Agile Selling: The Ultimate Guide for B2B Sales Professionals

sales success

By recognizing how successful individuals succeed in any sales job using learning and adjusting, Agile Selling will help you become a top salesperson.

Customers are more empowered and information-rich in today’s digitally connected world. As a result, they’ve given salespeople the challenge of being faster, more intuitive, informed, and personal. Here’s why an agile sales process might be the solution for salespeople to perform at their peak.

The adoption of technology has altered buyer behavior. According to studies, 61% of customers – and 76% of B2B buyers – feel more powerful than they did five years ago. Customers can use the internet to research goods and services they wish to purchase, so they’re less reliant on salespeople’s recommendations. You’re talking with customers who want to discuss the product or service, not just a sales pitch.

To stay competitive, salespeople need to be quick on their feet. Jill Konrath, internationally renowned sales expert and author of Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World, introduces the well-respected “agile sales” technique in her book. Could this help your team adapt to changing consumer behavior?

sales organization competitive advantage

What is Agile Sales?

Others may have their idea of what agile sales is and why it’s significant, so we want to share ours as well as our rationale for believing it’s an essential element of a company’s selling success.

In our view, agile sales breaks complex deliverables into manageable pieces to provide value faster. VPs of Sales are concerned with increasing sales velocity, which Salesforce describes as a function of the number of sales opportunities handled, the average deal value, the win rate, and the length of the sales cycle.

To improve sales velocity, there are three key ideas of agile sales that must be addressed:

1. Customers and the solution are aligned.

Aligning customers with the appropriate solution is the first core value of the agile sales process. Sales managers understand that developing a thorough sales method and discovery procedure is essential to long-term success. It’s critical to make sure consumers are aligned to a specific solution and for salespeople to be honest about whether their company and solution meet the customer’s perceived needs.

For example, as a SalesGRID best practice, we start every sales call with an honest conversation about why we may not be a good fit for that prospect and whether or not we should continue the conversation. You can see how most prospects are taken aback by this method; nevertheless, the reaction is almost always overwhelmingly positive.

We can be confident that our solution is in line with the best interests of our prospects if we follow this first agile sales core value to the letter—and we won’t waste anyone’s time by dragging on a sales process that was already dead on arrival.

2. Explore ideas, document them, and share them with the team.

Making adjustments in the sales department is unavoidable and required, as we’ve previously said, especially in a complex corporate environment. That’s why continuous iteration and improvement of the sales process is not only advised but necessary.

Sales leaders must work several quarters ahead to notice trends, troubleshoot procedures and collaborate with other teams to feed the top of the funnel with qualified prospects and nurture existing opportunities through the sales cycle. Sales can’t function if marketing, customer success, procurement, IT, and even implementation departments aren’t working in tandem.

Sales organizations, however, can make significant strides towards being agile by recognizing trends, focusing on problem areas, and working with other teams in a sustained manner.

3. Tools and Processes to Assist You in Taking Care of Your Clients

According to Hubspot, North American businesses have invested more than $15B in sales acceleration technologies. Salespeople are undoubtedly busy, and for a good reason, because they’re already stretched thin across several tasks. According to Hubspot, only one-third of their time is spent selling, with the majority being dedicated to admin chores or CRM data entry.

Sales leaders think incorporating tools to help reps be more efficient will eliminate the sales velocity issue. However, they frequently neglect solutions that can assist salespeople in being more effective with their time.

Taking inventory of currently available solutions and processes is crucial for the final agile sales core value. Understanding the current reality of your company’s sales department is critical because it allows you to see what’s working, as well as any areas where previous opportunities might have been overlooked.

Agile Selling Summary (Book)

Konrath discusses the topic of quick selling in her book and how it may help salespeople – both new and seasoned veterans – sell more effectively while also improving their customer interactions.

The ability to acquire knowledge swiftly may have a detrimental impact on a salesperson’s performance, but agile sales teaches how to chunk, sequence, connect, prioritize, reflect, and rehearse. These methods allow salespeople to quickly absorb new information and acquire new abilities while also training their minds to respond positively in any scenario.

Agile sales methods can help most salespeople succeed and adjust to a dynamic market. Here are four key strategies and pointers from Agile Selling:

4 Key Strategies for Sales Reps

A mindset of continuous improvement

The significance of having an excellent mindset for agile sales cannot be overstated. It’s about maintaining a laser-like focus on continuous improvement and never believing you’ve mastered something.

This is critical for personal growth. You may learn various techniques, but the mentality must develop and change with time. It also emphasizes the need for establishing concrete objectives to promote efficiency and eliminate distractions.

The agile selling six-step framework

Agile selling is a framework for learning how to sell a product in six easy steps and breaking it down into smaller parts.

  1. Chunking

  2. Sequencing

  3. Connecting

  4. Dumping

  5. Practicing

  6. Prioritizing

This framework helps salespeople to structure their ideas within a 30-minute time frame, most likely for preparing for a sales call. Chunking all information into similar units is the first step. You then connect them in order and sequence them.

After that, you eliminate everything you don’t need before practicing. Finally, you decide what is essential for the sales call based on your findings.

Practice Minimum Effective Dose

The Minimum Effective Dose (MED) is the idea that you should only consume what you need. Many salespeople attempt to cram as much product information and sales ideas as possible into their heads before a call.

However, this might be confusing and lead to information overload. MED recommends that salespeople research just what they’ll need for a sales conversation, removing other data from their minds. This makes things simpler in your mind for your sales encounter, allowing you to be more successful.

Practice, practice, practice

Experts advocate role-playing and a lot of it for agile selling. Role-playing with more experienced individuals can dramatically enhance a salesperson’s performance. Role-playing is the key to making your approach more effective after constant practice.

What Is It That Stops Agile Sales From Working?

When patching together ad-hoc solutions, you get ad-hoc execution and, from there, a downward spiral of missing data, limited visibility, and little confidence in the pipeline as usual. Despite the best efforts of sales executives to record every note and prospect interaction, CRMs aren’t designed to be utilized as a real-time deal platform.

Despite the 1:1 meetings, pipeline reviews, and excruciating win/loss analyses, no amount of reactive sales coaching can improve the sales process unless VPs of Sales are given appropriate access to particular transactions. Similarly, if salespeople don’t have a consistent approach to selling, every transaction may rapidly go off course. No amount of “good” CRM data or even the best intentions from sellers to capture each prospect encounter will suffice.

situational credibility

Making The Transition to Agile Sales

When organizations employ agile sales strategies, more salespeople hit their targets! Research by Costello suggests “Teams that move to an agile sales methodology see more sales professionals hit quota and along with that, enjoy a healthy 111% average company revenue attainment when 72% of professionals meet quota.”

Stakeholders at all sales funnel levels—from salespeople to vice presidents of sales — profit from full agile adoption. With an agile sales platform, salespeople have access to the most up-to-date sales method frameworks, so they can constantly ask appropriate questions and provide accurate information to prospects while keeping deals on track.

Managers on the same platform may access critical insights for each contract in real-time, allowing them to iterate quickly and collaborate to get deals across the finish line. Finally, with a genuine agile sales platform, VPs of Sales can use visuals and statistics to see what’s working, what isn’t working, and what needs to be adjusted and improved for future quarters.

There are many benefits to an agile sales approach, but businesses are frequently slow to embrace a new selling methodology, despite how important it is for long-term success. 

We’ve all been there: caught up in the quarterly whirlwind with just a few months of planning to go before your next big revenue milestone. However, well-prepared sales executives are utilizing agile deal management technologies that give them the ability not just to negotiate complicated deals right now, but also to plan ahead for many months.

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