In an ever-evolving corporate world, organizations have the need to stay agile to be competitive. It’s crucial for them to adapt to changing times and increasing demands so as not to lag behind. What an agile sales team needs is a higher level of team engagement and lateral accountability across team members.
The good thing is that humans already possess the one major evolutionary quality when it comes to true agility: adaptability. We have the capacity to adapt to new surroundings and scenarios. In fact, our agility is what has made us the most dominant species on the planet. We like to experiment, learn new information, master new skills which ultimately lead us to ever-changing results. Jill Konrath, the bestselling author of Agile Selling: Get up to Speed Quickly in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World, believes that those traits are what makes us so agile; which brings us to the modern sales team, and why it is more critical than ever before – in today’s competitive and challenging sales landscape – for sales reps to be agile and adaptable.
An agile sales management allow employees to be more focused and productive, as it channels all of its energies into achieving a concrete goal, instead of worrying about meeting annual quotas. It allows sales people to prioritize tasks and work more efficiently as workflows become more open to improvement. Besides, problems are addressed as quickly as they come.
Here are some ways to build an agile sales team:
Understand the change in Buyer Behavior
If we take a look at buyer behavior, we will notice that before the internet, salespeople were the main source of product information. Buyers used to base their purchase decisions on information passed on by the salesman, and the success of the sale often depended on how effectively the seller was able to present solutions to the buyer’s problem.
However, now, studies highlight that 57% of buyers learn on their own, and are done with 60% of the sales process even before they initiate contact with sales professionals. Today, buyers extensively use the internet to choose among companies that supply the products that they need, and use social networks to cross-check the product’s quality. Other studies show that the chance of connecting with a lead is 100 times greater if sales reps reach out within five minutes.
Agile companies have already adjusted to this by changing the way that they sell. Tech-savvy leaders are now emphasizing on developing CRM systems that will help their sales teams produce high-quality, shareable content that will attract the right kind of leads and potential clients at the exact moment that they are ready to purchase.
Empower your agile sales team
As a sales executive, it is important to ensure that every single one of your team members is fully engaged – from planning goals, setting schedules, to setting up evaluation metrics. This helps to improve management as a group effort, and allows your staff to succeed and sometimes fail, on their own terms. In this way, employees feel empowered which leads to more productivity.
Another way to empower your sales team is through an innovative training and development program. More and more global organizations are opting for modern training solutions such as eLearning to train their employees. This is mainly due to its accessibility and flexibility. For instance, the training at Sales Academy allow employees to apply the skills and knowledge they are learning, directly in their job roles. This allows them to become more agile and productive.
Investing in high-value technology for your sales team.
A study done by Accenture show that 76% of CSOs perceive that a mobile CRM (such as tablets) improves the sales team’s performance, yet less than one-half (48%) of companies are currently providing access to critical sales and customer information on mobile devices”
Hence, if you opt for an agile management, it is crucial to invest in the proper technologies that will help your team attain their targets. For instance, the use of cloud-based SaaS technologies to maintain a customer engagement portal makes it easier for the team to engage with customers and generate leads.
Agility involves being up-to-date with every technological advancement. Today, even Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn are being used to make it easier for agile sales teams to collect relevant information on possible leads or potential clients. What you need is just a clear idea on what your sales team needs, so that you can help them do their tasks well.
Remove communication roadblocks
One effective way to ensure the successful transition of your employees into a powerful agile sales team is by prompting feedback from all channels on a daily basis. It is important to make team members feel that their opinions are valued by encouraging them to communicate. For example: ask salespeople about their specific tasks for the day and help them place it within the context of the overall objectives. In this way, you make it easier for them to open up to you regarding any issues or suggestions they may have and also allows you to track their productivity without being overbearing and aggressive.
Shifting from a traditional to an agile management process is definitely not an easy task. It requires careful planning and the success relies on the willingness of both sales executives and team members to adapt to a new way of thinking and doing things. Adopting the agile management approach requires you to take important steps such as adapting to new technologies and providing innovative training to employees. At the end of the day, all this leads to more productivity and profitability.