LEAN Sales & Marketing – Finding Your Competitive Edge

Mike Girdler

Lose waste, add value! LEAN sales and marketing. You hear a lot about this relatively new concept but what is it and how can it …

Lose waste, add value!

Target Your Customers - Dry Erase BoardLEAN sales and marketing. You hear a lot about this relatively new concept but what is it and how can it benefit your organization?

What is LEAN sales and marketing

Let’s start with a definition: LEAN sales & marketing is about value to the customer. It identifies and eliminates waste and focuses on what is valuable to your customer. LEAN marketing and sales addresses your pain points. The elements that cause you frustration, put you in constant fire-fighting mode, and eat away at your precious time, money, and energy. As well, it focuses your efforts on activities and elements that are valuable to your customer, getting things when they want them, how they want them, at a price they want, and all with a great experience.

How to implement LEAN in your sales and marketing department?

Step one: Identify value from your customer’s point of view. This could be an internal customer, examples include: regulatory, or quality assurance. Or it could be your external customer. Regardless, the focus is on what the customer wants, what they need, what aspect(s) of your offering do they think is of value to them? Make sure you know what your customer deems to be of value.

Step two: Map it. Identify each of the steps in your marketing or sales process. Where does it begin, who from marketing & sales is involved, who from outside sales & marketing is involved and how, where are decisions made, how long do tasks take, what are the wait times between tasks, and where does the process end?

Step three: Analyze your process and remove wasted steps or improve the steps. For example, do we really need five authorizations in a process? How much quicker and effective would you be if you could reduce the number to three, two, or even, one?

Step four: Develop a sequence of steps that are tight and improve the flow of the operations.

Step five: Standardize the process and provide training to ensure everyone understands the process, why it’s being utilized, and how to ‘use it’.

Step six: Continually improve. As you make your improvements to your marketing & sales processes, continue to analyze and see how you can make additional improvements. Adopt a LEAN philosophy of constantly looking for ways to get better and add elements of value that are desirous to your customer.

The combination of the steps ultimately delivers marketing & sales efforts that are more focussed, efficient, and of value to your customer. Could your marketing & sales departments benefit from adopting a LEAN approach? The implementation will prove to be your competitive edge.

Don’t have time to implement LEAN into your sales and marketing department? We can help. Contact us to learn how we can work together.


How LEAN are your marketing & sales departments? Feel free to leave a comment below or shout out to us on Facebook or Twitter. Of course, you could always write your own blog post on the subject and share it with us… We’d love to read it!

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Michael Girdler is a vice-president, CornerStone Dynamics Inc. His blogs focus on all things project management. Throughout Mike's career, he has invested deeply into projects involving sales, marketing, training and development, continuing education, and communications environments.

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