Operational Excellence, including Lean, Six Sigma, continuous improvement, and similar approaches is more than just a set of tools and projects. It is about how to think rationally, lead with values and principles, and grow the business.
At least it should be. Unfortunately, process methods developed for manufacturing often don’t do much for sales and marketing. That’s because when salespeople and sales managers can’t see how something will help them sell, they resist it. And rightly so.
Then there are all the usual fixes such as sales training and CRM, which have little measurable effect. Sales and marketing produce enormous value, and it is a different kind of value than manufacturing. When sales and marketing departments are faced with all this they can struggle with the priorities. They need evidence rather than opinions for whether their bottlenecks are in the market, or the marketing, the salesforce, or the product, service department or the channels? If they are to measure, improve, or even predict their productivity and performance they need to achieve respectful agreement around their terms, and alignment around what creates value, and what is waste.
Although some improvements are often found quickly, it takes time to create most improvements so the gains can be measured and sustained. Sales and marketing is not just about what the salespeople do, it is a production system, and should be managed like one. Our experience is most B2B salespeople respect professionalism when they see it. They want to adopt ways of driving the top line – and the profit – higher, and they need to know the company supports them.
Sales Performance Consultants, Inc., is the leader in helping B2B companies around the world apply scientific methods to finding, winning, and keeping customers. In 2006, we wrote the most popular book on the subject: “Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way.”
This website contains almost 300 articles, blog posts, and comments which provide a body of knowledge around Sales Process Excellence. Whether you lead a sales and marketing team, a process improvement initiative, or an entire company, the Blog / Forum will help you learn more and get your questions answered. If you think your team might be ready to begin an improvement initiative, the Get Started section will help you confirm the symptoms, begin to diagnose your situation, and assess how and when to get off on the right foot.
We look forward to hearing from you.