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May 17, 2022

Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference 2022: Day 1 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from the Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference, taking place virtually today and tomorrow. Below is a collection of the key announcements and insights coming out of the conference.

On Day 1 from the conference, we are highlighting the Opening Keynote, the rise of RevOps, how revenue enablement can reduce sales complexity and the ways sales organizations can respond to talent shortages. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Gartner Opening Keynote: Sustaining Growth through Unrelenting Disruption

Presented by Alice Walmesley, Director, Advisory, Gartner and Scott Collins, Managing Vice President, Gartner

Constant change is overwhelming today's sellers and undermining sales effectiveness in the process. In the Gartner Opening Keynote at the CSO & Sales Leader Conference, Alice Walmesley Director, Advisory at Gartner, and Scott Collins, Managing Vice President at Gartner, explained how and why to become an adaptable sales organization in today’s unpredictable world. 

Key Takeaways

  • “The intense social, technological, economic and geopolitical disruptions of the last two years have had a massive impact on the world of B2B commerce.”

  • “The selling environment has become more complex, and it doesn’t make it any easier that 87% of them reported feeling at least some level of burnout from work.”

  • “Sales leaders looking to cultivate an adaptable sales organization should rethink their current sales efforts across three dimensions: 

  • Customer understanding: Understanding customers’ buying actions through tactics such as information journeys or interpersonal dynamics, and technology such as pipeline data and conversion intelligence.

  • Customer engagement: Focusing reps on the highest value sales activities through tactics such as customer verifiers and buyer enablement, and technology such as AI.

  • Operating model: Establishing clear rules for effective cross-functional collaboration through a unified commercial engine and technology, such as communal data and intelligence led decisions.”

    Read more in the Gartner press release: “Gartner Says Adaptable Sales Organizations Must Rethink Their Customer Understanding, Engagement and Operating Models.” 

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The Transformation to RevOps Is Not as Daunting as It Seems: 5 Key Steps to Change

Presented by Craig Rosenberg, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

By 2025, Gartner predicts 75% of the highest growth companies in the world will deploy revenue operations (RevOps). However, RevOps carries multiple definitions and the perception that it is challenging to execute. In his session, Craig Rosenberg, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, defined the term and outlined five key steps to RevOps transformation.

Key Takeaways

  • “RevOps is an operating model that enables organizations to run their business as an interconnected, end-to-end (E2E) revenue process among go-to-market (GTM) functions.” 

  • “The RevOps model breaks down organizational silos and allows organizations to operate with greater efficiency and predictability.”

  • Step 1. Bring go-to-market functions together in a commercial coalition by generating executive support for the RevOps vision and redesigning functions accordingly. 

  • Step 2. Align the end to end (E2E) revenue process to the full customer life cycle transparency by mapping buyer journeys, agreeing on revenue process milestones and supporting multiple routes to market.

  • Step 3. Identify interconnected workflows by designing cross-functional workflows, integrating systems to automate processes, and support handoffs and service-level agreements.  

  • Step 4. Capture revenue process data in a shared data source by agreeing on data strategy, governance and quality assurance, ensuring data quality, and consolidating relevant data into accessible sources.

  • Step 5. Leverage unprecedented data for more intelligent decisions by leveraging analytics, creating a data decision framework and enabling data literacy for stakeholders to draw their own insights. 

Revenue Enablement Is Key to Reducing the Complexity of the Modern Sales Ecosystem

Presented by Doug Bushée, Sr Director Analyst, Gartner

As buying and selling processes change, typical siloed approaches to enablement create barriers instead of growth. In his session, Doug Bushée, Sr Director Analyst at Gartner, outlined how CSOs and enablement leaders can evolve their current sales enablement function towards a revenue enablement function.

Key Takeaways

  • “Most customers prefer a rep-free experience, so global organizations are finding ways to create value and improve the way they are interacting with buyers.” 
  • “In an increasingly revenue focused world, sales enablement still focuses on sellers. Instead, clients are turning to revenue enablement to remove complexity from the sales ecosystem.”

  • “There are three key milestones on the path to revenue enablement:

  • Align roles and functions: Silos create friction in the buying and selling process. Revenue enablement transcends the customer journey, simplifying the commercial journey and providing consistent CX.

  • Unify technology: Sellers today are using up to 17 different tools in the sales tech stack. Revenue enablement takes a holistic approach and audits tech used for sales execution, account retention and growth, and pipeline generation. 

  • Gather data and deploy AI: This simplifies selling and helps sales organizations make data-driven decisions, improving everything from onboarding to engagement.” 

How Should the Sales Org Be Redesigned in Response to the Talent Shortage?

Presented by Robert Lesser, Director, Advisory, Gartner

Improving compensation is no longer the cure-all for attracting and retaining sales talent. In his session, Robert Lesser, Director, Advisory at Gartner, explained the organizational structures and key actions to take to improve sales organizations’ capability to drive growth, reduce dependency on sellers, and improve seller retention. 

Key Takeaways

  • “The talent shortage, shifting buyer preferences, digital commerce and cross functional collaboration each make a compelling business case for change.”

  • “Talent is the second largest risk facing organizations according to Gartner research, right behind ransomware. CSOs report that recruiting sales talent is difficult and attrition rates are high, creating a leaky bucket of talent they can’t fill.”

  • “Progressive CSOs are driving change by redesigning go-to-market (GTM) roles: Over 50% plan to change the basic responsibilities of sales roles, introduce new sales roles and overhaul customer coverage approaches.”

  • “Headcount arbitrage, burden reduction, targeting and alternate channels are all strategies that go beyond simple cost cutting to deliver a superior buyer experience and improve seller productivity.”

  • “The three steps to launch a sales redesign are plan, build and monitor. Adopt a timeline that is geared to the pace of market change in order to sustain competitive advantage.”

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams. Our expert guidance and tools enable faster, smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s mission critical priorities. To learn more, visit gartner.com.

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