One of the key tenants of accelerating success is through mentorship. Warren Buffet studied under the tutelage of Benjamin Graham. Frank Sinatra took notes from Bing Crosby. Socrates mentored Plato, who mentored Aristotle. Elizabeth Taylor had Audrey Hepburn. The list goes on and on. Whether you’re talking about sports, theater, academics, or business, the underlying premise of shortcutting success by leveraging others’ skills, knowledge and experience is undisputable.

There are two ways to get a mentor- through an organic process where a mentor-mentee relationship naturally emerges; or alternately to pay for one.

However, studies by Christina M. Underhill have revealed that there’s quite a substantial difference. Those who were mentored in a formal setting tended to achieve “slightly more” in professional settings. However, it turns out, “informal mentoring produced a larger and more significant effect on career outcomes than formal mentoring.” You can’t force a mentor.

If you don’t have a mentor how, what can you do to shortcut the road to sales success? Two options. First, as explained in his book Smartcuts, Shane Snow reveals how Jimmy Fallon picked mentors to “study from a distance” and got to know them like the back of his hand. Second, you can find and surround yourself with other rising stars in the industry. Studies have shown this is just as effective as having a mentor. Afterall, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably in B2B sales or marketing. From the title if this post, I’d guess more specifically you’re in sales or account development. If that’s you, you’re in the right place.

You have a tough job. That’s why I wanted to put together this list of the top 50+ sales development and account development leaders. These are the men and women who are doing the work day in and day out. These are people you should follow. These are the people you should get to know. These are the people you should “study from a distance” or, even better, surround yourself with. Consume their content. Be where they are online. Find them at meetups or events.

Again, it’s a tough job, and since the industry is changing, we must all band together. I’ve always been a big believer in the idea “a rising tide lifts all boats.” You’ll find most of the leaders here prescribe to the same belief, which means they’d likely be more than happy to chat. Buy them coffee (hint: Craig loves his Philz). Buy them lunch. Buy them dinner.

Along with my friends, colleagues and coworkers, I’ve done my best to assemble the sharpest minds in sales and account development. The reason it’s 50+ is I’ve probably missed a few. Rather than punish them by my ignorance, I’m more than happy to add to the list.

So, without further adieu, here are the people you should know!

Steven Broudy

Head of Account Development, Americas, MuleSoft

Taft Love

Sr. Director of Sales Ops and Sales Development, SmartRecruiters

Kristina McMillan

Sales Development Practice Leader, TOPO

Nicolette Mullenix

Director of Sales Development, DynamicSignal

Kristin Brey

Director of Sales Development, Optimizely

Ralph Barsi

Senior Director of Global Demand Center, ServiceNow

Eric Gonzalez

Associate Director of Sales Operations, Glassdoor

Ilan Kopecky

Associate Director of Sales Operations, TalkDesk

Ray Carroll

VP of Sales, Engagio

Matt Amundson

Vice President of Sales Development & Field Marketing, EverString

Liz Cain

VP of Go-to-Market Strategy, OpenView Venture Partners

Chad Burmeister

Sr. Director of Sales Development,RingCentral

Daniel Barber

VP of Sales, Datanyze

Craig Rosenberg

Cheif Analyst and Co-foudner, TOPO

Trish Bertuzzi

President & Chief Strategist, The Bridge Group

Kevin Gaither

Senior Vice President of Sales, ZipRecruiter

Lars Nilsson

VP of Global Inside Sales, Cloudera

Ben Brockland

Head of Sales, DataFox

Zach Barney

Director of Sales Development, Teem

Ron Parshad

Director, Sales Development, BrightTALK

Frannie Danzinger

Head of Market Development, 6sense

Franco Caporale

Sr. Director of Demand Generation & Sales Development, Apptimize

Joe Young

Sales Development Manager, Periscope Data

Julia French

Sales Development Manager, Betts Recruiting

Jake Reni

Sr. Director of Sales, Consensus

Kim Maxime-Louis Dill

Head of Sales Development, Fastly

Chris Newton

VP of Sales, Influitive

Wanda Pansky

Director of Sales Development, Intacct

Chris Shrake

Director Sales Development, Invocca

Patrick Purvis

VP of Sales, DiscoverOrg

Diane Updyke

VP of Sales, PandaDoc

Marc Brancaccio

Director of Sales Development, Quantcast

Jake Biskar

Head of Sales Development, Rainforest QA

Dustin Markowski

VP of Sales, Totango

Jesse Osborne

Director of Sales, ZeroCater

Alex Turner

Director of Sales Development, Wrike

Phill Keene

Demand Gen Manager, Octiv

Blake Harber

Account Development Manager, Lucid Software

Roger Topp

VP of Sales, Truly

Matt Heinz

President, Heinz Marketing

Peter Kazanjy

Founder, Modern Sales Pros

Meg Hewitt

Senior Manager of Sales Development, Greenhouse

Danilo Nikolich

Sr Director of Sales Development, Datameer

Dario Priolo

CMO & Demand Generation Practice Leader, Sales Performance International

Henning Gabrielsen

Manager of Sales Development, MomentFeed

Kim Brown

Sales Development Manager, Catavolt

Ashley Kelly

Director of Sales Development, Zenefits

Jon Parisi

Senior Director of Enterprise Sales, GuideSpark

Miriam Olsen

Sales Development Manager, ShowPad

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