I just got back from speaking at today’s Minnesota Technology Forum where one of the other speakers was from 3M. They are one of the world’s major adopters and proponents of Six Sigma.
The question that changed everything
The speaker shared how Six Sigma helped 3M improve their sales team’s effectiveness by increasing the quality of communication between their salespeople and their customers.
They began with this simple question, “how can we give our salespeople more selling time?”
A team made up of 3M’s marketing, e-business and IT people shadowed their sales force (in the field) to understand the bottlenecks affecting their sales people’s selling time.
By using the Six Sigma methodology, they realized that their sales team required more resources (sales aids) to help them sell rather more “self-service” tools provided by IT.
Bottom line: Six Sigma enabled 3M to reap measurable sales growth, productivity gains, better ROE and improved shareholder value.
Today’s BtoB Magazine article by Carol Krol, “Six Sigma performs for Xerox,” grabbed my attention.
Xerox improved demand generation with this question
The article describes how Xerox improved their lead generation performance with this simple question.
How can we, “increase product leads from the company’s Web site without increasing media spend?”
Xerox used Six Sigma as the platform to measure and improve their results. Krol notes that Xerox’s Jonathan Opdyke said, “Six Sigma created the ability to have a consistent discipline and a process for continuous improvement, as well as better tracking, accountability and easier replication.”
I hope to find other documented cases where Six Sigma improved sales performance, marketing measurement or lead generation results.