If you weren’t already aware, Kanban is a Japanese scheduling system for lean and just-in-time production. By taking a Kanban approach it means that demand is “pulled” through a production system based on the actual demand of customers. It is a relatively simple yet highly effective method. It works by having 3 (or more) “bins”, the first bin being the start of a process and the last bin being the finished product. The amount of bins in-between depends on how many processes there are to get to a finished product. Kanban Cards are a key component to the system, they signal that the next stage needs stock from the previous stage therefore pulling through the products. The video at the bottom of this page briefly explains how Kanban works, how it can be applied to business processes and the benefits it can give.
The people at Zurmo have a fantastic CRM system with built in Gamification and they have managed to excite us even more by also taking inspiration from Kanban! Whilst they recognise what they have designed is not exactly a “Kanban Sales Process” they do say a lot of inspiration has been taken from the Kanban theory, in particular the visuals and how information is displayed. The result is a fantastic new way of dealing with the sales process which should lead to sales consistently and steadily flowing through the process.
The image above shows the different “bins” Zurmo have used, in this case; Prospecting, Negotiating, Verbal & Closed Won. Without the need to go in to edit view and change the status of each potential sale these opportunities can simply be dragged and dropped into the relevant “bins” as and when they progress.
By doing this it allows for easy tracking and quick assessment of what stage each opportunity is at. It should also highlight any opportunities which have stalled and should potentially be axed. By limiting the number of opportunities that can be in each “bin” it will ensure work is continuously flowing through and attention is given to them as and when is needed.
The Kanban view really should keep things moving along and help keep your sales team on top of all their opportunities.