11 additional days for field sales

One pharma company deployed Lean Sales method in their field sales operations.

The outcome of this was that all of their field sales people gained 110 % more time to actual value adding sales work; meeting customers, understanding needs and closing new business. For each field sales person the impact was 11 more days for selling per month!

How was this done?  

Due to non-sales (low value adding) activities the field sales had only limited number of hours for “actual” sales work. All of these activities (such as sharing product presentation materials, participating events, invoicing information and so on) had accumulated over the years.

At one point in time both the sales people and the management started to ask questions about productivity and performance of the field sales people. This is major and reputable organisation and their sales results were not slumping. They were doing ok in terms of sales results, but just wanted to learn if they can do even better.

We looked at the sales process and activities in different steps of the process (as everyone was focusing on everything, one cannot really call this a process). As soon as the sales process was mapped, we started to go through which activities add value, which have to be performance by field sales people and which activities can be:

  1. Removed completely
  2. Assigned to other roles
  3. Automated

As soon as we had completed this process (1 day workshop) we very able to identify 110 % extra time for sales people for the value adding sales activities. Some of the activities were assigned to other roles. The company had to add some cost (hire two support people) to make the change happen.

The outcome was 11 more sales days per field sales person per month. This was 110 % increase on the organisational level. In practice, the organisation is able to double their sales performance due to this change.

Value and waste is pretty simple concept in practice.