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Opinion on ISO 9001 Standards in Sales pipeline management

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by Manish Sawant, May 25, 2016.

  1. Manish Sawant

    Manish Sawant Member

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    Hello friends,

    another question pop's into my mind.

    I was wondering if any one has a sales team in your company that creates new business and finds new customers. I have question in relation to sales pipeline management and ISO standards.

    How have you used ISO 9001 standards for Sales pipeline management?ISO 9001 is all about customer satisfaction. But what about sales management processes used to find new customers, before even we have customers? .. They start from finding a potential customer to lead generation to deal to closure and then customer contract. So, can we effectively use the ISO 9001 standards to get new customers. As far as I know, according to ISO 9001 2008 requirements, the only process requirement related to sales is the contract review process ( Review of req related to the product - Clause 7.2.2) . That is where ISO requirements start particular to SALES Process (creating new customers for the business).

    What has been your experience? How would you utilize the requirements specified in the standards for sales pipeline management? Have you ever used any quality management standards or tools in sales processes in your experience. Please share your view. If you know of any book or article that talks about it, let me know that too. Thanks.
     
  2. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    I use it every day! But in all reality, the answer depends on what you understand by "use ISO 9001 standards for pipeline management". In fact the words "contract review" are no longer employed, because sales and meeting customers' needs/expectations begins long before a "contract" is drawn up.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  3. pkfraser

    pkfraser Member

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    Which is why it was always a silly term to use (even when spelt correctly!) - although Andy's spelling does in fact reflect reality and the normal sequence of activities in the prospecting and sales process.
     
  4. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Corrected...it was late when I posted;)
     
  5. pkfraser

    pkfraser Member

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    Andy

    You made the point better with "contact"...!
     
  6. MCW8888

    MCW8888 Well-Known Member

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    Sales team is part of the ISO audit end-to-end process. I like to talk to a new member of sales team and just candidly asks questions about how they conduct the process of selling to new customer, Before that, I already know that there is a document that they need to follow as part of their on-boarding training. I close the loop by asking them about customer score cards and how they are reported back to the business. Other questions about risk and opportunities are brought into the conversation.
     
  7. Glenn0004

    Glenn0004 Member

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    I'm in the process of defining our sales activities as a process that allows us to respond to the customers needs but is not dictatorial to the point that we can't complete a sales due to the stipulations of the process. In your scenario, do you find new customers for other businesses or for the sales department of your own business? If the former, then the organisation to whom you supply the sales leads to is your customer and to whom 8.2.2. and 8.2.3 should apply. If the latter, you could argue that your sales force is an internal customer. However, this may be totally dependent upon how you quantify your pipeline i.e. basic criteria of an organisation with turnover X and being in the target market for your product or service, or you go further and quantify the needs of that organisation for your product. In the former there would be could case to define your activities as you would any other operational process, if the latter you may well be contributing to 8.2.2 as part of the supply process and need to identify the activity in the supply process and still define your activities as you would any other operational process.
     
  8. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    IMHO here are some ISO 9001:2015 clauses that are relevant to the Sales process:
    4.1 - by monitoring external issues like competition, issues in the economic community like ASEAN Integration, Brexit, etc.;
    4.2 - by understanding needs and expectations of interested parties such as demand for new features, product safety, environment-friendly product, etc.;
    4.4.1a - by determining inputs needed by Sales and the expected outputs;
    4.4.1c - what are the controls in place in the Sales procedure, necessary review activities, including performance indicators;
    6.1 - have you identified risks and opportunities, identified the controls and integrate them to the Sales procedure;
    6.2 - by establishing measurable Sales performance targets;
    7.1.6 - by using information from "lessons learned", "things gone wrong", "let's do this again";
    7.3 - awareness to your organization's quality policy and objectives;
    8.2.1 - by promoting your product, by handling orders including complaints;
    8.2.2 - by ensuring that what you promised is what the customer will get;
    8.2.3 - this is where 7.2.2 of ISO 9001:2008 is related...

    I can still go on but I hope the above items are enough to give guidance on how the standard can be used for the Sales process.
     
    MCW8888 likes this.
  9. MCW8888

    MCW8888 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing these clauses that are applicable to sales. I audited sales for TS169949. But I have to read and study the Policies and SOP's . I talked to at least 4 account managers and ask them the same questions based on their policies and procedures. I just forget the standard for a moment. Then the last question is how they measure effectiveness of their process and how these objectives support the Business Plan objectives. We talk about OEM score cards and the action plans to correct problems in order to improve the score cards if they happen to be in the yellow zone.
     

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