Less Is More - Applying the Flow Concepts to Sales (Chapter 21 of the Theory of Constraints Handbook)

Mauricio Herman and Rami Goldratt


Level of TOC knowledge acquired:

Advanced and Intermediate


17 pages

Designed for:

Business owners, Consultants, Implementers and Leaders


Ever-flourishing, Ongoing Improvement and Sales


Five Focusing Steps and Thinking Processes







This is an individual chapter of Theory of Constraints Handbook. This chapter presents a case study of the implementation of Eli Goldratt\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s flow concepts to the management of the sales funnel in an organization.

The concepts briefly stated are: regard flow as a prime measurement, choke the release of incoming sales opportunities; abolish local efficiencies; and identify and eliminate disruptions to the flow of sales opportunities. While Goldratt discussed these flow concepts with respect to increasing reliability and speed significantly in a production environment, this case describes the application of these flow concepts to the management of the sales process.

After the implementation, the sales hit rate increased from 11 to 40%; sales cycle duration shortened from an average of 32 to 17 days; and average throughput per order grew from 52 to 68 percent.


  • Improving Flow
  • Preventing Overproduction
  • Local Efficiencies Must Be Abolished
  • A Focusing Process Must Be in Place
  • Addendum

Comprehensive coverage of the Theory of Constraints 

Complete Table of contents of the Theory of Constraints Handbook

About the Authors:

James F. Cox III, Ph.D, CFPIM, CIRM, holds TOCICO certifications in all disciplines. He is a Jonah's Jonah, Professor Emeritus, and was the Robert O. Arnold Professor of Business in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. Dr. Cox has written three books on TOC.

John Schleier holds TOCICO certifications in all disciplines. He was President and Chief Operating Officer of the Mortgage Services Division of Alltel, Inc., Executive Vice President of Computer Power, Inc., and Director of Office Systems and Data Delivery for IBM.


The Theory of Constraints Handbook: