Priority #1 for SKO 2024 – Key Account Prospecting Strategies for AE’s.


On September 4th, the emails started to come in. The 2024 SKO planning season is upon us. I know I know – we still need to finish this year strong. But if you don’t prioritize pipeline creation early in 2024, you’re going to be disappointed with your results.

Here are the three topics this week:

1. Priority #1 for SKO 2024 – Key Account Prospecting Strategies for AE’s.

2. Experiential / Live events are surging as a counter-culture to AI.

3. ‘Customers on the Move’ Signals are producing a 5-10% Opportunity Rate per month!

Priority #1 for SKO 2024 – Key Account Prospecting Strategies for AE’s.

In my opinion, the best key account strategies are formulated as a TEAM.

Definition of Synergy – “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” – Aristotle.

Ask your Account-based sellers to partner with their fellow revenue contributors (SDR/BDR, Sales Engineers, CSMs, Marketing) to build and defend a key account strategy that is immediately executable in the market.


  1. Improve team collaboration.
  2. Strengthen strategic decision-making through consensus/teamwork.
  3. Build a key account strategy (multiple accounts) that creates sales opportunities in < 30 days post-SKO.

Create a live workshop (which can also be delivered virtually) that focuses on key sales skills you want to strengthen:

  • Key Account Prospecting
  • Team-Work & Collaboration
  • Objective Decision-Making in Relation to Account Selection, Prioritization, and Time Management.

Make sure your workshop is highly practical and outcome-based. Sellers need to be building a real case study strategy that defends:

  • Why focus on this account?
  • What key insights do we need to engage this account effectively?
  • How do we engage this account in a bold & different way?
  • How do we qualify IN / OUT of this account quickly? 

One of my favorite gamification methods is a “Sharks Tank” experience that will be held after each team/pod creates their key account strategy, and defends their strategy to the “Sharks” (your collective sales team). The audience (your collective sales team) will ask tough questions, and provide constructive feedback, all in an effort to strengthen the plan.

Each team will vote for the top team/pod to award a grand prize for the top key account strategy. Following the workshop, the account owner(s) of the accounts focused on within the workshop will be responsible for executing the key account strategy within 30 days of the event. The goal – create a sales opportunity from each key account strategy.

Target Group:

Primary – Account-based Sellers. AE’s / AM’s that own a portfolio of accounts.

Secondary – Remaining revenue team (BDRs, Sales Engineers, Marketing) that support the success of an Account-based strategy.

Team / Pod Construction:

Ideal = Round tables of < 10 sellers per table, constructed of:

  • The Account Owner will pull through the Key Account Strategy post-workshop.
  • AE’s in a similar region/market to provide various points of view.
  • RVP Sales to observe objective decision-making and team collaboration.
  • CSMs to think critically about how pre-sales success affects post-sales success.
  • Account-based selling support (SDRs / BDRs, Marketing, Sales Engineers) provides a unique perspective to pipeline creation.

Delivery & Timeline:

Ideal = +3 hours.

1 hr – teaching Account-based prospecting strategies

1 hr – Teams/pods construct their key account strategies

1 hr – Teams/pods present their case study defenses


1 Key Account Strategy per Team / Pod.

1 Sales Opportunity per Team / Pod within 30 days.

Key Skills Acquired:

  • Key Account Prospecting – best practices delivered through a collective experience.
  • Team-Work & Collaboration.
  • Objective Decision-Making in Relation to Account Selection, Prioritization, and Time Management.

Experiential / Live events are surging as a counter-culture to AI.

Experiential / Live events are surging as a counter-culture to AI.

I heard a great discussion on the My First Million Podcast that argued that for every movement (think of a sales motion), there is a counter-culture movement that is created as well.

In 2012, I helped pioneer Social Selling because the world was fixated on scaling SDRs / BDRs to hyper-accelerate cold calling, thus Social Selling on LinkedIn was a counter-culture that proved to become an everlasting movement. The over-indexing on SDRs / BDRs for +10 years, strapped to the sales engagement tool rockets 🚀has created a backlashing counter-culture movement for GTM teams to:

  • Squash / shrink their SDR / BDR teams.
  • Question the advocacy of email blasting with sales engagement tools
  • Invest in AE’s conducting more ‘Self-Sourcing’ key-account prospecting
  • A resurgence of Content Marketing and influencer Marketing with an Inbound focus.

There is another tsunami coming called AI. AI will take the sales engagement “Drinking Bird” way of prospecting and hyper-accelerate it.

But that inlays the future counter-culture that they discussed on the podcast. Your customers are remote, your customers are seeing fewer and fewer people every month, and your customers will now go from 100 emails a day to 1,000.

A subset of your customers will snap and want experiences like they had in the past.

I personally believe there will be a resurgence of customers wanting to go to user conferences, networking events, and peer panel reviews – get out of their comfort zone of the Zoom-a-thon and into learning live again.

I’ve always had the ability to “see around corners” and predict the sales ecosystem before it became standard operating. Personally, I’ve made a commitment to myself in 2024 that I will be participating in many, many live events. I feel there are massive cohorts of customers just like me who feel “out of the loop” a bit.

Prepare your sales teams to press palms with customers in 2024.

‘Customers on the Move’ Signals are producing a 5% – 10% Opportunity Rate per month!

There was an excellent study published by MarketingSherpa that compared +4000 B2B customers and found that email campaigns for cold outreach are as likely as:

Getting audited by the IRS = 0.5%

Getting your car stolen = 0.3%

Dying in a car accident = <1%

And for anyone reading this, you probably said “It will never happen to me”.

Exactly. Nor will you get a Sales Qualified Lead from your cold emails.

But our customers are finding a simple solution to achieving 5x to 10x that return…

Call your ‘Customers on the Move’.

These are YOUR PAST CUSTOMERS (Power Users, Champions, Decision-Makers) that have left your customers, and are now in:

  • Other Customers
  • Prospect Accounts
  • Greenfield Accounts

Your opportunity is to engage them during the Window of Change.

This is how you skyrocket your email, LinkedIn, or cold call conversion. You are calling people during a compelling event – their change!

FREE RESOURCE – Activity & Pipeline Gap Calculator

Does each of your sellers know the exact number of conversations they will need to have next month to highly influence Pipeline Creation?  

Have they accounted for the headwinds and tailwinds?

  • Leads from Marketing
  • Leads from the BDR team
  • Leads from Channel Partners

What is their ‘Self-Sourcing’ GAP?

Download it here

How many opportunities do they need to self-source?

How many conversations will be required to create enough opportunities to win?

Begin your pipeline journey

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