The A Team: Agile Marketing + Sales Enablement 

Jesse Hopps

Is your business staring down a real need for speed? Consider agile marketing your next strategic go-to. No stranger to the marketing world, the term “agile” has long-since ensured stronger, more synced marketing teams, as well as offered an integrated means of prioritizing, scoping, and executing on deliverables. 


What’s the deal with “agile”?

But what—in layman’s terms—is agile marketing? Point blank, it’s a term that originated from Agile software development, but was designed to be applied to any kind of project management--and that can include marketing. Components of agile marketing include: valuing, and responding to change over sticking to a strict plan, testing and collecting data over opinions, collaborating, experimenting, and communicating via scalable, personable interactions. 


What’s the process?

In a nutshell, here’s what agile marketing looks like:

  • Determine “sprint” length. Two weeks is often great for small marketing teams, but it can vary from one week to a month. Whatever the cadence, it should be the same for every sprint.
  • Select goals. Typically, this is a set of content, web pages, graphics, etc.
  • Schedule daily scrums. These are quick, short meetings designed to be tactical. If they are longer than 15 minutes, they are too long.
  • Sprint. When the tasks are divvied up, generally team members can be fairly autonomous for each step, and the daily scrum offers a way to interface, handoff, and ask questions if need be.


Effectiveness + Expectations

While no marketing strategy comes without planning, agile enables teams to focus and prioritize projects that can be tackled within a specific timeframe. In other words, when operating under constant—if not growing—company expectations, agile allows marketing teams to divvy up “sprints,” dictating a set number of available hours to specific, prioritized projects. Furthermore, agile marketing empowers organizations on a role-by-role basis. Think large-scale project management—wherein individual team members take on clearly outlined roles, that foster collaboration as much as free-reign creativity.  


Do as Data Does

Pinpointing and assessing quantifiable metrics is the cornerstone of any agile marketing approach. Identify problems, set measurable goals, and monitor progress (or lack thereof) via metrics, and performance-backed results. For example, if the goal is “Create and distribute infographic on X and drive engagement,” a task list of actionable, measurable steps can take the project all the way from ideation to execution. Once the content is distributed, its impact or ability to spark awareness can be closely tracked, and measured against expectations. 


Content Matters

Regarding marketing collateral, an agile method values a more holistic, inclusive approach over one-hit wonders. Rather than punching out item after item, viewing each piece of content as a separate entity, agile teams understand the integration of all marketing materials—and value effectiveness and quality over all else. 


Sales Enablement Strategy

Leveraging an agile methodology in marketing often drives benefits for a company’s sales enablement. Because sales enablement processes are increasingly seen as the key to engaging today’s modern B2B buyers, agile marketing helps teams develop more content, faster--tailored to the right buyer personas and stages of the purchase process. The agile approach that involves planning and prioritizing the deliverables as a batch can make it easier to set expectations across sales and marketing, and drive even greater team alignment.


Marketing the Agile Way

The benefits of leveraging agile methodologies for your marketing team are numerous. The “scrum” meetings can become a source of connection where the team gets quick answers, address any blockers, and keep each other up to date. Even better, the agile approach also includes a mini “post mortem” where you can discuss what’s working, what’s not--and how to better set expectations with the sales team on content. 

Leveraging a sales enablement platform often provides tremendous value for marketing teams that are taking an agile approach. Today’s modern sales enablement platforms serve as a place to manage the content created in each sprint—while also providing powerful analytics that can help marketing teams prioritize content and plan each sprint. In addition to ensuring sales and marketing teams are synced, on the same page, and collaborating effectively, sales enablement offers a flexible means of creating and distributing content, as well as enables real-time visibility into which content pieces are working, and why. 

The integral components of analytics and data, plus content management, that an agile team needs to be successful are built-in to sales enablement solutions. Meaning, every piece of content can be measured for optimization and effectiveness, and altered accordingly in a future sprint.Furthermore, team members along both sales and marketing teams are able to access necessary training and onboarding materials—while the contents of each piece can in turn be analyzed for effectiveness and bottom line results. 


Start Fast—Be Agile 

Leveraging a software project methodology for marketing sounds complicated—but it needn’t be. When you put in place the core communication points—like the daily scrums—and use data to prioritize your content in every sprint, you’ll be well on your way to having a successful agile marketing process—and greater sales-marketing alignment will naturally follow.


About the Author

Erica Karnes is a content specialist for Highspot, the sales enablement industry’s leading platform for content management, customer engagement, and analytics.