Dave Brock

Building Your Support System

This is one of those topics I never thought I would have to write about. It’s a subject I assumed was such common sense and common practice that there was no value I could add by writing about it. Turns out, I’m probably a little naive. Right now, I’m involved in at least halve [...]

Starting With A Blank Sheet Of Paper

I’d like to go through a thought experiment. You can play along, take out a sheet of paper or open a blank document. First, as an introduction, our mental models and experience are often great help in understanding our jobs, how we are successful, and how we perform. We all have mental models, our [...]

How “Sales-speak” Limits Us

Every profession has it’s own language. It’s a shorthand that enables people in the profession to more effectively and efficiently communicate with each other and to get things done. For example, finance types talk about debits, credits, accruals, depreciation, assets, liabilities, and so forth. They have their own acronyms like A/R, A/P ROCA, [...]

What’s The Customer Business Problem?

My friend, Tim Ohai, made an interesting statement, “Sadly many sales people have no idea how to identify when no customer problem exists.” I think there is a lot of truth to the statement. Perhaps the reality is that too many sales people aren’t even identifying the customer problem–the customer is. There’s some evidence [...]

The New Value Proposition: Sense Making

As it should, the concept of the value proposition has changed dramatically over decades. When I was taught the concept of a value proposition, back as people were just learning how to shape wheels from stones, it was basically an enhanced version of feature, advantage, benefit (FABs). Over time, the value proposition became a financially justified business [...]

Learning From “Lazy” Salespeople

“Lazy” sales people are among my favorites–let me qualify that. “Lazy” sales people who always make their goals are among my favorites. “Lazy” sales people, or at least those who seem to accomplish a lot with minimum effort have broken the code. They’ve understood exactly what they need to do to achieve their goals. [...]

What’s A Full Pipeline/Funnel?

I participated in a fascinating discussion about Disqualification. It was on LinkedIn, led by Steve Hall. Click on the link to look at the comments, it’s pretty interesting. But a part of the discussion was really intriguing and brought out how badly we understand pipeline’s and our numbers. As a result, we drive [...]

Zero-Based Sales Planning

As we start a new year, perhaps your plans are locked in. But perhaps there is an opportunity to rethink or, even to reinvent what we think about the sales function and how we sell. So much of what we do is done just because, “That’s the way we’ve always done things.” We think [...]

What We Think Of Our Customers Colors Our Engagement

Someone called seeking coaching on a specific deal.  He had fallen into traps which blinded him in moving forward with a winning strategy. He started the conversation with, “The key decisionmaker is really a jerk!  He’s power hungry, his people want to do something with us, they’ve presented compelling arguments, but he doesn’t want to go [...]

Sales Training And The “Forgetting Curve”

Every year, billions are spent in sales training.  Yet all the data shows over 80% of what is taught is forgotten within 90 days.  As a result, what really is happening is that every year we are throwing away billions on sales training. But it’s worse than that.  The billions spent represents spending in buying, developing, [...]

Sales Talent Is A Problem, Is It Worth Solving?

I just read a provocative post. Sales Talent Is A Problem, Is it Worth Solving, by the folks at CSO Insights.  It’s an interesting view, in the spirit of “Yes, and…..” I’d like to add to the discussion. I suppose answers to the question depend on your mindset.  A closed mindset would probably say, “No!”  The [...]

Letting Form Triumph Over Substance

One of my favorite authors/thinkers is John Gardner.  About 35 years ago, a mentor introduced me to his work about 35 years ago.  One of his most profound books is entitled Excellence, Can We Be Equal An Excellent Too.  I reread the book at least once a year.  There is one phrase in the book [...]

Stupid Works In Sales

I’ve been writing a number of pieces looking at the future of the sales profession.  I’d be remiss not to include a discussion of stupidity in selling. Stupid works, and as long as stupid works, we will continue to see organizations invest in doing things stupidly. Stupid behavior exists everywhere, and selling is no more immune to [...]

Why I’m So Optimistic About The Future Of Selling

About 3-4 years ago, I was participating in a discussion, at the time hosted by CEB, now Gartner.  It was a group of very bright thinkers/practitioners in sales and marketing.  We were discussing the future of sales and marketing–things we saw happening, things we believed needed to change. It was a fascinating discussion, but I struggled [...]

Sales, You Have To Do The Whole Job, All The Time!

We–or rather my wife–had an incident the other day.  We have a housekeeper that comes into our house once a week.  Recently, our housekeeper told my wife, “I really don’t like what I have to do here.  You have too many bathrooms, I only want to clean one–or I’d love not to clean any.  I [...]

The Sales Conversation Of The Future

AI/ML are, apparently, the future of selling.  As I reflect on the brave new world of selling, I imagined a call of the future: Alexa:  Hi, Siri, I’m Alexa from Super Cool As A Service Software Tools Company, otherwise known as SCAASSTC.  Can I have 5 minutes of your time? Siri:  Oh no, is this another robo [...]

Critical Skills For Sales Leaders

I’ve written a lot about the need for new skills for sales people, the traditional selling skills are in sufficient for success in the future.  I’ve even gone so far as to suggest we stop training sales people in traditional selling skills, focusing on skills critical for the future. One might expect, the same applies for [...]

Is Technology Hurting Or Helping Our Ability To Sell And Drive Revenue?

I was invited to participate in a roundtable on the topic, “Is technology hurting or helping our ability to sell and drive revenue?”  It’s a fascinating topic, my response is an unequivocal YES!!! Before I go further, I have proclaim my obligatory fascination and bias toward all things technology.  Most of my career has been working [...]

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 [...]

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