5 Technologies CSOs Need To Invest In To Improve Buyer Engagement & Drive Growth

5 Technologies CSOs Need To Invest In To Improve Buyer Engagement & Drive Growth

Chief Sales Officers (CSOs) are inundated with new technologies to invest in, but most only fill small gaps or end up complicating existing processes. As a result, the ROI just isn’t there: Leaders are not seeing boosted win rates and revenue, much less improved buyer engagement and experience that drives growth.

When determining what technologies to invest in, CSOs should focus on desired outcomes and work backwards. The key to faster sales cycles and higher quality deals is a strong customer experience and engagement.

In fact, Gartner research found that two of the top objectives for sales leaders are centered around improving buyer engagement through digital, personalized interactions and upgrading the customer experience so that sellers can guide customers at key moments of need. These objectives are intertwined and need to be met in order to ultimately drive growth.

With that in mind, sales leaders should focus on investing in five innovative and emerging technologies to improve revenue and growth:

1. Generative AI

The use cases for gen AI are high-impact and endless, encompassing everything from pipeline, forecast and business intelligence to AI seller assistance. This technology is now table stakes, and leaders must take advantage of its benefits to increase seller productivity and personalize messaging at scale to reach customers. This allows for customers to continue to interact digitally but with a better experience.

2. Digital Sales Rooms

Like gen AI, digital sales rooms (DSRs) fall into the critical/invest now category. These centralized locations serve as a place where sellers and buyers can collaborate digitally throughout the customer journey, increasing engagement and driving higher quality deals in a shorter time frame. DSRs allow the customer to experience the buying process the way they want and gives them the opportunity to transact fully in a self-serve digital move, as well as seller assisted.

3. Digital Twin Of Customer

In the next three to five years, CSOs should consider a digital twin of a customer to help differentiate their offerings as part of their investment planning. Digital twins provide context and anticipate future consumer behaviors by creating a dynamic, virtual representation of a customer.

Impacts of a digital twin include:

  • Delivering highly personalized experiences tailored to each customer’s specific preferences, in turn strengthening customer engagement;
  • Analyzing data and patterns to anticipate customer needs and enhance the overall customer experience;
  • Providing a comprehensive view of the customer’s interactions across various channels and touchpoints, allowing them to seamlessly transition between channels without losing their context;
  • Monitoring and analyzing customer data in real-time to take proactive steps to resolve problems before they affect the customer experience;
  • Enabling organizations to create targeted and personalized strategies that could lead to higher customer engagement; and
  • Gathering feedback, monitoring satisfaction levels and tracking the impact of changes or interventions to support continuous improvement and innovation.

4. Emotion AI

Emotion AI is also a near-term technology investment that CSOs must consider. By capturing, analyzing and responding to human emotions, the human-computer interface and the overall user experience is enhanced. For example, a chatbot or virtual assistant equipped with emotion AI can provide personalized and empathetic interactions based on a customer’s emotional state.

Benefits include an improved customer experience strategy through analytics and a more sensitive reaction to customers. It will be important, however, to keep data privacy and use cases in mind.

5. Machines As Customers

As organizations look further into the future, machines as customers are poised to shake up the sales landscape. These non-human economic actors obtain goods and/or services in exchange for payment and have the potential to revolutionize operations by reducing human effort, optimizing efficiency and enhancing the customer experience. Because machine customers are information-driven, they may be more reliable than human customers and lead to sales, marketing and service becoming more programmatic.

Melissa Hilbert is a VP Analyst in the Gartner Sales Practice who presented live on this subject and others at the Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference, which took place May 21-22 in Las Vegas.

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