How Agile Applies to Modern Sales Management

Collin Stewart, CEO

05 September 2017

By now you may be wondering: how does any of this translate to sales? Sprints, scrum and iterative development make sense for software, project management and even marketing teams, but they’re not even close to being aligned with how an elite sales team works, right?

Not exactly, if we’re to take advice from today’s top sales management minds. For example, Jason Jordan, partner at Vantage Point Performance and author of Cracking the Sales Management Code, talks constantly about the need for sales managers to stop focusing on quotas and instead zero in on measuring and managing the activities that lead to revenue. In other words, scrum.

Aaron Ross, founder of the predictable revenue movement, subscribes to using a systematic, feedback-driven process for successful outbound prospecting – a.k.a. iterative development.

Sandler Sales Management trainer Marcus Cauchi advises starting each day with a quick team huddle, where everyone shares their top 3-4 behavioral goals… which is essentially a stand-up.

Finally, Mike Weinberg, speaker, consultant and author of two #1 Amazon bestsellers, Sales Management Simplified and New Sales Simplified says, “The move to agile means that accountability and transparency are back in and talking trendy nonsense etherial sales concepts is out! Today’s managers must be laser-focused on results and regularly meeting 1:1 with their people to review results against goal, overall pipeline health, and what I call ‘additions’ and ‘advances’ within the pipe. This regular meeting quickly reveals who needs helps and which reps need to be either coached up or coached out, and it provides management insights necessary to be agile in decision making.”

At the end of the day, agile sales management is simply the core tactics and strategies that define elite, modern-day sales leadership packaged into a single philosophy. In fact, the opposite of agile sales management looks a lot like the discombobulated chaos we see in many sales organizations today:

Inconsistent processes

• Poor CRM and sales tool adoption

• Little team collaboration

• Ineffective coaching

• Quota-obsession versus shorter-term goals

• Zero rep accountability for daily behaviors

• One-size-fits-all sales cycles

• Unpredictable, inaccurate forecasts

• Lack of KPI and pipeline visibility

• Poor performance measurement

Agile sales management solves for all these via a synthesized framework and straightforward philosophy. It sets forth where to apply flexibility in your management strategies, where to set hard-and-fast ground rules and where to test, measure and refine for lasting improvement.

At the end of the day, your people, processes and platforms do not operate in a vacuum. They all affect and influence one another – for better or for worse. Agile sales management gives you the micro and macro-perspectives to organize these pieces so that they fit together coherently, the strategies to ensure they complement one another and the overarching philosophy to create long-term success.

You can download The Ultimate Guide to Agile Sales Management in its entirety for free by going here.