Dave Brock

Walking, Talking Product Brochures—Selling Is More Than This

I don’t know how many sales calls I observe.  Over the course of years, it’s 1000’s.  The majority of them are the same—it’s all about our products.  The typical process looks like: If there is any discovery, discovery is focused on the customer product needs—what capabilities are they looking for (never the question, “Why are these [...]

Research Shows You Get The Best Results If…….

Marketing and sales are very data driven—or at least we pretend to be. Everyday, some research report provides interesting tidbits of data that show what customers respond to, giving us the secrets of success.  We learn: Customers respond best if you only ask 4 questions in discovery calls…. If you use these words…….. customers respond better than if [...]

The Key To Success Is To Ask Only 4 Questions!

Customer can breath a huge sigh of relief.  The data is in, it shows sales people ask far too many questions, boring or even angering executives for wasting their time.  But research now shows the optimal number of discovery questions to ask is 4. Both, as a victim of too many meaningless discussions where someone is [...]

Beware Of Sales Enablement Experts Prospecting

Every day, each of us gets dozens of horrendously bad prospecting emails.  My friend, Hank Barnes, of Gartner has made a regular #FridayFails series featuring his worst of the week. Fortunately, spam filters take care of most of them, but some filter through anyway.  I’ve limited my writing about these–there’s just too much bad material that [...]

Buyer Efficiency

There are thousands of posts, hundreds of tools, hundreds of books focusing on “sales efficiency.”  Sales efficiency is important.  We want our people to accomplish as much as possible in as little time as possible.  (As a side note, focusing on sales efficiency without first focusing on sales effectiveness will do nothing more than creating [...]

We Have To Have The Courage To Let Our People Do Their Jobs!

Too often, as managers, we get in the way of our people doing their jobs–either purposefully/intrusively, accidentally, being well-intentioned, or through inattention. Whichever way this manifests itself, it stands in the way of us doing our jobs–that is to maximize the performance of each person on our team.  Failing to do this, means we don’t achieve [...]

Controlling Your Destiny

For those who may not have already guessed, I’m a control freak.  It can be a terrible characteristic if it is manifested in micro-management, constantly being in tell mode, not listening.  Over years, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at what I can control–and makes sense to control, and letting go. As much as we [...]

On Differentiation

Differentiation is critical in helping customers select our solution over the alternatives. As important as it is, most sales people do a terrible job at differentiation.  Ultimately, too many are unable to differentiate in meaningful ways, as a result they end up differentiating on price. Every time we win by taking pricing actions, we are telegraphing and [...]

Technology Only Gets Us So Far

I’m a great fan of much of many sales technologies.  There are tools that dramatically improve efficiency.  These allow us to get more accomplished, more easily and in less time.  There are tools that give us greater insight into the customer–both the enterprise and individual.  We can leverage customer searches of our sites, the materials [...]

Hearing What We Don’t Want To Hear Is Critical

It seems, as human beings, we are increasingly less open to hearing differing points of view.  We immediately reject those that have a different opinion or world view, not taking the time to understand it, learn/evaluate, perhaps challenge it, or perhaps even shifting our own opinions as we learn more. We seek those that share our [...]

The Servant Sales Person

Yeah, I know what the immediate reaction to the title of this post will be….. “But Dave, we’re slaves to our managers and our companies………!” I get it, I’m talking about something different, but if your managers are treating you like slaves, gently remind them the Emancipation Proclamation was put into effect on January 1, 1863 (for [...]

The Decline Of Corporate Culture

Peter Drucker once said, “Culture eats strategy for lunch….” We all know how important culture is in aligning everyone in the organization and driving high performance. Company cultures are built on a common set of values and beliefs.  They tend to focus on: Who we are, as an organization. Why we exist. What we believe. What our values are. What we want [...]

The Power Of The Discovery Process

There are two fundamentals to maximizing your ability to win a deal–unfortunately, both tend to be executed very poorly.  The first is Qualification, or as I like to call it, Disqualification.  This focuses us on pursuing the right deals with customers that are committed to changing. The second is the Discovery Process. Too often, sales people skip [...]

The Problem With “USPs,” They Aren’t Unique

The Unique Selling Proposition is a cornerstone to much of what we do in marketing and sales.  At a high level, it’s supposed to be a compelling statement about who we are, what makes our solution different.  Ideally, it is so compelling the customer immediately sees the light and issues a PO. All we have to [...]

Do You Have The Right Sales Business Model?

No sales business model is “forever.”  As our markets change, as our customers change, as our own business strategies change, there is a necessity to reassess our sales business models and go to market strategies. Unfortunately, too many companies ignore these transitions.  They stay stuck with one model, working harder and harder, failing to produce the [...]

What We Do Is Not Complicated–Yet We Have A Tendency To Complicate It.

My friend, Andy Paul wrote a brilliant newsletter piece this weekend, entitled What We Do Is Not Complicated.  His newsletter struck a chord. What we do isn’t complicated–yet somehow we tend to make it so–for ourselves, perhaps more importantly, for our customers. At it’s core, selling is simply about: Find a customer that has a problem they want [...]

Freeing Up “Time To Sell” Is BS!

A friend forwarded me an article entitled, “Giving People More Time To Sell Is BS.”  Intrigued, I clicked on the link. The article started with a statement to the effect of “ill informed pundits quoting data that sales people spend only 10-30% of their time F2F with customers.”  I thought, “Hmm, that must be me…”  I’ve [...]

Survey Fatique And Customer Experience

Companies are obsessed (Hmmm, maybe not) with customer experience.  Many seem to want to understand people’s customer experience–how or if they pay attention is anyone’s guess. Along with this obsession comes the obsession with measuring that customer experience.  That along with technology making it easy to do surveys in real time, it seems as though almost [...]

Beware Of “Experts” Sharing Data…..

I guess part of being perceived as being an expert is sharing data and research—all of which supports the conclusions you want people to reach. Don’t get me wrong, we share data on the results we’ve produced, we share data on research we have conducted.  But we are careful to position the context of that data [...]

Thoughts On Agility

Agile is one of the “hot” business buzzwords these days, right along with digital, transformation, and disruptive.  (You get double buzzword bingo points if you can use, “disruptive, agile, digital business transformation” in a single sentence on a PowerPoint slide.) But much of what I see under the “agile” banner is far from agile. The concept of [...]

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