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!
Head of Account Development, Americas, MuleSoft
Sr. Director of Sales Ops and Sales Development, SmartRecruiters
Sales Development Practice Leader, TOPO
Director of Sales Development, DynamicSignal
Director of Sales Development, Optimizely
Senior Director of Global Demand Center, ServiceNow
Associate Director of Sales Operations, Glassdoor
Associate Director of Sales Operations, TalkDesk
VP of Sales, Engagio
Vice President of Sales Development & Field Marketing, EverString
VP of Go-to-Market Strategy, OpenView Venture Partners
Sr. Director of Sales Development,RingCentral
VP of Sales, Datanyze
Cheif Analyst and Co-foudner, TOPO
President & Chief Strategist, The Bridge Group
Senior Vice President of Sales, ZipRecruiter
VP of Global Inside Sales, Cloudera
Head of Sales, DataFox
Director of Sales Development, Teem
Director, Sales Development, BrightTALK
Head of Market Development, 6sense
Sr. Director of Demand Generation & Sales Development, Apptimize
Sales Development Manager, Periscope Data
Sales Development Manager, Betts Recruiting
Sr. Director of Sales, Consensus
Kim Maxime-Louis Dill
Head of Sales Development, Fastly
VP of Sales, Influitive
Director of Sales Development, Intacct
Director Sales Development, Invocca
VP of Sales, DiscoverOrg
VP of Sales, PandaDoc
Director of Sales Development, Quantcast
Head of Sales Development, Rainforest QA
VP of Sales, Totango
Director of Sales, ZeroCater
Director of Sales Development, Wrike
Demand Gen Manager, Octiv
Account Development Manager, Lucid Software
VP of Sales, Truly
President, Heinz Marketing
Founder, Modern Sales Pros
Senior Manager of Sales Development, Greenhouse
Sr Director of Sales Development, Datameer
CMO & Demand Generation Practice Leader, Sales Performance International
Manager of Sales Development, MomentFeed
Sales Development Manager, Catavolt
Director of Sales Development, Zenefits
Senior Director of Enterprise Sales, GuideSpark
Sales Development Manager, ShowPad