Optimizing Your Sales Team with Agile Methodologies

Part 5: Complete SCRUM meeting policies & template

Evangelizing what you do is fun and makes you feel good, but often creates a false sense of sales accomplishment. In general, people are nice and won’t outright tell you they don’t need your product or service, which is too bad because that would save us all a lot of time. Instead, they offer to follow up in a few weeks or ask for more information which starts the process of you wasting time on prospects with zero chance of ever closing on them.

Traditionally speaking, sales teams don’t exist; instead, there are a number of sales team members operating in complete isolation from one another. This is partially because sales members are compensated based on the sales that they close and there is zero incentive to help either other out or jointly pursue opportunities. While this trend won’t likely end anytime soon, it does cause difficulties when building a collaborative sales policy.

Instead of focusing on a collaborative sales team we’ll instead work on sales team communication and policies which will allow your team to optimize their workflow, and then slowly migrate them into a collaborative team.

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If you are ready to implement our strategy with your team, I have outlined our steps:

Step 1: Define everyone’s roles. Roles are different than job titles; you may actually have multiple roles being filled by the same person, or many people filling the same roles. We defined the following role titles: sales representative, pre-sales engineer, sales manager, project manager, developer, and support. Your roles may differ but each role needs a definition of responsibility.

Step 2: Specifically document your business’ key markets. Sales representatives will often chase any revenue at all because they are compensated for a sale regardless of whether or not it’s a good sale. Scattering your resources across too many industries will fragment your penetration, making new sales more difficult. Define the key markets that your business will pursue, and clearly state that these are the only markets to be pursued by your sales team. During your SCRUM meetings, every lead needs to be compared against these key markets.

Step 3: Set a date and time for your SCRUM meetings. I suggest meeting twice per week. Pick a time which is best for your team. Keep in mind when your team may be the most productive, and DON’T pick that time. Our sales SCRUM meetings are held at 3:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Your sales policy will define this meeting as mandatory for all involved in sales.

Step 4: Outline your CRM policies. Every sales team needs an efficient CRM platform; without one, you rely too much on the team’s memory and have no way to measure success. Your policies must include how leads are documented, where notes are stored, and how the team interacts with each other. Leverage your CRM during each SCRUM to ensure all opportunities are moving forward.

Step 5: Define your specific sales process. Outline each step in your sales process and build a flow chart. This process needs to go from lead to successful sale while defining every step, branch, and stage in between. This will take multiple interactions depending on your sales process.

Step 6: Now document your sales process. In addition to the flowchart, document each step and phase with what gets documented, who signs off and which roles are involved. Our flow chart contains ten steps.

Step 7: Setting weekly goals. Every sales team needs to have formal sales goals which are reviewed weekly. Our sales goals are defined each quarter and each year and reviewed weekly. Each week, one of your sales SCRUM meetings should dedicate a few minutes to review your goals and make sure you are on track.

Step 8: Define each sales representative’s top 5 opportunities. If a sales member is managing 20 leads, it can be impossible to give each of them the attention necessary to succeed. Allow each sales representative to define their top opportunities, it might be 2 or 5 or 10, but it needs to be manageable for your sales process. These are the top opportunities that each sales representative will touch every single day and push harder to the close than the others.

Following this process may not fit perfectly into your business, which is fine, Agile is all about making adjustments to suit your process. Use this guide as a starting point of discussion for your team.

Your sales team needs to be free to sell and the process must be beneficial to the success of them selling. Too much, or too little, the policy may interfere with their ability to spend their days selling; adjust as you go. A sales representative should spend 90-100% of their day doing sales; make sure that this is true in your company.

I have been fascinated by optimizing our SCRUM processes and would love to hear about your success or strategy.

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?

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Sample Sales Template Policy

Sales SCRUM Meetings

  • 3:00-3:30pm Tue & Thur
  • Sales Team attendance is mandatory; everyone else is welcome to attend any meetings
  • Our facilitator will be [person]
  • All sales will be tracked in [customer relationship manager (CRM)]

SCRUM Format

  • As a standard, SCRUM meeting is held as a standing meeting (avoid sitting around a conference table)
  • Each participate needs to spend a few minutes before the meeting and prepare
  • Round-table for all participants providing commentary on the following three questions:
  • Provide a status update/report on your top 5 opportunities being pursued
  • Briefly update everyone on new top or “SCRUM-worthy” prospects
  • What you are planning to do today & tomorrow
  • Report on any issues or stumbling blocks you are encountering
  • Ask what others can do to help you move your sales forward, we’re all in this together!

SCRUM Methodology

  • Everyone needs to be honest about their struggles so we can all help address them.
  • The style of this format creates accountability by the team. If someone plans on doing something tomorrow but fails to do so, we want to discuss the issues which prevented the task from getting done.
  • Only SCRUM-worthy tasks will be discussed, others will be spun off into a separate meeting.
  • Continue to leverage [CRM].
  • The team will be defining annual, quarterly and weekly goals which we’ll write down and review weekly.
  • Remember, these are YOUR meetings – we are here to facilitate and help everyone achieve their best potential. If you are unable to accomplish a task, then let’s address the reasons why fix them and move on.