Sales Operations people are the unsung heroes of sales teams, but those roles tend to focus on CRM/Salesforce management instead of sales processes. And CRM management is incredibly important, and maintaining the proper fields in Salesforce or building out reports is not a task for the weak – but that doesn’t leave time for much else. Strong sales processes, however, are often the difference between pulling in a deal now or letting it slip to the next quarter…or next half…or next year.
At Demo Solutions, we apply lean manufacturing concepts to sales processes. Lean manufacturing identifies waste in processes (also called “muda,” which is Japanese for futility/uselessness/wastefulness), and seeks to eliminate them. And while these concepts are intended for manufacturing (they were pioneered at Toyota, after all), it turns out that lean principles can be used to improve sales processes. For example:
- Not utilizing talent – Lack of unified sales processes or CRM governance often leads to salespeople wasting time trying to navigate broken processes instead of selling
- Excess processing – Salespeople don’t communicate value early in the sales cycle, or properly qualify deals, meaning they waste time on deals that aren’t going to close anytime soon.
- Waiting – Not knowing the best next step in a sales process (i.e. when should a proof-of-concept be offered) can result in salespeople either waiting for the client to dictate next steps, or, even worse, waiting for internal resources (sales engineers/product engineers, marketing, etc) to give them the resources they need to move the deal forward
Sales bottlenecks are often hard for teams to spot, but some relatively simple processes improvements can have a serious impact – after all, every hour you give back to your sellers is an hour that they can go sell.
Contact us to see how our team can remove the “muda” from your sales processes so you can deliver more value to your prospects and clients.