Dave Brock

The Elephant In The Room, Sales Talent Management

Ask any sales manager or executive their number one challenge in the future, it’s likely they will say, “Making our numbers….”  That’s the perennial answer that inspires a response like, “Wow, how inspired, why didn’t I think of that?” Only a handful of executives really understand the question.  Making the numbers is a result of the [...]

Customers, Looking For Help In Other Places

As sales people, our goal is to become the “go-to” resource for our customers in helping them solve their business problems.  We want to position ourselves as trusted advisors to our customers. But customers aren’t responding, increasingly, they rely on other resources for help in solving their business problems.  CSO Insight’s 2018 Buyer Preferences Survey show [...]

Transforming What We Do Is Not Optional!

Last week, I was sitting in the Gartner Sales and Marketing Conference.  If you’ve never attended, it’s one you need to put on your future agenda.  Even if you aren’t a Challenger fan, it is probably one of the best learning experiences I can recommend. One of the panelists, Myke Hawkins of Kelly Services, made a [...]

The Challenged Customer

Our customers (and us) live in worlds characterized by information overload, rapidly changing circumstances, increasing demands, rising management expectations, scarcer resources, increasing scale, disruption, distraction, and complexity.  It’s impossible to avoid feeling overwhelmed, unbalanced,  and distracted. Getting things done, getting the support and resources to move forward is increasingly difficult.  They must coordinate efforts across more [...]

There Is No “Playbook” For Buying!

Playbooks are big.  There are lots of tools and never ending content around playbooks for marketing and sales.  Inevitably, these playbooks are intended to guide us through our marketing and sales processes–providing us relevant questions and content to move the customer through their buying process. Every playbook I’ve seen is very linear in its approach–start at [...]

Sales And Sales Management Is Broken

I have to admit being consumed with CSO Insights latest Sales Performance Report.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to read it, make sure you take the time to download and study it.  It’s filled with fascinating analysis, each chart presents huge opportunities for performance improvement. The chart I keep coming back to is their 2018 [...]

Insist On The Highest Standards

Too often, as I work with organizations, teams, and individual, I find people “settling.”  By that, I mean, there seems to be some sort of fatalistic attitude or closed mindset that keeps them from doing their very best and seeking the very best from everyone around them. We see it manifested in all sorts of ways: Sales [...]

Does Quota Matter?

There are a lot of posts, some of them very thoughtful, about whether “Quota” is a reasonable measure of sales performance. I have to admit, I’m torn by this issue, but tend to think Quota is an important measure–though not the only measure. If you’d allow me to think out loud. Everyone in an organization is accountable for [...]

Thinking About Sales Performance — That Is Sales Management Incompetence

I’m a huge fan of the research done by the folks at CSO Insights.  They are very gracious in sharing their research with me—Thank you! I was just reading their newly released 2018-2019 Sales Performance Report.  The very first set of data, in a packed report, fascinated me.  It was a comparison of Plan vs Quota [...]

Rethinking The Sales And Marketing Organization

We continue to organize our sales and marketing initiatives around what makes us more efficient or old views of how customers buy. Classically, marketing’s focus is on creating interest and awareness, then driving demand.  The work toward MQLs, turning them over to sales, hopefully as SALs, saying “Good luck and godspeed!, we caught ’em, you skin [...]

Aligning With The Customer Buying Journey

We know we have to align our marketing and sales processes with the customer buying journey.  That used to be simple when we considered the buying journey to be relatively linear.  However, current Gartner research shows a completely different picture of the customer buying journey, one that can only be characterized as “Chaotic.” How do we [...]

“Sales Is Just Another Information Delivery Channel”

In the distant past, sales people were a primary channel for customer for educating customers about solutions and providing information.  Customers had few convenient channels to learn about solutions and new approaches to their business.  Trade shows, magazines, meeting with peers also provided some of this information, but sales people had always been critical for [...]

The “Chaotic” Buying Process

We know the importance of the marketing and sales process.  It provides us a structured, disciplined approach to engaging our buyers.  In theory, it should help us help the customer in navigating their buying process. Sounds good, what could be simpler–start at the beginning, go step by step through each stage, reach the end when the [...]

Change–Never More Than Three!

We all know how difficult it is to change.  Whether it’s our own personal habits/behaviors, those of our teams, our organization/company, or getting our customers to change. There endless pithy quotes both about the importance of change and the challenges of change.  There are 1000’s or articles (add one more to the stack) about how to [...]

Why Do People Buy?

I can already picture half the readers.  Raising their eyebrows, perhaps rolling their eyes, thinking, “Well Dave, the answer is obvious……..” The obvious answer is to address needs, perhaps to solve a problem.  Once that is acknowledged, the more sophisticated immediately leap to understanding the buyer’s journey.  Too many focus only on the “seller’s journey.”  hoping [...]

A Little Whining—When Will We Stop Thinking Buyers Are Stupid

I’ve been away from the blog for a bit.  Three continents in 10 days, sitting in yet another airline lounge waiting my next flight.  I’m clearing email that has piled up over the just completed transatlantic leg. There are two I’ve just deleted from my inbox.  Each is from a supplier that I have had long [...]

Advice For The New Sales Manager, What You Need To Know

Moving into the role of Sales Manager is a challenge for everyone.  Most people struggle, and if you aren’t struggling, perhaps you should be worried.  Often, new managers don’t get great coaching from their managers.  Often, new managers don’t pay attention to the coaching they get from their managers. Too often, new managers rush in to [...]

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 [...]

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