Virtual Selling Drives Data to Replace Intuition
By 2026, 65 percent of B2B sales organizations will transition from intuition-based to data-driven decision making, using technology that unites workflow, data, and analytics, according to Gartner.
The market for such technology is growing rapidly with the rush to virtual selling due to the pandemic, the firm projected.
Chief sales officers (CSOs) who want to modernize their virtual selling strategy should build a technology stack based on three critical attributes: improving buyer engagement, data-driven seller actions, and simplified seller workflows, analysts recommend.
"The average virtual selling technology stack includes 13 technologies," says Dan Gottlieb, senior director analyst in the Gartner for Sales Leaders Practice. "By investing in technologies closely aligned with the speed and complexity of typical transactions, CSOs will improve the satisfaction, adoption, and benefits of virtual selling technology."
"Investing in virtual selling tech right now requires a classic case of slowing down to speed up. A carefully designed, purpose-built virtual selling technology stack will help sales teams more predictably hit the number," adds Craig Rosenberg, distinguished vice president analyst in the Gartner for Sales Leaders Practice. "If CSOs look at those moments across the three key pillars (improving buyer engagement, adapt tactics based on data, and simplify seller workflows), opportunities to improve seller execution can reveal themselves quite quickly."
Virtual selling technologies help sellers improve customer engagementby facilitating meetings and asynchronous interactions with customers.
They also simplify day-to-day seller workflows by automating time-consuming tasks and streamlining sellers' user experience, while the lack of seller digital dexterity easily undermines the successful adoption of technology, Gartner found.
Virtual selling technologies also equip sellers with stakeholder and company data that generates situationally aware insights to influence messaging, workflows, and tactics. Since sellers tend to have the lowest data proficiency in the enterprise, innovative technologies must help sellers understand and activate data points, Gartner concluded.
Gartner recommends CSOs evaluate emerging technologies that support the following two kinds of B2B transactions:
- Volume and velocity: Typically executed over shorter sales cycles (less than three months), for small deal sizes (less than $25,000), with small buying committees (less than six stakeholders), often for products with lower complexity.
- Enterprise: Typically executed over longer sales cycles (six months or more), for larger deal sizes (greater than $125,000), with large buying committees (eight to 11 stakeholders), often for complex products.