Continuous Improvement of the Selling Process

Article

Schrager, Mindy R.; Patton, John   (1991, ASQC)   Codex Corporation, Mansfield, MA

Annual Quality Congress, Milwaukee WI    Vol. 45    No. 0
QICID: 9619    May 1991    pp. 873-877
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Article Abstract

This abstract is an edited version of the author's original. Mining the huge stores of untapped profits hidden beneath the sales forces of America requires applying the Continuous Quality Improvement Process (CQIP) to the sales organization. Selling is a unique process. The product of that process is a "win." A sales force does not generally control the rate of flow of a decision cycle. It does, however, control the number and type of decisions pursued. A decision pursued and lost is a defect. As in manufacturing, defects must be reduced. Changing the culture from an event-based view to a process-based view is the necessary first step in implementing CQIP. A key to successful change is selecting a first project whose potential reward and immediacy of results are equally large. The basic tools of quality and their implementation apply to sales as they do to manufacturing. Management must be on board, the field must be trained in quality concepts, teams must be empowered, and corrective action must be based on data. In sales one must continually answer the question: "On what opportunities are we wasting our time?" Control of this loosely-coupled process can only be achieved by linking it to the customer process. Customer satisfaction measurements must be implemented with an understanding of the needs and motivations of sales, management, customers, and the marketplace.

Keywords

Continuous quality improvement (CQI),Continuous improvement (CI),Cost of quality (COQ),Customer satisfaction (CS),Defects,Human resources (HR),Sales


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