Agile Sales Framework: Everything you Need to Know
December 25th 2021
Sales Best Practices, Remote Selling
The sales environment is rapidly changing. Sales reps rely on data for decision-making and sales strategies. Not just this, most organizations are looking for models and frameworks to achieve goals using the available resources. With the changing sales environment, you need to update your sales playbook to manage consistent sales.

The agile sales framework is an advanced framework that is increasingly gaining traction for optimizing sales in more ways than one. Let us understand what it is and why you need to adopt agile sales.

Table of Contents:

  • What is an Agile Sales Framework?
  • Scrum Methodology in Sales
  • Agile v. Waterfall Management
  • Why Do You Need an Agile Sales Framework?
  • Build Your Own Agile Sales Team
  • How to Implement Agile Sales in Your Organization?
  • It's Your Turn!

What is Agile Sales Framework?

Not every prospect gets converted with the same approach. Sales reps need the flexibility to streamline their sales tactics to meet their goals. Agile sales finds its origin from an entirely unrelated department - IT. It aims to make sales teams less rigid and more focused on meeting customers at the right stages of their buyer journey.

Agile sales revolves around three words: Accountability, Control, and Dynamism at its core.

It focuses on accountability by zeroing in on day-to-day feedback and issues raised. The focus is on minor, immediate issues to simplify adopting dynamic requirements. Further, the constant reiteration of sales processes using customer data controls sales positioning and messaging.

Scrum Methodology in Sales

Scrum methodology in sales focuses on creating value for customers and learning through continuous practice. Using scrum in sales makes it easier to control the activities that lead to closing a deal through proactive iteration. Small teams work towards completing large projects in a scrum, which are divided into 1-2 week sprints. The sprints involve performing tasks that are crucial to achieving goals. In a scrum, reviews are performed post each sprint to take corrective actions and improve the next cycle. Scrum thus helps in better controlling activities that lead to revenue generation and increase predictability.

Agile Sales v. Waterfall Management

Waterfall management is a traditional approach to building sales and managing teams. It considers each project as a whole and tries to define the steps involved in sales processes using in-depth research. It views sales processes as a linear chain of events or, in other words, a step-by-step process. It doesn't leave much scope for customization and adjustment. Due to the predefined process, any feedback received is evaluated post-completion of a particular sales cycle.

In contrast, agile sales management is a highly humanized process that doesn't view the sales process as entirely linear. It ensures greater flexibility by allowing adjustments in each step based on feedback and discoveries. Thus, real-time feedback is received, and issues raised are incorporated into the sales process. The focus is shifted from the targets to controlling activities that lead to revenue generation. Let's read a little more about it in detail.

Why Do You Need an Agile Sales Framework?

Agile sales development is the need of the hour with the evolving customer needs and data-driven decision-making in sales. Some reasons to consider implementing this framework in your organization include:

  • Adopt to a New Millennial Workforce

  • Sales workforces are increasingly composed of millennials who require the freedom to adjust and customize their sales tactics as per the prospects' needs. Agile sales management allows you to better adapt to the needs of your millennial workforce. The new workforce enjoys working in data-driven collaborative teams rather than following templates.

  • Listen to Your Customers

  • Customer needs are constantly evolving, and they are open to providing feedback to convey their requirements. Traditional sales methodologies usually use customer feedback after completing the sales process. By using scrum in sales, you can bring real-time alterations by understanding and comprehending your customer requirements. It allows you to improve each sprint based on customer feedback and discoveries.

  • Focus on the Sales Process

  • Agile sales development focuses on sprints that lead to revenue generation instead of monthly or quarterly sales and revenue targets. The iterative approach ensures that dynamic needs are catered to improve results. It allows sales reps to improve interactions by addressing their issues in real-time and incorporating their feedback in each sales process step.

  • Make the Right Use of Empirical Data

  • Empirical data is the customer data derived through sales reps' observation. The agile sales framework helps you make the best use of empirical customer data available. It encourages careful analysis of the said data to apply the findings to your sales process.

Build your Own Agile Sales Team

Building an agile sales team requires establishing a culture where sales reps partner and collaborate. A series of practices can be picked up from the agile sales playbook and taught in your sales team's work culture. Essential agile sales practices to build your team are as follows:

  • Sprints

  • Establishing sprints is the crux of scrum methodology in sales. Instead of setting long monthly or quarterly goals, the goals or tasks to be achieved are divided into a week or two long sprints. It focuses on developing and achieving short-term goals.

