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Lean Fundamentals for Sales Organizations (1 Day Class)

Learning Objectives / Benefits

  • Create an understanding of lean principles in the context and language of Sales to demonstrate how coordinated adoption will help organizational alignment, prioritization, and offering generation
  • Explore the problems facing both customers and Sales practitioners to facilitate structured problem solving, greater value creation, and more predictable close rates
  • Introduce how learning / problem solving / management cycles can be used to measure and synchronize day-to-day Sales activities to level workload, improve flow, and improve outcomes
  • Discuss value-added techniques that can positively influence buyers for mutual benefit
  • Discover the managerial requirements for implementing a learning, problem solving culture within Sales
  • Introduce strategy deployment, A3 problem solving, and value stream mapping techniques for use in participants’ situation-specific improvement plans


In our journey to create a truly lean enterprise, many organizations have saved the best (and to some, feared the hardest) functions for last – Sales. In reality, applying lean to selling is not tremendously difficult, but it is different than simply translating typical lean manufacturing or office tools and techniques into another language. Lean in Sales goes far beyond improving internal transactional activities like preparing quotations or processing orders – it also involves integrating customer and corporate value streams, providing and capturing useful knowledge throughout the buyer’s journey, and actually creating “customer pull” of products and services through value-added influence. The results are not only more efficient and effective pipeline management, but significantly improved strategy creation and achievement as well as increased enterprise throughput. 

This workshop is an expansion of lean concepts and tools for Sales practitioners, as well as the organizational leadership responsible for creating and implementing strategies.  By discussing real problems and how to apply new concepts, participants will become better prepared to assess when, where, and how to leverage learning and problem solving techniques in their own specific circumstances.  Students will also benefit by understanding what lean means to other parts of the organization like Marketing, Product Development, and Operations, so that selling activities can be better coordinated with the rest of the enterprise to maximize customer response, market share growth, and profit.  



  • Introduction – Lean in the Context of Sales

-       Sales interaction with the organization and market

-       What is lean, really, and why is it so important in Sales?

-       What are purpose, value, and waste?

-       How does Sales fit into the Lean Transformation Framework?

-       Differences between lean sales and lean manufacturing / office

  • Sales Strategy and Alignment:  What specific problems are we trying to solve?

-       Specific Sales problems and ramifications

-       Structured problem solving using PDCA and A3s

-       Strategy deployment

-       Sales planning

  • Sales Management Systems, Organizational Alignment, and Cross-Process Coordination

-       Value streams and management systems

-       Flow, overburden, and unevenness

-       Measurement and feedback systems

-       Forecasting

-       Outbound marketing / demand management

  • Customer Processes Improvement

-       Inside customers’ minds and their decision making processes

-       Value, influence, and negotiation including counter-intuitive effects

-       Purchasing departments

-       Lean’s relationship with common selling methodologies

-       Value stream mapping and improvement experiments

  • How Do We Develop Salesforce Capability and Performance?

-       Motivation

-       Decision rights, measurements / quotas, and rewards

-      Changing behavior and culture through problem solving and coaching

  • Creating participants’ situation-specific improvement plans


Who Should Attend:

  • Sales practitioners and management
  • Marketing practitioners and management
  • Organizational leaders with enterprise-wide responsibilities
  • Purchasing managers who want to understand the “other side of the table”
  • Change agents and improvement leaders who work in / with Sales 



Workshop Suggestions:
To maximize your learning experience we recommend that prior to attending this program you take following workshops or have a good understanding of the concepts presented within them.
This program is offered at customer facilities only, as an on-site workshop. If you have any questions or want to bring this workshop to your organization, please contact us at info@lean.org or 617.871.2900.