SPIF Tip #9: Seeing Sales as a Production System

tip 9A sales production

system organizes marketing, sales, and service activities to transform the “raw materials” of people in the marketplace who may need what you sell into customers by adding value to them in specific ways.

There are three refreshingly transformative implications:


  • Marketing is transformed from a function dedicated to generating awareness and any type of leads in scattergun fashion to one dedicated to locating people who need what you sell and to nurturing relationships with the right prospects.
  • Sales is transformed from a team of individuals who push customers into buying your products or services to one that works with people who face certain problems or opportunities that your company can help them solve or improve.
  • Service is transformed from a cost center or necessary evil into a function that ensures that customers get what they pay for and into a mechanism for learning how you can continually improve your value to customers.

The concept of the sales production system introduces process thinking to marketing, sales, and service. As Peter Drucker notes

The purpose of a business is to produce a customer.

Action Item:

Often, people in the marketing, selling, or servicing departments managed in a way that encourages them to “do their own thing,” unconnected to each other most of the time. This unwittingly creates blind spots, waste, and makes selling harder. Work to create a common purpose, and common measures of value and waste.

From: Sales Process Excellence, by Michael J Webb, Chapter 2 page 27.

Michael Webb

Michael Webb founded Sales Performance Consultants to create a data-driven alternative to the slogans and shallow impact offered by typical sales training, sales consulting, and CRM companies. Michael helped organize and delivered the keynote speeches for the first conferences ever held on applying Six Sigma to marketing and sales. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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