With revenue generation as their focus, sales operations professionals are often tasked with optimizing the productivity of the sales force. They are also expected to drive strategy for sales executives. Clearly, these are not easy feats. Adopting an Agile approach may provide the solution to these challenges.
In today’s world, in addition to facing an ever-increasing pace of change, those in sales operations often struggle to determine what to focus on and how to maintain that focus. On top of it, if they lack an effective performance metric to evaluate the sales force’s success, much less their own initiatives, the sales operations staff likely faces huge challenges while setting strategies.
Although many technology solutions are out there, they can take as long as a couple of years to deliver value. And even the best technological solution can’t deliver the desired efficiency and productivity results if weak sales processes are in place.
The Advantages of Adopting Agile
Professionals in sales operations need to collaborate with sales teams to identify and prioritize the challenges that reps face, and they need to run initiatives to resolve these challenges. An Agile approach, which puts people, processes, and systems in sync with each other, provides the way—and potentially reduces costs, increases revenue, and improves client satisfaction.
Prioritization: Since Agile centers on constant reprioritization, the approach can help those in sales operations determine where immediate tactical tasks, as opposed to a potentially urgent strategic initiative, fall on the priority list. Consistent reevaluation ensures that sales ops executives understand and align their activities to organizational priorities, especially when it comes to focal points and initiatives.
Collaboration and Communication: The Agile model is rooted in the principle of open and honest communication. Deploying regular rhythms and keeping communication channels open gives sales operations employees better visibility into challenges that reps might come up against; in turn, they can help reps escalate problems and resolve conflicts, preventing productivity from suffering. Reprioritizing ensures that issues that heavily impact the sales force don’t get the upper hand. Rather, they are addressed in the here and now.
Pace of change: With Agile methods in place, sales functions can set shorter-term goals and deliver on high-priority items quickly. This is especially advantageous when market demand changes rapidly. Agile can help companies gain an edge over competitors trying to achieve end-to-end perfection. Maintaining a backlog of needed initiatives and constantly prioritizing them against each other gives sales operations the ability to respond to change as it’s happening.
Speed to value: Delivering smaller increments of usable output is a primary tenet of the Agile approach. When speed to value increases, deliverables are prioritized and sales teams receive just enough information and support to put their initiative in motion. They don’t have to wait for all the elements to be in place before they can make a move. Over time and when required, further enhancements or items can be added.
Adaptability: Agile provides the ability to change tracks as needed, based upon feedback and external variations. By tackling boxed items quickly, sales ops is freed up to shift its focus to items that bring the most value to the table, whether they be enhancements that make existing initiatives better or new initiatives to maximize return on investment.
In this infographic, we explore factors that will help you spot an agile sales organization, the benefits of adopting an agile approach, and how you can start the agile journey. Take a look to find out whether or not Agile is the right way forward for your sales organization.
Coming Soon: The next part of our series on understanding Agile sales organizations.
Aberdeen Research | Best in Class Sales Performance Management
Best-in-class players not only automate incentive compensation, territory and quota management, but also embrace emerging trends and technologies.