Agile sales leadership – including the head of sales, leader of sales operations, and sales team managers – sets the strategy, pace, and priorities of the sales teams. Agile sales leadership supports the agile sales team through the operational runway and provides coaching and guidance. They are also responsible for eliminating items impeding the success of the sales team. This post will provide four tips to improve agile sales leadership and illustrate why it is critical to success.
Why is Agile Sales Leadership Important?
Companies realize the benefits of adopting agile practices to improve many aspects of their business. Gartner’s Agile in the Enterprise survey found that 63% of companies said they currently plan to use agile methods in business activities outside of software development.
Incorporating an agile mindset using these tips will improve efficiency and accelerate sales operations and performance.
Four Tips to Improve Agile Sales Leadership
1. Program Backlog
The program backlog is used by sales leadership to organize, prioritize, and track sales campaigns, opportunity activity, and sales operations enablement efforts. A Kanban board of the program backlog offers a visual representation of where different activities are in the funnel. This tool allows the entire organization to see current priorities. It also illustrates where various initiatives fall in the funnel, which improves communication both internally and externally. Additionally, this transparent structure allows all departments to add value through their feedback about different projects. A well-managed program backlog drives quick and constant improvements to sales to drive revenue and reduce customer churn.
2. Revenue Prioritization Formula
The Revenue Prioritization Formula (RPF) is a quantitative method for prioritizing the program backlog. This method ensures that the right work gets done first. The RPF is used to determine where sales activities fit into the program backlog. This formula considers the effort required of an item and the impact or revenue the action will have on sales. Using RPF provides an unbiased tool to rank the mountain of priorities a sales team has in any given timeframe. Faster responsiveness to competitive threats and customer requests results in improved performance and happier customers.
3. Measurement and Analysis
Measurement and analysis are a core part of Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA). It provides the information needed to validate and refine sales strategy, organize the program backlog, and perform sales performance management. A culture of relentless improvement requires that agile sales leadership continually look for ways to optimize processes and validate the success of those improvements. It is imperative to capitalize quickly on things that work well and move on from things that do not work out.
4. Operational Runway
The Operational Runway is the nerve center of the sales organization. It comprises business-critical sales systems, such as CRM, sales intelligence, price books, quoting, contract management, case management, and document management. Providing sales reps with clear to understand and easy-to-use tools make them more successful in their role. When sales reps are unable to prospect efficiently, they will be resistant. If the sales team can’t track the sales funnel, forecasting and reporting will be inaccurate. When competitive intelligence isn’t easily accessible and timely, sales will lose out on closing deals. A broken or failing operational runway will damage every other component of agile sales leadership.
Agile sales leadership is far more than a set of processes or tools. Time and effort spent to create an easily executable and repeatable process are vital. The entire team will be ready to respond to change quickly and confidently. These processes allow for more time to be spent focusing on closing deals, driving performance, and increasing customer satisfaction.