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Agile Leadership

Agile leadership teams navigate constant change through a sales play framework that creates clarity on near-term tactics and long-term strategy. The right mix of core, situational, and dynamic sales plays can help drive consistent performance across every sales channel by getting sales, marketing and enablement teams on the same page.

Senior leaders that we work with are always looking for an edge to become more agile in the face of constant change. One of the things leaders wrestle with is wanting their organization to stay aligned to the strategic vision across marketing, product, and sales enablement on where the company is going over the next three-plus years while also balancing the tactical aspect of what has to happen within the next year. How does the team stay aligned when managing threats, opportunities, and risks presented this year?

We found that a sales play framework is helpful for leaders who want to become more agile. The sales play framework incorporates three types of plays. The first is a core play, which is how you run the business. If you went to any seller in the organization and asked “how do we land new business?”, would each seller say the same thing? For example, if the primary new customer acquisition play is to land by positioning the complete portfolio and selecting one of three solution paths, would every seller know that's the primary selling motion? Or, if your approach is to land by gaining a small foothold where expansion occurs later, would every seller be aligned to the land and expand method?

The second category is a dynamic play, which is about the here and now. How do sellers seize the market opportunities right now. It may look like a campaign approach tied to an outcome this year. A dynamic play might look like a competitor take-out where the seller plans to take out the competitor over the next nine months. The seller would be given guidance on precisely what to do and how to do it to get outcomes against that competitor. Or, you may want sellers to concentrate on selling a new product to existing accounts through a cross-sell play where all sellers are focused on getting cross-sell outcomes with a specific time period.

The final category is a situational play that enables a seller to adapt to the customer and focuses on winning the deal. Every seller has to become more agile in this way. Sellers will face opportunities where the customer is at a certain point in their buying process. Maybe a competitor is entering it, a new persona is engaging, or a strategic use-case for the customer is beginning to emerge. The situational play considers how that seller redirects and pivots by adapting to win. How do you make it easy for a seller to know how to adapt in light of the circumstances?

The sales play framework is a way to create clarity for all departments in the organization, whether you directly manage the departments or not. If you have a sales play framework, suddenly, the marketing team begins creating the right content in collaboration with the product team. Your sales leaders are managing and driving execution and coaching consistently. Your enablement team is making it easy, practical, and accessible for the sellers to get the content they need to be successful.

If you're a leader looking for ways to become more agile and align your organization, a sales play framework could be a great starting point. Learn more about business agility by checking out our post about the Agile Revenue Organization.

Sales Plays

Creating Focus Through Sales Plays

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