Does Agile Work for Sales Teams?
Agile project management isn’t only reserved for software development. Many other teams such as sales and marketing can also benefit from adopting agile methodology. The question is: Does Agile work for sales teams?
Agile can help sales teams be much more flexible and make their approach to selling much more efficient. Agile approach is especially beneficial in the sales world because customers’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter.
In addition, data has become more accessible than ever, and sales teams collect it in large quantities. However, with such large amounts of data, it can be difficult to determine which performance metrics really matter when implementing a traditional sales approach.
Agile helps overcome both of these challenges and allows sales teams to not only personalize their approach according to customers’ needs, but also offering analytical insight into their efforts,
Two main goals of agile sales approach are establishing accountability and narrowing objectives. Determining tasks and project management milestones in advance, and having regular updates about ongoing activities helps sales teams successfully achieve these goals. Let’s go over some more building blocks for implementing agile sales methodology.
Working in Sprints
When implementing agile sales techniques, project management needs to be segmented into sprints. These sprints usually last one to two weeks, and during that period, the sales team focuses on meeting previously set goals.
Sprints begin with a kick-off meeting, when goals and objectives get determined. Working within such a short time frame makes teams much more focused and efficient, as it requires them to narrow their attention on a specific goal and work on the issues that are currently the most important. These sprints will allow you to be more flexible and take better control over your sales cycle.
In order to achieve these goals, it’s necessary to hold regular standup meetings to keep everyone updated. Meetings should be held daily. They don’t have to last long, just make sure to gather your team at the beginning of each work day.
There are different types of meetings called Scrum Meetings, which occur at various times during a Sprint.
- Sprint Planning Meeting
- Daily Scrum Meeting
- Sprint Review Meeting
- Sprint Retrospective Meeting
- Backlog Refinement Meeting
During these meetings, everyone should share what they’re working on, what they’ve accomplished since the last meeting, and if there are any obstacles they might be facing. That way, everyone’s goals and expectations will be aligned and your will boost employee motivation.
Sales goals can often seem daunting and unachievable. For example, aiming to double the sales quota in a year is quite an ambitious plan and your sales team might find it difficult to focus on executing it on a daily basis.
However, breaking these yearly goals into monthly or even weekly short term objectives will not only help your sales team be more focused on meeting them but also help you set more realistic and reasonable goals that will respond to the current issues you’re facing. Breaking up your goals allows you to regularly revisit your sales metrics and set new ones if necessary.
As you review the results of your last sprint, you might notice some issues that prevent your sales team from succeeding. Agile allows you to quickly adjust your goals and define new metrics that will allow you to reach success in the sprint to come.
Having the Right Tools
If you want your sales team to be able to efficiently work on the same goals, you first need to invest in the right technology. Investing in a state of the art sales engagement platform will enable your sales reps to work on the same projects at the same time, easily track leads and sales, and adjust the strategy according to the real-time results. With a shared database and the ability to automate numerous administrative hands, your sales reps will manage to meet the set goals and follow the right metrics with ease.
Having the right tools is especially important when you’re working in sprints and trying to narrow your focus, as it allows every member of your team to be in the loop at all times and keep pace with fast changing markets and divided consumer’s attention.
Developing Supportive Environment
Another reason why sprint cycles are extremely valuable and efficient is because they promote collaboration within your sales team. Unfortunately, modern sales teams often don’t really foster collaboration and they tend to adopt an “every man for themselves” philosophy.
However, today’s competitive market requires constant collaboration, teamwork, and marketing to increase sales. In order to be successful, sales reps need to not only work together, but also learn from each other. Agile creates a supportive environment where collaboration is rewarded, morale is elevated, and everyone is working on achieving common goals together.
Nowadays, both customers and competition move fast, so it is important to be flexible. The sales landscape is constantly changing and you need to be able to quickly adapt like learning to work with remote employees. Adopting agile sales methodology allows you to keep your finger on the pulse at all times and quickly adapt to any changes.
Agile Methodology for Sales Teams
Agile is about being flexible and thinking outside of the box, doing things a certain way, not because that’s how it’s always been done, but because that’s the best way to reach success at that moment.