Conference Updates

LAS VEGAS, Nev., May 17, 2023

Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference 2023: Day 2 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from the 2023 Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference, taking place this week in Las Vegas, Nevada. Below is a collection of the key announcements and insights coming out of the conference. Here are our highlights from Day 1 ICYMI.

On Day 2, we are highlighting how to create a digitally immersive selling experience, how to build a diverse sales team in the current labor market, the role (or lack thereof) of data literacy in sales, and the ideal tech stack for sales managers to improve their teams. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Creating a Digitally Immersive Selling Experience

Presented by Elizabeth Beard, Director Analyst, Gartner

Buyers have taken the reins away from sellers and are more informed than they have ever been in the past, putting the onus on sales to know the in’s and out’s selling across all digital channels. In her session, Elizabeth Beard, Director Analyst at Gartner, outlined how sellers can align with marketing to provide a seamless and consistent customer journey that gives them the confidence to complete their purchase. 

Key Takeaways

  • “The behaviors of B2B buyers have changed dramatically over the last few years as they rely on digital channels to augment the buying process.”

  • “Unfortunately, sales organizations often still try to force B2B buyers into a linear buying journey that transitions buyers in between marketing and sales experiences.”

  • “Gartner research has found that 75% of buyers now prefer a rep-free experience. But that could be because they’re not getting the right kind of digital experience.” 

  • “B2B buyers who encountered consistent information from the supplier website and sales reps were more likely to complete a high-quality deal. 

  • Sales leaders should maximize opportunities by:

    • Using website tracking and seller action plans to be digitally immersed with the customer and fully aligned with their needs. 

    • Unifying sales and marketing efforts in a digital sales room to close deals faster and more effectively.

    • Improving commercial potential by embracing revenue enablement technology.”

Building a Diverse Sales Team in a Challenging Labor Market

Presented by Christopher Gamble, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

Today’s tight labor marketing is making it more difficult than ever for CSOs to backfill sellers or deliver on promises to grow the sales force. In his session, Christopher Gamble, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, discussed how sales leaders can attract the top sales talent of the future. 

Key Takeaways

  • “At a time when talent is scarce and the seller role is getting more complex, CSOs can’t afford to continue neglecting vast pools of talent.”
  • “Diverse sales teams are more successful: When measured against outcomes like team collaboration, intent to stay and discretionary effort, an organization that is both diverse and inclusive, will perform better in each of these dimensions.”
  • “82% of sales leaders expect a more diverse sales force to produce accelerated commercial results.”
  • Sales leaders who want to attract and retain diverse sales talent need to follow the three “Rs”:
    • Realign candidate profiles on skills and behaviors: Align competencies to actual work, audit job descriptions and recruit from non-traditional sources. 
    • Refocus diverse talent attraction and retention: Promote visible diversity in leadership, eliminate negative perceptions and create consequential accountability.
    • Resolve compensation disparity and bias: Conduct pay equity audits, implement objective compensation policies and influence CEO, CFO and board of directors.


The Sales Manager Tech Stack: The Secret Sauce For Improving Sales Performance

Presented by Greg Hessong, Senior Director, Advisory, Gartner

Sales managers are responsible for ensuring seller productivity, but are often juggling requests and reports for their leadership. In his session, Greg Hessong, Senior Director, Advisory at Gartner, discussed how technology can help sales managers be more effective and unlock the full potential of their teams.

Key Takeaways

  • “Most tech investments are not focused on the sales manager.” 

  • “There needs to be a plan for how managers can make better use of existing tech, and this requires equipping them with insights to provide better guidance, and to see where risks and opportunities lie.”

  • “Sales manager technology should either reduce burden and help focus, or increase impact – ideally both.”

  • “Three ‘secret sauce’ technologies that help sales managers achieve this include:

    • Revenue intelligence to better identify revenue risks and take appropriate actions, before it’s too late. This allows managers to spend less time on things like interrogating sellers about pipeline and forecasts.

    • Conversation intelligence to gain better insight into issues that might derail specific deals. Use this to increase win rates, tailor coaching to the specific nuances of each deal and scale coaching efforts and replicate winning behaviors.

    • Rep performance management to become aware of and alleviate issues that block individual seller growth to improve their productivity and, therefore, drive stronger sales performance.”

Forget Data Literacy, Focus Sellers on Insight Understanding

Presented by Sandhya Mahadevan, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

CSOs know sellers must understand analytics to diagnose client needs and to more efficiently achieve revenue targets. In her session, Sandhya Mahadevan, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, shared why focusing sellers on "insight understanding" is crucial in doing so, and why data literacy should be pushed aside.

Key Takeaways

  • “Although data literacy is considered a top priority for many sales leaders, there are four key trends that indicate it should be deprioritized: 1) increased seller workload; 2) stratified sellers roles; 3) technological advancements; 4) evolution of RevOps.”

  • “Rather than dragging sellers down by overemphasizing data literacy, CSOs should guide them with insights by following these three principles: 

    • Tailor insights to seller experience. Take a walk in their shoes to see whether insights are getting the right adoption from sellers, catalyzing the right behaviors, and driving the desired results. Adjust where necessary.

    • Use your revenue technology as a catalyst to creating and distributing insights. Prioritize seamless integration over feature richness, but be sure to use technology to augment human judgment rather than replace it.

    • Foster trust in data through plan-language stories and proper governance. Maintain regular dialog between sellers and sales operations.” 

  • “Following these principles will enable sales leaders to advance sales operations to be data-literate champions of insights.”

That's a wrap for Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference in Las Vegas! See you next year. 

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