“It’s not my job to prospect. It’s my job to work deals.” Really?!
I have heard that from way too many AEs as well as sales consultants.
There’s been quite a bit of chatter debating whether AE’s should be accountable to top of funnel activities, otherwise known as prospecting.
Even in this era of highly specialized roles in the GTM team, there is one fact that is not likely to change anytime soon. Top of funnel is EVERYONE’s responsibility.
Recent data from a variety of sources including Tech Target, Tenbound, Bridge Group, RevOps2, and Gartner suggest that Field/Enterprise sales are originating anywhere from 15%-45% of the opportunities that result in ARR.
There are likely a number of reasons why this is the case, but in a noisy environment, relationships and networking are more important than ever.
Who is most likely to have a plethora of good relationships and networking skills? Yes, that’s rhetorical. Of course, it’s the AE!
Programmatic prospecting as a senior seller doesn’t mean qualifying webform leads or making 100 dials a day.
What it does mean is leveraging research, relationships, and networking and pairing these with a specific set of quantitative goals that everyone is accountable to.
When we apply the best practices of multi-channel prospecting into known buyer personas with a clear focus on the ‘buyer why,’ then turning cold calls into warm becomes a critical top of funnel program that an entire team can execute.