© Tweeter Linder 2016 – All rights reserved. Photo by iStock.
A central idea with Lean Sales is to replace homogenous silos with heterogeneous teams. The diversity of your team defines your ability to improve flow efficiency. A diversity ambition you can achieve in many different ways.
A lean sales team often replaces a structure with interconnected silos. In order for lean sales team to operate with more efficient flows you need to secure all key capabilities in your team. Aspire to have all the silos in the classic set up covered.
A lean sales team has both sales development and sales execution skills. as well as a mix of broader solution capabilities and deeper specific skills. The best teams cover product, services and commercial aspects of the sales challenges.
Beyond professional diversity you aim for a mix of gender, nationality and cultural bandwidth. A diverse team from a cultural point of view is the prerequisite to support any global business. And even if you just sell in a few markets, your ability to adapt success cases from other markets is a valuable capability.
Men and women approach problems in different ways. Your team needs both perspectives to find the best solutions. If one gender is over represented you need leadership to reach balanced results.
The cultural diversity stretch into management and leadership dimensions to. American influence for the execution and European team building are both valuable ingredients.
As professionals we tend to engage with 45-90 degrees at a time of the 360 degrees of our capabilities. A great lean team leverages a broader range of our capabilities. What your team members do outside office hours are valuable experiences to tap into. Marathon runners, mountain climbers and volunteers have much to bring to the table in a lean team.
As results and change are at the center for lean and learning sales three characters will define the outlook for your team. You need a Go-Getter able drive your team from ambitions to execution. You need a Teacher capable of laying out insights, visions and directions to motivate the team. And you need a Skeptic who is hard to convince, but once convinced all you have a clear path forward.
Questions for you and your team
- Which professional skills do we need our lean team – expect the mix of skills to be the enabler for eliminating hand-over points
- Which cultural diversity do we need – aim as high as possible for global businesses.
- Which personal abilities will be the icing on the cake – the Go-Getter, the Teacher and the Skeptic will all be required.
- How much time and effort can you invest in building the team – building a team has to have a long term horizon
- Driven by Difference: How great companies fuel innovation through diversity [BOOK] – by David Livermore
- The role of the lean team in a lean transformation [BLOGPOST] – by David Brunt, The Lean Enterprise Academy
- Lean Teams: Develop the team-based organization. The skills and practices of high performance business teams [WHITEPAPER] – by Lawrence M. Miller
- Developing diversity: Lessons from top teams [BLOGPOST] – by Max Landsberg and Madeleine Pfau, Strategy + Business
- How diversity makes us smarter [BLOGPOST] – by Scientific American
- How diversity improves collaborative problem solving [BLOGPOST] – by John Folk-Williams, Cross Collaborate
- Top ten tips: How to manage diverse teams [BLOGPOST] – by Management Today
- Managing multi-cultural teams [[BLOGPOST] – by Harvard Business Review