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B2B selling isn’t getting any easier. The shifting Internet landscape, economic challenges, and globalization are only a few of the pressures making life difficult. Almost every day we talk to leaders of B2B sales and marketing organizations struggling with issues like:

  • How their sales and marketing can generate more value (return on investment) 

  • Not enough deal flow – or too much! (moving bottlenecks) 

  • Prospects who delay engaging, resist value pricing, and are less ready to buy (weak value propositions) 

  • Inability to predict growth, deals that don’t close, inaccurate sales forecasts (uncertain future) 

  • Low sales productivity, high cost of sales, and customer churn (declining profitability)

Company leaders try strategies like content marketing, sales training, CRM, and other strategies.  Yet how do they know whether new brochures, website improvements, a DVD case study, or sales training will produce the best return for the business?  For that matter, how do they know whether a sales process will improve anything?

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Worst of all, improvements that seem like they ought to work tend to have unintended consequences, and get lost in the traffic jam of day to day deadlines and distractions.

  • Content creation consumes resources with little to show for it.

  • Salespeople give lip service to their process to get deals through

  • Software goes unused, or the data it contains is unreliable. 

  • Contests reward salespeople for deals they would have won anyway.

  • Changes to compensation discourage cooperation.

Bring Process Discipline to Sales and Marketing
in a Way Your People Will Love

If you have been around long enough, you may remember when production operations was more like that traffic jam than it is today. Many companies have achieved success with Lean, Six Sigma, or other process excellence initiatives. They wondered how to bring this kind of discipline and success to sales and marketing. For more than ten years, we have helped B2B companies in North America, Europe, and China to discover how to apply sales process in a way that works for them. Read on for a simple idea that will help you improve your sales and marketing.

A process works when it creates value (for everyone involved, and most importantly for the customer). Put five cents in, get ten cents out. The crux of the issue is to figure out how to do this when

  • Planning marketing, branding, or lead generation campaign

  • A salesperson calls on a customer for six months

  • A new product is about to be launched

  • A new website is planned

Most business people are so caught up in the whirlwind of their daily work they have not stepped back to figure out how their process creates value. They are so used to dealing with traffic jams they cannot tell whether the causes of their problems are in the market, the salespeople, the product, or something else.

They have not considered how their current assets and resources can be deployed to gather this information, how they can be rearranged to help customers buy, or how they might actually help salespeople operate more effectively. Perhaps most importantly, these executives need to know “How can we approach this problem in a low risk, cost effective way that actually identifies the issues that (if improved) are most likely to improve the business?”

Lean and process excellence methods offer some fantastic solutions to these challenges once you adjust for the differences between sales and marketing and manufacturing. In fact, one of the most important prerequisites is helping the sales department understand what is in it for them to consider sales process excellence.

That is why we have prepared the World Class Sales Process Self-Assessment, on the next page. You’ll also receive a whitepaper that will help show what needs to be fixed.

Next, you should consider “What Does Success Look Like for Your B2B Sales Organization?” This is another short article that describes a variety of factors you might not realize are so closely connected with doing sales process correctly.

We have also included a second assessment, “Is Your B2B Company Ready for Sales Process Excellence?” This can help you understand what needs to be in place to initiate full sales process improvement. Never fear, however, there is always something you can do on a smaller scale that can improve results short term, and help you make things better with your team.

When you are ready, please Inquire with us about an Initial Consultation. We’ve been down most of the blind alleys already, found most of the land mines and figured out how to deal with them. We can conduct a Mini-Assessment that will provide actionable insights putting you on the most successful glide path for short and long term growth.

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

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