Customer Acquisition Tops 2019 Priorities for Technology CEOs

Tech CEOs should focus on the areas in which they are the least confident.

Sales effectiveness and marketing duties are critical and urgent focus areas, based on a recent survey of more than 100 technology company CEOs. Yet these are also the same two areas where technology CEOs have the least amount of expertise and the least confidence in their companies’ ability to solve the challenges, according to the Gartner Annual Tech CEO Survey, 2019.


One-third of technology company CEOs believe they need to spend more time on customer acquisition activities such as sales effectiveness and marketing/demand generation.

A Gartner graphic titled Tech CEO's confidence in solving their challenges in the next six to 12 months comparing top challenges versus confidence versus urgency

The customer buying cycle is, on average, twice as long as the provider sales cycle. Simply spending more time won’t solve customer acquisition challenges. Technology CEOs are not scalable. Additionally, CEOs have spent nearly twice as much of their professional careers in product/service development and operations than in sales and marketing. They are experts in product and operations, but lack experience in critical areas like sales, marketing and talent acquisition, and lack support for these tasks.

Bring in trusted talent and delegate. Surround that talent with sales enablement resources and infrastructure. Tech CEOs cannot afford to make mistakes with vital programs such as messaging and demand generation, partner and channel strategies, or customer retention and advocacy.

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Gartner clients can read more in the full report Survey Data: Gartner Annual Tech CEO Survey, 2019 with George Brocklehurst, Christine Tenneson, et al.

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