Trying to get your AEs to self-source more pipeline? Stop giving them arbitrary activity requirements.

"Mandatory 30 activities per day"
"Mandatory 25 cold calls + 5 personalized emails per day"
"Mandatory 200 outbound activities per day"

No one became an AE to be micromanaged. And an arbitrary number has no meaning. There's no "why."

Instead, help every AE dial in their sales math.

✅ Start with the "why" convo

Have a big picture talk with every AE. Find out where they want to be in 3-5 years.

How much money do they want to make? What kind of lifestyle do they want?

Do they want to put their kids in private school? Buy their dream home? Retire in their 40s or 50s?

Make it real. Find their "why." And reverse engineer starting with how much money they want to make.

✅ Dial in the sales math

Use this formula to determine the exact level of activity needed for you to hit target:

→ Commissions earned goal / commission rate = Revenue needed to close
→ Revenue target / avg. deal size = # of deals to close
→ x % of pipeline you need to self-source = # of self-sourced deals to close
→ / win rate on qualified opportunities = # qualified opps needed
→ / conversion rate of 1st meetings to opps = # 1st meetings needed
→ x # outbound activities to create a meeting = # total outbound activities needed

For example:

→ $100k commissions / 10% commission rate = $1M target
→ $1M target / $50k avg. deal size = 20 deals to close
→ x 30% of pipeline you need to self-source = 6 self-sourced deals to close
→ / 30% win rate on qualified opportunities = 20 qualified opps needed
→ / 30% conversion rate of 1st meetings to opps = 67 1st meetings needed
→ x 80 outbound activities to create a meeting = 5,360 total outbound activities needed
→ = 446 outbound activities / month (111 / week)

Now you have the exact number of outbound activities to create the meetings you need every week to hit target.

This creates meaning and “why” behind the outbound grind.

✅ Don’t have great historical data to work with? Start with these benchmarks:

Aim to self-source 30% or more of your pipeline
Use a 30% win rate on qualified opps
Use a 30% opportunity creation rate on 1st meetings
Use between 60-80 outbound activities to create a meeting

~~~

Want 3 more killer strategies to help your AEs self-source 30%+ of their pipeline?

Check out the latest newsletter I put together with my good friends Nick Cegelski and Armand Farrokh at 30 Minutes To President's Club.

Grab it here: www.30mpc.com/newsletter/how-to-self-source-30-of-your-pipeline-in-sales

The future of outbound is not:

⛔️ Turning SDRs into "influencers" or "thought leaders"
⛔️ AI written cold emails
⛔️ Any single channel being dead (phone, email, or social)
⛔️ AEs relying on marketing & SDRs to hit their number

The future of outbound is:

✅ Making the SDR role less "smile & dial" and more strategic

Sales teams will spend more time teaching SDRs about the personas they're prospecting to. What they care about. What their day-to-day looks like. The business problems their solution solves.

There will always be a need for proactively reaching out to prospects. Let's not pretend that SDRs are going to be thought leaders who generate a ton of inbound interest for their sales org.

✅ AE will be an "extra set of hands" vs. an "extra brain"

AI has nowhere near the ability to do the thinking for the rep. But it's very fast at compiling data points you'd otherwise gather manually.

AE will:

- Gather accurate contact data from multiple data sources
- Gather relevant triggers for you
- Suggest stakeholders to reach out to
- Tee you up with talking points
- Help you prioritize the best accounts

✅ Outbound will always be multi-channel

The hardest part about prospecting through phone & email is all the noise you're competing with. Email volume is at an all-time high. Cold call pick-up rates are at an all-time low.

Relevance & great timing will always be the answer to punching through.

The future of outbound isn't reliant on any one channel in particular. But on the ability of a rep to prioritize accounts most likely to engage, find relevant triggers, and engage with creative messaging.

AI will be a big help in this area.

~~~

Agree or disagree with my takes?

I'm talking all about this and more in my coffee chat with Salesforce on Tues 6/18 @ 1pm ET.

Topic: How to make outbound work for you in 2024.

Register here to join us in the Slack channel: https://sforce.co/June18CC

AE Self-Sourcing: 3 strategies to self-source more pipe

👇

The need for AE self-sourcing continues to grow. Get used to a world in 2024 and beyond where most AEs must source 40-50%+ of their pipeline to hit or exceed target.

Here are three simple strategies to implement with your team this month:

✅ #1: Leverage momentum and excitement

A hugely underrated strategy. Sales is all about momentum. And leveraging times when your energy and excitement are the highest.

