It can seem like an impossible feat to find, nurture, and retain top sales talent. With so many great candidates available due to furloughs and layoffs resulting from COVID-19, this can be even more challenging. Add in the complexity of hiring during the pandemic for remote teams or combination teams that are half remote and half on-site. Using agile in your hiring practices for your agile sales team can help you meet this challenge.
At one point in my sales management career, I ran a large sales team made up of many different roles that worked various shifts. As the group became more successful in achieving their goal, it grew out of its physical location. The next logical step was to test out the addition of remote team members to the team members already on-site. The process began with recruiting from the existing staff and from outside the company.
At the time, I wasn’t aware that I had agile concepts in mind during the restructuring I was working on for recruiting and hiring. By using agile methods in my recruiting process, I was able to find talent that supported the team’s mission, collaborated well, and exceeded expectations.
A recent Scrum Alliance article states to attract top performers, you must empower your teams to self-organize to co-create an empowered, innovative, and customer-centric environment. Here are some of the qualities you should look for in candidates when hiring for an empowered agile sales team.
Proactively sets goals/targets
When hiring for an agile sales team, it is crucial to look for self-starters that are resourceful independently and as part of a team. Members of an agile sales team work together on the team backlog, allowing them to capitalize rapidly on things that work well and move on from things that do not work out. Proactively setting goals and targets helps the team work through campaign sprints at a faster pace.
Creative problem solver
Having team members that can creatively solve problems using Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) guide the team in making decisions or adjustments based on reflection, collaboration, and experimentation. They are willing to try something new and think beyond the problem’s scope.
Candidates for an agile sales team should be eager, independent thinkers that are always willing to learn more. The willingness to learn needs to be a self-motivated drive of every individual on the team. Personal growth through reading, training, and being coachable is crucial for adapting when opportunities arise. Another essential trait of those who are open, humble, and teachable is self-study outside the professional environment.
Each team member should either demonstrate or be able to develop the soft skills above. Additional soft skills below are also necessary for a member of a self-organizing team:
- Passionately pursues challenges
- Desire to serve others
- Accepts responsibility for failures
- Desire to lead
- Motivated to achieve goals
- Establishes credibility
- Embodies the Agile Mindset culture of respect, openness to learn, relentless improvement, and adaptation to change
Business agility can help you attract, hire, and retain the best employees. It can also help you create a culture of progressive, relentless improvement. This agility translates to engaged employees and increased revenue.