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Stefan Herbert

"If Selling is about winning a game, Disruption Selling is all about winning the endgame”

Stefan Herbert, Founder, Disruption Selling

I started my sales career in 1987 as a Sales Trainee at NCR, a company founded already in 1884 as a manufacturer of mechanical cash registers. Since the 1950s NCR manufactured computers and by the time I joined they sold proprietary HW/SW solutions to SMBs in the final stage of the Innovation Adoption Lifecycle and open systems (UNIX and Intel/Microsoft) to large enterprises just entering the Early Majority. I clearly preferred the interaction with Early Majority customers and when I joined EDS in 1994 to sell full-scope outsourcing contracts the market had just moved into this stage. My next job in 1997 took me into open systems-based Enterprise SW (ERP) for a pre-IPO start up (QAD) straight into the tornado fanned by the Y2K issue everybody was facing across industries and company size before I took over leadership positions in two pre-IPO start-ups selling to Innovators and Early Adopters.

At EDS I was trained by Holden Corporation in “Power Base Selling” (see 3rd Party Content Review: Power Base Selling) and at QAD I came across Adizes’ “Corporate Lifecycles” and Geoffrey Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm”. Suddenly, the ambiguity I was struggling with in complex sales cycles cleared and these three concepts laid the foundation for my approach to Disruption Selling I honed during my 7.5-year stint as a co-founder of a partnership specialized in consulting for business development and recruiting. The model provides a holistic view of the organizations of the vendor, the customer and the competitors and helps translating it into actionable items driving a disruptive innovation through the adoption lifecycle.

Over almost 10 years I practiced the model at Amazon Web Services starting as a one-man show as the first Enterprise Account Manager in Germany with 30 accounts and ending with just one of them as a Global Account Director leading a global team of more than 30 members and with revenues in the triple digit millions.

In 2023 I founded Disruption Selling and since then support individuals, start-ups and well-established IT market leaders in taking their innovation selling capabilities to the next level.

Books that Changed my Life

Some books I came across made a lasting impression on me by either changing my entire perspective or by pulling the curtain of ambiguity away on something I already had sensed but was not able to grasp.

This is a collection of the most important ones.

Applying the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as a Leader

How Organizations Make Decisions and How to Influence them

Why and How Mature Organizations Can be Disrupted

How to Push an Innovation into the Mainstream Market

How Organizations Mature and Age

How to Negotiate Win-Win Relationships

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