Sales processes, tools, and methodologies are ever-changing. Adopting agile for sales can have profound benefits for your team by providing them a framework to respond quickly to today’s dynamic customer needs.
What Does Agile Mean?
The term agile describes a specific set of foundational principles and values. Adopting agile processes help organizations and sales teams fight back against Parkinson’s Law and the ever-present tendency to procrastinate.
The Agile Manifesto, created for building software products, outlines the core agile values. While there are positives in both columns, the left side is more valued:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
Scrum: A Roadmap for Adopting Agile for Sales
Using a framework to guide the adoption of agile for sales is crucial to success. Scrum, a framework developed by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, is the most widely used agile framework.
Scrum also has a set of values. These values are easy to understand and support the core values of the Agile Manifesto. During a recent training class to become a Certified ScrumMaster, the instructor reviewed an acronym for the Scrum values that was insightful and is a simple tool to help a team accelerate growth: FORCE.
- Focus: What can we accomplish today? Are we limiting the amount of work in process to focus on what is most important?
- Openness: Maintain transparency to everyone in the organization. Are feedback loops tight across the team?
- Respect: For people and processes. Do the team members listen to and learn from one another?
- Commitment: Do or do not; there is no try. Is the team committed to the work in progress?
- Extreme Courage: Call out problems, ask for help. Does the team have enough psychological safety?
If your team can answer a resounding yes to the questions above, then you are in a great spot. If not, these are great foundational goals for any team.
Why are Agile and Scrum Important for Sales?
In today’s ever-changing business environment, sales teams need to respond quickly and take action as things change. As prospects and customers share information, sales teams need the autonomy to make decisions based on this information to win a deal and delight the customer. It’s a leader’s role to hire the right people, motivate and coach them, and ultimately help clear the way for their success.
Challenges to Adoption of Agile for Sales
Scrum on its own can be challenging to implement and scale, especially for sales teams. The early stages of adopting agile for sales can take individuals and teams out of their comfort zone. Agile concepts, like “failing early and often,” are not usually encouraged by most organizations. Radical and unexpected truth can be problematic for teams to embrace.
It’s essential to have a trusted partner to help your teams adopt agile for sales and sales operations process improvement. Adnova Group has developed the Sales Accelerator Playbook to address the specific needs of sales teams.