June 17th, 2019
When a company needs to sell a new product or service, the entire organization is stretched to deliver, spanning across the marketing messaging & sales collateral, the products ability to support the customer use-cases, onboard the customer and deliver on the customer’s expectations set by the sales team.
We’ve developed a unique method that casts the agile methodology over the process of achieving scalability and consistency across the sales life cycle.
Agile development transformed the way business could commit and sustain a competitive edge as it could actually deliver and achieve an edge by becoming faster and more responsive.
“Agile software development is an approach to software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams and their customer(s)/end user(s). It advocates adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continual improvement, and it encourages rapid and flexible response to change”
So why not apply the same logic while on our journey toward achieving the market-fit ?
First we need to acknowledge the fact of getting the company’s sales engine in place is a company-wide project which should be orchestrated by no other than the CEO.
The project, iterations, deliverables, user stories / use cases and backlog concepts are maintain so are the following principles of agile development:
1. Deliver tangible deliverables that works within a shorter timescale (case studies, presentations, website changes, software enhancements..)
By prioritizing the sales-driven deliverables, The teams have more control and visibility in managing continued progress towards the final product milestone.
2. Deliver customer requirements continuously (Customer = Sales requirements / business requirement / deliverables)
Sprints are held on a fixed schedule of 2-4 weeks duration. By using this time-boxed method, predictability is high as new deliverables can be handed to the stakeholders quickly and frequently. It also allows the team to beta test or release the deliverables sooner if it has sufficient business value.
3. Marketing, customer success, product and sales must work closely together weekly throughout the duration of the project.
The user’s stories and product use-cases are commonly used to define the product features as they relate to business-focused criteria. By reverse engineering the buyer’s needs, each deliverable and feature provides real value. It provides a better opportunity to gain valuable feedback through beta testing the deliverables after each Sprint. This provides vital feedback earlier in the project so that changes can be made as needed.
4. Information is best transferred between parties in face-to-face conversations.
Always consider change of requirements, while the focus should be to deliver the agreed subset of the priorities deliverables, agile processes create an opportunity to continually reprioritize and refine the backlog. These changes can be added to the next iteration so the new changes can be introduced within a few weeks.
5. Motivate people to deliver by creating an environment of appreciation, trust, and empowerment, set alignment by predefining measurable Key Performance Indicators
6. Sales KPI’s should be used as the key measure of progress
7. Simplicity is a vital part of effective agile management.