In the B2B environment where core products and services are becoming more and more commoditised, more often than not, customers make their supplier choices on the process outputs that are most tangible and visible to them…………as suppliers, we live and die daily by the output performance of these critical and inter-related processes, as perceived by customers.

The degree of inter-dependency between these two processes often lies in how well the order-to-delivery (or service fulfilment, for the services organisation) is operating. If it is streamlined and customer friendly, then the sales people that drive the sales process can spend more of their time on the front foot driving proactive sales activity. If they spend more than occasional time on the back foot, on behalf of their customers, sorting out issues at either the front end or back end of the order-to-delivery process, there is an inevitable trade off against maximising available time purely working the sales process.

Take-out #1 – if you want to give yourself the best chance of optimising your sales process, then focus on maximising the efficiency and customer friendliness of your order-to-delivery/service fulfilment process first. Our studies show between 15-35% of Sales Execs’ time wasted on value destroying activities focussed on fixing problems in the order-to-delivery process.

What would you do if your Sales Execs had 15-35% more time on their hands to spend on the front foot working the sales process?

I have asked countless B2B sales managers this question………….and have heard countless different answers. I am not saying that such an array of responses is good or bad. Nonetheless, I am convinced that too many B2B sales managers do not really understand their sales function and responsibility in terms of a sales process.

Michael Hammer, the super-luminary of business process thought leadership, defines a process as “a collection of activities that takes one or more kinds of input and creates an output that is of value to the customer”. Many corporations manage their sales function as though it were an artform, dominated by personality, chemistry, relationships, entrepreneurialism and other idiosyncratic and episodic characteristics. Yet walk up the corridor to Accounts Payable or onto the shop floor in the plant out the back, and you often find a very different management and discipline approach, with people and work managed as processes. Why?

In June we will be continuing this discussion.

Visiting The Next Level’s website can help put this discussion in perspective. Or simply send us an email – info@nextlevelenterprises.biz and we will gladly answer any questions you may have or organise to come out and have a discussion as to what The Next Level Sales System can do for you and your business.

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