Dave Brock

Building Your Personal Brand — Again

There’s a lot of discussion about how important it is for sales people to “build their personal brands.” I’ve written about this topic several times before, even using the same title before. But it’s a topic, as much as I wish would go away, doesn’t. But what does it mean to build our [...]

Customers And Rational Behaviors

Too often, I’m in reviews with sales people whining, “The customer is irrational!” They go through a litany of complaints, including: “They don’t understand our products and why they are superior…..” (Of course it’s not their job to do that.)“They keep changing their minds….”“They aren’t being logical, we’ve presented all the data/analysis, it should be obvious….”and on [...]

Building On Shaky Foundations

It was an interesting conversation. I was meeting with a very thoughtful sales executive. He was about to make some pretty big investments in training and in technology tools. I asked him why he was making those investments, he replied, “We really need to raise the skills and productivity of the sales people. [...]

Do Your Salespeople Really Understand Their Numbers?

Every year, I meet with thousands of sales people and sales managers. Inevitably the conversations focus on sales performance and achieving their goals. We try to help them understand the leverage points in achieving their goals, and how that drives their focus and activities. We start talking about the “numbers.” No, not quotas, [...]

Do We Need Sales People Any Longer?

Recently, I was at a meeting hosted by my friends at Gartner. Scott Gillum made a provocative suggestion, “Do we need outbound sales any longer?” He followed that with a post. As I reflected on the question, I think we can only discover the answer by changing the question, “Why do customers [...]

Understanding Leverage

Leverage is an important concept in business, sales, and marketing. Unfortunately, we spend too little time understanding leverage and identifying leverage opportunities in coaching and developing our people. Perhaps, our aversion to leverage is the negative connotations of the word. Too often, it’s construed as using some sort of manipulation or unfair/unethical tactics. [...]

High Performance Selling, Putting The Pieces Together

Have you ever put together a jigsaw puzzle? Recently, I was sitting in a hotel lobby. The staff had put out one of those 1000 piece puzzles. It turned out to be a fascinating social experience–strangers were sitting down together, trying to place pieces in the right spots. It was huge [...]

Looking For Answers In Different Places

This week, I had the privilege of sitting with some of the smartest people I know. We were talking about the challenges both sellers and buyers face in solving buyers’ problems. As we studied research, and shared ideas/experiences, there were some fascinating insights. There were ideas that could drive great increases in performance. But something [...]

Coaching Has A Shelf Life

We are most effective in coaching when we are focused on an observable behavior. That is, “I observed you doing this….” “When this happens, you tend to do…” “What would happen if…..” Observable behaviors critical to effective coaching. They provide the context for the conversation. But observable behaviors have a shelf [...]

Win Fast, Lose Faster

Losing fast, having the courage to walk away from a deal that you are highly unlikely to win is tough for everyone. But it’s actually one of the important things you can do to drive your sales performance. In the past 4 weeks, I’ve walked away from 2 deals. The first, I knew I [...]

What Is Networking?

In the “old days,” networking seemed to be about meeting people, learning about them, building a bit of a relationship. There was value in networking. Often, our networking may have been a passing meeting, a chance to get to know someone for a few moments, have an interesting conversation, only to move on in our [...]

Three Most Important Metrics In Sales

I hesitated writing this, I’m calling out a colleague who I think is providing very well intended, but misleading advice. This individual is genuinely trying to be helpful, he’s trying to simplify something that tends to get very cloudy and confusing. In sales we are deluged with all sorts of metric, most of which are [...]

What Do Uber Drivers And SDRs Have In Common?

Think of this post more as a thought experiment or even a wild ass prognistication. What do Uber drivers and SDRs have in common? Let’s look at Uber first. Uber has made it very clear, autonomous vehicles are their future. There are a lot of reasons for this. Autonomous vehicles eliminate much of one [...]

The Sales Conversation

In some recent projects, I’ve had the opportunity to analyze sales conversations. I’ve been tracking conversations sales people are having, from the very first conversation to the closing conversations. We know each conversation is different, they vary from company to company, customer to customer. But listening to enough of them, one starts to notice [...]

If We Fixed Sales Execution, Would We Fix Sales?

Let’s try a thought experiment. You will see some of the assumptions are very simplistic, they will become obvious as we move through the thought experiment. They don’t impact the thought experiment. For the moment, suspend your judgement and bear with me. The reason I want you to walk through this is to [...]

Knowing “How To Win,” Makes You A Better Prospector!

Social media channels are dominated by top of the pipeline/funnel thinking. The answer to making your numbers is always more demand gen, lead gen and prospecting. There are battles between pundits on which approach is better. For example the traditional prospecting camp and the social selling camp. In reality, we need [...]

The Sales Person As “Contextualizer”

Context is everything! Each of our customers is different, each company has different goals, strategies, priorities, challenges, cultures, values. Though they may compete head to head, or participate in the same industry, or the same markets, every company is very different. People are different. We categorize them by their titles, CEO, VP of [...]

How Do You Win?

My good friend, Andy Paul, and I were talking about the state of selling today. We were commiserating about the absence of discussion about “How Do We Win?” So much of the discussion about sales these days focuses on the top of the pipeline, that is, how do we find more opportunities. The reason [...]

Our Customers Are Voting With Their Time

Several years ago, Gartner research on how customers allocate their time in the buying process indicated about 17% of their time is meeting with sales people—all sales people, not just us. We just get a fraction of that 17%. (I’d be interested in seeing an update to that research, I suspect it will [...]

When Less Is More

It seems the universal answer to every sales performance answer is to do more. We’re chastised to close more deals, get more into the pipeline, spend more time with customers, spend more time–period, just do more. Regardless of where the challenge is, whether it’s our close rates, our average deal value, our sales cycle, our [...]

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