Sales is not an easy job, it is about constantly running to capture the most important asset of any organization “Cash”. It’s impossible for any company to survive without a good sales team and a good sales organization. A company that realizes the fact that sales is important when they are very young will survive.
Many start-up’s and R&D projects gets shut-down simply because they were not able to sell and not because they did not deliver or they did not create a buzz on media. Getting someone to sign a contract or an SOW is extremely difficult and in today’s “Google World” where everything is expected to be FREE, its even harder to sell something for a price.
My hat’s-off to every sales champion on this or any other planet, they deserve a “Round of Applause” We are what we are because of what you are and what you do”
I come from a software development, project management, program management and product management practice and I am a very strong believer of these terms Highest Business Value in the Shortest Possible Time, Enterprise Agility, Minimum Viable Product, Iterations, and Self-Organized teams. I have seen success using these artifacts and I have also seen positive change in productivity and team happiness because of Agile.
I recently had an opportunity to watch how Sales organization operates and I think adding Agility to sales will change the game for both sales person and the sales organization. Agility might lead to:
- more closed deals,
- happier customers,
- more satisfied and happy employees,
- and highly predictable sales pipeline
Sales is no different when compared to Agile software development, they both have strict goals to meet, they both have to deliver something and they both need to collaborate in teams to be successful.
Here are my five basic steps to introduce Sales Agility:
- Training – Moving to agile is an organizational and cultural change, not simply a technology tool to be implemented, so bring a trainer and a coach to help your teams transition from traditional to Agile sales model and understand the basics of Agile Manifesto and Principles. Agile is quickly becoming an adaptable, fast paced management tool allowing companies to gain an edge in competitive markets.
- Iterative Planning – You can continue to plan for quarterly, but also have a much shorter sales goals and targets like a 2 week or 3 weeks sprints. This way you will be able to monitor the sales progress much closely and address the impediments much faster. Sales is not just the responsibility of the sales person, but its an organizational responsibility. Every member of the team must help each-other to win and meet that committed quota.
- Build Trust – I don’t have to tell how important trust is in any organization, no teams can be successful without internal and external trust. Agile stands on the foundation of TRUST and everything that happens in Agile is in some ways connect with trust. The concept of “Self-Organized Teams” comes from trusting every team member. Create an open environment where people can share their fears and losses as early as possible,so that other team members can support and offer help.
- Daily Stand-up – Easiest, way to implement time waste reduction for sales team is to perform what is known as a “daily stand-up”. Taken from the daily meetings of software development teams, the Daily Stand-Up aims to take no more than 15 minutes, hence the term stand-up. This practice has become one of the most popular. Limiting your daily briefings to 15 minutes will keep your team and meetings on task, focused, and short.Ask these 3 questions ONLY from everyone in the meeting:1. What did I accomplish yesterday?
2. What will I accomplish today?
3. Do you have any impediments?
Use tools like Trello to track progress through your daily activities and feed this data to your CRM system. If you have worked in retail, you might remember how the store manager does a quick on-floor meeting before the day starts and the team is excited to start their selling during the day
- Measure Learn Measure – Measuring the performance of Sales teams is the biggest challenge that most organizations face today, because its complex to measure the emotional state of the person who is making the decision to sign the contract. Quick feedback through surveys can help.And as we all know teams become high performing only when they know their performance on a regular basis and are aligned to continually improve on it.Build relevant sales dashboard’s that display sales performance in real-time and make a habit to use them not to raise any concerns but as an opportunity to help the sales team meet their goals.
Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions and not my companies
Image Credits: danielwiechmann.com
Rajesh is an accomplished Digital Transformation Leader with Strategic, Tactical, and Technical experience in leading and building a multi-channel digital platform with Omni-channel experience for financial institutes. His vision is to humanize digital technology for banking, in other words Making IT Human Again™ .