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 asking questions and learning.  In other words, the discovery phase is designed to benefit the sales person.  This disconnect during the early sales stage will likely manifest itself in longer sales cycles or worse yet, stalled deals.

The Customer's "Discovery Phase"

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Want to Join Our Team of Former C-Level Executives at FASTpartners?

We are seeking former C-Level Executives (CEO, COO, CFO, CMO, CHRO, CIO, etc.) who have a passion to leverage their vast experience as senior decision makers.

This person will enjoy working with sales and account management teams in a formal learning and coaching environment to help them improve their business acumen and executive-level selling skills.

Our client learning engagements typically consist of 1-2 day workshop sessions (conducted on the client’s premises) and implementation coaching sessions (conducted via phone conference). As such, travel is required and associated expenses are reimbursed.


We offer highly competitive compensation and a flexible schedule that is mutually agreed in advance of every client training engagement. Additional compensation is available for material assistance in the acquisition of new clients. This position will be considered an independent 1099 contractor.

Profile of Ideal Candidate

An ideal candidate will have:
• Interest in flexible part-time work arrangements
• An approachable and outgoing personality with great communication skills
• A strong desire to help others learn and improve their business skills
• An admiration and respect for the sales and marketing profession and the value they deliver
• Significant experience in:
o Managing large operating and capital budgets
o Making and influencing large purchase and investment decisions
o Interacting with outside vendor/partner teams represented by sales, account management, product management, system engineering, marketing, and consulting
• A willingness to:
o Learn and deliver our workshop learning curriculum, including key messaging and application exercises
o Share experiences and stories (nothing confidential)
• A passion to positively impact and make a difference in the professional lives of others
• Global experience and multilingual capability are highly desired but not required

Our Commitment

We promise to:
• Treat you with the professional respect you deserve as a former C-Level executive
• Help you learn to deliver our workshop learning curriculum, including key messaging and applications exercises
• Provide advance notification of client learning engagements and solicit your agreement to participate


If you have preliminary interest and want to schedule a phone conversation to learn more, please contact:

Jack Dean
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
FASTpartners (Learn from Executives ~ How to Sell to Executives)

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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 the passion and purpose of employees to positively impact the loyalty of the customers’ customers.

For example, the CEO of a technology company selling branch systems to community banks worries about the commercial customers of the banks and whether their experience with cash collections is positively impacted by the expanded capabilities of the new branch system.  The technology CEO wants her company’s purpose-driven culture to be focused on helping commercial banking customers improve their cash flow and elevate their loyalty to the banks.  If the technology company can penetrate the customer-to-customer value chain, they will be rewarded with high levels of loyalty from their banking customers and the customer lifetime value that accompanies it.

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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 CEB), a sales rep acting alone faces almost insurmountable odds of becoming a Challenger Rep.  Marketing’s strong support is an essential prerequisite for transitioning a sales rep into a fully-credentialed Challenger Rep.  According to CEB, “Challenger Reps are made, not born”. “Challenging is about organizational capability, not just rep skills."  To reinforce the “organizational capabilities” messaging theme, CEB walks the talk and offers a provocative insight directed squarely at the marketing organization.  “It’s one thing to tell reps ‘Be a Challenger’.  It’s another thing altogether to tell them exactly what you want them to do.”

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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 the group discussion) because I consistently see the “access” issue as a major focus of sales reps trying to develop executive-level relationships.

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