Companies have been meaning to experiment with kaizen and lean methods and 5S in the face of a tough economy. This topic has been receiving more attention and threads have appeared on process-oriented bulletin boards. Many of these questions are from in-house professionals who have only been trained in the production environment. For these in-house professionals, it is hard to apply the kaizen process in sales. Because sales and marketing have completely different value streams than normal production work, it is difficult to apply lean in the sales department.

It is important to understand what you are doing before you embark on a lean journey in sales.

How Kaizen Process Works

Step 1: Take a look at your daily routine.

Visualizing your day can help you see where there are opportunities for improvement. You can break down your routine minute by minute. It is the worst thing you can do with your time. It is important to understand how and why things are done.

Plan for tomorrow. What are the most important things you must accomplish? Are smaller tasks a distraction to your workflow? Your entire day and the time it takes for each task should be written down. Include any other events that may require your attention and budget.

How Kaizen process works
How Kaizen process works

Step 2: Decide which parts are most useful.

You need to take a hard look at what you do every day. Find ways to save time. Do you give enough attention to the important things? Do you have any tasks that you need to delegate? You’ll be able to find ways to increase your productivity if you are honest with yourself. Take note of any that could be done better or goals you’re not making enough time for. Two types of time inefficiency can be identified:

Anything that disrupts your routine is called Mura. Your entire process will improve if you spend less time on unnecessary things. When you find the time to complete the tasks that are important, your life will improve. You can think of waste as an obstacle on a racetrack. They can be eliminated completely or you can learn how to get around them faster.

  • Muri (muri): Unacceptable

These tasks are simple to delegate to another person. These tasks are either not worthwhile or pointless. It is easy to get overwhelmed by too many tasks and not enough hours. However, kaizen, as a sales strategy, helps you stay focused on the most important things like closing sales and meeting clients.

Step 3: Slowly fix it.

Your goals are like steps. You must conquer each one. Each step makes you move higher and higher. To start, pick one thing that you want to improve every day and make it a priority to do so.

By small, I mean embarrassingly small. You could try a smaller amount of coffee each day or wake up an hour earlier. You will find that you don’t need to have coffee every morning if you keep improving your skills each day. Kaizen is a sales strategy that allows you to improve slowly, but steadily. This leads to a big improvement.

Step 4: The Snowball Effect.

These small changes add up. These changes will add up over time, and your productivity will rise. The Kaizen process encourages people to be more productive and to contribute to the Kaizen cause. Kaizen has a greater impact on your work ethic and the environment in which you work.

You can breathe easier when you are able to complete all of your tasks quickly. Because you break down your day into smaller pieces, you’ll feel less stressed.

You can increase your productivity by eliminating stagnant areas of your daily work routine. This will also reduce the amount of time you spend on unnecessary and stressful tasks. You don’t have to make major changes to your daily routine in one go. Kaizen is all about small changes made over a longer period of time. It is a perfect sales strategy. You can make a big difference in a year by making just one change per day.

How Kaizen process works
How Kaizen process works

KAIZEN in Sales

In any business/organization sales is the department that generates revenue apart from royalties, payouts from insurance policies, dividend and interest income from financial assets it owns, rental income & capital gains from the sale of owned properties. Organizations often neglect to invest in sales and treat it as an afterthought. After the management solves all manufacturing, distribution, and financing problems, the sales department is managed. Professional salespeople are well-paid, motivated, and have the ability to take on any financing, distribution, or manufacturing issues that arise.

You may have all noticed that it is becoming harder to achieve sales success in this era of globalization. It is more difficult than ever to be successful in sales and the pace of change is faster. Customers are smarter and more aware than ever. Lead generation is a key to success for many organizations. Organizations may not be able to support their sales teams, have a lack of training or provide non-standard work. What’s the urgent need? The need is to have a systematic approach to find the right kinds of qualified opportunities/prospects. It’s time to make changes, abandon traditional methods, invent, and spark. It is time to analyze the failures and processes. Most organizations don’t have one for many reasons.

Traditional/transactional way of selling

It is now that non-value-adding activities are eliminated from processes. Customers want to see value in their buying experience.

Meaning that KAIZEN is a tool that can be used to help an organization/sales department identify and address problems and suggest solutions.

What is the meaning of KAIZEN?

The meaning of KAIZEN is a Japanese term for continuous improvement, is a Japanese term. “Kai” is a Japanese term that means “change” and “Zen”, good or for the best. This holistic approach to continuous improvement requires a vision of the current state and specific customer needs.

Commons Issues

  1. Paperwork is too complicated, there’s no time to talk with customers
  2. Each sales team had its own style and was not conforming to the standard.
  3. There is no sharing of lessons learned
  4. After meetings, no progress in sales reports.

True sales teams are driven to help their customers. Because they see potential, salespeople love their job. Opportunities to help customers achieve their dreams/needs/wants and close the deal. A salesperson/team that is efficient will eliminate inefficient processes that could take up too much time. He/She will want to spend as much time as possible with both current and prospective customers. It is important to focus on personal sales impact on things like:

How can I approach a new client in a better way?

– What if the customer isn’t sure what he wants?

– In which situations are the best questions to ask?

How can I help customers realize their dreams in a better way?

– What can I do to improve my ability to ask questions and not just present product information?

– How can I structure the questions I ask during a meeting to get more done in a shorter time?

What is KAIZEN?
The Kaizen process in sales

What are you looking for?

  1. Reduce waste from sales and administration
  2. Reduce back-office waste and increase sales support capacity
  3. Reduce waste in sales activities and increase your selling capacity
  4. Reveal and improve the sales process. Identify the company’s key selling points.

Meetings can be used to improve back-office processes and to celebrate successes (both the ones achieved and those that contributed to them). Meaning that KAIZEN is essential for a successful sales department. It must be entertaining and engaging. The company’s sales team should be evaluated by the leaders. They should assess whether the sales team is passionate about selling. Do they feel passionate about helping customers achieve their goals/dreams?

What are consultative sales?

Consultative Selling is a long-term, complex process that involves both the buyer and the seller. The latter must first understand the customer’s industry and business and then create a solution that will help them achieve their goals.

  • Establish a relationship of trust and respect with your prospect
  • Talk with prospects to get to know their business, key business drivers, and top priority initiatives.
  • Validate the customer-specific value proposition. Don’t make an offer that doesn’t fit.

Benefits of applying KAIZEN/LEAN in sales

Many leaders and organizations are constantly striving to improve the sales performance of their employees. KAIZEN/Lean assists the sales team in value selling, key account management, and voice of customer initiatives. All of these initiatives are focused on improving and staying ahead of the rest.

Meaning that KAIZEN allows organizations to collect, analyze and use data in order to focus on the steps that make the difference between making a sale or losing it. We have found that the best salespeople use the same activities for all sales. They do so using consistent, easily observed (and thus transferable) behaviors. KAIZEN/Lean can be used to identify these key behaviors and activities and link them to measurable results. Then, systematically embed them in a standard sales process. Interviewing and watching top performers can help you identify the observable or measurable behavior that best represents that step.