Jagoda Poropat Darrer : Agile Communication in Sales Management

Agile communication differs from traditional communication in setting different tone and principles as well as emphasizing simplicity, directness, and face-to-face conversations among stakeholders in sales process.

To manage communications in agile way it is essential to understand how different agile communication methods work. It should be possible to write, edit and publish an important piece of news within hours. That’s not to say that everything must be fast, just that it can be fast when it needs to be. That said, responding to the work means that agile communication is usually done at a faster pace than traditional communication. According to Turnbull, Cattell, (2018) that good agile communicators can go from idea to product within days. If someone has an idea for a poster or a sticker that might help spread a useful message, an agile comms team can rapidly iterate through ideas for words and designs, then send something to be printed. Agile communication recognizes that most people, most of the time, are too busy to read detail. So, by default, agile communicators simplify and summarize, helping their readers to understand the basics very easily and very quickly. A writer sits down with one or two members of the discovery team and asks them what the team actually discovered. They write a draft and share it back to the team, who make edits and suggestions. Continue until there’s a post that everyone’s happy with.

That’s not to say that detail is ignored. Detail is important to some people, some of the time, so it should be available. But it should not be the first thing that people must read. Good agile communication sums up the detail by default, and then points readers to the detail, wherever it sits.

It’s easier for teams and for audiences to break the story down into a series of smaller posts presented over time. In this way a blog, comprising a series of posts, can become a digital hyperlinked narrative of thought. New posts can link back to past posts. Teams can document what changes and show how it has changed. They can show how their minds have changed, and what evidence or research brought those changes about. Blog posts are the best way to create a spine for it, but other things like Tweets, videos, presentations, show-and-tells, team newsletters and other tools can all interlink to it. It tells stories about work and finds ways to tell them in new ways. It aims to keep audiences interested and inspired, if you want people to read something, give them something that’s readable. Write the way you would speak. Communicate in small doses, frequently. Allow your story to develop over time, conclude Turnbull and Cattell (2018).

However, agile methods are urgently required in sales to keep pace with accelerated processes and consumer decisions, sates Schulz (2020). Customers are well accustomed to finding alternatives to offered products and filtering out the best deals in fractions of a second with the click of a mouse. Traditional sales approaches that involve a detailed exploration of needs and numerous steps and phases are no longer fit for purpose given this buying decision process. Customers mainly require speed and tailored products. For sales teams, this means purposeful consulting with full consideration of customer wishes and speedy completion – before the customer turns elsewhere, (Schulz, 2020). The agile sales concept is based on Scrum methodology, among others, but also encompasses customer centricity, transparency, and continuous adaptability. Inherent to agility, and therefore agile sales as well, is flexibility. Adapt in real time to new data, information, and situations. If customers jump off at short notice, respond by improving your pitch to include hard-hitting, quality-based reasoning and present references from customers for whom your product has proven successful. You should be able to see market changes coming before they happen and adjust targets, processes, and strategies, accordingly, concludes Schulz (2020).

New studies show that sales agility is even more impactful than agile sales methodology. Unlike the more commonly discussed agile sales, sales agility does have quantifiable results, about 22% increase in win rates. What do pilots, first responders or surgeons all over the world have in common? It is obviously the ability to diagnose fast what’s going on and adjust on a dime. It is good to know that everyone can learn sales agility. According to vantagepointperformance.com. first, you need data on previous engagements. They call it situational intelligence. Then you teach your sellers how to be aware of the common situations they will encounter. They define that as situational readiness. And finally, you train and reinforce. They define that as situational fluency.