Reduce To Produce

This is the title of a live initiative I’ve come across within engineering giant BAe.  They’ve apparently realised that they can save money by cannibalising the unused output, stores and resource of slow-moving or semi-hidden projects to make huge savings elsewhere.  One such example of which I learned included seemingly obsolescent spares-kits for an old plane that instead of being thrown away, were rescued and put to a use that saved a neat £1.2m.

It made me think that there are stark similarities with sales productivity.  There exist several tasks that eat into a salesperson’s available time that, despite being worthy, go either incomplete or even unattempted, due to the pressures of monthly routines.

Many of these can be undertaken by less costly resource (either currently under-utilised or keen to provide a greater contribution) than the salesperson and, provided that disciplines are in place to ensure that the seller makes optimum use of their extra time or info, the impact could be enormous.  Here’s three ideas for starters:

  1. The omnipresent bugbear of sales reporting.  I’m grateful to make part of my living from services that produce all the necessary corporate reporting without the salesrep having to lift a finger.
  2. Stoking the funnel.  Without creating a telesales nightmare, it is possible to screen the marketplace for where deals over the next quarter say, are most likely to happen.
  3. And what about the notorious time thief that is post-sale service.  Courtesy and comfort calls can become the responsibility of someone back at base that ‘owns’ firefighting issues.

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