Typically sales, marketing, operations and customer care are perceived as discrete functions or roles rather than phases within an integrated process. This can lead to waste within the system.
Lean 4 Sales helps companies segment their sales process in to 4 phases; Find, Win, Deliver and Keep.
Help Customers Find You and Understand your Value
Although it is not unusual for a marketing team to be targeted to provide x number of leads per month to the sales team, the definition of what constitutes a sales ready lead is frequently not reviewed regularly with the sales team, and much of the hard work of the marketing team will be wasted. Putting a process in place to Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control sales leads is good practice, and good business.
Does the number of leads provided by the Find team align?
Help Customers understand your value, and how you can help them
Win is the conversion process, which typically is binary; once an opportunity closes, the pressure is on to move to the next one (although Key Account Management is somewhat different). The problem with this method is that there tends to be little time to understand the reasons why the conversion process failed:
- What went wrong in the process?
- Where did it go wrong?
- When did it go wrong?
- Why did it go wrong?
- How did it go wrong?
And most importantly how do we improve the process in the future!
Matching a customer’s expectations
Deliver is probably the least loved area of the sales process! Many organisations do not even see it as being an area that the sales function should be involved in (unless something goes wrong). It is probably the phase where you are in the closest relationship with your customer.
- A Builders Merchant may deliver to a large number of building sites every day, but are they debriefed on what they see? Have they even been trained in what to look for (competitor activity, new projects etc.) Is there a process in place to capture and disseminate this information
- Are there formalised feedback loops in place so that any issues or business intelligence is shared with the Find, Win and Keep teams
More investment has been added to the customer journey by the time that the Keep phase is reached than at any other time; yet it is frequently the most under resourced phase of the sales process. It is not unusual for the effects of a problem to be felt in one phase but actually be caused in another, so sharing of feedback is all important.