Press Release


STAMFORD, Conn., November 16, 2021

Gartner Identifies Key Actions for Chief Sales Officers to Take to Mitigate Supply and Demand Disruptions

New Research Provides Guidance on How to Control the Impact of Disruptions on Customer Relations and Seller Motivation

The economic disruptions of the last 18 months have caused sustained supply and demand reductions that have not just impacted revenue, but also customer trust and seller motivation, according to Gartner, Inc. Analysts have identified key actions that chief sales officers (CSOs) and their teams must take now to mitigate the damages they may be facing, whether caused by a lack of demand or a lack of supply (see Figure 1).

“The economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has left CSOs and their teams struggling to adhere to commitments and sales targets – with some companies selling out of their products or offerings. This can make or break a company and their sales team,” said Maria Boulden, vice president and executive partner in the Gartner Sales practice.

“A selling environment with nothing to sell, or nowhere to sell, poses a significant threat to any company and the people within their sales force,” Boulden said. “Besides the clear business challenges, it has particularly harmful impact on seller motivation, especially situations where the company is sold out or stocked out—which is counterintuitive from what most outside the sales function might believe.”

Figure 1.

Source: Gartner (2021)

Sales leaders responsible for sales strategy and leadership should consider the following:

  • Prioritize accounts during supply disruption to balance financial loss with long-term account growth and partnership by focusing on contractual, strategic and profit requirements of the supplier organization.
  • Create appropriate commercial messaging to maintain engagement with low-demand or no-supply customer segments, helping them make sense of overwhelming amounts of information and explore future business possibilities.
  • Work with customers to identify indicators of recovery and develop easy and executable solutions to resume business at the first sign of recovery.
  • Support sellers during disruption to prevent a loss of selling confidence by adjusting compensation targets and focusing them on future market demands for their offering.

Gartner for Sales Leaders clients can learn more in the report “How CSOs Can Mitigate the Impact of Supply and Demand Disruptions.”


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.


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