Introduction to the Agile Sales Mindset
The Agile Mindset is a core component of the Sales Accelerator Playbook, our agile sales enablement framework. Agile Mindset is more than a different perspective – it’s a foundational culture that agile sales teams believe in and uphold. In a self-organizing agile team, leadership by example is paramount. It is up to everyone on the agile sales team to demonstrate the Agile Sales Mindset culture.
This post will explain the Agile Sales Mindset and the four essential aspects of the Agile Sales Mindset.
Why is the Agile Sales Mindset Important?
The Agile Mindset is an action-oriented culture rooted in the desire to continuously deliver value to others. In a world where things are uncertain and change frequently, the Agile Mindset focuses on building relationships with those we serve as individuals and as a team.
We build these relationships to ensure that we have a finger on our customers’ pulse and are ready to anticipate their needs. We adapt to changes in the business landscape based on what customers experience. Our agile sales teams are open to learn, change, improve, and serve those that look to us to help them solve their problems.
The Agile Sales Mindset culture is a crucial point of differentiation for your company in the crowded landscape of business competition.
Respect requires emotional intelligence and empathy. We put ourselves in the place of our customers, our teammates, and our peers. Often, we employ techniques like shadowing to physically live a day in the life of the people we serve. Through empathy, we gain an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that exist for those we serve.
Developing a deep understanding of our customers, teammates, and peers allows us to build and demonstrate respect. The show of respect from emotional intelligence and empathy is vital in sales. The rapport and trust created leads to closed deals for a high performing sales team.
Openness to Learn
Our agile sales team members need to do more than simply attend a training class that leaders schedule for them. The willingness to learn needs to be a self-motivated drive of every individual on the team. Therefore, a desire for personal growth through reading, training, and staying coachable is crucial for adapting when opportunities arise. Self-study outside the professional environment is an essential trait of those who are open to learning.
Active listening may be the most significant key indicator of this agile sales mindset principle. Active listening involves a dedicated effort to comprehend what is communicated in training, coaching, conversations, and written study. Users of active listening repeat what they have heard to the speaker (or take notes in a class or reading environment) and confirm that they understood the information correctly. Confirming understanding shows respect and allows the listener to reply in an enlightened manner. Demonstrating respect is a critical step in building relationships that lead to closed sales.
Agile sales teams aggressively seek out bottlenecks in the day-to-day flow of work. When impediments to flow are found, agile team members work with the team to optimize and document processes through reflection, collaboration, and experimentation. The removal of inefficiency allows the team to work faster, reduces stress, provides a higher quality experience for customers, and enables adaptation to change.
The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle drives relentless improvement. In PDCA, teams plan a change around a hypothesis of how the change will improve a process. The team executes the plan and then measures the results. Next, the results are compared to the hypothesis. Finally, actions are taken to make changes for further improvement, standardizing the new process, or trying something completely different to get to the desired result.
Adaptation to Change
The term agile brings to mind thoughts of something quick, nimble, and flexible. Our sales teams identify shifts in the business landscape and demonstrate agility through adapting strategy, tactics, and processes. Rapid adaptation to change provides a competitive edge that helps the team take advantage of new opportunities and convinces customers that your solution is the best option in times of uncertainty.
Adaptation to change requires the three other Agile Mindset principles of respect, openness to learn, and relentless improvement to be in place. Agile sales team members must respect and trust team members and sales leaders to carry out the change together. Openness to learn provides a foundation that helps team members process incoming information and tools to use that information to adapt. Relentless improvement ensures that inefficient ways of working don’t block the need to adapt quickly and decisively.
The Agile Sales Mindset is a Culture
The Agile Sales Mindset is the key cultural aspect of the agile sales team in the Sales Accelerator Playbook. The key Agile Mindset elements of respect, openness to learning, relentless improvement, and adaptation to change work together to build a culture of agility. The Agile Sales Mindset fosters a team that is self-organizing, ready for change and leads by example.