The No Process syndrome is most common in companies below $250M in annual revenues. The root causes are generally in the culture and belief system that leads to a dependence on individual decision making and skills in sales rather than proven practices and teamwork. Companies without a sales process have great difficulty predicting revenue and knowing how to scale it. For this situation, Lean Selling guides the way forward for salespeople to explore and learn how to create a successful sales process, as well as how to execute it.

 

The following outlines a four-step approach for the Sales Improvement Team to create a sales process, as the foundational first step in a Lean Selling program.

Preparing

  • Defining management goals and objectives for sales team
  • Selecting the leader of an internal Sales Improvement Team (SIT) and its members
  • Educating the SIT on the importance and value of process thinking in sales
  • Introducing the SIT to basic concepts of Lean Selling
  • Cataloging and defining the different jobs that salespeople do in the area targeted for improvement
  • Grouping and prioritizing these jobs as a basis for developing one or more processes

Exploring

  • Segmenting customers by type
  • Developing and honing customer value propositions
  • Agreeing on what we know, what we don’t know, and what we need to find out
  • Choosing a specific job as the basis to draft a process
  • Creating a draft description of the sales process for the selected job
  • Performing “thought experiments” on the draft process to identify and correct obvious flaws
  • Documenting a candidate process
  • Agreeing on KPI’s that will determine how the proposed process is working
  • Determining which metrics support the KPI’s and how they will be captured
  • Deciding how to motivate the salespeople to use the process
  • Making the process design visible to management and everyone who uses it
  • Executing the process
  • Capturing data and monitoring adherence to the process

Validating

  • Convening the SIT to report on personal and anecdotal experiences with the candidate process
  • Discussing customer reactions and behaviors resulting from adhering to the candidate process
  • Evaluating KPI data collected
  • Identifying common customer trends
  • Determining if and how the process should be modified to respond to what has been learned
  • Deploying an updated process
  • Continuing with PDCA* cycles to validate the process

Deciding

  • Regularly review all processes that are in evaluation mode
  • Deciding on next steps (continue improvement with same job or pick a new one to create a process for)

*A Lean technique for Continuous Improvement that stands for Plan, Do, Check, Act

 

 Want to Learn More? Schedule a 30-Minute Exploratory Chat.