Sales leaders should position technology as “teammate”

5th July 2023 |   Journal Of Sales Transformation

CSO & Sales Leader Conference 2023,
in Las Vegas on 16-17 May
Robert Blaisdell and Alice Wamesley: kicked off the 2023 Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference.

Analysts suggests that sales organizations which actively position technology as a “teammate” for sellers – rather than just another tool – will unlock seller productivity and enable highquality deals. Speakers at the Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference 2023, in Las Vegas on 16-17 May, explored how technology – particularly artificial intelligence – is key in augmenting the unique value that human sellers provide to buyers in a continuously disruptive environment.

“A new approach that marries technology advances with the distinctive abilities that human sellers bring to a deal is required to adapt to customers’ changing needs and drive real commercial outcomes,” Robert Blaisdell, Senior Director Analyst in the Gartner Sales Practice, told the audience. “The tech revolution isn’t about giving sellers more technology; it’s about giving technology more responsibility.

“New technologies, such as generative AI and ‘digital humans’, have the potential to transform the role of the seller.”

However, with a high percentage of buyers reporting they prefer a rep-free experience, this preference is at odds with what makes for a high-quality deal, Gartner stresses. Buyers who receive validation that a purchase feels right for them are 30% more likely to complete an ambitious or premium purchase that lived up to expectations. Gartner calls this “value affirmation” and suggests that buyers who engage with a human during the purchase process are 2.3 times more likely to experience it.

“Value affirmation’s importance in enabling high-quality deals highlights how feelings matter just as much as facts for today’s B2B buyers,” explains Alice Walmesley, Director, Advisory in the Gartner Sales Practice.