Many of us are now talking about an agile sales methodology and agility. Why wouldn’t we? We need to be faster and more responsive to our buyer’s needs. We need to help our salespeople engage in the chaos of a sale. And, it is chaos out there. Gartner recently shared that:
- The average size of a buying team is now almost 11 people
- The average number of channels that each person on the buying team consults with is 4.5
- Of all the time spent over the course of a purchasing evaluation, only 17% of their time is spent with salespeople.
And, while no one knows how the volatility and uncertainty of the current global environment will impact buying behaviors and buying cycles moving forward, we do know that one of these terms is a nice to have and one can significantly impact your revenue—potentially even more so with the current market conditions. So, while these terms are often used interchangeably, they are not interchangeable ideas.
What is an Agile Sales Methodology?
Typically, when organizations are writing and talking about an agile sales methodology, they’re referring to adopting a process created by software developers. This process is meant to rapidly deploy and test new ideas and increase the speed of those ideas to market. They involve sprints, daily meetings, short-term goals and reviews.
Hubspot shares “Agile sales takes project management strategies from the IT world — such as sprints, daily stand-ups, and constant iteration — and applies them to selling. This methodology helps sales teams be more flexible, data-driven, and effective.”
Here’s where we believe the confusion sets in. In technology, discussing a methodology is the act of defining a development process. In sales, a methodology is a standard way to train your sellers to engage with buyers. The lines get blurred here because agile sales, as most define it these days, is centered around defining and refining procedures and processes, not about training your salespeople to win.
There are no hard numbers or quantifiable results (that we could find) proving the benefits of bringing an agile methodology to a sales organization.
Sales Agility is More Impactful than an Agile Sales Methodology