Parkinson’s Law – MUCH MORE, MUCH LESS for your Account-based Selling in H2 2023.


I just watched 3 customers trim their GTM teams by 25% – 33% in June. EBITA up, sales flat = Rule of 40% growth. Simple math for a CFO.

You’re most likely experiencing the same conversations in your sales organization.

Your market/ecosystem is getting scrappy… getting 80% “good enough done” through testing/trying new things, while everyone else is sitting around talking about how the economy sucks.

Here are the three topics this week:

1. Parkinson’s Law – MUCH MORE, MUCH LESS for your Account-based Selling in H2 2023.

2. The 3 Problems in your sales org = “Do, Can’t & Won’t” according to Winning By Design.

2. Social Selling – Creator Mode. C.R.E.A.T.E. Process Map. 

Parkinson’s Law – MUCH MORE, MUCH LESS for your Account-based Selling in H2 2023.

Parkinson’s Law has often been referred to as ‘The Cupboard Theory’. Give someone 8 cupboards, and they can fill them with pots and pans. Give them 4 cupboards, and the same pots and pans miraculously fit.  

This happened with sales organizations. Middle management and “Ops” roles coming out of Ops roles. +20 sales tools per seller. A Cost of Customer Acquisition that could be measured in years, not months. We know now that this is over…

Parkinson’s Law is a forcing function for sales reps + their sales leadership to get scrappy. Create more “Yield-per-Seller” by trying new things.  

Here is a list, in no particular order, of what I’m seeing customers do:

  1. Put WAY, WAY more prospecting responsibility back in the hands of Account Executives. Don’t be afraid to disrupt the status quo and wonder “Will they leave the company if we ask them to be BDRs and AE’s together (total Inside Sales)? WHO CARES! The cream will rise to the top. You can’t rely on inbound leads / BDRs only anymore. You need everyone in the boat to Row, Row, Row.
  1. Empower these AE’s to be “CEOs of their own territories”. Intrapreneurs so to speak. The AE has much more autonomy to Select, Plan, and Engage their territory (whether geographically, vertically, or named accounts), but build a plan for their territory and acquire micro budgets to serve that community as if they were the CEO of the region.
  1. Enabling the AE’s to become “micro-marketers” of that territory. Help the AE learn the soft skills of content creation (NOT JUST DISTRIBUTION through employee advocacy). Control their own destiny. Get their hands dirty and learn to make videos, make newsletters like this. Be the center of attention in their market.

This is the only way. If you’re questioning this with an immediate snark (“Impossible, my sellers wouldn’t do this”)… as yourself…

How’s your current marketing & demand generation strategy working out for you?

The 3 Problems in your sales org = “Do, Cans & Won’t” according to Winning By Design.

I credit Jacco van der Kooij for inspiring me on this post. Read his ideas here.

Essentially very similar to the A, B, and C Players that Gartner popularized, you have:

Do’ers = which are NOT Pareto’s Law of 20% anymore. According to Winning By Design, it’s 4.4% (essentially a few Rockstars that hold your sales org up from sinking).

Cans = 40% of your sellers are covering their costs, and adding a little to your bottom line. They sell 50%-80% of the plan. It drives you crazy, but there is a positive ROI (however so slightly) on these teammates.

Won’t = +50% of your sales force. These teammates treat sales like a job, not a vocation. Not a “CEO of their territory”.

What I found interesting in Jacco’s article is how Do’ers, wish the company would melt the sales org down and fire the underperformers. It infuriates them that people like this exist in the company. The CEO + investors want the company to scale, but the Do’ers (A-Players) know that the entire sales organization is really just a handful of heroes that could run the entire thing themselves if they were smaller.

Jacco’s recommendation is 100% spot on with what I’ve been preaching at Sales for Life and Pipeline Signals. A-Players will always be A-Players, but your B-Players (Cans) are where all the opportunity lies.

If you get 5% more sales opportunities-per-rep created (thus EVERYONE needs to be prospecting… yes even seasoned AE’s)… 5% at scale is a massive revenue lift. 5% more opportunities at 10 reps could mean 10 more deals in pipeline coverage in H2. With 100 reps, that could mean 100 more deals. That means deals in H2, which means expansion revenue in 2024.

Get your sales enablement team to identify your CANS, and start thinking about how to Get More At Bats for each and every account-based seller.

Social Selling – Creator Mode. C.R.E.A.T.E. Process Map.

We are filming a new Social Selling certification that will change how your Account-based Sellers (the Do’ers, the A-Players) go to market and shape the customer conversations. This is for Account-based sellers that want to actually be the CEO of their own territory.

Social Selling Mastery – Creator Mode.

Here is the module outline:

  1. Curate:  gather & research your ideas within a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) framework & content calendar.
  1. Refine:  determine the structure of the story/post using the provided post maker. Draw in facts, stories, and best practices to develop the meat of the story. Polish the structure of the message (for example the copy, video, images, etc.).
  1. Execute:  time to share.  How do we put everything in place (mediums, platforms, post style, hashtags, tagging people, cadence/sequence)?
  1. Analyze:  review results, and determine which areas to optimize.  
  1. Tailor:  optimize content based on the results of one of the factors analyzed. Don’t change multiple facets; focus on A/B testing specific control factors.
  1. Expand:  launch into growth mode. Expand the volumes, platform diversification, reach, process to pre-production, process to post-production, and distribution hacks. 

We release the program at the end of Q3 and look forward to helping 1,000’s of Account-based Sellers become the trusted advisors they know they CAN BE, and will have the toolkit to DO.

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