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Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way Hardcover – August 1, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Sales and marketing are new frontiers for Six Sigma and Michael’s book provides practical insights for any organization that is considering how to connect their continuous improvement efforts with top line growth and customer satisfaction."John Biedry, Senior Vice President Continuous Improvement, ServiceMaster

"The name of the game is not to design the sales process around ourselves, but to create customer value. Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way is relevant to all executives who are looking to deliver maximum results internally and externally.”
Gregory T. Deininger, V.P. National Accounts, Marriott

"It isn't often that I can recommend a Six Sigma book because reducing defects tends to be product-focused and internally-oriented. This book is not only different but better than any other Six Sigma book I've ever seen because it actually shows how to use it to increase the value of your relationships and
experiences with your customers. This is the way Six Sigma should be done."
Paul Greenberg, author of CRM at the Speed of Light

About the Author

Michael J. Webb founded Sales Performance Consultants, Inc., to help business executives make their sales funnels flow faster, and is the foremost expert on sales process improvement. He gave the keynote presentations at the first two conferences ever held on applying Six Sigma to sales and marketing. He has worked with clients such as American Express, 3M, Marriott, and many smaller companies to improve their sales processes and results. He also works with certain sales training firms and CRM firms to help integrate the best selling practices into their client’s sales operations. His website, www.salesperformance.com, contains a wealth of hard-to-find articles and resources on process improvement for marketing and sales organizations. 

Tom Gorman has written or collaborated on more than a dozen business books, and he is the author of Writing the Breakthrough Business Book.  Tom is based in Newton, Massachusetts and at www.contentbizbooks.com.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Business (August 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419521500
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419521508
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,154,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Most CEOs/COOs/CFOs would agree:

1. Marketing/Sales is both an art and a black box, or even a black hole as it seems to be a continuous cash guzzler.

2. Sometimes CEOs feel they are captives to the Sales VP because even though they are not happy with their sales performance, firing and replacing them with new ones is not a sure win.

3. Marketing campaigns are like shooting in the dark. If you don't shoot, you will not catch anything. But if you keep shooting in the dark, pretty soon the bullets will run out. Most CEOs feel their Marketing VPs are "addicted" to all those fancy marketing programs without assured ROI.

4. VP/Marketing and VP/Sales are like a divorced couple. The best way to pacify them is to keep them separate forever. But how can CEOs afford to do that?

Systems Thinking Guru Russell Ackoff once said that the System cannot detect its own problem and it must be from a high order system level. Marketing and Sales VPs cannot solve their own dilemmas and problems, it requires the CEO/COO/CFO in conjunction

with other functional VPs to work together in a systemic way.

However, among all the functional disciplines, Marketing and Sales are the two most mysterious and hard to understand arenas for the whole executive team. "Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way" is the first book ever that not only presents the real CORE of the respective Marketing and Sales function in an easy to understand system way, it also reconnects Marketing/Sales function with the rest of the business in a systemic manner. The introduction of "Customer Value Mapping" in the whole Marketing/Sales process is truly a remarkable contribution by the author, Michael Webb.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A few books were recently published which introduced the concept of six sigma to improving sales and marketing. At first I was skeptical about applying six sigma principles to these particular business functions. I, too, suspected that it is probably the latest fashion, the latest flavor of the month, but after reading this book I believe that some of the six sigma tools can indeed be usefully applied to marketing and sales processes.

The author, a black belt practitioner, argues that both sales and marketing functions must be examined as processes desperately in need of improvement. He pleads for the two functions to end their traditional "silo" mentality and "us/them" behavior; showing that six sigma tools can bring marketing and salespeople together and enable them to collaborate as one team.

Mr. Webb urges the use of the five Six Sigma steps (DMAIC), along with tools such as process maps, process measurement charts, fishbone diagrams, SIPOC diagrams, and so on--all of which help in finding (marketing), winning (sales), and keeping (customer service) existing and new customers. According to the author's website, process improvement techniques can also greatly alleviate some of the following typical problems facing marketing and sales:

- Developing and launching products that are not successful in the market because they fail to address real customer needs.
- Advertising and "brand awareness" campaigns that create no measurable customer response.
- Marketing campaigns and trade shows that generate large numbers of "leads" that do not get followed up by salespeople, and are not qualified prospects in any case.
- Salespeople chasing "anything that moves" in their territory, thus spending time selling to the wrong prospects.
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Format: Hardcover
Traditionally, sales people and sales executives have been suspicious of six sigma and other quality process tools and approaches for several reasons. First, they don't really understand them, at least not well enough to discern what does and doesn't apply to thier world. This means they deal in broad assumptions and symbols. They are left to interpret thier own limited experience or exposure to six sigma thinking and struggle to see how it will help them sell more effectively. Second,they are skeptical, and rightly so, about the ability of many quality or process experts to apply these principles and tools it in a way that works for them and for thier customers. Too often, the projects selected have been focused on "cost" issues or "waste" without getting at the heart of the matter - improving real sales results. Third, underlying all of this is a fear that the art of selling; the social intelligence, and communication/persuasive skills that remain essential to success, will get lost or under-valued. In short,they know that effective selling is both art and science and while they may over emphasize the art, they worry that the art will be over looked or misunderstood by the process experts.

This is the challenge Mike Webb has taken on in writing Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way. Webb is one of the few people who seem to truly understand not only the importance of both art and science in selling, but, more importantly, how they must be integrated for success. His book is the first I have seen that moves beyond the "it works everywhere else, why not in sales and marketing?" attitude toward a true integration of the art and science of selling.
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