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Gartner Says Sales Organizations That Use an Adaptive Approach Are Three Times More Likely to Grow

Experts Reveal How to Construct and Leverage an Adaptive Organization at the Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference 2024, May 21-22 in Las Vegas

Sales organizations that embrace being adaptive by design will outpace competition and achieve superior commercial outcomes, according to Gartner, Inc.

During the opening keynote at the Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference, which is taking place here through Wednesday, Gartner experts discussed how future-proofing an organization to manage change with agility is the key to unlocking growth opportunities by as much as 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.”

According to a Gartner survey of over 200 senior sales leaders conducted in November and December 2023, two out of three sales leaders struggle to shift resources to an emerging priority.

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“Sellers are overwhelmed and experiencing change fatigue from this pressure cooker backdrop,” continued Egloff. “For a sales organization to succeed in constant disruption, leaders must signal a pivot from a reactive approach to being adaptive by design. It is this game-changing shift towards anticipatory adaptation that will lead to an organization having a winning advantage.”

Pivot from adaptive by necessity to adaptive by design

An adaptive organization can effectively navigate the decision-making process with speed and accuracy. Being adaptive by design allows organizations to advance confidently through this 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.

What separates the winners are three accelerators that speed up decision making:

  1. Revenue intelligence leverages data as contextualized insight, informing sales leaders on what’s coming, what’s working, what’s slowing them down, and what they should do as a result. Data is both predictive and actionable, giving organizations the power to adapt.
  2. Technology as a teammate focuses on building a different relationship between humans and technology, one which has clearly defined responsibilities and transparent actionability. Technology is no longer just another tool that can overwhelm sellers but now a partner that expedites their ability to adapt.
  3. Modularity enables agility and allows organizations to tweak their approach to the situation as it evolves, rather than being locked into tightly interwoven dependencies.

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“In order 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.”

“CSOs must embrace this winning formula regardless of marketplace conditions, acting with agility and finding opportunities for growth in disruption” concluded Walmesley.

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