Dave Brock

False Choices: Transactional Versus Solution Selling Approaches

Often, I get into conversations about the sales approach a company deploys. There are questions of, “should we be transactional, product, solutions, consultative focused?” Often, particularly with XaaS companies, the executives leap to the conclusion, “We have to be transactional, “SaaS” focused. We want to…

Apples And Oranges

Let’s imagine that for some reason you want to evaluate the performance of apples. You might develop criteria and compare apples to those criteria. You might do a comparison, for example looking and apples and oranges. You’d immediately observe apples are relatively thin skinned fruit,…

Data, Data Everywhere….

“Water water everywhere, Nor a drop to drink…” is a famous line from Coleridge’s “The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner.” At a recent lunch, my friend, Tim Ohai, and I were talking about problems we see with too many managers. Today’s tools provide sales people…

“The Art Of The Bluff”

I was stunned and appalled to read an article sponsored by a major sales publication promoting the “Art of the bluff.” The author was cautious to highlight the negative connotations around bluffing–the feeling of manipulation, the proximity to lying, and the knife edge a “bluffer’…

How Performance Reviews Can Kill Organizational Culture

I’m an unabashed fan of Shane Parrish and the Farnam Street Blog. I study everything they publish, listen to every podcast, read every article and book they reference. It is the single smartest site I have ever found, I encourage everyone to visit and learn…

“The Boom In Sales Technology”

I suppose it’s normal to see the flood of articles, prospecting emails, calls and such on “sales technology.” Dreamforce is over, we all have visions of our technology based futures dancing in our heads. We see the MarTech and other charts, with 1000’s of suppliers,…

It’s Account Planning Season, Again

Account planning is important, it’s fundamental to growing our value and positioning with our key customers. It helps us align resources and activities with the customers that represent the most potential and opportunity. We are approaching the end of the year, everyone is involved in…

“Even Though I Hate Talking About Price……”

Someone has been prospecting me, trying to provoke me to respond and take a call. In reality, if he spent two minutes looking at our company and doing a little research, he would realize we are a terrible prospect for what he is selling. But…

Committed To Stupidity

Sadly, every day I see more sales people committed to stupidity. It’s not making mistakes, misunderstanding situations, even some errors in judgement. As bad as those may be, it’s the commitment to being stupid that astounds me. Stupidity is a choice, and I’m stunned by…

Being Mentored And Mentoring

Mentoring takes all forms, some of the more unusual are the most helpful, particularly in my experience. Through my own career, I have had a number of “formal mentors.” Early in my career, in addition to great managers who coached my day to day performance,…

Sales Managers “Closing Business”

I was struggling to meet with a sales manager. He really wanted to talk, we had critical issues he had asked for help in addressing. He kept postponing our calls, “Dave, I’m running all out, I’ve really got to be out in the field closing…

Expecting Our People To Think For Themselves

I’ve not been following my normal cadence of blog posts the past couple of weeks. Normally I publish 4-5 a week, in the past two weeks, I published about a third that number. Part of the reason is I’ve been consumed with doing my “day…

Predictable Buying

We spend lots of time and money trying to create predictable revenue, increasing the predictability of our sales approaches. We constantly engineer, refine, tune and re-engineer what we do and how we engage our customers to produce POs. We optimize our efforts, looking to be…

Getting Things Done

It seems our days are consumed with meetings. We have meetings to develop win strategies for a deal. We have meetings to develop proposals. We have endless reviews–pipeline, deal, account, territory reviews. We have meetings to talk about new programs or initiatives. We have meetings…

Pipeline Quality And Integrity

I must have done thousands of pipeline reviews over my career. Somewhat casually, I toss around the terms “Pipeline Quality And Integrity” Usually, we get into a discussion about what these things mean–it’s dangerous to assume people understand. But I usually talk about those terms…

Why Do 95% Of Customers Buy The Last Day Of The Quarter?

If I’m to believe the pipelines I spend lots of time reviewing, there is an odd phenomenon, at least 95% of customers make their purchase decisions and issue POs on the last day of the quarter. At least that’s the data sales people tend to…

Deal Strategies, Helping The Customer Buy

Recently I wrote, “What If We Kept The Target Close Date Sacred?” It focused on improving our pipeline management, discipline, and integrity. But the way we address these issues is in our deal strategies and how we engage the customer in each deal. Most of…

What If We Kept “Target Close Date” Sacred?

Just finished one of those “aha” conversations with a client. Thought I would share the concepts with you. One of the things I pay a lot of attention to, as I review pipelines or deal strategies, is the Target Close Date, and how many times…

“They Aren’t Using CRM!!!”

The first time a sales manager made this statement to me, in frustration, was about 20 years ago. Since then, it’s become the common complaint I hear from managers (If I had a nickel for every time…….) It’s what happens next that explains a large…

The Pipeline Review

I was meeting with a client, we were doing the first pipeline review as part of their implementation of the Sales Execution Framework. Pipeline reviews are a great starting point for the process, a good pipeline review helps identify and isolate potential challenges as well…

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