What is the ‘Self-Generated Quota Gap’ math that sellers are facing?


I don’t care how awesome you think your GTM strategy is. In the +600 global customers we’ve served in +10 years, I’ve never seen a +$10,000,000 B2B complex sales org survive on inbound leads alone.

You will be forced to go out into the deep water and fish. That means your AE’s will need to pick up the slack.

Here are the  four topics this week:

  1. What is the ‘Self-Generated Quota Gap’ that sellers are facing?
  2. Your AE’s have prospecting Enertia.
  3. ChatGPT for Storyboarding your sales cadences.

What is the ‘Self-Generated Quota Gap’ math that sellers are facing?

Simply put, it’s the dollar value and customer unit gap between:

Sales Quota

  • (minus) Inbound Sources (Marketing, Channel, etc.)

(Delta) Self-Generated Gap

This is the gap that either:
  1. BDR + AE’s need to fill
  2. AE’s / AM’s (Portfolio model) need to fill

Either way, the senior AEs / AMs must go into the deep water and catch some tuna!

This is crushing sales organizations right now. AE’s can’t, won’t, don’t:
  • Too busy.
  • Don’t know how.
  • Focus on closing, creating a perpetuating cycle of furthering the GAP as they don’t focus on prospecting.

We often see the excuse of “Too Busy” as a mask for “I can’t remember how.” Many of these senior AE’s have truly prospected into net new accounts for years. YEARS! They have been account managers, babysitting existing customers with renews and occasionally up-sell/cross-sell.

But that’s not what you need. You need NET NEW LOGOS!

Step 1 – Actually quantify the ‘Self-Generated Gap’. Most sellers have a quota and territory and press ‘Go.’ But they have no idea if they need $10,000, $100,000, or $1,000,000 to close that gap.

Step 2 – Reverse-engineer that GAP into a Controllable Unit. Sellers can’t control $$$, nor even maintain winning accounts. Even the best sales teams bat. 500 on their Commit projections. It would be best if you reverse-engineered the Self-Generated Gap down to controllable Actions and Activities. Down to units of accounts. Units of conversations. What does the seller need to do:

  • Today
  • Every day this week
  • Every day for 20 business days
  • Every day for 1 quarter.

Sellers can only control “the decisions they make and the actions they take.”

Step 3 – People, Process, Tech – fill the gap. Now this is where Sales Enablement and Revenue Operations come in.  

  • What skills are missing to jumpstart these AE’s prospecting net new accounts?
  • What tools/platforms can reduce workload / increase productivity?
  • Do we have AE’s doing $5/hour tasks?  Can we remove the admin burden from them?

Your AE’s have prospecting Enertia.

An object in motion wants to stay in motion. A thing that hasn’t prospected in a few years wants to remain an account manager.

Here is a crazy stat – when a plane leaving from New York to Los Angeles takes off, 40% of the fuel consumed happens at takeoff, and the remaining 60% is slowly burnt over 5 hours. The inertia to overcome is on launch.

Your sellers are the same. You have SDRs/BDRs who are employed to prospect… fine. But your AE’s and CSMs grew and transitioned to these roles thinking their prospecting days were done. It’s like so many people in their 20’s/early 30’s. They finish college and assume they are done with school, only to realize later in life that they must become adult learners… EVERY DAY.

You’ve probably heard coaches say, “80% of everything is getting started”… ‘cause it’s true! To rebuild the prospecting muscles inside your AE, AM, and CSM team, you must return them to the prospecting gym.

Problem – you can buy all the barbells, treadmills, and rowing machines you want (software tools), but if you aren’t:

  1. Self-motivated to change
  2. Have an Accountability Coach to help you change

Change won’t happen magically. The sales team is going to need a push.

ChatGPT for Storyboarding your sales cadences. 

When ChatGPT came out, I was interested, but more on a parlor trick level. It was like Siri or Alexa, but a “3D” version. But now, it’s getting better and better. Below is the ACTUAL 5 storyboarded cadence built on the following question. Remember, yes, it’s filled with analogies. Still, the intent is to help inspire sellers to search for customer challenges/problems to help identify critical insights about their customers and key stakeholders at a customer.

I’ve asked ChatGPT the following questions:

Build a 5 story cadence to tell a story about the challenges in B2B prospecting

First story:

B2B prospecting is like climbing a mountain. You start at the bottom and work your way up, but it’s only sometimes a straight path. It would be best to navigate obstacles, push through fatigue, and sometimes backtrack to find a better route.

Second story:

Prospecting requires persistence. It’s like running a marathon. You must keep putting one foot before the other, even when you feel like giving up. Building relationships with potential clients takes time and effort, but the rewards can be significant.

Third story:

The key to successful prospecting is understanding your target audience. It’s like fishing in a lake. Using the right bait and technique to catch your desired fish would be best. You need to know what your prospects are looking for to hook them.

Fourth story:

B2B prospecting is also about building trust. It’s like building a bridge. You have to lay a solid foundation, use strong materials, and ensure it can withstand the weight of your client’s expectations. Trust is necessary for your prospects to do business with you.

Fifth story:

Finally, B2B prospecting requires patience. It’s like planting a garden. You have to sow the seeds, water them, and wait for them to grow. It takes time to see results, but you can reap a bountiful harvest with consistent effort. Remember that not every prospect will become a customer, but nurturing your leads increases your chances of success.

But then I took the Nike – Form 8K Q3 FY23 and asked ChatGPT to summarize the findings:

Now we are getting closer to Account Planning summaries.

Next, I asked ChatGPT to collect “3×3 Research” (traditionally, this was finding 3 insights in 3 minutes about a prospective customer). But you can call in “Everything you want to know in 1-second” research about Seamless.ai. ChatGPT can crawl the public web and collect information that touches the web:

No excuses. Sellers are gaining more and more insights about prospects to have constructive, objective conversations about:

  • Markets
  • Competitors
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Pain points

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