How Implementing Six Sigma Principles Can Help Improve Your Sales and Marketing Company
Six Sigma, the scientific method of the business world, is essentially a customer-centric systematic approach to eliminating waste and errors in business processes. Though Six Sigma is widely used in the manufacturing and production industries, the influence of its principles has spread to many other industries including finance, healthcare, and sales and marketing.
This system, when applied to any sector, requires businesses to measure and analyze activities and results to implement improvements to the activities to improve the outcomes in a continuous circle to enhance the quality of product and its efficacy and reduce wasted equipment, resources, labor, and time.
This process makes perfect sense in production and manufacturing because those industries possess clear-cut, easily-isolated and -analyzed elements necessary for the process: the product is made, the labor hours are counted, the materials are inventoried, and their quality is analyzed, etc. Then, a closer look at the segregated elements can be made to determine and reduce the number of redundancies and quantity of wastes in the process.
The goal: a near-perfect business model wherein companies have less than three “defects,” or variations from a desired result, per million events. But, when applied to sales and marketing, that 0.0000034 percent margin for error is not a particularly achievable goal, what with the innumerable intersecting moving parts of a marketing campaign that generates objective and subjective data that gets analyzed together.
But the application of Six Sigma principles, which focuses on customer and stakeholder satisfaction while minimizing waste, can undoubtedly improve many of those parts for better final results.
The goal of a sales company is to make the best quality products for the lowest possible cost to entice customers and make a profit. The challenge is: how can the company get customers to do what it wants (for instance, buy a teddy bear) so that the company makes money? And then, how can the company do it all the better to make even more money off of teddy bear sales?
The Solution is DMAIC
- Define the Problem
- Measure the Activities and Results
- Analyze the Data
- Improve the process by pinpointing the defects and formulating a plan to reduce defects in the activities to improve the results
- Control the process to make more profits in the future.
Through this process, a sales goal can be met by taking a deep dive into the activities that affect customer opinion and need of a company’s product or service and weed out the ineffective marketing strategies, product issues (cheap, breakable material, for instance), and pricing disparities, among other relevant dimensions, so the company can improve the processes for better control of the sales numbers and profits.
Essentially, if the marketing and sales process is improved, the results improve as well.
Take a look below for a practical example:
The Troublesome Teddy Bear: A Six Sigma Sales Scenario
- A teddy bear is not selling well to young children of the upper class.
- The teddy bear company may look into their customer reviews and see countless complaints about the coarseness of the fur.
- The company then looks at the material they have purchased and sees that the more exotic and plushier option was not being used because of a hike in its wholesale cost. However, the cost has gone down due to some fluctuation in the market, and the better option is less expensive than the coarser material they were using.
In this example, the company could switch to the better material, save money on reduced wholesale costs, and send out marketing communications advertising the softest teddy bear available made from an exotic material.
In the end, the company enjoys low production costs, increased customer satisfaction, and a surge in company profits.
Earn a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification
As you can see, Six Sigma is an effective way to improve any business process, from manufacturing to sales and marketing. If you are a business leader looking to promote your business productivity or a professional wishing to develop professionally, then receiving an industry-recognized and respected certification through a Lean Six Sigma online training course from The Management and Strategy Institute can help you achieve your career goals.