PowerViews with David Brock: Thoughtfulness, Sharp Focus & Sharp Execution


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Joining me today is Dave Brock of Partners in Excellence. Dave’s firm works with clients in many verticals including technology industries, industrial products, financial and professional services, consumer products, retail, not-for-profit and other sectors.

Below, you can read highlights from our discussion or use the links to start the interview from different parts of the conversation. (Due to technical difficulties we were unable to capture live video of this interview. Please use the links below to listen to the audio.)

Getting Off Autopilot, Then Taking Time to Think, Plan & Execute

Click to start video at this pointAsked about one of his recent articles in which he talks about how a tendency to be on autopilot impacts results, Dave notes, “What we find is we’re in the rush of day-to-day. Like our customers, we have so much on our plates that sheer momentum or sheer inertia starts getting in our way, and so we tend to react to what’s happening. Sometimes we tend to get on autopilot.”

He adds that we forget to take time and say what is it that we’re trying to achieve: “What is it that the customer is trying to achieve? How do I help them do that?”

The solution: “Let’s spend a few minutes thinking and planning about what has the most impact, and then execute with precision.” Taking time for this activity “dramatically improves the ability for us to connect in a meaningful way with customers. And we see things like win rates skyrocket. We see things like sales cycle times compressed dramatically. So my mission in life is let’s not rush blindly into what we’re doing.”

Outbound vs. Inbound: Not Either/Or But A Balance Based on Needs & Goals

Click to start video at this pointAsked about the current debate between outbound marketing vs. inbound marketing, Dave advocates using a variety of tools based on needs and goals. He notes, “There is a lot of debate which frankly I don’t understand. People tend to position these and other kinds of prospecting or business development programs as either/or. We stop prospecting, or we stop outbound stuff because we have this wonderful thing called social media, and so now all our prayers are going to be answered by social media.”

Rather than focusing on one set of tools, Dave recognizes the value of different types in different situations: “I think we have a complete set of tools, and that set of tools keeps getting enriched. And we need to leverage all those tools appropriately. I’m one that says if we can have great inbound marketing programs, and I can get fantastic leads and highly qualified leads, I’m really going to leverage those to the utmost.”

He immediately adds that he needs to be able to use all tools available based on his business needs and target metrics: “But if I don’t have a sufficient number that enable me to make my quota, if I’m not finding enough opportunities competing, I’ve got to get out there and prospect—whether it’s outbound prospecting calls or whatever we call cold calls. I’ve got to make sure I have enough business to make my number. I don’t like this kind of either/or. Let’s use all the tools available to us to make sure we’re pursuing enough opportunities or closing enough opportunities and are making our number.”

He emphasizes using the right mix to achieve goals: “I think we tend to grasp for the silver bullet or the magic solution. We’ve got to be balanced in all our approaches to the customer. We have to be balanced in our sales programs, and we have to be balanced in our marketing programs—and leverage the things that work for us.”

Alignment: More of the Right Conversations & Reporting to the Same Exec

Click to start video at this pointDave notes forward motion in marketing and sales alignment based on seeing “more of the right kinds of conversations. More people are starting to say this isn’t just about marketing, this isn’t just about sales, but that we’re all in this together. What I see that is very, very positive is the right kinds of conversations are going on. People are trying to explore how do we get together and how do we more appropriately coordinate our really precious resources.”

He adds that the shared quest for budget dollars is supporting the trend toward greater alignment, and he comments, “The other thing that drives alignment is we don’t have enough funding to do the marketing programs and sales programs we want. So we’re being forced to work together to leverage those resources.”

Dave is also seeing alignment advanced in client companies where both groups report to one leader: “With a lot of the clients that we’re working with right now, sales and marketing report to the same executive. So the executives are driving that and saying, ‘We need to work together.’ One of the executives is in a Fortune 50 organization. He came out of a marketing background, and he is running the sales and marketing organization. So he brings this perspective of integration. I just came back from a trip to the Midwest, and the EVP of sales and marketing that I met with came out of a mixed heritage. He started in marketing, went to sales, went back to marketing, and then ran giant sales organizations. Currently he is responsible for both.”

2012 Recommendations: Managing the Pipeline to Proactively Balance Results

Click to start video at this pointDave was asked—with us already well into Q3—about recommendations to optimize 2012 results. He again notes the importance of balance: “As sales and marketing people, we’re accountable for reaching this year’s numbers, as well as laying the groundwork for next year’s numbers.

He says the cornerstone for that is managing sales pipelines and asking, “Do we have enough business coming in that will allow us to make our numbers this year? Are we doing the right things to assure that we make those numbers?”

He emphasizes the magic word is balance based on delivering on this year’s objectives while simultaneously taking into account long sales cycles linked to success next year. Commitment to this balanced approach is critical as “we don’t want to continually be digging ourselves out of a hole.”

Back to the Basics: Thoughtfulness, Sharp Focus & Sharp Execution

Click to start video at this pointDave concludes by noting the importance of “going back to basics. It’s thoughtfulness. It’s about knowing what you’re doing, focusing on your sweet spot, executing sharply, and everybody working together on it. Revenue generation isn’t strictly the responsibility of sales. While they’re the tip of the spear, it takes the whole company to generate revenue. So I think this collaborative effort—sharp focus, sharp execution—it’s worked historically, and it’s what we need to do going forward as we continue to sharpen our skills.”

You can connect with Dave and learn more about his work at Partners in Excellence via the following resources:

Dave Brock

Dave’s Email: dabrock at excellenc dot com

Dave’s Blog: partnersinexcellenceblog.com

The next PowerViews will be with Tim Riesterer of Corporate Visions. Stay Tuned.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dan McDade
Dan McDade founded PointClear in 1997 with the mission to be the first and best company providing prospect development services to business-to-business companies with complex sales processes. He has been instrumental in developing the innovative strategies that drive revenue for PointClear clients nationwide.


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