Agile Selling


Written by: Chris Allen, Vice President of Business Development


Published: March 15th, 2017


Props to Laura Forer for her recent article on Agile selling. Actually, it was an infographic, which made it even juicier. I love the concept – with or without pictures.

The idea behind Agile selling is that the customer experience doesn’t happen in a straight line. With the exception of light beams and the propagation of radiation through space, few things do. I’ll save that subject for another day.

Most businesses build their sales framework around a set of assumptions that sound good in theory:

Marketing develops and delivers the message while sales reps lead buyers on a straight path from discovery to closing. And knowledge travels out of the sales force to others in your organization with little or no degradation.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

A complex, chaotic sales cycle is the beating heart of Agile selling.  One’s attitude to goals, conception of work, relations with others, and sense of self tend to cloud the issues. As a result, events and people fall short of expectations, people grow anxious and, tempers flare. Agile salespeople do not get flustered because they excel in the space between reality and perfection.

In the real world:

  • Clients and prospects have their own ideas and expectations—which bear little resemblance to your “vision” and proposed budget.
  • The customer asks for things Marketing never anticipated and Sales never mentioned.
  • Before you ink an agreement, prospects already researched alternate solutions.
  • Reps sell to multiple stakeholders—unique people with various priorities who are not interested in a “one-size-fits-all” solution.

Agile selling and Road Rallies share a winning formula. Start by mapping the journey ahead. Figure out where and when to gather assets based on limited information and clues along the way, identify several possible paths of action or alternative routes, and proceed quickly, yet cautiously.

Remain flexible and accommodating – this is key to your success. Consider the consequences of your actions in the moment, not weeks later. Finally, and most importantly, learn to embrace every twist and turn in the journey like a two-lane back county road.

Remember, the monster under your bed is in your head. You’ve got this. Be agile, trust your instincts, and make it one hell of a ride.


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