If you have been in the sales industry for some time, you have likely attended sales training and are familiar with what it takes to succeed in the sales process. You also have a pretty good idea as to how long each sales cycle usually takes.
Sales takes patience. Most companies understand that one must slowly build trust and understanding between the salesperson and customer, and that customer journeys take time.
However, in order to be competitive, it is important for salespeople to be quick on their feet. In Jill Konrath’s book Agile Selling, she teaches salespeople how to become more adept at working with customers and provides insights on winning the sales game without cutting corners. This article summarizes the book and explains the key concepts of what agile selling is and how it can empower your sales team.
It’s important for every salesperson to master the art of agile selling because there are times when the sale has to be made quickly. Konrath, a sales expert, introduces readers to the concept of quick selling and how it can help salespeople sell better and more effectively.
Agile selling is the concept of learning how to sell quickly. The process starts with learning about the product, its competitors and positioning, and coming up with fast ways to sell the product. While the whole sales process may be long and complex, you can close the deal through agile selling methodologies.
These methodologies help salespeople quickly take in new information, learn new skills, and train their minds to react to any situation. For most salespeople, agile selling will help them be more successful.
Salespeople are having a hard time with consumers’ new mindset and buying behaviour. Not knowing how to absorb knowledge quickly can put a dent on a salesperson’s performance, but agile selling teaches readers “skills like chunking, sequencing, connecting, prioritizing, reflecting, and practicing.”
It’s imperative to know your customer or boost your customer knowledge. How your customer thinks determines what information you need to bring with you to your sales call. Becoming agile means honing your craft and improving your performance.
That’s where 50 per cent of the battle begins: Agile selling is not just about techniques, but also about a good mindset. Focus on a certain skill and develop it. The techniques you can learn, but the mindset must be developed over time. Additionally, set concrete goals in order to encourage productivity. By focusing on evolving and eliminating distractions, salespeople can get better, faster.
Technology, including computers and the internet, has changed buyer behaviour over time. In some studies, results show that 70 per cent of buyers have already made a purchase decision before they ever email or contact a company. The internet provides buyers with an avenue to research, so they don’t need salespeoples’ help as often.
In the traditional sales process, one of the first steps is the pitch (features, benefits, and advantages). While this is still applicable, salespeople can’t hustle to close the sale: People are more educated now. Salespeople deal with people who want a conversation about the product or service, and not just a sales pitch.
There is a framework for learning how to learn to sell a certain product quickly: chunking, sequencing, connecting, dumping, practicing, prioritizing.
This framework allows salespeople to organize their thoughts in 30 minutes to get ready for the sales call. It begins with chunking all information in similar bits. From there, you sequence them and connect them with each other. After that, you dump the information you don’t need and start practicing. Finally, you prioritize what is needed for the sales call.
MED stands for Minimum Effective Dose, and it’s the concept of taking in only what you need. Many salespeople cram all the product information and sales concepts into their minds right before a call. However, this may confuse you and cause information overload. MED emphasizes researching only what is necessary for a sales call and deleting all other information. This makes things clearer and more effective for your sales call.
With agile selling, and selling in general, experts recommend practice — and more practice. Role-playing with more experienced salespeople will vastly help a salesperson’s performance. This practice is key to making your technique more effective over time.
Jill Konrath is an internationally recognized sales expert and author of Agile Sales, which highlights strategies that are helpful for both aspiring and experienced salespeople. When a salesperson practices agile selling techniques, they can adapt to a changing market and cater to what customers want today. Agile sales is a well-respected methodology that helps enable salespeople perform their best.
Learn more tips to being an effective salesperson with our ebook, “5 Secrets to the Most Productive Salespeople.”