There’s a Japanese concept called Muda, which means idleness, waste or superfluousness, and futility.

In a business context it means every action is either (1) value added, (2) incidental but necessary, or (3) Muda.

The seven classic types of Muda can apply to sales processes to identify waste.

Here they are:

  • Motion. Do you waste time searching for the right information? Are your processes efficient?
  • Transportation. How much time is spent “in transit”? That includes not only actual travel time, but time spent waiting for or sending e-mails, or getting information you need?
  • Inventory. Are you loaded down with too many samples or product brochures? Do you have too few? Too few high-quality leads? Too many poor ones?
  • Overprocessing. Do you call on customers again and again because they are easy to reach? Do you overresearch (vs. picking up the phone)?
  • Rework. Do you wing it on sales calls? Do you see that all the right people are there on your first call?
  • Waiting. Is there a person or process you must wait on before proceeding? Do deals stall as a result?
  • Overproduction. Are you selling too much, too soon or too fast? Booking unprofitable business in order to hit sales targets?

Everything you do to close business is part of the process. When you eliminate Muda you shorten the process, boost profit and grow revenue.

Source: A post by Nancy Nardin. To learn more visit

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