Dave Brock

What Do Icebergs Have To Do With Selling?

Yeah, I know it’s a tired analogy, but icebergs are still useful in thinking about marketing and selling. We all know about icebergs, the part of the iceberg we see is dwarfed by the part of the iceberg that’s under the water and we don’t see. We face the same with our marketing and sales efforts.  Our [...]

What If Every Electronic Outreach Cost $.50?

In the “old days,”  (about 20-30 years ago), my VP’s of marketing used to come to me for approval on major marketing campaigns.  In those days, direct mail/direct marketing was still a primary communication channel.  Marketing campaigns could be pretty expensive, there was design, printing, postage (they were always stamped because people opened stamped mail [...]

Are Our Customer Conversations Substantively Different Than Internal Discussions?

The other day, I published a post, “Are Traditional Selling Skills Even Relevant Anymore?”  It’s generated a lot of great ideas and good discussion on both sides of the topic. One of the premises I had in the article is that the skills/challenges we face in driving change within our own organizations, and  that those customers [...]

“We Chose The Vendor With The Most Complete Solution”

I just read a report, “The Mood Of The B2B Buyer.”  The results weren’t surprising, reinforcing most of the other research I see. There was one piece that provoked me to reflect.  It was the response to the question, “In what circumstance might you opt for a more expensive solution to address a specific business need [...]

Are “Traditional” Selling Skills Even Relevant Anymore?

Categorize this post as “thinking out loud.”  I’m not sure what I think about this issue, so I’m using the post to help me think through it and to get your input and ideas. We all know the story—buying has changed profoundly, complex buying is chaotic, we need to be customer focused/driven, we need to create [...]

Stopping Our Metrics Obsession!

Metrics are important.  They provide a means of helping us understand whether we are on target to achieving our goals.  They also give us insight into potential changes in the market. As we “instrument” more of the selling process, whether through CRM, mobile tools, and other means, we have the capability of measuring many more things [...]

Faux Transformations

The word “transformation,” has become the buzzword for 2018.  Every consultant, guru, prognosticator talks about transformation.  Within organizations, executives proudly present their transformation strategies.  Yeah, I also use the word–possibly too much. The problem is, when one looks at most of these “transformations,” nothing looks that different from before, certainly the outcomes don’t look any better-much [...]

Never Cease Trying To Be The Best You Can Be–That’s Under Your Control

Every once in a while, I have a truly outstanding week.  These are weeks where my clients and I take on big challenges and tough issues, trying to figure out what courses of actions should be taken.  Last week, I was with several clients, one in luxury real estate, two in high technology.  Each is [...]

The Sales Jigsaw Puzzle

Every once in a while, I like to do a jigsaw puzzle.  It’s nice to do in the evening, no distraction from devices, there’s the great tactile feeling as I pick up a new piece, trying to figure out where it fits.  Then there’s the great reward at the end, once all the pieces are [...]

Scaling “Authentic Conversations”

I just received one of those emails.  I’m on a distribution list, I’ve been invited to hear a webinar on “How do you scale authentic communications.”  Among the topics they will be covering are:  “how to automate meaningful and timely follow up,” and “how much time is too much time spent on personalizing emails………” (Interestingly, [...]

Forecasting Games

We’ve all been there, we’ve played the same games.  It’s about the forecast–the monthly, quarterly, annual forecast. We’re pressured to commit.  Ultimately, we agree on a commitment, “Lock me in at $10M for the quarter, boss!  I guarantee you that I’ll make it.” At the beginning of the quarter, we kinda-sorta see the path.  We know “these [...]

Forecast Integrity

Recently, I was in a discussion with a great sales management team.  At one point in the discussion, we started discussing forecast and accuracy. It’s a difficult topic, too often, I think management spends entirely too much time obsessing over the forecasting process. As we discussed ways to improve forecasting, a key point came up.  We can [...]

Who’s Your Competitor, Looking In All The Wrong Places

The email asked me to participate in a market research survey.  It was from one of the old line business publications, it promised a donation to one of my favorite charities, so I decided to take it. The survey was pretty exhaustive.  It asked me all sorts of questions about my reading preferences.  There was one [...]

What’s Your “Net Promoter Score?”

The “Net Promoter Score,” has been around for a long time.  In 2003, Fred Reichheld introduced it in his HBR article:  “One Number You Need To Grow” The concept of the NPS is simple, you ask a customer:  How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?  The answer is [...]

Do Your People Own Their Commitments/Responsibilities?

A sales manager was whining to me, “My sales people don’t do what I tell them to do!  How do I get them to do the things I want them to do?”  He went on a rampage describing how they weren’t meeting their commitments, how they weren’t doing the things that drove the best results, [...]

In Praise Of Boring Sales Organizations

Over the last several weeks, I’ve seen a similar issue with 4 different companies.  On the surface, each seemed to have a very disciplined approach to developing their teams and driving performance. Each spoke about the structured review process.  They had pipeline reviews, deal reviews, 1 on 1’s, and others.  I’d been asked to sit in [...]

Are You Learning Yesterday’s Skills For Tomorrow’s Buyers?

Every time I meet sales enablement and sales executives, I ask, “What are the critical skills you are focusing on training and developing your people on? The answers are varied, but generally fall into very specific, and classic selling skills:  Qualifying, questioning, listening, prospecting, objection handling, closing, call planning, deal planning, account planning, time/territory management, establishing [...]

Going Beyond The “What” Of Activity Metrics

Activity metrics are receiving lots of attention.  Activity metrics can be very useful, at the same time, they can stimulate a lot of, well … wasted activity. Too often, we focus on the wrong things as we put activity metrics in place.  We focus on the “what and how many,”  for example, “You need to make [...]

Automating Stupidity

I have a very good friend, Dr. Howard Dover.  He does wickedly smart things in driving the sales curriculum at UT Dallas.  Every once in a while, I get terribly frustrated and need to vent  and Howard lets me vent. I was venting on the mindless focus on activity.  Activity for activity sake, with no concern [...]

Project Management And Sales?

What’s selling have to do with project management?  It may not be obvious, but strong project management skills are essential for top performing sales people—both for helping our customers buy and for effectively leveraging our own resources in the process. Think about it, a moment.  Our customers have a project–not a buying journey.  They need to [...]

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