CSOs and Sales Leaders Top Priorities for 2020

Discover what is top of mind for sales leaders in 2020

Sales executives must make sense of the external environment to confidently execute 2020 priorities

Disruptive technologies, changing customer dynamics and rapidly shifting economic conditions are challenging heads of sales to rethink their functional priorities and investments. Sales leaders need to ask themselves what must top the sales agenda for 2020.

Bar graph displaying the top 3 initiatives CSOs classify as being the most critical to their sales organization's success in 2020.
Sales leaders face increased pressures from leadership to improve margins and adapt the business to thrive in today's market. Given this environment, it's unsurprising that sales leaders' top 2020 priorities are rooted in growing accounts, improving manager effectiveness and enhancing pipeline activities.

Matt Dudek

VP, Team Manager, Gartner

Insights you can use

According to the 2019 Gartner Chief Sales Officer Agenda Poll, three initiatives were identified as being the most critical to the sales organization's success in 2020. Developing frameworks for communicating these sales priorities to the C-suite and the broader sales force will be of the utmost importance to CSOs.

Priority 1: Promote sales manager effectiveness

The difficulty of finding and keeping great sellers in today’s tight labor market is shining a harsh light on management weaknesses. Gartner can help you identify and develop the most effective sales manager approach.

The average sales manager devotes just 9% of his or her time to developing direct reports.
Sales teams reject 55% of marketing-qualified leads (MQLs).

Priority 2: Improve prospecting and early pipeline activities

As CEOs focus on incremental growth, CSOs are focusing more on prospecting and early pipeline activities. Unfortunately, the stark truth is that sales teams reject 55% of marketing-qualified leads. Gartner can help CSOs improve lead filtering and create feedback mechanisms to align sales and marketing efforts while removing inconsistencies.

Priority 3: Support account growth

88% of account managers believe that “above and beyond ” service is the surest way to grow accounts when, in fact, service has no statistically significant impact on growing accounts. Gartner can teach you how to drive growth through smarter account management.   

88% of account managers agree that servicing accounts above and beyond customer expectations is the surest way to grow.

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Gartner topic experts

Gartner’s sales experts span the globe to support sales leaders with their most important initiatives, no matter where they are. Meet a few of our leaders.

Brent Adamson headshot

Brent Adamson
Distinguished VP, Advisory

Doug Bushee
Sr Director Analyst

Brian Cain
Sr Principal, Advisory
Scott Collins headshot

Scott Collins
VP, Team Manager
Tom Cosgrove headshot

Tom Cosgrove
Sr Director, Advisory
Matt Dudek headshot

Matt Dudek
VP, Team Manager

Cristina Gomez
Managing VP
Shayne Jackson headshot

Shayne Jackson
Sr Director Analyst
Rick Karlton headshot

Rick Karlton
Managing VP
Danielle Mckinley headshot

Danielle McKinley
Director, Advisory
Nick Toman headshot

Nick Toman
Group VP

Gartner is a trusted advisor and an objective resource for 14,000+ organizations in 100+ countries.

Gartner for Sales provides sales leaders with the insights, advice and tools they need to address their mission-critical priorities.