Kaizen is a concept that was originally introduced to the West in 1986 by Masaaki Imai’s book ‘Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success’.
Its core premise was that big results come from many small changes accumulated over time.
This post will discuss how kaizen can apply to sales, and how Xapify can help you execute a kaizen strategy to quickly improve the performance of your sales force.
Below is a list of 10 critical sales skills (not an exhaustive list by any means):
|1. Prospecting||6. Objection prevention|
|2. Rapport building||7. Objection handling|
|3. Active listening||8. Demonstration skills|
|4. Product knowledge||9. Gaining commitment|
|5. Qualification||10. Closing|
Take any one of those skills, for example qualification.
With a kaizen approach to improving qualification skills, you would continuously work on getting better, bit-by-bit. Imagine you put a small amount of time in each week to work on qualification. What sort of an improvement could you expect? Let’s be conservative here and say you can only improve qualification skills by 1% each week. This might sound like nothing, but what happens when you do it each week for a year? After a year you’re 52% better. After two years you’re twice as good! (not taking into account compounding).
While this may seem exciting, the real power of Kaizen lays in combining many small improvements together.
Imagine you are a sales manager designing 3 months of training for one of your sales reps. You identify 5 skills you want them to work on every week:
|1. Prospecting||4. Objection handling|
|2. Active listening||5. Closing|
|3. Product knowledge|
Being a numbers-driven manager, you already have their sales stage numbers before their training program kicks off:
In this illustration, we are mapping out the key sales skills against measurable points on the sales funnel. For example, active listening skills correlate with the first discussion stage, product knowledge correlates with the ability to develop the right solution for the customer. And sales made correlates with closing skills.
So what sort of results can just a 1% increase in each of these 5 skills every week create over a 12-week training period?
This represents a 75% increase in sales in just 3 months! Just by improving 5 skills by only 1% each week.
This is the power of continuous improvement.
How Xapify can help your sales team achieve continuous improvement
Xapify gives you the mobile tools to measure and track your training, coaching and on-the-job performance.
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