Brent Hurley is the Chief Innovator and Problem Solver at Gira Solutions and an Enterprise Innovation Coach based in Edinburgh. He has instigated and completed multiple digital and organisational Agile roll-outs for clients across a wide range of industries. Gira was created to not only coach and train, but to implement “build and leave” solutions, tooling and methodologies, to complex problems. He believes that the application of Agile practices has always returned optimum results. Brent’s work covers the Team, Product and Enterprise Coaching, mentoring them through the adoption of Lean, Agile and Innovation practices across the entire organisation. He has also worked with Senior Managers and Leaders to assist them in realising the business value of an Agile approach, not only with software development but extending techniques and practices throughout the organization, way beyond software. Prior to relocating to Edinburgh, Brent had many years of experience in a variety of industries in New York’s “Silicon Alley”, Europe and Australia, and his the relocation was to work across US, UK and Europe more effectively.
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Agility in Sales: A re-boot of Business Development.
When it comes to assessing performance in sales and business development, D.R.E.A.M - Data Rules Everything Around Me, is often a simplistic approach. Counting the dollar amount of a deal “done” or contract signed is about as absolute as it can be. Isn’t it? There are many areas of a business where empirical data is tracked and targets set. The “sales” department of most organisations will use some of the simplest target metrics. Often referred to as “sales targets” and they are generally a basis to calculate bonus remuneration. And it works, doesn’t it? So what happens, if the sales targets are easy to attain? Or impossible? What happens to the yearly or quarterly targets are missed? How does the sales team feel, where is their motivation and how long can they stay motivated? What if signing a contract or completing that million dollar deal, needs more than a “sales” person, or takes months, or years to on-board? How does the larger organisation feel when a deal disrupts their work, have they that same motivation? Agility is renowned for improvements: efficiency, focus, empowerment, clarity etc. But is this a set of improvements that can be ported outside of Product delivery and production? In this case study, we will examine and explore: The good, bad and ugly of imposed sales targets. How the sales team felt and behaved as their targets were set, missed or achieved. What is a business development team and discover why they stopped allowing a failing system to continue? How applying the basic principles of an Agile organisation achieved extraordinary results in the area of business development and sales. Finally, we will see how the sales team took control of their own destiny and how the entire organisation’s desire to improve went beyond changing target numbers, it was a fundamental reassessment or what “sales” or selling is.
Team Structure: An Agile team is skills, not role based. What does a business development team consist of, what is it’s remit, it’s objectives and key results? An Agile team works in an Agile way, what and why did we choose for our process? Assessment and Continuous Improvement: How do we measure the health of a team, and how can improving the health of a team help achieve some of the Agile benefits? How is an organisational growth plan influenced by a team? OKRs tooling and dashboards: What, how and why did we measure, where we changed, and why changing our focus helped achieve extraordinary results. How changing from reports to dashboards saved time and increased accuracy. How breaking down silos with tools, helped achieve our goals. Mindset and Training: Having the correct mindset from day zero is key to genuine change. Why investing in your teams is key to success. Closing missed opportunities and celebrating every step enabled a re-definition of who we are.