Blogger of The Week- Dave Brock, Conversation Starter


Some things in business are like a reliable compass that helps you find the way in any given situation. Old school IBM senior management training--with its emphasis on the big picture--is one of them. You sense that reading Dave Brock's post on sales managers and coaching over at sister site The Customer Collective, which we built and manage for the folks at Oracle. Fourteen TCC members commented on Dave's post, providing fresh ideas about productivity, sales training and effectiveness in the Enterprise 2.0 sales channel.  Dave is our Blogger of the Week because he is a difference-maker who knows how to lead a valuable conversation.

Dave hooked up with Big Blue coming out of the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in applied physics and went on to get an MBA at UCLA's Anderson School of management  He was a director with significant experience in sales, customer service and marketing when got off the bus on the eve of the first dot com boom a dozen years later.

With his own consulting firm, Partners In Excellence,  a consulting organization that helps its clients develop and execute business, sales, marketing, customer service, and new product strategies, and his own blog, Dave generously shares ideas gained on the front lines, coaching sales teams and other high-tech companies and even a sports organization.

Watching social media, social selling and social networking tools like Twitter ramp up and into the mainstream Dave suggests a measured approach for C-suite executives who feel pressure to implement new strategies.

“The top level decision makers don’t read blogs, don’t use LinkedIn for anything other than adding contacts, and think Twitter is stupid,” Dave says. “So, as a community, we need to figure out how to reach out to those people---through media they use and leverage. My company recommends a gradual approach. A blog is a good place to start. We need to show them easy ways to start experiencing and experimenting in social media and networking. For example, just getting sales executives to read Customer Collective once a week is a great start---they will be amazed at the quality of insight that is posted.”

Dave also puts a lot of time and energy into cross-cultural training and coaching and has been traveling to the Far East for three decades. “Too often we impose “our ways” on everyone else,” Dave says. “Or we tend to put assessments of “good or bad” on the business practices (ours are always the good ones). What we have to recognize is that it isn’t a question of good or bad, but different."  Reuters reports China is spending $4.5 billion over the next two years on English language and business culture training.  Dave says "the opportunities for selling technology in the Far East for those with the right sales and cultural skills are huge.”

Our thanks to Dave for sharing his insights with our readers and we look forward to more of his comment provoking posts on The Customer Collective.