Sales leaders say that aligning commercial functions, such as sales and marketing strategies, is their top priority for 2023, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc.
Gartner surveyed over 200 sales leaders in November and December 2022 to understand how sales teams align their go-to-market approach to changing customer needs.
“As buyer journeys become more complex, commercial organizations must deliver a more integrated human and digital customer learning experience,” said Billy Luckey, Director, Advisory in the Gartner Sales Practice.
“Breaking down silos between sales and marketing to ensure a seamless, multichannel purchase experience is an incremental, but fruitful, process,” said Luckey. “Sales organizations that align cross-functional KPIs are nearly 3 times more likely to exceed new customer acquisition targets.”
However, the survey revealed that the majority of sales organizations actually face challenges with unifying their commercial strategies. For example, 62% of respondents describe their sales and marketing functions as defining qualified leads differently. This often leads to inefficient and ineffective customer engagement.
Sales organizations are also torn on when and how to use human-led and/or digital-led channels when engaging with customers: According to a separate survey of 771 B2B buyers conducted in November and December 2022, 75% of B2B buyers prefer a rep-free experience, but those who purchase through digital channels alone are more likely to regret their purchase. Concurrently, buyers who are led by sales reps are less likely to complete a high quality deal.
“It’s imperative for commercial organizations to integrate digital and human-led channels to deepen customers’ understanding of their own needs, leading them to buy more than originally planned,” said Michael Katz, Director, Research in the Gartner Sales Practice.
“B2B organizations that unify commercial strategies and leverage multithreaded commercial engagements will realize revenue growth that outperforms their competition by 50%.”
To do this, Gartner recommends sales organizations:
- Diagnose and evaluate their commercial organizations’ maturity compared to competitors and peers across six key areas: audience understanding, messaging, measurement, revenue enablement, process design and customer data and systems. For example, sales leaders should look internally at how they are defining qualified leads and their go-to-market strategy.
- Prioritize which maturity area(s) map back to the larger organizational goals and develop a plan for integration, resources and timeline. Each area is equally important but should be tackled according to what’s most pressing in the near-term.
- Launch a targeted strategy to address at least one gap in maturity through a process, motion, tool, or other solution. One example of a joint sales and marketing activity that contributes to progressive maturity within messaging might be establishing co-created integrated multichannel engagement.
Gartner clients can read more in “Building a Unified Commercial Strategy: Drive High Margin Deals by Aligning Sales and Marketing.” Additional information is available in the complimentary eBook, “Exceed Your Revenue Goals with Sales and Marketing Alignment.”
About the Gartner CSO & Sales Leaders Conference
Sales leaders face unprecedented changes in B2B buying behaviors, customer expectations, technology and the talent needed to drive results. At the Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference, taking place in Las Vegas, NV on May 16-17, 2023, sales leaders will learn from the latest research and Gartner experts covering sales talent, customer buying behavior, account-based marketing strategies and leveraging digital channels. Follow news and updates for conference on the Gartner Newsroom and on Twitter and LinkedIn using #GartnerSales.
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. Members of the media can find additional information and insights in the Gartner Sales Newsroom.