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Sales process engineering has been described as “the systematic application of scientific and mathematical principles to achieve the practical goals of a particular sales process". Selden pointed out that in this context, sales referred to the output of a process involving a variety of functions across an organization, and not that of a “sales department” alone. Primary areas of application span functions including sales, marketing, and customer Import services or service. Variations of this brief description are possible, but described as such, the discipline is consistent with other published definitions of engineering and its many well-established branches, but relatively new in its focus.

Selected challenges, tools, and goals

Applying a systematic approach to any field is challenging, perhaps especially so in a relatively new arena. These include the difficulty of agreeing on what and how to measure, where to set performance standards, variations due to customer expectation, the relative “intangibility” of services, and so on. In spite of the difficulties, a growing number of published examples illustrate how to apply many traditional engineering tools to the sales process, including the application of process mapping, simulation, design of experiments, statistical process control, the analysis/reduction of constraints, inventive problem solving, and, given the central importance of human behavior, applied behavior analysis, among others. Each of these tools is connected with well-known engineering goals, including cause-effect analysis, variability reduction, waste reduction, bottleneck reduction, and the theory of inventive problem solving; the literature frequently cites an overarching goal of improving customer satisfaction.



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