The top technologies that sales leaders can use to boost buyer engagement include:
Gartner predicts that in the next two years, 30% of outbound messages from large organizations will be synthetically generated. Within sales, generative AI will be increasingly used to create emails that utilize CRM data and prompts engineered by sellers in order to build highly tailored messages that align with the buying priorities of multiple buyers.
“Generative AI is on course to change the way sales organizations do business,” said Gottlieb. “AI will empower B2B sales teams to easily produce highly relevant content, creating better messaging to engage a higher number of buyers in a deal — and faster.”
Visual collaboration tools provide a shared virtual canvas to tell stories, co-create and annotate content with buyers. These tools help sellers to explore complex solutions with their buyers, demonstrating client understanding through an interactive and visual real-time experience.
Gartner predicts that by next year, visual collaboration applications will be the center of 30% of meeting experiences.
Virtual Reality (VR)
VR provides a computer-generated 3D environment that surrounds a user and responds to an individual’s actions in a natural way, usually through immersive head-mounted displays. While considered a luxury in sales settings, VR can facilitate real-time 3D virtual meeting experiences in the Metaverse, offering a digital-first selling experience for buyers to learn about products and engage with peers.
Digital Sales Rooms (DSRs)
DSRs offer a consolidated vendor microsite and project management hub for the buying team, which empowers buyers with a single space to reference vendor assets and information. DSRs streamline how a small group of targeted buyers interact with the supplier, offering better customer experience. They also support customer retention, turning into a collaborative platform where the supplier and customer continue to work together to achieve better lifetime value for the vendor.
By 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels.
Workstream collaboration products, such as Microsoft Teams or Slack, deliver a conversational workspace based on a persistent group chat. Sales leaders can utilize this technology to set up channels dedicated to the buying process, answer questions in real-time and facilitate dialogue with buyers.
Conversation intelligence analyzes conversations between buyers and sellers, using AI to deliver relevant insights to improve interaction quality (e.g., suggesting next best action). Gartner predicts that by 2025, 75% of B2B sales organizations will augment traditional sales playbooks with AI-guided selling solutions.
“Active listening is one of the most fundamental skills in facilitating the buying process. Conversation intelligence helps sellers pick up on trends in buyer rhetoric, giving them additional guidance to use during real-time sales conversations,” said Gottlieb.
Over half of buyers say they use supplier-provided digital technologies during the buying process. Visual configuration enables buyers to interact with a visual representation of a physical product. Sellers can walk buying teams through customizations in real-time, making this technology useful for solution exploration and requirement building.
Already a table stakes capability in industries such as medical devices and specialty vehicles, organizations that are among the first to adopt it in their industry can gain substantial competitive advantage.
Interactive demonstrations allow buyers to interact directly with synthetic data in digital products. Sales teams can customize a real-time walkthrough experience for a product tour for a personalized experience via their website or a digital sales room.
“By putting buyers in the driver’s seat for solution exploration, requirements building and supplier selection, the likelihood of their engagement and, by extension, purchase power soars,” said Gottlieb.
Narrative automation technologies use AI to conduct relevant research about a company (such as financial metrics) and convert that research into value messaging sales content assets, improving seller confidence in their sales engagements. Sellers can distribute a highly strategic narrative to more executive buyers, improving account coverage.
Gottlieb left attendees with a key caveat when evaluating technologies to implement in their organization: “There is no single technology to rule them all. Adopt the best-fit technologies suited to meet your customers’ needs and capitalize on your sales organization’s strengths.”
About the Gartner CSO & Sales Leaders Conference
The Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference is taking place May 16-17, 2023 in Las Vegas, providing sales leaders with the latest research on sales talent, customer buying behavior, account-based marketing strategies and leveraging digital channels. Follow news and updates coming out of the 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.