Agile Sales - A new approach for Sales
With the emergence of technology, there has been a paradigm shift in the way people communicate and do business with each other. Hence, tools and techniques which sales teams used a few years back are more or less unproductive.
Companies who fail to adapt in this fast-paced world driven by technology, more often than not find themselves in trouble. Also with the rampant usage of internet, search engines and other tools which are easily accessible, the consumers are in a better place to determine the products which fulfill their business needs instead of having to depend on sales personnel to guide them.
In today’s world, business decisions are driven by data. A company with a significant amount of business data is in a better position to make effective business decisions provided the data is in a centralized location and is easily accessible by stakeholders who have the capability to make decisions.
What needs to change?
Companies need to adapt to this changing landscape and agile sales is an optimal solution to address the sales needs of companies in today’s world. Agile sales is an approach which helps sales team to work efficiently as well as at a faster pace, while minimizing waste and delivering better and faster results. It is driven on the four crucial values of Agile methodology in software development that are
Sales team members and their respective interactions with customers hold more value than established tools and processes
A working sales model is much more effective than exhaustive documentation
Collaborating with customers to determine their needs is much more effective than negotiating and winning a customer contract
Responding to a customer’s need is much more effective than creating an aggressive sales plan to achieve yearly targets
How does Agile Sales work?
Agile is a methodology which came into prominence in the software industry by streamlining the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). It provided an alternative to the traditional methodology i.e. Waterfall. Following are some steps to implement Agile methodology in your sales team.
Set Short-term Goals: Achieving annual sales goals is more often than not a very daunting task and can be overwhelming for the sales team. With the market shrinking with the emergence of various new tools like online marketplaces, the task gets even more challenging. Hence, breaking down the sales goals into smaller and flexible targets spanned over shorter time intervals, makes it appear easier to achieve and hence can boost the confidence of the sales team.
Building small, multi-faceted and cohesive agile sales team: It often happens that members of a sales team are highly competitive and individualistic when it comes to achieving sales target. However agile methodology advocates just the opposite i.e. a supportive, cohesive and collaborative team where the sales target can be achieved as a team and not as individuals. The methodology advocates that a team should set realistic goals and should try and achieve it together. They should win as a team or lose as a team. It also advocates that the team should be multi faceted comprising of members with various skill-sets like marketing, data analytics, sales etc. who can work together to achieve the goals.
Scaling the sales team as a team of teams: The methodology advocates that the scaling of sales team shouldn’t happen by adding members to the agile sales team. Instead a new small agile sales team should be created with a different set of goals thereby forming a team of teams which is lead by a senior associate as required. When different teams working under a large team and having different goals, it results in the teams working with more cohesion and less friction, thereby contributing towards achieving the overall sales goals of the company.
Having the right agile processes set-up for the agile sales teams to follow: The agile methodology will work fine if the relevant processes are set-up correctly. The critical processes to be considered are:
Sprints: The block of time decided by the agile team to complete a set amount of work
Daily Stand-ups: 15 minute meeting among the agile team to provide a status update of what was done on the previous day and what needs to be completed on the particular day
Sprint Reviews: The meeting to discuss about the targets met in the current sprint and set targets for the next sprint.
Sprint Retro: The meeting among the agile sales team facilitated to discuss about the challenges faced by the agile team in the recently concluded sprint and what changes need to be done in order to overcome those challenges in the subsequent sprints.
Maintaining the burn-down charts: Burn-down charts graphically represent the tasks left to do versus time. It paints a picture of what has been completed and how much outstanding work is left.
Using the right tools to measure the team performance: Accountability is a major factor in the success of any agile team. Without an automated system, it becomes very challenging to track the performance of a sales team and it becomes very difficult to hold team members accountable for their activities. This is where the Customer Relationship Management (“CRM”) system comes into play.
Sales is one of the most crucial factors for the success of a company. In this ever-changing landscape, companies have to adapt to get ahead of their competitors. Moving towards agile sales, will help leverage the most out of the sales team and provide the best possible results in the foreseeable future.
Please reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org for a free demo on how agile sales can be implemented in Salesforce.