|Dear <<First Name>>,
I hope you had a great summer. It is hard to believe that we are staring down the barrel of the fourth quarter and the beginning of 2009! This means increasing the effort to define and close your pipeline - and build the pipeline so that you will have a strong start in 2009.
From time to time people ask me " I don't actually sell anything, so why does this apply to me?" Remember I always say "everyone is in sales". Whether you are a client facing sales professional, or a professional in career transition, you are selling! Now is the time to close your pipeline.
In this edition of the ToddCohen.com Newsletter you will see new format and an article written by Geoff Rhine on the relationship between 6 Sigma and Creating Sales Culture. I have finished my next white paper and have some fantastic courses and workshops in development. I will also share news on upcoming events. Finally, I have a thought for you on "sales reps" and "sales professionals".
Thanks for reading and being a part of the ToddCohen.com Sales Community!
Can your Company’s 6-Sigma Program Build a Sales Culture?
Your company has announced that it will launch a 6-Sigma program or perhaps it launched such a program a while ago. So what does this mean for Sales? How will it be different than the prior alphabet soup of process and quality improvement programs like QMS, SPC, TQM, …? Should you get involved in this and how should you participate? Fundamentally, 6-Sigma says: Make the business processes effective and efficient by making them reliable, predictable, and focused on customer recognized value. This focus and emphasis ties into several recent topics you have seen in these columns and provides opportunities for you: Sales Culture and Value Proposition.
A good 6-Sigma program has three key distinguishing and emphasized characteristics, which build beyond the earlier quality programs:
Sales Culture – How often has field input on product and service requirements been given less than strategic importance? 6-Sigma may be the opportunity to improve this. Each 6-Sigma project should improve the efficiency and effectiveness of meeting a critical customer need.
- Foundation built on the Voice of the Customer (VoC)
- Targeted on Strategic Priorities, and
- Uses Quantified measures.
Value Proposition – By developing quantified measures for 6-Sigma which are driven by the Voice of the Customer, you stimulate the Value Proposition discussion and develop the underlying data to support your conversation with the client. This is hard work, but with incredible payback. An excellent way to build team work and Sales Culture into the overall organization is:
What can I do?
- getting the measures correct,
- focused on what you deliver that makes your customer successful (it adds benefit they are willing to pay for, because it brings value – rather than lowest cost), and
- get them widely used in the overall organization.
- As more 6-Sigma projects complete, the culture will become more embedded.
- Take an opportunity to represent customer perspective to projects (be the Voice of the Customer (VoC)
- Get creative – think about a measurement that can reflect customer satisfaction.
- How can you express customer value in a measure?
- Capture and quantify customer needs and prioritize by value delivered.
- Invite an insightful customer to participate in a 6-Sigma VoC session
Geoff Rhine is a Process Engineer, MBA, 6-Sigma Blackbelt with background across research, finance, manufacturing, and technology support. He helped to start-up the first Compact Disc factory in the US and has recently been organizing live networking events for LinkedIn members in the Philadelphia region. He enjoys hiking, sailing, and bicycling.
Whats Coming at ToddCohen.com
<<First Name>> there are some new and exciting initiatives at ToddCohen.com! Read on for details!
*I am very pleased to announce the pre-release of my next white paper "Sales Culture-It Takes a Company" This white paper examines sales cultures and what it means to an organization.
*This summer I have been busy developing a series of 4 new and exciting workshops to help you further your sales skills and knowledge of sales culture! The four workshops which I will begin to offer in late 2008 and throughout 2009 cover "Essential Selling Skills", "Building a Sales Culture", "Managing the Virtual Team" and "Customers and Sales ROI".
* Due to demand, I have some time slots now available for individual sales coaching this fall. Please contact me if you are interested in scheduling personalized sales coaching to help you reach your goals.
Are you a Sales Rep or a Sales Professional?
Have you asked yourself the question - "Am I a sales professional or a sales rep?". Its a thought - provoking question for us all and one we should always be thinking about. I have said many times that we are responsible for educating ourselves as great sales professionals. We are accountable to be the best we can be in our profession. Becoming a true sales professional is an outcome of continuous learning and improvement. It's about making good business decisions and being an active part of a sales culture. It's less about the transaction and more about the long term view of a client.
Keynote speaker at the fall meeting of the Philadelphia Chapter of ASTD (American Society for Training and Development).
The Innovators Club will have its Fall Kick off meeting. For great networking, details and the RSVP please visit the Innovators Club website and join us!
Featured speaker at the Delaware Valley Human Resources Summit. My topic will be "The Collaborative Role of Human Resources in Creating Revenue and Profit"
Lets Meet Up!
As I've written about in my blog, I'm committed to networking and meeting and helping people be great sales professionals-We are ALL in Sales! Check out a list of the events I'm attending and let's make sure to meet up!