Using Lean Principles in the Real World of Sales
As a result of implementing these Lean principles, Sue is achieving another Lean principle, that of Leveling her workload, which ensures that she’s efficient in her work each day. She doesn’t end up having to juggle more prospects than she can handle, as she’s already established the minimum and maximum she needs at each step of her process. She has a consistent workload that lets her confidently move towards her sales goals without becoming overwhelmed by “opportunity” or wasting time by waiting for prospects that are not ready for the next step.
Since Sue has minimums and maximums set for each stage of her sales pipeline, this also supports the Lean principle of Pulling sales from the pipeline. We haven’t blogged about this particular idea yet, but it’s a key part of Lean Selling that is covered in the book, which turns a passive funnel into an active pipeline that moves prospects down the line until you’ve closed the sale.
Finally, Sue’s company is also organized around a cross-functional team that works to support customers even after their sale, including the delivery of services. This Lean principle of Teamwork helps break down siloed thinking about the sales process, by making the salesperson the leader of a Buying-Sellng team. This is consistent with one of the three Big Ideas of Lean Selling, Sales as a Service, which makes buyers happy and results in increased sales.
Imagine if everyone on your sales team operated the way Sue does. Think about the increase in sales revenue and buyer satisfaction that would result. When your entire team operates with a Lean Selling system, you’re able to identify points that are less efficient (what would happen if Sue didn’t have to spend 60% of her time prospecting, and could instead focus purely on leads in her pipeline?), and then continually work towards making them more streamlined. Many organizations are already utilizing some of the aspects of Lean Selling in their sales processes. Sometimes they just haven’t put a name to what it is they’re doing.
If you’d like to learn more about the application of Lean principles to sales, you can register below for our Lean Learnings Series. You’ll get 12 weekly installments that discuss each of 12 key Lean Principles, and shows how they’re applied to sales in the form of Lean Selling. This material is excerpted from the book, Lean Selling, and it’s provided to you without cost or obligation.