You’ve heard of “agile development,” right? It’s been used to great success in Silicon Valley and start-up culture, because it avoids the slow drudge of top-down thinking. Teams can reexamine their priorities and adapt goals and tactics on the fly, depending on what’s important now. In other words, goals are based around short dashes that get faster results.
But agile removes the delay of running every decision up the chain, there’s a mental shift you need to make in order to use the approach well with your sales team. Essentially, says entrepreneur and Forbes.com columnist Geri Stengel, you’re figuring out how to learn from experience and act on it without getting stuck in routines and habits.
To do this, Stengel writes, you need to be comfortable “with vague or contradictory information.” You may not have complete certainty about a client, or marketshare, or ROI; in fact, two of your sales team might have opposing takes on a situation. With an agile approach, you learn to be okay with the uncertainty, make solid decisions in the face of it, and lead your team to success faster than if you waited for complete certainty (or your VP’s sign-off on every tactic).
Stengel identifies two more core mental shifts for the agile approach here.
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