  • Stand-Up

  • Unlike traditional waterfall management, agile sales teams have daily stand-up meetings. These are short daily meetings where sales reps meet to address issues or provide feedback. The progress of each team member is discussed for better collaboration.

  • Reviews

  • At the end of each sprint, review meetings are conducted. The success and roadblocks in achieving the sprint's goals are discussed at these meetings. It implements timely corrective measures for challenges that may come in the way.

  • Flexibility

  • Staying flexible is the essence of an agile sales team. The focus lies on keeping sprints short and flexible. They continue to adjust as per the internal stand-up meetings and feedback loops. The strategies and sales process must be modified in real-time depending on dynamic customer needs and feedback.

    Agile Sales Team

How to Implement Agile Sales in Your Organization?

The agile sales playbook includes certain principles that can help you transition into agile sales. You can identify the best-suited principles for your organization and implement them to get maximum results. The ten core principles of agile sales are as follows:

  1. Accountability

  2. The agile sales framework calls for more accountability by each sales rep in the sales team. Each process is clearly defined, along with the success metrics and the short-term goals. The clear distinction of the sales process ensures that sales reps know what they have to do at each step of the sales pipeline. Agile sales development includes having periodic stand-up meetings with the sales team. Stand-up meetings are short meetings held to address challenges and keep track of individual progress. The daily stand-up meetings ensure that each sales rep is held accountable for their activities.

  3. Adaptive Planning

  4. Traditional waterfall management focuses on planning in detail based on in-depth research. On the contrary, agile sales management believes in adaptive planning. The processes and plans are tweaked as per changing customer needs. The sales reps can adjust each step in the sales pipeline and indulge in adaptive planning.

  5. Collaboration

  6. Sales reps collaborate to achieve the smaller weekly goals or sprints. Daily stand-up meetings are held to discuss progress and help in better collaboration. Along with this, there is increased alignment amongst departments using CRM platforms that help fill information gaps. It is crucial because no department in an organization works in isolation from others.

  7. Continuous Iteration

  8. Sales processes, strategies, and responses to customer needs need continuous iterations and adjustments. It is made possible by breaking tasks into sprints and reviewing each sprint after it's completed to improve the next sprint and cycle.

  9. Functionality

  10. Implementing agile sales in your organization involves revisiting the functionality of existing tools and processes. Revisiting and reviewing the functionality of sales tools used by the sales reps reveals the drawbacks. A CRM platform is one tool that can be used for agile sales development.

  11. Measurement

  12. The success metrics used to measure performance at the end of each task are clearly defined in agile sales. The tasks to be performed to achieve a goal are broken down into measurable 1-2 week sprints. You can focus on smaller but essential tasks that lead to revenue.

  13. Consistency

  14. Consistency refers to streamlining decisions based on data. It is enforced by ensuring that all information is fed into your CRM platform. A CRM platform provides consistent information across the organization. Automation is used as much as possible to collect data.

  15. Predictability

  16. Agile sales development brings about predictability in your organization. The short-term goals and the tasks to achieve these goals are clearly defined. It ensures predictability regarding what is required and how to be done. Along with this, the continuous iteration makes it easier to adjust goals and set reasonable targets.

  17. Recognition

  18. One of the essential practices of an agile sales team revolves around fostering a culture of recognition. The sales reps are recognized for their progress and successes through the daily check-in stand-up meetings. The inherent recognition in the agile sales management system serves as a motivator for sales reps.

  19. Transparency

  20. Clearly defined goals and processes clarify the roles and responsibilities for sales reps from the sales pipeline to the deal closure. The transparency in operations helps in improving the final results.

    Agile Sales Principles

It’s Your Turn!

As the paradigm shifts towards the account-based sales model, the need for supplementing frameworks in your sales playbook will increase. Achieve better results through more collaborative and flexible teams that focus on improving the process than meeting targets. It's your turn now to immerse in agile sales development and move beyond traditional sales methodologies!

Shreya Palsani
Contributing Writer
Shreya Palsani
Contributing Writer
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