Implementing Agile Processes In Sales Teams

Part 4: A look into our successful implementation of accountability

In previous blog posts I discussed how our development team operates an Agile development process leveraging SCRUM meetings. Lately I have been working hard to optimize our sales process and I wanted to share with you some of our techniques. While this isn’t rocket science, I feel that if we don’t document the process, it won’t be followed and we lose accountability. With a policy document, you can always just point to it and say “do it that way.”

Taking a lead from our development team, we implemented an Agile-style SCRUM meeting with our sales team. Half of our team are remote and it is a bit more difficult to lock them all down daily so we implemented two 30-minute SCRUM meetings per week. These are mandatory meetings for the team so they know not to schedule other meetings at that same time. Our team leverages to host our meetings, even though half are in the same office.

Everyone needs a website. Get started
today with a $15 WordPress site from Flywheel.

To run a successful SCRUM meeting, you need to designate one person as the facilitator. The facilitator’s job is to keep the meeting on topic and pace, log all tasks, and keep the team accountable regarding priorities. Each sales associate will cover the following five topics during each SCRUM meeting:

  • Update 1: Provide a status update/report on their “Top 5 Opportunities”
  • Update 2: Briefly update everyone on new “SCRUM-worthy” prospects
  • Update 3: What are they planning to do today and tomorrow (since we meet every other day)
  • Update 4: Report on any issues or stumbling blocks they are encountering
  • Update 5: Ask what others on the team can do to help move sales forward, we’re all in this together!

As part of our sales SCRUM, we also implemented a “Top 5 Opportunities” list, which are those opportunities that each sales person is going to focus the majority of their attention on in the next one to two weeks, or until they close. The reason for picking 5 — or maybe it’s 10 or 20 for your team, but definitely not all — is to provide small, agile incremental goals to your sales. Having clarity on your goals is the best way to success.

Our team uses Pipedrive as our customer resource manager (CRM) system where each lead, prospect and opportunity is tracked. During our SCRUM, we filter by top opportunities being pursued as well as new leads and each lead is covered. Ideally, each team member keeps their update to 7-10 minutes; a quick pace will help avoid losing people’s attention.

In addition to our Pipedrive, all related tasks are entered directly into a project management system – we leverage Trello. Your facilitator will manage the tasks, requests, updates, and close those which have been completed. Every sales team needs a project management system.

If you struggle with keeping your sales team focused on priorities, you should apply this format and process to your business as well. Keep in mind that Agile is not about one process but rather a collection of self-directed methodologies. Adopt, morph, and execute based on your team’s needs. If you are fighting process and fail to get buy-in by your team, you probably have too many policies.

I have been fascinated by optimizing our SCRUM processes and would love to hear about your success or strategy. Next week we will talk about the specific policies we have implemented.

Agile Process Series

The key principle of Agile development is “agile”. If you’re not agile, you are not an Agile team. This blog post series, and a later eBook, will cover these topics:

I have been fascinated by optimizing our SCRUM processes and would love to hear about your success or strategy. Please send me a Tweet at @wbushee, or drop me an email. After all, shouldn’t we all leverage agile processes?

Sign up for my weekly newsletter to receive blog posts, announcements, and deals sent directly to your inbox.