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Sales and Marketing Leader Articles

What is the Purpose of the “Sales Process” in Your Company?

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What is the Purpose of the “Sales Process” in Your Company?
by Michael Webb

What is the Purpose of the “Sales Process” in Your Company?

Most executives and managers would acknowledge that their company should have a sales process.  But what does this term actually mean?

To the extent that your company has a sales process, it is probably thought of as “what salespeople do,” which usually means qualifying prospects, conducting sales presentations, submitting proposals or quotes, closing deals, and other sales activities.  

Yet a true business process firmly roots any given job into all of the functions necessary for value to flow. Processes exist in a value stream, and organizations who map these value streams gain the perspective they need to eliminate bottlenecks and waste. A sales value stream map aligns the functional groups with the priorities required to generate the flow of desired customer actions. This map can point out which minor variations in quality or procedure in the value stream make a huge difference. They also point out the functions that, when distracted by other priorities, tend to impede or even halt the flow.  

Frequently Asked Questions

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Fourteen frequently asked questions about applying process improvement (and Six Sigma) to finding, gaining, and keeping customers. Ask me your question about sales process improvement in the dialog box at the right, and I'll do my best to give you an answer.

How Customer Value Maps Make Marketing and Selling Easier

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Companies lose their edge because they focus on their products, rather than on their customers. Customer value mapping is a great way to keep your eyes on the ball.

Customer Value Mapping (Business Value Mapping)

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How to make B2B sales and marketing easier: A step-by-step approach to mapping customer value. Value is about much more than just the product.

Need to Fix Low Sales Productivity?

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The three root causes of the silo-mentality that pervades sales and marketing management.

Book Review - One Small Step Can Change Your Life

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Dr. Robert Maurer wrote a book about applying kaizen to one's personal life. This is extremely appropriate to sales environments.

How to Sell Process to Your VP of Sales

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Three Principles that Engage
Sales Minds and Hearts
to Improve Discipline, Measurement,
and Performance

Most Sales Vice Presidents are in a tough spot.

Everybody wants a piece of them: customers, salespeople, channel partners, employees, and executives of their own company. Above all they must ...

  • make the revenue number
  • make the product mix
  • forecast more accurately
  • fulfill customer promises, stay in budget, satisfy channel partners, and more ...

How to Avoid the Four Most Common Mistakes of Sales Process Mapping

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Clarifying and understanding your sales process is crucial. Here are the four most common mistakes companies make when they first begin to map out how they sell.

Why Your Sales Process Cost Matters, and What You Need to Know to Get it Right

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By Michael J. Webb (pdf of this article) One of the most important management systems for the senior executive is the one that measures the costs of production. Executives must know not just the total cost of production, but also the cost of the stages of their production. Sales and marketing organizations need this every

What Is Operational Excellence in Sales and Marketing?

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by Michael J. Webb (with Robert Ferguson)

(pdf of this article)

A reader from Microsoft recently asked me an interesting question:

"What are the key parameters which define Operational Excellence in a sales and marketing organization?"

I like the question, because Operational Excellence isn't just a slogan or a matter of opinion. It is a fact that businesses that achieve Operational Excellence produce the most consistent growth and profit performance in the long run.