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6 Characteristics of Agile Sellers

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agile salesperson

Amy Smalfus, VP Content & Learning Strategies

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Qualities of an Agile Seller

In today’s disruptive environment, agility is critical. The buying journey continues to get more complex, and organisations are actively taking steps to become more “agile” in quickly responding to changes in the marketplace or environment.

As organisations adjust to become agile, sellers will need to navigate constant change in both their external and internal environments. Here we will explore the qualities of an agile seller in greater detail.

6 Characteristics of Agile Sales Professionals

Agile sellers have six qualities that operate interdependently and arm them to win.

1. Customer Focused

    The foundation for sales agility rests on a passion and dedication to doing what’s in the customer’s best interest based on a deep understanding of the customer’s unique situation and needs. An agile seller concentrates on how they can help the customer versus how the customer helps them. Their approach to the interaction fosters trust and builds relationships because they think and act through the eyes of the customer and focus on what creates value for the customer.

    2. Problem Solver

      Agile sellers are critical thinkers with the ability to find solutions to complex, difficult, or unexpected situations. They are strong researchers and active listeners. They are objective thinkers who use both analytical and creative thinking to assess needs and identify solutions to the customer’s unique situation. They can coalesce the needs of various stakeholders into a holistic view of the situation. They work off facts, not assumptions. They actively challenge their own assumptions.

      3. Authentically Curious

        Agile sellers are motivated to explore and understand what is unique about a situation, and not just what they expect or want to hear. A seller who is authentically curious will lean into areas of discomfort based on their impulse to seek out additional information and truly understand. They can suspend judgment, which creates openness to develop new perspectives. Their natural curiosity and focus on the understanding customer in turn foster openness from the customer. They ask more questions and gain a deeper understanding (which makes them better problem solvers) while building trust.

        4. Flexible

          An agile seller can cope with changes in their circumstances in effective ways. Agile sellers have the mental flexibility to think about a situation in new, creative ways and to change their thinking, attitude, and viewpoint. They recognise that each customer situation is unique, and each stakeholder is unique. They adjust how they interact with each stakeholder so that they foster trust, gain a deep understanding of needs, and can communicate in a persuasive manner. This mental flexibility allows them to deal with stress and unexpected events and adjust whether that be in the heat of the moment in dialogue, in their approach to a differentiated solution, or in how they adapt to internal change.

          5. Self-manage

            Agile sellers aren’t guided by a strict set of rules, but by their ability to problem solve and self-manage. They are organised, set goals, manage time, and are accountable. They prioritise where and how they spend their time. They manage their behaviours, thoughts, and emotions in productive ways. This gives them the resilience to manage stress. Coupled with strong problem solving and flexibility, they can make the adjustments needed in how they operate and prioritise their efforts to attain goals.

            6. Enterprising

              Agile sellers have a can-do mindset, see opportunities, and are motivated to take advantage of those opportunities. They are mentally quick and resourceful, and willing to take some risks. Their authentic curiosity opens their eyes to new ways of seeing things. They apply their problem-solving abilities to take advantage of the moment.

              An agile seller is a seller who can respond quickly to changes at the customer organisation, in the marketplace, or internally. Some sellers have natural strengths in these areas. The good news is that these qualities can all be developed.

              Find out why adopting an agile selling methodology is important for today’s sales organisation and explore the fundamental tenants of this approach by downloading the white paper, The Future of Sales is Agile – Introducing Sprint Selling

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              agile sales training

              White Paper: The Future of Selling is Agile: Introducing Sprint Selling

              Learn about a new sales methodology that defines critical actions and skills needed to win deals.


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