How to Spread Sales Process Excellence to Multiple Sales Offices
Michael Balle recently wrote a wonderful answer to the question:
“HOW DO YOU SPREAD A LEAN TRANSFORMATION FROM ONE SITE TO MANY?”
His answer is that you basically have two choices:
Roll Out, or Enroll
This applies equally to sales and marketing as well as to manufacturing production.
Show people the results you achieved. Give them the tools you want them to use, and direct them to use these tools to get the same results in their locations. This focuses on on giving direction (which prioritizes behavior). Participation is mandatory.
Convince people they might learn from the way you’ve improved. Support the most receptive individuals to improve in their own areas by providing education and coaching. Clarify the process they will use, and the results they think they will achieve so you can learn along with them. This focuses on what people are thinking (which prioritizes the process). Participation is voluntary.
Process Excellence in Sales and Marketing Ultimately Must be Voluntary
It is true that improvements in sales and marketing can be gained by directing sales and marketing people to use specific tools. For example,
- Identifying the customer’s journey and aligning daily sales work to it can prevent unnecessary demonstrations and proposals and increase the quality of deals in the sales funnel.
- Instituting observable qualification criteria can improve forecast accuracy (dramatically) and reveal hidden market segment needs.
- Teaching salespeople to research value before they start selling can enable them to differentiate their offers from competitors more effectively.
Incorporating these things can make the sales funnel flow faster and increase margins. Sometimes, you have to initiate and direct, especially in the beginning. Remember the lessons of the great NUMMI experiment? One of them was that cultural changes follow behavioral changes, not the other way around.
However, what you are really after is for your team to discover the principles underlying each of these practices, so they can continue to apply them in new and unique ways.
As Ballé points out, the “roll-out” approach has been around for years, and
“… none of these programs have ever instilled a lean culture or continued to deliver results beyond the first three years. Not ‘a few’ — not one.”
The quicker you can get to a place where people are directing themselves, the better off you will be in the long run.
Now, I think some really good sales managers and leaders might instinctively focus on their people’s thinking. Sales Process Excellence provides the framework formalizing it, so it can be done by design.
Please tell us what you’ve seen in the comments.