Lean Sales and Marketing Roles

In Lean Marketing, there are three primary roles for the development and management of Lean Sales and Marketing process. It is the Value Stream Manager, the Team and the Team Coordinator. The roles and responsibilities are similar to the three roles used in Scrum which are the Product Owner, the Team and The Scrum Master.

Quick overview of the Scrum roles:

  1. The Product Owner represents the stakeholders and the business.
  2. The Team is a cross-functional group of about 7 people who do the actual design, implementation, testing, etc.
  3. The ScrumMaster maintains the processes in lieu of a project manager.

Quick overview of the Lean Sales and Marketing System:

  1. The Value Stream Manager (VSM) represents the product/service markets and the business.
  2. The Sales and Marketing Team (Team) is a cross-functional group whose number and expertise is derived from the decision making path of the customer. This Team does the actual sales; providing content, technical functions, trials, testing, etc.
  3. The Team Coordinator maintains the integrity of the processes through coaching and predefined control points.

The Value Stream Manager is responsible for maximizing return on investment (ROI) through his particular Value Stream of Customer Identification, Customer Value, Customer Acquisition, Customer Retention and Customer Monitoring. (Value Stream Mapping Customer Value). He translates this Value Stream and assigns it in conjunction with the Team Coordinator to particular Teams similar to a typical Sales Manager would to his Salespeople. The VSM and the Team Coordinator will routinely evaluate the outcomes to determine best fit. The VSM may work with Multiple Teams for his Value Stream. The VSM has profit and loss responsibility for the product/service. The VSM represents the Voice of the Market which may be thousands of individual clients, distributors, brokers and agents. As with Scrum’s Product Owner, the VSM has the final authority.

The Sales and Marketing Team is first and foremost the listening post for the customer (prospect) that enables them to provide the customer with the information, technology, and support that is required. This is done through a PDCA/SDCA Cycle that depending on the complexity may constitute an entire sales cycle or just a certain portion of the customer’s decision making process. The team is cross-functional and includes the expertise required to fulfill the requirements of the customer through his decision making process. It may include but not limited to salespeople, marketing, IT, service, etc. It is self-managing with a very high degree of autonomy and accountability. The team decides what to do, what commitments to make and how best to accomplish it. Stable teams are important for internal productivity but also since they are in direct contact with the customer. When these teams only serve part of the decision making process of the customer, the Team Coordinator becomes directly involved during the handoffs form one team to another.

The Team Coordinator serves very similar to the ScrumMaster. The TC helps the Team learn and apply PDCA. The TC does whatever is in their power to help the team be successful. The TC is not the manager of the team but instead serves the team, minimizing distractions, educating them on the iterative process of PDCA, Knowledge Creation and Agile methods. The TC and the VSM must be different people. As the TC runs interference for the Team there may be some priority balancing that is required between the VSM and the TC. It is imperative that the TC creates and maintains a manageable flow inside the Team. If the Team runs into an impediment it is the TC job to find the resources needed to remove it. The TC will also monitor the Team flow through the use of established control points created within the cycle.

The confusing part for most organizations is in defining the role of the team. Look for an upcoming blog on that particular subject.

Related Information:
5Cs of Driving Market Share Program
Where is the path in Continuous Improvement for Sales and Marketing?
Why does sales and marketing operate to a different quality standard?
The Future of Marketing is Lean
PDCA for Lean Marketing, Knowledge Creation
Lean Marketing Creates Knowledge for the Customer

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