Sales Process Excellence
Michael J. Webb
Your products and services benefit customers. Your talented people solve customer’s problems daily. Your approaches to awareness, conversion, and retention make sense. You’ve updated training, coaching, automation, incentives, and more.
Still, your results are unsatisfactory.
Why Do B2B Sales Problems Persist?
Why Do B2B Sales Problems Persist?
Growth is slower than expected. Deals stall. Plans drift into “Whatever works.” New products, markets, websites, and sales approaches, are slow to launch.
As the sales leader, you struggle to combine art and science. You’ve seen production teams map processes to reduce variation and eliminate waste. Similarly, you’ve tried to standardize sales work and language. Yet salespeople don’t easily align to these goals.
Salesmanship is an applied art that involves luck and randomness. Opportunities, customers, sellers, and managers are unique. Salespeople decide on their own how to behave. This makes sales hard to manage, predict, and scale. If you suspect sales is different from manufacturing, you’re right!
Sales Process Excellence provides foundations that integrate the art and science of sales. The first foundation is, “Beliefs cause behaviors, observations cause beliefs.”
For example, the observable characteristics of sales opportunities are your only clues to success. They cannot be taken for granted. Explicitly comparing their observations helps salespeople respectfully agree on facts. This helps integrate and align their beliefs, making sales less subjective.
The second foundation is, “Value is created when customers take actions you want them to take.” Implicitly, salespeople know they must earn someone’s interest and trust if they are ever to earn their money. Observing and measuring these explicitly shows sales (as well as other functions) why and how to change behavior.
This new perspective reveals methodologies, tools, processes, and systems that solve persistent sales problems.
" 'Sales Process Excellence' is the first book I"ve seen that combines deep insight into both sales and marketing AND the Lean management philosophy. Webb treats his topic thoroughly; the approaches he describes are valuable for any business. One of the best business books I"ve read in a long time." - Hank Bonnah, Operations Manager, Tubelite, Inc.
"Having the pleasure to both work with Michael and read this book I can verify the concepts in this book work. Simply put, these tools help find the root cause of the problem, rather than starting with the solution. Read this book, apply these concepts and the results will come."
- Jeff Galas, Founder, On Purpose Growth
“Michael has done a great job in outlining the path companies need to take to move to a process-driven sales model across their organizations, especially one where they are linking their activities to creating value for their customers at each stage of the buyer journey. I believe this will be an important tool for us as we continue to evolve the sales function in our business.” -Tom Adams, Director – Sales & Marketing, De Dietrich Process Systems, Inc.
"One of the specific benefits I see with 'Sales Process Excellence' is that sales teams on different levels and in completely different situations can implement the ideas. It doesn’t matter if it is a large sales force or a small one, a local or regional company compared to a global player, a new company working on establishing their footprint in the market, or an experienced and successful company who wants to continue to improve process and profitability. There are applications for all included in the book, and opportunity for significant improvement and change. Thank you for continuing and refining the path begun with 'Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way!'" -Tim Doot, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Burr Oak Tool
“Sales excellence requires discipline, process focus, and sharp execution. Michael Webb’s 'Sales Process Excellence' is a comprehensive guide to help organizations raise their performance and engage customers much more effectively. The book is structured as a well-written guide that requires some study—you can’t take the book lightly—but you can’t take sales performance improvement lightly. If you are serious about sales excellence and driving the highest levels of sales performance, “Sales Process Excellence” is an outstanding resource to help you with that process.” -Dave Brock, Partners In EXCELLENCE
"Michael gets behind the jargon and shows us what process excellence can do for sales performance. As well as providing practical examples as to how to use the various tools, he addresses issues such as managing the sales process through channel partners, an issue faced by many sales organisations operating in today’s global economy.The emphasis on change leadership and the importance of the voice of the customer validating sales effectiveness will particularly resonate with those seeking to make continuous and lasting improvements to sales productivity."Sales Process Excellence" will explain why sales training can be nothing more than a ‘comfort blanket’ unless the underlying processes and disciplines are in place. Michael throws down the gauntlet…are you brave enough to pick it up?" -Alastair Black, Director, Optimize Limited
"A book like this is long overdue. It’s about time that sales has been recognized as a science, where the techniques and tools embodied in Lean and Six Sigma are being applied to enhance customer value and accelerate the sales funnel. In his book, Sales Process Excellence, Michael Webb does a masterful job of building a case for the why and how a sales process should be developed. Throughout the book he includes real-world examples in order to drive each key point home. I highly recommend this book to any organization that wants to significantly, predictably and sustainably increase its revenues. - Craig Lowder, President, MainSpring Sales Group LLC
“Finally, a sales and marketing roadmap and tool kit using proven, real world techniques to achieve breakthrough results. As someone who sold and managed sales for over 20 years and has been a Black Belt since 2008, I have only one question: Michael, where were you when I needed you?” - Michael Darrish, Senior Manager, Process Improvement, Ricoh Corporation
" 'Sales Process Excellence' is very well researched and thorough, and it's clearly based on many years of experience in the field. I can't imagine anyone reading the book and not trying these methods." - Dave Nelsen, former assistant editor, Quality Progress Magazine
"Michael, I am still reading your excellent book with avid interest. There is so much of value that, truthfully, I want to read it several times to distill the key elements. Congratulations on a major contribution to the advancement of sales performance excellence!" - David Parry, Sales Performance Consultant, U.K.
"Although we had a great growth rate, we knew the time was fast approaching when our growth would be less sustainable and certainly less predictable. Mike started us on a sales excellence journey that didn’t change how we sell; but, revolutionized how we manage sales. The day I attended a sales meeting and listened to our professional sales team present data and pipelines and probability metrics, I knew our journey was going to be a success. And, it was!" - Michael Madsen, President Aquion Corporation, Elk Grove Village, IL
"Michael, Thank you for following through with your promise to equip us with methods and models that have enabled us to start and continually improve our sales process. We avoided big mistakes around measuring sales and marketing productivity. Most importantly, we have a method for improving that engages our complex multi-level sales organization. Your ideas and your new book have helped position us for even more success." - Randy DeSpain, Director of Quality & Process Excellence for Global Sales and Marketing, Danfoss PS
“Michael’s artful blend of relevant experience and sound logic provide a clear path to excellence in Sales and Marketing. This guide adeptly validates the effectiveness of Lean Six Sigma principles in any process, inspiring us to consider how to apply structured improvement methods to even the most chaotic social systems.” - Rob Tripp, Master Black Belt, Global Productivity Solutions
“With his new book, 'Sales Process Excellence', Michael Webb shows how the tools used in lean manufacturing can create a lean sales force. Mike’s background gives him unique experience in both the process and sales worlds; he speaks the language of both fluently. I highly recommend this book to organizations that have successfully implemented lean manufacturing and now look to create a highly efficient sales production system as well.” - Frank Wiley, Magnitude Marketing, LLC
“I have read this book with increasing interest as it exemplifies in a pragmatic way how to adapt and deploy process excellence into sales and marketing. It does so by providing flexible, practical concepts, tools and methods for solving problems and improving processes in customer facing functions. In addition, its value is also reflected in illustrating the effort it might take to convince executives to be receptive to the approach of process excellence. Hence this book helps to understand why companies should go for it and how they can adequately tread the path to success process excellence will finally lead to: A thoughtful, stimulating and beneficial new book.” - Dr. Alexander Daboul, Senior Manager Business Excellence, Wacker Chemie