Sales Leadership insights from the Apex Predator. 

Great to be back on the Ambition Blog. Let's get paid. 

How Agile Management Applies to Sales

If you're not familiar with agile management theory, here's the Apex cliffnotes.

  1. Your sales force has a project. 
  2. Your project is to hit team quota - or get fired.
  3. Your project goal seems borderline impossible.
  4. Your reps have separate projects - hit quota or get fired.
  5. Your executive team set your project goal arbitrarily.
  6. Your executive team thinks agile concepts go above your head.  

If your company openly practices and preaches agile methodologies - do this. Ask your software development, marketing, IT, or operations team to describe a recent project they completed. 

Build an inventory of internal projects, Harvard Business Review articles, and terminology (ex. change management) to ambush your executive team in your next meeting. 

An Introduction to DICE Framework

DICE is a framework for predicting project success. My 12-year old Girl Scout neighbor sells me her entire Thin Mint quota every year. I'm now her first stop. Low Dice Score. 

dice sales

Most sales leaders aren't so lucky. You don't get paid to chill in the Win Zone. 

Calculating Your DICE Score

Your DICE Score starts with four factors. Check out these definitions - then think about how the reality inside 95% of B2B sales organizations. 


Quick word of praise to the Boston Consulting Group. Off the top of my head, I can name 50 sales leaders who are captains aboard a doomed ship. Most are subconsciously aware of their situation, but can't articulate the basis of their concerns.

Hats off BCG, for turning this sh*t into a math equation. Yes, your sales organization is 90% likely to miss quota. Here's the cold-blooded logic behind it.

dice sales

Want to scare your executive team straight? Score the average B2B sales org in your city:

  1. Duration: 4. (Written in stone). 
  2. Integrity: 3. (Hiring 22 year-old college grads en masse). 
  3. Commitment 1: 2. (For executives, 'strongly communicating need' means pulling out the wallet).
  4. Commitment 2: 2. (No sales force has 100% rep satisfaction - none).
  5. Effort: 3. (That 15% growth goal over your prior year? Based on larger market numbers)

Goal: Lower Your DICE Score

The best sales leaders have this down to a science. If you have ever wondered how elite sales leaders always hit their number, here's your answer. First, the DICE Score Graph:

dice sales

Suppose you just calculated your DICE Score. It's 24.

You are not surprised. You are stressed and pissed off. You are two steps in the right direction. See below: 

sales management

Move methodically. Gather internal and external knowledge. Spotlight key inhibitors. Build concrete heuristics on obstacles, weaknesses, and opportunities.

Then, go to your executives with an action plan in mind. Solicit their input and get some added firepower for your project.

Rally Point for Sales Manager Enablement

As Ambition set forth in Sales Hacker - agile management principles have been the operating protocal in successful sales organizations since forever. 

A colleague of mine once put it this way - in enterprise (SaaS) sales, it's imperative to condition your team into seeing team and personal quota as dual projects.

That same guy once hired a brand-new Stanford graduate who talked down to him throughout the job interview. The kid needed a job - but sales was beneath him. "Your sales team needs an internal project manager." He said. "I'll live audit everything you are doing wrong in my first week."

The kid made it two days. My friend didn't break him - the reps did. With crippling, passionate, profanity-laced rebuttals to each criticism. 

"There's a crucial distinction I forgot to tell the kid." My friend said. "The element of human opposition." 

It's your responsibility to ensure the deck isn't stacked against your reps, sales leaders. If agile principles have momentum in your sales organization, use the laws of physics to convince your executive team to make 2018 the year of sales manager enablement.

The Flexible Sales Management Platform

Harvard Business Review and AA-ISP (the Global Inside Sales Organization).  Fortune 1000 sales organizations like UPS, Aerotek and Wayfair use Ambition to enhance sales KPI clarity and drive their teams using real-time scorecards, dashboards, alerts, contests, and TV leaderboards. 

tennessee sales organizations

Contact us to schedule a demo of Ambition for your sales force today.

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