Lean for Sales
Bringing the Science of Lean to the Art of Selling
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This groundbreaking book describes the Lean journey as it extends to a business area that is mission critical, yet has been virtually untouched by the Lean transformation. Lean for Sales: Bringing the Science of Lean to the Art of Selling provides sales professionals, and their management teams, with a structured, fact-based approach to boosting sales close rates and delivering improved business value to customers.
The time-tested Lean selling techniques described in this book have been proven to deliver profound results. In fact, it is not uncommon for sales close rates to see a threefold increase over current rates as a result of using the techniques described in this book. After reading the book, you will understand how to integrate the science of Lean with the art of sales to:
- Create winning sales proposals
- Use Lean selling storyboards to confirm what is truly valuable to your client and their business
- Improve sales team collaboration
- Define and qualify a client’s unique business problems and goals
- Manage sales process performance using a multi-dimensional measurement system that looks beyond sales revenue to include client value and process effectiveness
This book outlines an innovative and proven approach to creating a common language with your customers that is based on waste elimination, root cause analysis, and time to value. Making the management of the sales cycle fact-based, rather than leaving it to intuition, this Lean selling manual presents tools that will enable sales professionals, and their managers, to collect sales opportunity data early and discard those leads that will ultimately waste valuable time and resources.
Table of Contents
Traditional Sales versus Lean Selling
Art of Sales
Compelling Need for a Change in Today’s Selling Approach
Ill-Effects of the "Do Nothing" Syndrome
Traditional versus Lean Selling
Key Differences between Lean Selling and Traditional Selling
Science of Selling
Applying Lean to Sales—Fundamental Principles
Time to Value
What Is Value; Lean Selling Principles
Value—A Sales Professional’s Favorite Word
Balancing the Art and Science of Selling—A Culture Change
Lean Selling Principle 1: The Principle of Collaborative Giving
Lean Selling Principle 2: Continuous Qualification to Test the Health of a Sales Project
Lean Selling Principle 3: Value Is Personal
Lean Selling Principle 4: All Sales Engagements Require a
Mixture of Art and Science
Lean Selling Principle 5: Documenting Your Customer Business Process
Enables Root Cause Identification
Lean Selling Principle 6: Aligning Your Product or Service to the Customer
Problem and Goal
Lean Selling Principle 7: Look Beyond Features, Functions, and Benefits: Capabilities, Outcomes, and Time to Value Are More Important
Challenges Created by the Digital Age—A New Service Model
Challenges with the Three-Layer Customer Services Model
The Lean Sales "Funnel" Framework Explained
Combining the Art of Selling with the Science of Lean-Getting Started
Client Capability Study and Identifying the Eight Deadly Forms of Lean Waste
Explanation of the Lean Wastes
Getting to the Root Cause of a Client’s Problem and Proposing the "To-Be" Process
The Cascade Effect and Lean Selling Balanced Scorecard
Understanding the Consequences of Lean Wastes—"The Cascade Effect"
Creating a Shared Understanding of the Consequences of Wastes—An Illustration
The Impacts of the Cascade Effect
Quantifying the Value—Building a Balanced Business Case
Gadget Company: Process Problems Identified and the Resulting Outcomes
Measuring the Business Impact of a Problem and Associated Lean Wastes
The Real Cost of Lean Waste (Building a Compelling Business Case)
A Balanced Business Case for a Proposed Solution
Conclusion and Time to Value Revisited
How to Build a Time to Value Proposition
Introduction—How Does All This Lean Work Help to Sell a Product?
Understanding the Client and Their Processes
Documenting Time to Value
Applying Pareto Principle in Lean Selling
Defining Value Using Lean Selling versus Traditional Sales—Reflection
Client Value Realization (A Conceptual Model)
Bringing It All Together with the Lean Selling Storyboard
Making the Final Value Proposition to the Client
The Need for Stakeholder Buy-in
Long Proposal versus a Short Storyboard
Lean Selling Storyboard Outline
Storyboarding Makes Decision Making Easier
Conclusion and a Call to Action
Sean Gillespie is a leading authority on value creation and value delivery in sales engagements, through the use of Lean and Agile tools and techniques. He has enjoyed a 25+ year professional sales career working for 4 of the top 20 software companies, in various senior sales and management roles. From his very first role in sales selling personal computers Sean’s focus has been based on developing strategic relationships with customers that enable tangible customer results. Today Sean works for IBM as a client value leader in IBM systems/software division. Additionally Sean advises the sales management teams on sales progression, success measurement, and sales skills and engagement enhancement.
Michael V. Testani, Sr is a senior business transformation consultant for the IBM Corporation, where he leads operational and culture transformation initiatives across the global IBM enterprise. One of Testani’s primary areas of expertise is helping businesses make a successful Lean transformation, where he has successfully guided many organizations on their Lean journey. Over the last several years, he has been helping to enable Lean and Agile transformation initiatives within the IBM sales organization.
Over his career, Testani has held several corporate leadership positions outside of IBM including, vice president of engineering, plant general manager, director of manufacturing and product manager. He also served as the president and general manager of his own independent consulting company, where he has enabled several clients around the world to adopt Lean principles and practices. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Lean Master, and Agile consultant.
Sreekanth Ramakrishnan, PhD, is a data scientist with IBM Corporate Learning, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In this role, he has global responsibilities for facilitating transformation across IBM Corporation using actionable insights gained from organizational data. He is also responsible to facilitate organizational transformation through Lean and Agile practices.
He is a certified Lean Master and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. He has won international awards such as the 2011 IIE Lean Best Practice Award and the 2012 Society of Engineering Management’s "Engineering Manager of the Year" Award. He has also won numerous accolades in learning design and development, such as the Brandon Hall Award.