‘77 Percent of Sellers Struggle to Complete Tasks Efficiently’ – Gartner Survey

Surprisingly, this has coincided with an increase in sales spending budgets


Published: November 2, 2023

James Stephen

A Gartner survey has revealed that 77 percent of sellers are struggling to complete tasks efficiently, in spite of a rise in spending budgets for sales technologies, training, and development.

Gartner suggests that chief sales officers (CSOs) should increase their focus on seller behavior change in a bid to better capitalize on these resources and efforts.

Gartner surveyed 501 sellers in March and April 2023 and 213 CSOs and senior sales executives in November and December 2022.

Shayne Jackson, Senior Director Analyst in the Gartner Sales Practice, commented on the results: “When sales leaders spend on sales technologies, training and development, and sales enablement, they expect enablement to use them to drive seller effectiveness and productivity.

However, those responsible for enablement are falling short of expectations in capitalizing on these resources and efforts.

According to Gartner’s survey, 82 percent of sales leaders believe that sales enablement content delivery needs to undergo a meaningful change in order to be in line with revenue goals in five ears.

Seller Behaviour Changes

To achieve this much-needed transformation, CSOs must begin redirecting their enablement teams’ efforts to prioritize changes in seller behavior.

Gartner lists three key consequences of making this shift in approach as benefiting “alignment”, “attribution”, and “accountability”.

  • Alignment refers to the enablement activities that influence the necessary behaviors to carry out a sales strategy.
  • Attribution involves building concrete behavior to enable sales organizations to make specific behavior changes through enablement initiatives.
  • Accountability can be acquired by attributing behavioral change – and consequently commercial performance – to precise enablement initiatives.

The advice from Gartner goes on to suggest that CSOs must align enablement leaders on successful behavioral strategies, as well as involve them in their strategic planning processes.

Moreover, they should ask enablement leaders to develop measurement approaches that enable them to connect specific behavior changes to enablement initiatives.

The results of this should subsequently be compared with sales goals and KPIs.

Jackson added:

Two key examples of triggers are behavioural nudges and just-in-time learning; organizations that have used just-in-time learning and behavioural nudges in their enablement approach have seen substantial commercial results compared with those that have not used them.

In August, Gartner also published research on the ways in which CSOs can empower sellers to drive commercial results.

Key findings from the report included results from a 2022 Gartner survey, which found that sellers who feel “like a cog in a machine” are up to 34 percent less likely to meet quotas and 44 percent more likely to look for work elsewhere.

Offering empowerment initiatives for seller empowerment can change sellers’ attitudes towards their roles and provide a remedy to their feelings of meaningless related to work.

Elsewhere, Gartner uncovered three technologies that it believes will have the biggest impact on contact centers by 2028.

The U.S.-based research and consultancy firm predicts these transformational technologies to be generative AI, digital customer service, and conversational user interfaces.



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