How Can The Salesforce Use Lean?

How Can The Salesforce Use Lean?:

from SalesPerformance.com 
A recent visitor asked “How can the salesforce use LeanA business management philosophy with two inter-related goals: continuously improving the company’s ability to eliminate waste, and practicing respect for people.?”
There are lots of possible answers, and the reader left no context for what they might be concerned about. Here are a couple of general thoughts that might be useful:

  • Lean can help sell more stuff!
Lean seeks to maximize valueThat which one (i.e., the customerThe person who pays for and/or uses your products and services. Also known as the "end user" (as opposed to channel partner).) acts to gain and/or keep. Also, that which our own company acts to gain and/or keep. to the customer and eliminate wasteThat which the customer does not want. Also, that which our own company does not want.. This means you find ways to make it easier for the customer to buy from you, and make it easier for salespeople to sell to them.
Sales forces can use Lean by zeroing in on waste. For example, brochures no one reads, websites that do not help customers do anything, sales “leads” that don’t (and may never) qualify, proposals that are not purchased … all these are all waste.
As a salesperson, you are probably thinking “duh!” The thing is this: Lean brings a new arsenal of weapons to attack these age old problems: Data, evidence, and logic to figure out why people are not buying, for one thing.
A systems view is another thing. Lean processA set of activities, through which work flows, aimed at a common result. thinking recognizes that the whole company must support sales process improvementIn organizational development (OD), process improvement is a series of actions taken by a process owner to identify, analyze and improve., not just the sales department.
Lean sees the world in terms of “value streams.” In sales, it is the stream of actions your prospects and customers take from the time before they ever heard of you, through the time they are spending their time and money with your company. If they see value, they take actions. Anything you do that does NOT generate the desired actions is basically waste.
You can clarify your sales process to begin identifying the causes of value and waste. And, you can begin measuring the qualityThe science of defining what the customer wants, and enabling your organization to provide it to them. and quantity of customers flowing through your pipeline – an activity which is guaranteed to improve the performance of everyone involved, and to point up the bottlenecks where improvement effort will produce the biggest gains.
In short, Lean is a much more effective way to manage sales and marketing.
There are lots of other ways of answering this question, but I thought I would give you this much to see if it helps. Perhaps this brings questions in regard to your particular industry environment. If so, ask the question in the comments section.
I look forward to hearing from you.

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