One of the most valuable characteristics of process excellence is the distinction between what people can control and what they cannot. No improvement is possible without this information. The good news is that the effort spent identifying these factors helps salespeople become more effective and to elevates the performance of the team. …
Blog / Sales Process Improvement Forum
I have received this question before, so I’m guessing my previous response wasn’t enough.
Here is a quicker, shorter, take. I’d really appreciate knowing if this is helpful and what other questions come to mind:
The second way it has an impact is to sustain and extend your value over time.
How Do You Determine the Appropriate Metrics to Measure Against in Such an Unstructured Environment as B2B Sales?
The key is in your point that B2B sales is an “unstructured environment.” I would argue that it is actually more structured and straightforward than people realize, and that it is our way of understanding it – the words and thinking frames we use – that need improving.
- Operationally define the production system: You specify the thing you are trying to create, and the nature of the work required.
- Gather data and use it to make the inner workings of the environment (the “system”) visible and understandable to everyone
- Analyze causes and effects in order to develop theories of how the system works, and how to improve it (countermeasures) …
A reader recently asked:
- How can we convince sales and marketing about the advantages of lean in their processes?
This is a great question, and I get it a lot. The primary issue is that salespeople and marketers do not see how Lean will help them sell or do marketing. This is aggravated by the fact that Lean is usually presented using manufacturing examples, not sales and marketing examples. And the truth is, most lean practitioners have never carried a sales quota or been involved in the essentials of marketing. …
Is Lean Certification Effective for Practitioners in Sales and Marketing? If not, How Does it Need to Change?
A recently asked question from a LinkedIn Group titled “The Shingo Prize:”
Lean Bronze Certification – Is it Effective for Practitioners in Sales and Marketing? If Not, How Does It Need to Change? (Note: this link requires you to log into the Linked-In website.) …
John Shook, Chairman and CEO of the Lean Enterprise institute, just released a newsletter titled “Managing to Connect the Macro with the Micro.” In it he chronicles another of the steps the Lean movement has taken from being “just a kit of process improvement tools” to being a method for thinking scientifically about business problems.
What Makes The Lean Management System Unique
Over the years the Lean movement has attracted thinkers and pioneers who have developed its implications into something quite powerful. As Michael Ballé put it in another recent article:
What makes lean unique is that it is the only full-fledged alternative to the “modern management” invented by Alfred Sloan in the previous century. Lean is a full business system with: …
A Recent Readers Question: How Easy & Quickly can I Implement Some of the Key Changes to Realize Sales Process Improvements in a Reasonable Short Time?
Thanks for your recent question on my website. Several people have asked it.
- How easy and quickly can I implement some of the key changes to realize sales process improvements in a reasonable short time?
The answer looks different if you are in a large account/complex selling environment than if you are in a more commodity-oriented environment (perhaps with channels), but the principles are the same.
Lean and process excellence is a management method that maximizes value and minimizes waste. It thinks in terms of “value streams.” In sales and marketing the value stream consists of the actions you get prospects and customers to take.
Now, since you can’t control your prospects and customers you have to you do a better job understanding their problems, needs, and objectives. Salespeople who get good at this are able to discover the root causes of their challenges, so they can offer effective countermeasures. This is what we mean when we say, Lean process excellence is based on this rational, evidence driven scientific approaches. …
A recent visitor asked “How can the salesforce use Lean?”
There are lots of possible answers, and the reader left no context for what they might be concerned about. Here are a couple of general thoughts that might be useful:
- Lean can help sell more stuff!
Sales forces can use Lean by zeroing in on waste. For example, brochures no one reads, websites that do not help customers do anything, sales “leads” that don’t (and may never) qualify, proposals that are not purchased … all these are all waste.
As a salesperson, you are probably thinking “duh!” The thing is this: Lean brings a new arsenal of weapons to attack these age old problems: Data, evidence, and logic to figure out why people are not buying, for one thing.
It is true that people/customers seem to be driven by emotions (and relationships) in their decision-making process. However, this does not mean you can't rationally improve these important business functions. The lack of data in sales and marketing (and all the challenges this creates) is not caused by the customers, it is caused by how people inside your own company think. In this article we'll review some extremely useful tools for identifying data and for solving sales and marketing problems.