Odds are, you’ve heard of agile.
Maybe a software engineer talked to you about it. Your ears may have pricked up from the obscure-sounding buzzwords: Scrum. Kanban. Hippogriff. (The first 2 are real. The last is from Harry Potter).
But it would be a mistake to dismiss agile as mere tech jargon. For a sales leader managing quota-carrying reps, agile can give you a competitive edge.
Agile is a way of working that emphasizes flexibility. It ensures that your team has what you need to win, no matter what unexpected obstacles you encounter.
- What is agile, really?
- How can agile apply to training, especially in sales organizations?
- What small, easy steps can you take today to unlock the benefits of Agile Learning and give your team a competitive edge?
The Need for Speed (of Learning)
Agile arose in response to a simple truth: The future is uncertain. Customer needs evolve, new technologies emerge, and new competitors enter the arena. How can you be more flexible, so that you can quickly adapt to a dynamic environment?
Traditional development approaches follow meticulously defined step-by-step processes, often documented in granular detail. The problem with this approach is that it’s inflexible. By the time the product hits the market or the training reaches its intended audience, it’s already obsolete. The result? Only 21% of companies believe they’re training their salespeople in the skills they need.
In contrast to the traditional, linear development approach, agile development relies on many fast iterative cycles.
Here’s a piece of trivia that many engineers don’t know: The inspiration for agile came from the world of sports (in fact, even the term “Scrum” comes from rugby)!
“The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else”
– Eric Ries
Agile's Origin in Sports
In sports, every team shows up on game day with a strategy. But ultimately, it’s not their strategy that decides whether they win or lose. It’s their ability to adapt to their opponent. Mike Tyson said it best: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
The average football game lasts 3 hours and 15 minutes, but has just 11 minutes of action. Those 11 minutes are broken into 15-second plays (in agile terms, “sprints”). With every huddle, the team takes stock of where they are and what their opponent is doing. Then they decide what to do next. It’s a continuous, fast-paced approach to learning.
Winning sports teams are top-notch learning organizations. They reflect on their wins and losses and improve constantly – play after play, and game after game.
What if your team could learn just as quickly?
That’s the power of Agile Learning. It’s a training approach that values speed, flexibility, and collaboration. It takes a rapid, iterative approach to learning that helps teams respond to changes quickly. The result is training that keeps up with your business and drives performance in the field.
How to Make Your Training More Agile: 4 Top Tips
We’ve worked with top-performing sales and operational teams across a wide range of industries: from pharma to food & beverage, and from financial services to logistics and construction.
From this experience, we’ve found that there are small, easy steps that any sales leader can implement to make their training more agile. Small changes unlock dramatic results. Within 60 days, you’ll see faster learning cycles, increased teamwork and flexibility, and more frequent wins against the competition.
Below, we’ve collected our Top 4 Tips to make your training more agile: