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We’re excited to launch of our new eBook, Leading the Sales Force of the Future: The Ultimate Guide to Agile Sales Management, with a series of blogs introducing you to the topic. We worked with our partners, Ambition, Base, and LeadGenius to put together an eye opening guide to how sales management is transforming, and why agile sales is such a big player in the new landscape. We’re starting off by laying out the agile management basics. Stay tuned for more topic previews, and of course, the launch of this comprehensive resource.

Agile management encourages a collaborative and flexible environment using data-driven optimizations that expedite the learning process, and help teams handle unpredictability more efficiently.

According to agilemethodology.org, the agile management movement: “Helps teams respond to unpredictability through incremental, iterative work cadences and empirical feedback.” 

It’s growing popularity has lead to the creation of a strategy more dedicated to the sales world: agile sales management. This approach is becoming a strategy for the modern sales world, and an initiative that can give your organization a competitive edge.

But before we can dive into agile sales management, we need to fully understand where the original concept came from, and how it works.

Agile Methodology History

The agile management methodology originated in the IT and development industry. It was first discussed in-depth during the 1970s as an alternative to traditional linear development approaches. Teams were looking for a more flexible framework for solving complex problems and meeting goals, and agile fit the bill.

It’s popularity has grown immensely in IT and development industries, with the first major uptick occurring between 2009 and 2010.

Since then, agile methodology has begun to expand into sales teams.

Some organizations are using feedback-driven processes to boost their outbound prospecting, while others are implementing daily team huddles similar to those used in the development world.

There are countless ways agile sales management can have an incredible impact on your organization, but the best way to get started is to comprehend exactly how the original methodology works.

How Agile Management Works

Agile management breaks down large projects into approachable initiatives (often referred to as sprints), and encourages the idea of failing fast. In other words, during each smaller initiative teams are expected to make changes based on discoveries, feedback and previous initiative results.

Teams are constantly adjusting to improve their end outcome and goals.

Traditional strategies involved a more linear approach of laying out a plan, and then following that plan until the end, whether it made sense or not. You can imagine the wasted resources and less than impressive results that these projects produced.

Agile sales methodology supports frequent efficient communication, and the use of critical feedback throughout the entire process. It’s a strategy that focuses on continual adjustments to produce optimal results.

Applying Agile to Sales Management

How does agile management apply to sales?

Agile sales management helps modern-day leaders tackle common problems like:

  • Inconsistent processes
  • Poor CRM and tool adoption
  • Little team collaboration
  • Ineffective coaching
  • Zero rep accountability
  • One-size-fits-all sales cycles
  • Unpredictable, inaccurate forecasts
  • Lack of KPI and pipeline visibility
  • Poor performance measurement

Agile sales management uses a synthesized framework and straightforward philosophy to tackle these issues that plague sales organization around the world. With this adjusted mindset your team can identify when to apply flexibility to your management strategy, when to set strict guidelines, when to test, and how to refine your results.

You can use the following ten key agile management principles to guide your adaption of this powerful methodology.

10 Key Agile Sales Management Principles: Accountability, Adaptive Planning, Collaboration, Continuous Iteration, Functionality, Measurement, Organization, Predictability, Recognition, Transparency. 

Stay tuned for our next blog as we explore a few of these principles, and share exactly how you can use them to your advantage.

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