Blog post

Agile Learning – An Opportunity for More Effective Customer Interactions?

By Hank Barnes | November 10, 2020 | 1 Comment

Sales Effectiveness and Enablementgo-to-market

One of the best ways to uncover potentially breakthrough ideas is to look at what is happening in other disciplines or parts of the business.   I frankly don’t do this enough and will be making a point to do more in the coming years.     In the past few weeks though, I’ve started to scratch some of those surfaces with Gartner and they all look very interesting to help improve go-to-market effectiveness while also putting customers in a better position to win.

The ideas include

  • Fusion Teams – A multi-disciplinary model for work that fosters collaboration.   Work is being done to develop the model and how to manage it by our HR and IT practices.   Effective fusion teams for large purchase decisions could address many of the challenges buyers face. Using a fusion team concept for collaboration across marketing, sales, and customer success could address many of the breakdowns and disconnects we see today.
  • Composable Thinking – Part of our work on composable business, composable thinking works well with Fusion teams as you work toward a model where everything is composable (assembly new things from a collection of proven components.   Assembling the right mix for customers gets easier.
  • Mindsets – I’ve been blogging about this, but continue to want to go deeper.  Right now I’m wondering about the impact when a vendor with a growth mindset encounters a customer with a fixed mindset (I suspect it is not good) and the other permutations (quadrant coming?)

And finally, agile learning.   Agile learning is a big cross disciplinary focus for Gartner as a way to embrace some of the concepts above and more.  Agile learning is just in time learning and more.

While there used to be talk in the technology business that you did not want to have to educate your customer–you wanted them to already be educated.   But as competition and choices have exploded, the recognition that, for many, some form of education is the only way to win.   Buyer enablement is educating a customer on how to buy more effectively.  Change enablement is educating on change.  Challenger is educating on “hidden truths.”   And more.

Maybe we abandon “education” as the term though.   The concepts above for agile learning feel like great things to be doing with customers.    Imagine designing buyer enablement, change enablement, trials, and more with agile learning concepts.   Image using fusion teams and composable thinking to collaborate more effectively while continuously learning. (Note: With all of these types of things, there are usually cases of people doing this type of work, but not calling it anything different.  Sometimes a name helps crystalize the idea, paving the way for broader use and adoption.)

This feels like a big opportunity that I’m planning to dive into deeper.   I hope it is as promising as it seems to be.  What are your thoughts?





Leave a Comment

1 Comment

  • Great piece that really covers the benefits of agile learning very well.