Strategic Initiatives – What Do Buyers Really Care About in 2023


Aligning your proposals and financial justification business case to an organization’s strategic initiatives is vital to getting prioritized and gaining approval from executives. We discussed this in the article Aligning Your Value Storytelling to Your Buyers Strategic Initiatives

Gartner recently researched what mattered most to these executives.

When it comes to the board level, Gartner found the following strategic drivers:

  1. Economic-Focused – 48% of board members are worried about economic uncertainty and the potential recession
  2. Risk Appetite64% of board members expect an increase in their risk appetite for the rest of 2023 into 2024, and 46% are willing to accept greater risk in expanding product lines to achieve increased growth
  3. Digital Transformation – Only 19% of boards indicate that they have achieved and 30% have advanced towards their digital business transformation goals (although most are happy with progress).
  4. Sustainability – 80% of board members anticipate an increase in sustainability initiatives and investments over the next two years, with 47% believing sustainability is a substantial or significant consideration during company evaluation

For CEOs, a separate Gartner survey indicated priorities that were similarly driven by caution in the near term, but with an intent towards investment into 2024 and a new growth strategy over the next three to five years. Looking at the results, we would focus on the top five initiatives:

  1. Growth – the number one priority by a wide margin, to continue to grow the business despite the economic head-winds
  2. Digital – As with the board, CEOs are interested in technology investments for digital transformation and automation
  3. Workforce – labor scarcity means you have to retain and keep employees engaged, and attract new resources as replacements and to support growth.
  4. Financials and Cost Management – with an uncertain economy, organizations need to manage their finances more effectively, and manage costs. No wonder this is up 69% from the year prior.
  5. Efficiency and Productivity – although lower on the priority list today, but growing the fastest, Gartner indicates that this will be the top priority in 3 years, spurring investments in applied AI and leveraging data insights to optimize efficiency. Doing more with less resources has this goal up 46% from just 12 months ago.

The Bottom-Line

In conclusion, aligning your proposals and financial justification business case with an organization’s strategic initiatives is crucial for securing prioritization and executive approval.

Gartner’s research sheds light on the key priorities for board members and CEOs in 2023. Economic uncertainty and risk appetite are major concerns for board members, while digital transformation and sustainability initiatives are gaining traction. CEOs prioritize growth, digital investments, workforce management, financials, and cost management as they navigate the near-term challenges and plan for long-term growth strategies. Additionally, productivity emerges as a growing priority, driving investments in applied AI and data insights for optimizing efficiency.

By aligning with these strategic initiatives, solution providers can position themselves for success, demonstrating their commitment to addressing current concerns and future growth opportunities. It is imperative for businesses to adapt their value storytelling and align with these priorities to gain the necessary support and drive their initiatives forward in the ever-evolving business landscape of 2023 and beyond.


Key Findings: Gartner 2023 Board of Directors Survey –

Key Findings: Gartner 2023 CEO Survey –

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