Long lasting structures – build foundation around basics

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Many sales structures are at risk of becoming obsolete as sales realities change. It is easy to become frustrated and strive to abandon the old structures altogether. The lean sales world is not free from structures, but it is a world with new structures. New structures built around a foundation of basics

Focus on getting basics right

The addition of lean principles to transform sales has high potential as long as you focus on the right things. Lean principles can be implemented in a broad variety of ways. The broad spectrum of possibilities and the demand for initial success put leaders on the spot. The best choices on where to focus is vital to gain initial momentum.

Adopting lean is about building new operational structures. As a sales leader your odds for succeeding increase if you start building around getting the basics right. In the early stages you are building the foundation on which the lean transformation will rest.

Focus around the fundamental functions where you expect lean to make a difference. The challenge is s lot like putting down the foundation for a house. Stones representing your initial priorities as well as the foundation for expansion.

Build a foundation designed to last

As lean represent a transition to new ways of working, you need a structure to support it. A structure defined around the the basics discussed in the previous section.

Articulating the basic building blocks and their relationships is an essential for a lean set-up. To sell transformation to your teams you need to articulate the transformation journey well. Expect all team members to have a desire to understand what lean will offer them as individuals.

Refine your new structure in steps

During this journey you are likely to see your sales team going through a few phases in their understanding. First the insight you need a new structure replacing obsolete structures. Second the need to get the basics right to start with. The third insight is about the need for iterative improvements.

Once the basics are in place we want to continue to develop our structure. What we first defined was not intended to be perfect, but good enough as a start and as a base. During the early stages of implementation you will see if your initial assumptions for the base were true. If not you will have to take corrective actions early.

The larger potential with lean is the iterative improvements you can do on top of the base. Your can encourage your sales teams to take an active role in developing your new structure. Their detailed insights on specific issues is the key to continuous innovation. Expect your lean structures to evolve.

Questions to you and your team

1. Which of our current structures need to be transformed – it is important to understand what you start from.
2. What do we consider fundamental building blocks for our new structure – select from a broad range of elements.
3. What are our best ideas for how to set up the new structure – Involve all key stakeholders to probe for ideas.
4. How will we deal with the need for continuous innovation – to secure structure evolve with market developments.

Additional reading

 

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