Sales Leaders – stop kidding yourself. AE’s need to be prospectors in 2024.


What you WANT to do, and what you NEED to do, are often conflicting.

I want a sales flywheel like I had in the past at Sales for Life, but I need to self-source and prospect as a Founder-led sales motion until my companies are self-sustaining and scaled.

Here are the three topics this week:

1. Sales Leaders – stop kidding yourself. AE’s need to be prospectors in 2024.

2. Why do we launch 0-to-1 sales methodology training for individual sellers?

3. Life Lesson – stay in your sales lane for the long term.

Sales Leaders – stop kidding yourself. AE’s need to be prospectors in 2024.

I remember showing up at sales conferences in 2018-2019, feeling like a peacock. My company Sales for Life was the undisputed heavy-weight champion of Social Selling. No one had scaled and enabled more of the global sales forces on this topic than we had. We had a sales & marketing machine. But I was also lying to myself. Our CAC: LTV ratio was way, way out of sorts as our customer acquisition costs were far too high.

In 2023, I constantly meet CROs and SVP Sales who are just… lying to themselves. The number of sales leaders I meet that claim their AE’s:

  • Shouldn’t be prospecting
  • Don’t have time to prospect
  • Not the job of the AEs to prospect

It’s remarkable. I get it. We romanticize a Predictable Revenue sales motion invented by Salesforce nearly 20 years ago. The premise then was simple:

  • Take young kids being paid 🥜and strap them to a 🤳phone and dial for dollars.

This was a great model when the labor arbitrage of these sales tasks was extraordinary. But with 25-year-olds asking for $80,000 salaries, and the average sales team having 25 sales tools… this model is completely broken.

So yes, you may WANT the BDR machine to be supplying your senior AE’s with highly qualified leads… but you NEED a sales pipeline. 

When you play golf, are there pictures of your golf swing on the scorecard?

You just need outcomes.

The obvious Problem-to-Solution is right in front of you. You have senior AE’s sitting on their hands, capable of great things. Yes, they will be pushed into an uncomfortable world of prospecting. But that’s what you NEED to do.

Why we launched 0-to-1 sales methodology training to individual sellers.

Frankly speaking, I was sick of watching sales enablement leaders handicap you – the Account-based Seller.

Situation: You, the Account-based Seller, have to self-source your own sales opportunities (not all, but enough to close your Quota Gap of sales attainment).

Challenge: You are told “You are the CEO of your own portfolio/territory” but then you are beholden to the drivel that your sales enablement team prescribes for you.

Opportunity: Take control of your own learning path.

Resolution: We have now allowed any seller (specifically designed for AE’s / AM’s – Account-based Sellers) to master the 0-To-1… Pipeline Creation motion.

There is a very specific dance routine you should be doing to open new doors.

Like any sport you master, if you practice with purpose, it will become natural for you. The outcomes are what put a smile on your face. You will be fitter, healthier, and happier with your sales pipeline coverage.

Check out how simple we have made it for you to become the better prospecting version of yourself.

Life Lesson – stay in your sales lane for the long term.

If I look back at my entrepreneurial journey thus far, my biggest mistakes have come when I focus on:

  • The now vs. the big picture
  • Play “small ball”
  • Tack, Pivot
  • Leave my lane

You won’t understand this without hindsight, but your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile or Avatar) that you develop a social network / real relationships over your career – that’s the compounding interest that serves you success. It’s not a product. It’s not a trend. It’s the development of a network of people that you can tap into for referrals, and introductions and consistently sell into that base… over and over again.

I had left my core ICP abandoned for a few years in a dream to chase a shiny object – a SaaS product.  That had me leave my natural ICP of CRO / CSO and Heads of Sales Enablement, and move into an adjacent buyer – RevOps, SalesOps, MarketingOps.  

  1. I didn’t have the trust of that network
  2. That network thought differently than I did
  3. I didn’t particularly enjoy serving that network

It cost me time, money, and opportunities.

I play this out for you as I see sellers jump from ship to ship every 2 years, chasing the shiny thing. They move from serving the CHRO one week, to the CMO the next. They have to start all over again. Years go by, and their social network has no depth. A $10,000 $30,000 or even $100,000 bump in base pay might feel good today, but can cost you millions of dollars over a lifetime.

Play the long game.

The wisdom I’ll impart to you is this – find an ICP you love to serve, and you’ll never have to really “work” again in your life. You will be serving people you would have helped for free at a party. You will be wildly successful long-term because you are helping the people you LOVE to help.

Focus on your ICP first, then find a product/service/solution that fits with that ICP.

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?

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