Gartner's 2019 Current and Emerging Technologies in Sales is making the rounds on LinkedIn.
I’ll be honest, I spent quite some time trying to grok what it was saying. I’m more of a numbers person than a visual learner, so I made a bit of a remix. I thought I’d share it here to get the community’s feedback.
First, I spreadsheet'd their data out by adoption, current ROI, and future importance. I used distance to center to measure Deployment Level (1-9 scale) and followed their size and color key for Current ROI and Future Importance (1-3 scale).
The Tech Stack Adoption Lifecycle
Next, I overlaid Gartner’s Deployment Level with the familiar Technology Adoption Lifecycle (aka Chasm chart). Where the farther right, the more highly adopted a technology is. Two things jumped at out at me right away.
- Account-Based Marketing more highly adopted than CRM? Customer Success Management on par with CRM? I’m no Analyst but this feels like Sales Leaders skating to where the buzz is versus where their tech stacks actually are. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- It appears that less sexy, more nuts-and-bolts tech are under adopted. eSignature, CPQ, and Dialing Automation are three examples. These tools are massive productivity boosts for most reps. They may not make the company millions, but try to take them away and you’ll have a mutiny on your hands.
Tech by Adoption & ROI
Gartner also shared Current ROI as “measured by the perceived return on investment of the technology across organizations.” I was very interested in this bit, so I converted their data into a 2x2 matrix. With High Adoption at top and High ROI at right.
The clear winners here are Strategic Account Management, Sales Performance Management, and Testing + Certification. I could not agree more. These tools are all about getting reps up, productive, and working smartly as fast as possible.
I was surprised to see such a pessimistic view of Sales Acceleration technology. Their use and value in the Sales Development space is widely accepted. Perhaps the vendors in the space need to do more to educate the Sales Leader market about their key AE use cases.
Tech by Current ROI & Future Importance
Finally, Gartner shared Future Importance as “measured by the surmised importance of the technology to the organization in two years’ time.” This is a fantastic question and the results are fascinating.
First to the winners.
Our old friends Strategic Account Management, Sales Performance Management, Testing + Certification, and CRM are rated as High ROI and Greater Future Importance. It’s interesting to see, in this “the death of…” era, that Sales Leaders aren't predicting a massive revolution at the core of the sales tech stack. The falling future importance of Mobile Sales Productivity makes sense if you believe the trend to phone, email, web, social will continue. Gamification and RFP Generation come off rather rough in this analysis—low adoption, low ROI, and declining future importance.
The final piece I want to highlight are Context-Based Content Recommendations and Video Tech for Skill Building. These two categories are tagged as having solid ROI and greater future importance.
So that’s my read on the Gartner data. What jumps out at you?