5S of Sales Processes

On a typical day in the life in sales, would you say you are proactive or reactive with how you manage your time?

Derived from a good housekeeping framework in post WWII Japan, the 5S framework can be used to achieve efficient results in most contexts, including sales. These are as follows:

· Sort

· Straighten

· Shine

· Standardize

· Sustain

How do you think how you could integrate these 5 actions into your day.


Sort

How defined is your sales process? Does it align with your customer journey?

While it is certainly important to remain dynamic in sales and change our approach if another is unsuccessful, the sharing of best practices and benchmarking can help to provide a solid foundation to be improvised around. It will also give new or less experienced reps the support they need to improve.

Every salesperson has something that works for them and something that does not, and some may have a completely different perception of the customer journey. The sort stage requires a brainstorm to capture and share insights from the team. Think of some different scenarios that occur during your sales cycle, how do they impact the process?


Straighten

Now that we have a wealth of insight into the sales process and customer journey. We need to think about getting it all in order so that our customer experience and time management within the team are optimized. Look for the shortest path from start to finish where possible. Can any tasks be chunked, automated, or even removed?


Shine

Where can we inject more value into that customer journey? Are there any successes that were shared in the brainstorming activity that could be added in?

We want the process bright and evident, each step targeting a need of your client, each point of contact worth your prospect or client’s time. A simple chase-up won’t get you very far these days, it’s about consistently nurturing and enriching.


Standardize

Without restricting or overcomplicating, it is a wise strategy to create standards, whether this be email templates, quotes, KPI’s, or just ensuring the team dedicates a certain amount of time to tasks which can fall by the wayside.

Make sure all roles are defined clearly and everyone knows what they are doing. What reference materials can you make accessible? What training is required to bring the team up to standard?


Sustain

Once we have a benchmarked sales process with the correct KPI’s and all roles defined, we now need to make sure it sticks. The sustain stage requires measuring and monitoring, making sure to not confine the reps so much that innovative strategies cannot shine through. Communicate the benefits and reinforce the concepts but be open to new and challenging ideas.


Strengthen, affirm, and confirm by repeating this process regularly. Environments are changing fast and so we need to change with it by questioning our process and ensuring it targets our customers effectively and efficiently.

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