Jack Dean

Don’t Let Your Company Executive Go Into a Customer Meeting UNPREPARED

I have been a buy-side executive most of my professional career. I never counted but a rough estimate is I’ve experienced 2,000 face-to-face encounters with sales/account executives, 5,000 phone calls and 20,000 emails, voice messages, text messages, and old-fashioned letters. As you...

12 Credible Ways for B2B Marketers to Disrupt UPSTREAM Decision Phases (Insights from a...

Traditional B2B sales processes/funnels are designed to launch, albeit with latency often measured in months, during what I call the Standard Operating Buying (SOB) Decision Phase, otherwise known as the traditional “buying cycle”.  What a colossal strategic mistake!  B2B marketers may love to “discover”...

E=mc2 and the Physics of Executive-Level Selling

I am a big fan of Brian Greene, an American theoretical physicist, because he opens my mind and challenges me to think differently about the world of science. I enjoy intellectually immersing myself in his writings, which are designed to popularize theoretical physics,...

The ALARMING Decline of Executive-Level Selling Skills (“Clinical” Observations of a BUY-Side CXO)

I consider myself a BUY-side CXO “clinician”. What exactly is a “clinician” you ask? In the healthcare industry a “clinician” is generally defined as a credentialed expert having direct contact with and responsibility for patients, rather than one involved with theoretical or...

Know Thy Customer ~ Unknow Thyself

President Abraham Lincoln was a masterful communicator. What was his secret? It was his ability to prepare what he was going to say by thinking like the audience he was going to address. Mr. Lincoln was known to have said, “When...

Customers Profile Sellers as TRADERS, SAVERS, or INVESTORS

Like it or not, you are being profiled by your customers.  Every interaction refines your seller profile, thereby improving its value to your customers.   As a buy-side executive, I can confirm that many customer CXOs deploy an informal classifying system to profile sales and...

The 40-Year Solution Selling Echo Chamber

Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, says, “The only way to get ahead is to find errors in conventional wisdom”.  If you are a B2B sales executive trying to “get ahead” of your competition, Mr. Ellison offers some good advice.  As you race to establish...

Does Your Discovery Phase Deliver Value to Your Customers?

As a former “buy side” C-level executive, I believe one of the primary goals of the discovery phase of a sales process should be to deliver value to the buyer. Unfortunately, many sales people believe discovery phase conversations are all about probing and...

Make the Customer of Your Customer Your “Sales Purpose”

Except for young children and occasionally teenagers, nothing keeps the CEO of a B2B company awake at night more than worrying about customers and the customers of customers. Why? Because an enlightened CEO knows his/her company's customer loyalty is ultimately driven by...

Do You Conduct Pre-Call Preparation Like Abraham Lincoln?

President Abraham Lincoln was a masterful sales person. What was his secret? It was his ability to plan what he was going to say by thinking like the people he was going to address. Mr. Lincoln was fond of saying, "When I get...

The Challenger Conundrum: What If Marketing Isn’t Up to the Challenge?

You want to become a Challenger Rep®, but your company's marketing organization is not supporting your personal aspiration. Houston, we have a problem. Reading between the lines of the The Challenger Sale (authored by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson of Corporate Executive Board or...

Hello? Are C-Level Executives Listening?

Recently a technology sales manager posted a series of interesting questions on 'Selling to Executives', a LinkedIn discussion group I moderate. His company is a leading provider of pricing optimization and management software. I wanted to share his questions (and how I responded in...

Three Reasons Why B2B Sales People MUST Engage Executives

Today, the new sales reality is that the buying process is more convoluted and confusing than it has been in the past. This "buy-side" complexity manifests itself in a number of dimensions: More stakeholders, greater caution, higher levels of scrutiny, and numerous signature approvals. Most...

The Ultimate Missed Opportunity for B2B Sales Professionals: The Customer Strategic Planning Cycle

During my career as a buy-side executive, B2B sales professionals rarely expressed interest in my company's strategic planning process. That surprised me. In my current role helping sales teams understand customer executive mindset and perspective, I've confirmed my fears: most B2B sales...

Financial Competence is the Key to Successful Selling at the Executive Level

In his book The Speed of Trust, Stephen Covey says trust is not built solely on integrity, but on competence as well.  For sales people wanting to become trusted advisors to customer executives, I believe business competence is an essential personal capability.  In my...

Are Your Customer Success Stories “Executive Sticky”?

Customer testimonials are a widely used prospecting tool by most of you who sell technology solutions. I'll let you in on a little secret … most of your customer success stories aren't "executive sticky". They don't provide sufficient business value insights...

Generic Industry Knowledge Won’t Pass the “Smell Test” with Customer Executives

If you are a B2B sales professional who aspires to achieve trusted advisor status with your customer, gaining industry insight is a critical success factor. But a surface layer of generic industry knowledge won't be nearly enough to establish relevance with a sophisticated decision-maker...

The Ultimate Missed Opportunity for B2B Sales Professionals: The Customer Strategic Planning Cycle

During my career as a buy-side executive, B2B sales professionals rarely expressed interest in my company's strategic planning process. That surprised me. In my current role helping sales teams understand customer executive mindset and perspective, I've confirmed my fears: most B2B sales...

The Post-Financial Crisis B2B Sales Professional

We've come a long way back from the depths of the global financial crisis. There have been many lessons learned on both sides of the buy/sell equation. For B2B sales professionals, this much should be abundantly clear: it's a changed sales environment. A Changed...

“Pain-full” Discussions For Customer Executives

An Executive Encounter Sales Professional (SP): Thanks for agreeing to meet with me. I understand you spoke to Robert, a mutual friend. Executive (Exec): Nice to meet you. Yes, Robert spoke highly of you and suggested I accept your invitation to meet. SP:...

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