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Predicting B2B Sales Trends for 2022 with a Gartner Analyst

We asked Dan Gottlieb, B2B Sales & Tech Analyst at Gartner, your burning hot questions about the future of sales. Let’s find out what to expect. 

We recently asked our LeadIQ followers: if you had the chance to sit down with a Gartner Analyst, what burning hot questions would you bring to the table? Boy, did you all deliver some great questions and hot takes! 

Ryan O'Hara got together with Dan Gottlieb, B2B Sales & Tech Analyst at Gartner, and wouldn't let him off the hook until he answered all of your questions about the future of sales. Check out some highlights below, or watch the entire webinar here.

 

Takeaway #1: Be prepared to engage with buyers both virtually and in person.

 

While there is substantial evidence that more and more buyers prefer a rep-free experience in the buying process, that same research shows this preference can lead to "bad deals" and decisions that don't end up benefiting customers in the long run. 

The task now facing sellers is to accommodate both virtual and face-to-face experiences, while engaging people in conversations that meet individual preferences.

 

Takeaway #2: The pandemic hasn't changed the fundamentals of outreach, but personalization is now essential

 

LeadIQ has been leading the way on personalized outreach for a while now. Customized messaging is, and will continue to be, the most effective outreach strategy. 

The fundamentals of your outreach strategy remain the same in 2022. However, personalization is essential to stand out in a world where notifications and cold emails bombard prospects all day. Personalization increases the threshold of effort that goes into an effective messaging strategy, and also increases the odds of your messages being seen.

 

Takeaway #3: Change your thinking around the metrics you measure SDRs against

 

You can (and should) measure metrics besides how many calls or emails your sales team generates. Some example metrics are measuring how many contacts are active in a cadence or sequence. Measurements like these matter because they’re a leading indicator of activity. 

Additional metrics include the dial-to-connect rate, email reply rate, the sentiment of emails, and the velocity of deals that move into the pipeline.

 

Takeaway #4: Automation will change the role of salespeople, not automate them out of the buying process

 

For SDRs, the idea of being automated out of the buying process is a frightening one. But Dan believes that automation technology will only change the role of salespeople in the future, not remove them from the process. 

Indeed, automation can increase the capacity of humans, depending on the sales role. When a buyer purchases without speaking to a rep–say through a free trial or tier–the seller role becomes that of a facilitator or storyteller, who guides buyers in how to better use the product better and upsell. 

For those worried about future robot overlords, stay calm: we’ve got a long way to go before machines can facilitate conversations as well as humans.

 

Watch our full conversation with Dan

We covered plenty more topics in our Ask Me Anything session with Dan. If you're looking for more insight on what the future of sales holds, you can watch the entire conversation here