatically, but many channel partners’ sales strategies have failed to keep pace. In this session, Tom Cosgrove, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, provided sales leaders with a practical framework for increasing alignment between channel partners’ go-to-market models and current customer buying behavior.

Key Takeaways

  • “Many sales leaders tell us they are questioning whether or not the need even exists for an in-person indirect sales model anymore.”

  • “The majority of sales leaders tell us that their direct sales strategy is moving to one of virtual engagement in order to align with new customer expectations.”

  • “74% of CSOs surveyed earlier this year told us that they are actively executing, or have already taken action, on updating seller competency profiles to be dominantly focused on virtual selling skills and behaviors.” 

  • “Customer buying behavior is already putting pressure on suppliers to improve sales channel alignment, so sales leaders responsible for indirect channel strategy need to position and enable their partners to be a channel that can play a consistent and additive part in such an ecosystem.”

  • “Sales leaders driving channel strategy must play a key role in helping their company provide a truly omnichannel and virtualized experience for their end-customer more consistently.”

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Watch this space for more updates throughout the day.

About Gartner

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