How to prospect as a busy AE

In today’s issue, I’ll share 4 simple steps you can follow to keep prospecting as a busy Account Executive. If you’re in sales, no matter your job title, you have to prospect. Your job description may lead you to think otherwise, but you’re never done prospecting as long as you stay in sales.

The good news is that, if you do it right, prospecting isn’t something particularly challenging or time-consuming. You just have to follow a precise system.

Here it is, step-by-step:

Step 1: Put a recurring blocker

This step is 80% of your success in prospecting. Audit your day to find the time when you’re the most productive. For example, I am always more productive in the mornings, from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM.

When you have determined your most productive time, find a 30 – 60 min slot when you don’t have meetings and set a recurring blocker. This blocker allows you to protect your time from colleagues, managers, and team meetings that prevent you from doing your job (most of team meetings do).

By having a recurring blocker, your colleagues will know your prospecting rituals, and no one will be able to book any time in your calendar during this block. This is how mine looks like:

Image #1

Step 2: Identify existing accounts

Now that you have 30 to 60 minutes blocked every day, you need to fill these blockers with prospecting activities. You can build a prospecting routine to help you do that. When the routine is built, focus on building a list of existing accounts.

Start by listing all customers who are currently in contract with you. They will be your Tier 1.

Then go to all customers who are not in active collaboration with you, but who were in the past. They are your Tier 2.

Finally, list all the prospects who were in conversation with you (open opportunities), but didn’t do business with you. They are your Tier 3.

You should have an interesting list to reach out, with different triggers for contacting them.

Step 3: Identify top-tier new accounts

Existing accounts are great to book meetings (for upsells, cross-sells, and renewals), but it’s often not enough to reach your targets. Most Account Executives are hired to open new markets, or acquire new logos.

Build a list of target accounts you absolutely want to speak to. Start by creating a list of Ideal Customer Companies (ICC), and then find the Ideal Customer Titles (ICT) you’d like to contact. Here’s a resource to help you do that.

Step 4: Prospect existing and new accounts daily

With these two lists ready, you can now start prospecting during your daily prospecting block. I personally recommend following this process:

  • Follow-up: Open your task list and execute all your follow-ups first
  • Find 5 – 10 new prospects: Go to your previously built lists and contact half of existing prospects, and half of new accounts
  • Add to sequence: Add these 5 – 10 prospects to the first step of your sequence

If you repeat this process every day, you’ll start more conversations (easy ones with existing accounts), you’ll book more meetings, and you’ll generate a healthy pipeline as a result.

Hope this helps.

PS: This was a preview of my Prospecting Engine. Go check it out if you want to acquire the ultimate knowledge and systems to start conversations, book meetings, and generate a healthy pipeline in 2024 and beyond.


Thibaut Souyris

P.S. When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

→ (NEW) Enroll in The Prospecting Engine

→ (NEW) Need to train your team or invite me as a speaker? Book a call here

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