Gartner Guides on Orchestrated Customer Engagement
December 14, 2021
B2B Sales Organizations that Unify Commercial Strategies and Leverage
Multithreaded Commercial Engagements Will Outperform Competition by 50% in Four
2026, B2B sales organizations that unify commercial strategies and leverage
multithreaded commercial strategies will realize revenue growth that outperforms
the competition by 50%, according to Gartner. This means sales leaders must
rethink their go-to-market strategies with what Gartner calls “orchestrated
customer engagement” to better align to today’s buying behaviors.
Orchestrated customer engagement helps commercial leaders transition to
strategies that are more adaptable to fast-evolving buyer dynamics, ensuring the
entire commercial organization – sales, marketing and customer service – can
meet customers where, when and how they want to be met.
“Many sales and commercial leaders believe meeting face-to-face with customers
is the panacea to bolstering commercial performance, especially as they navigate
through the pandemic recovery. The harsh reality is that yesterday’s strategy is
less effective today and not what the best organizations are doing for
tomorrow’s success,” said Dave Egloff, vice president analyst in the Gartner
Sales practice. “But there is still hope — transformative digital investments
and technology give commercial leaders more capabilities than ever before to
decisively adapt to today’s ever-evolving buying team dynamics and preferences.”
B2B buyers today spend only 24% of their buying time meeting with potential
suppliers. This is being driven by a number of factors: the increasing amount of
credible but conflicting information they find online, the growing number of
internal stakeholders on the buying team (now ranging anywhere from 11 to 20
individuals) and the fact that 54% of Millennial customers prefer a rep-free
“Commercial leaders must focus on making sellers more effective in execution and
buyers more confident in their purchasing decisions. This starts when customers’
needs come first,” said Egloff. “Better purchasing decisions occur when
coordinated touchpoints unify buying teams. It thrives when marketing, sales and
service organize around a common understanding of customers’ situations and
buying team engagement.”
According to Gartner, orchestrated customer engagement consists of three
Situational awareness — Most sales organizations treat customers largely the
same by applying a standardized engagement process that discounts each
customer’s unique situation. However, these traditional approaches are less
effective because customer situations are increasingly different. The
divergences between situation and generalized approaches trigger disconnects
between what the playbook suggests and what the buying team actually needs.
Situational awareness is built upon the premise that every buying situation is
unique, but with patterns that repeat across organizations. Commercial teams
that work to understand the customer’s perspective will outperform competitors.
engagement — Unlike traditional opportunity management approaches, multithreaded
engagement acknowledges that customers have more options, more internal
stakeholders and an unpredictable purchase journey. This strategy can help to
orchestrate the timing, delivery and messaging – integrating seller and digital
experiences – across all stakeholders within a buying team. This ultimately
helps to expedite consensus on a commercial decision.
Commercial convergence — Most commercial teams still formulate strategies and
execute plans based on functional silos, leading to operational inefficiencies,
misaligned priorities and generic messaging. Organizations can overcome these
challenges by pursuing a strategy of commercial convergence, which requires
strategic and tactical alignment between marketing, sales and service to create
a mindset of value and cooperation across the enterprise silos.
This practice aligns the strategies, functions and KPIs of commercial
stakeholders to enable situational awareness and multithreaded engagement while
accelerating revenue generation and reducing cost and complexity.