Gartner Eyes Rising Sales Budgets
Seventy-three percent of chief sales officers expect their budgets to increase by an average of 16.9 percent in 2022,with the top investment areas to be sales enablement, digital marketing, and sales operations.
"CSOs are adjusting their expanding budgets in 2022 to become better prepared for what could be foundational shifts in the way sales teams and buyers fundamentally interact," said Betsy Gregory-Hosler, senior director of research in the Gartner Sales practice, in a statement. "CSOs and sales teams are now partially or fully funding activities traditionally owned by marketing, leading into an unprecedented time of spending within these functions."
In addition to increased investment in sales enablement, CSOs also plan to increase spending in the following areas:
- Digital-first investments: The pandemic accelerated B2B buyers' exposure to and comfort with digital commerce platforms. In a more virtual environment, most CSOs recognize the importance of digital marketing.
- Analytical thinking: More than half of CSOs plan to invest heavily in sales analytics, citing the technology as a priority for organizational success.
- Technological advancements: After protecting technology budgets in 2021, CSOs continue to prioritize tech investments moving in 2022. CSOs plan to increase investment in sales technology, prioritizing pipeline generation, CRM data, and training and coaching use cases.
"The pandemic has fundamentally changed B2B buying behaviors," said Robert Lesser, advisory director in the Gartner Sales practice, in a statement. "With buyers opening themselves up to more virtual experiences in conjunction with a mixed outlook for conferences and in-person events, it is clear that the shift to digital will not be short-lived."
While budgets might be increasing, the planning process is still crucial to guide upcoming investments and achieve the greatest commercial impact, Gartner also found. With that in mind, sales leaders should consider the following with the flexibility that an increase in spending can bring:
- Understand major B2B buying and selling trends and how they are changing the path to growth: CSOs must understand how digital buying, virtual selling, and emerging technologies are rewriting what it takes to succeed in B2B sales to invest ahead of the curve.
- Benchmark budget against peers to strengthen business cases: Effective benchmarking helps sales leaders build business cases, defend budgets, and make data-backed strategic decisions.
- Ensure sales enablement and operations leaders are equipped to optimize new investments: Sales enablement leaders need a planning process to assess sales enablement program effectiveness, align sales enablement programs to sales strategies, and communicate program results.