→ Just closed a deal? Call into similar accounts.
→ Just landed a big meeting? Call into similar accounts.
→ CS just shared a big outcome your client got? Call into similar accounts.
→ On a role with a specific persona? Call into similar contacts.

Ride the high, baby!

Managers: When an AE closes a deal, ask: "How can you turn this momentum into another deal?!"

✅ #2: Work by industry/persona

Context switching burns up mental energy fast. Organize your outreach around specific plays, industry, and/or personas.

Let’s say your solution helps security, infosec, and operations leaders. Don’t run call blocks into all three personas at the same time. It’s too hard to get momentum.

Create daily/weekly themes. Dedicate specific buckets of time around a persona, industry, use case, or sales play.

✅ #3: Tag team accounts with your SDR

The best AEs know how to leverage their SDR counterparts. The strategy that works best is tag teaming the same accounts.

It helps when the SDR can do the heavy lifting around research and account mapping. And you can share the outbound responsibilities.

Here are some ideas you can try:

→ AE goes high, SDR goes low. You spend time on the more senior prospects and the SDR focuses on users/influencers.

→ Split by persona, industry, use case, account size, etc. This is a great way to work the same account at different angles

Managers: Help facilitate this process

Trend I'm seeing: WAY too much enablement on process & not enough on skill improvement

It's the #1 reason why pipe gen is down right now. And why win rates are so low.

You've been there.

Sitting through days of onboarding. Or hours every week of meaningless training calls on process, product updates, etc.

But zero help on how to EXECUTE. The nitty gritty tactics of what to do when a prospect picks up a cold call and says, "Hello?"

What most reps get:

⛔️ Hours of onboarding videos
⛔️ Templated 40-page sales decks that talk all about the product
⛔️ Enablement on CRM process & other tools

What they need (but don't usually get):

✅ Messaging on their prospect's key goals & problems
✅ Training on how to use the messaging in live situations (calls, emails, etc.)
✅ Feedback, coaching & reinforcement from their front-line leader

I'm not saying reps shouldn't be taught how to properly use their CRM. It's important.

But nothing trumps skill development.

→ The skills to engage a prospect in the first 60 seconds of a cold call (where most die)

→ The skills to write a reply-worthy cold email in 4 sentences or less

→ The skills to handle tough objections on cold calls

→ The skills to run an effective discovery conversation

→ The skills to run an engaging demo

→ The skills to have the multi-threading conversation when you're single-threaded

→ The skills to negotiate without losing all the profit in a deal

These skills lead to measurable sales outcomes.

~~~

The majority of enablement calories should be spent on skill improvement, not teaching new processes.

The process isn't the problem. It's the rep's ability to execute the process in live situations with prospective customers.

And the ability of their front-line leader to provide feedback & coaching.

This episode is the audio from our recent webinar on how to make outbound work in 2024. We were joined by Adam Robinson, CEO, Retention.com, Mark Kosoglow, and Ashley Kelly, VP Global Sales Development, Rippling.

Check out the show notes, more free content, and get coaching at https://outboundsquad.com

Want your AEs to self-source more pipe?

Stop providing little to no:

⛔️ Training & enablement

Outbounding and selling are two different skills. 80%+ of reps are not good at both.

Don't expect AEs to pick up the phone without a great talk track. Don't expect responses to their emails without solid email coaching.

AEs need a playbook and consistent reinforcement.

Action: Build a quick & dirty playbook for AEs. And provide weekly or bi-weekly training on the latest best practices.

⛔️ Accountability

Outbound is hard. Let's be honest, it kinda sucks.

But just like exercising, it's necessary. And most people won't do it (including me) without accountability.

Action: Structure weekly 1-hour blocks for AEs to focus on pipeline generation. Then recruit a team lead or rep with leadership qualities to help hold the team accountable to their daily 1-hour block. Report on the results daily.

⛔️ Sales Math

Don't create arbitrary activity targets. Help every rep dial in the exact outbound activity required to hit their sales target.

Action: Work the math backwards from revenue/deals closed down to the number of outbound activities to set the meetings required to close enough deals.

⛔️ Coaching & feedback

Most managers do pipeline and deal reviews. They take up the majority of 1on1s and team calls.

Don't forget to add pipeline generation into the mix. Provide guidance to reps on accounts they can target, ways to approach, and feedback on their messaging.

Action: Carve out 10-15 min. of your weekly 1on1 to focus solely on PG.

~~~

You can't expect the majority of your AEs to self-generate pipe if you don't create a system for them to succeed.