A process is a set of activities, through which work flows, aimed at a common result. The purpose of a process is to enable learning and improvement.
- The process is a management tool, because it enables the workers to communicate to the manager exactly how they plan to achieve improved results.
- The process is a tool for the workers, because it defines in terms that are most useful to them the best means of accomplishing the objective.
Defining processes carefully and deliberately and observing the outcomes enables people participating in the work to learn. In sales and marketing, the objective, the process, and the measurements are what comprise the Plan portion of the management cycle. For example, on every sales call the salesperson should have
- A sales objective
- A method (process) for achieving the objective
- Measures indicating whether or not they were successful (and hopefully why)
This enables the sales person and the manager to thoroughly check the outcome so that learning can take place.
One of the most powerful things about this is the ability to help workers and managers distinguish between what people can control and what they cannot control. 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.