How to Use the Six Sigma Approach To Improve Sales

Are you looking to improve sales for your business? There are a ton of sales training companies offering solutions and coaching programs. It doesn’t matter what you sell because there is offering a special sales training program just for that product or service. There are probably many different sales training programs for any product or service you can think of. 

With so many options available, it can be hard to find a practical solution that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. 

More often than not, these programs have at least one serious flaw. This common flaw is also perhaps even more vital than basic selling skills. Any good sales training program really needs to focus on continually improving the sales process. Learning the DMAIC approach and how to apply it to your sales process is a smart move.

The DMAIC approach led to Six Sigma, which is a disciplined, statistical-based, data-driven approach and continuous improvement methodology for eliminating defects in a product, process or service. Motorola and Bill Smith began using this methodology in the 1980s to improve manufacturing and other processes in their company. Jack Welch and General Electric began using this management approach in the early 1990s due to their success. Now, thousands of companies around the world use Six Sigma as a way of monitoring the progress of their business.

The Six Sigma approach has been proven successful in many ways. Now, our Crushing B2B Implementers teach business owners how to use the Six Sigma approach to improve sales. The Crushing B2B system will help you increase sales while also decreasing your cost and improving company culture.

The Six Sigma Process And Sales

There are many people that walk you through the sales process, but few people can describe how to implement the Six Sigma approach to improve sales. The Six Sigma sales process helps sales executives and top performers to get back to the basics so they can take a step forward.

Sales teams are often set in their ways so implementing this Six Sigma sales process isn’t always easy. Six Sigma is a very structured approach to process improvement so it’s not surprising that great salespeople are hesitant at first. Every great salesperson has a certain way of doing things that they feel works for them. Any smart salesperson knows that they can always do better. Your sales team is also only as good as your sales process and weakest link. 

You can have great salespeople and a struggling sales team. There is often a huge disparity between the best salesperson and the struggling members of a sales team. This disparity often has a lot to do with the sales process that each salesperson uses. How can you have the same results if each salesperson is using a different sales process?

What’s the closing rate of your top salesperson? The average closing rate across all industries is around 25 percent. That means the average salesperson fails most of the time. Those type of results isn’t acceptable in any other area of your business. Therefore, it shouldn’t be acceptable in the sales process either. There is always room for improvement so you must be aware of what part of the process can use refinement.

Assess your sales process

Write out common case studies of the sales process one can expect to come across in your business. Pass it out to your sales team. Ask them what they would do to move potential customers to actual customers. You should know what answers to expect. Present a few different scenarios and ask questions based on their answers.

Any answers that you don’t think work the customer toward closing probably fall into the 75 percent of leads that don’t close. Walking your salespeople through real-world scenarios is a great way to assess things. It’s also a great way to educate your team on the best ways to keep leads moving in the right direction.

If you are thinking about your closing percentages right now then you also consider applying the Six Sigma approach to your business. It’s important to have a clear cut sales process so your team can close as many leads as possible.

Applying Six Sigma to Your Sales Process

The Six Sigma approach has five key steps known as the DMAIC process.  DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. If you take the Six Sigma approach to your sales process you can expect immediate and measurable results. 

  1. Define- define your goals and areas that need improvement so you know where to focus.
  2. Measure- Measurable data tells the story. Use facts and data to identify where you’re at, where you can be, and how you’re can get there. You can also use data to further identify your best customers and ROI. Use data to take emotion out of the equation.  Keep track of as much data as possible.  Your whole team should be helping you collect important data. This also keeps everyone on the same page.
  3. Analyze- Your team should always be collecting and measuring data. You, as a business owner or sales manager, should always be analyzing the data. Be aware of how and why your team collects the data that it does. Knowing how much money and time your team is spending to close deals will provide a lot of important information. Keeping good track of the data and taking time to analyze it will help you determine potential issues.
  4. Improve- Develop strategies and make changes to help your sales team improve. You can also test new strategies with control groups on your sales team. 
  5. Control- Implement procedures and solutions to help your team improve based on your analysis of the data and team communication. Good communication the leadership, sales, and other teams can be a simple fix to a lot of issues. Make sure to use open communication and data to improve your weak areas rather than emotion or gut feelings.

Start Crushing B2B sales

Contact us if you want to start Crushing B2B sales or learn more about how we can help you with your search engine and social media marketing. Share your B2B sales thoughts, questions, and tips with us in our Crushing B2B LinkedIn group.

About the Author