Sales Orgs That Use An Adaptive Approach Are 3X More Likely To Grow: Gartner Research

Published: May 22, 2024

At the 2024 Gartner CSO & Sales Leaders Conference, the company’s analysts took the stage to share insights into some of Gartner’s latest sales research, which emphasized how organizations that manage change with agility can increase growth opportunities up to 3X.

“From budget constraints and limited resources to fast-evolving buyer expectations and mounting pressure to adopt and master new technology, sales leaders are stuck in a reactive mode,” said Dave Egloff, VP, Analyst in the Gartner Sales Practice. “Rather than building organizational adaptability in the face of this constant chaos, leaders are over-relying on individual sellers, leading to seller burnout and performance issues.”

Instead, Egloff advised attendees to pivot from a “reactive” approach to a more “adaptive” style, noting that the shift will lead to organizations having a “winning advantage.”

Pivot From ‘Adaptive By Necessity’ To ‘Adaptive By Design’

Egloff continued that an adaptive organization can effectively navigate the decision-making process with speed and accuracy. He explained that being adaptive by design allows organizations to advance confidently through the decision process as they utilize sales intelligence to find usable, contextualized insights, quickly evaluate to determine a course of action, trigger change to gain competitive advantage and ultimately sustain those actions through disciplined change management.

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According to Egloff, the three accelerators that speed up decision making include:

  1. Leveraging revenue intelligence, which utilizes data as contextualized insights to inform sales leaders on what’s coming, what’s working, what’s slowing them down and how they should react;
  2. Viewing technology as a teammate and focusing on building a relationship between humans and technology with clearly defined responsibilities and transparent actionability; and
  3. Embracing modularity to allow organizations to tweak their approach to situations as they evolve;

“To thrive in the uncertainty, sales organizations must embrace constant adaptation, effective decision making, and be able to sustain shifts in strategy or execution,” said Alice Walmesley, Director, Advisory in the Gartner Sales Practice. “Organizations that make this shift to adaptive design are more likely to mitigate the downsides created by external events and capture the full potential of opportunities.”

Create A Sales Culture To Increase Performance

The same research also uncovered that culture is often an afterthought for sales leaders, which leads to disconnected teams. Shayne Jackson, Sr. Director, Analyst in the Gartner Sales Practice, explained that when leaders actively channel sales culture, it’s an “incredibly powerful” tool. According to the study, the key sales culture attributes that organizations should consider include:

  • Investing in sales employees’ career development and growth opportunities;
  • Encouraging sellers to use innovative approaches in their work;
  • Fostering internal competition among the sales team to meet their goals;
  • Being transparent and presenting sellers with meaningful insights into the sales organization’s operations;
  • Empowering sellers to solve creatively for customer needs and rewarding them for finding ways to improve sales processes; and
  • Providing employees with psychological safety by providing an environment of trust.

“CSOs must take control of their sales culture by assessing the culture as it stands, designing the necessary culture adjustment and then transforming the culture to boost performance and achieve their organization’s goals,” said Jackson. “To implement changes, enlisting support of frontline managers is key, as well as making changes to systems and processes that conflict or obstruct the new culture improvements.”


Posted in: Industry News

Tagged with: Gartner

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