AI meets GTM
Not every profession will be impacted the same by recent AI advancements. I'm not saying anything you don't already know. Everyone on Twitter keeps talking about how blue collar work is safe and it's actually the software development jobs that are in trouble (this might be true).
When will AI impact how your drywall is installed or HVAC system is maintained? Probably not soon (unless Kenneth changes that).
When will AI be the cause of 99% of the unread messages in your inbox? Very soon (if not now).
AI is a better fit for tasks with lots of examples and clear "yes" and "no" outcomes:
- does code compile?
- did the test pass?
- did the shopper convert at checkout?
There are clear cut answers to all of these.
Go-to-market (GTM) teams will dramatically change in the next two years.
Building out a sales organization has some tried and true facts to it. Talk to any experienced sales leader and they'll have quick answers on:
- how much pipeline coverage do we need?
- how many meetings should the average SDR be booking?
- how many reps do we need to hit our revenue targets for the year?
So far I've worked with one VP of Sales, and he knows his numbers better than anyone else in the business.
A lot of these numbers are based off of experience in a specific domain (sales) merged with the unique truths about a particular business.
All of that math is about to change.
Let's look at the example of a sales development representative (SDR) that is responsible for getting meetings booked with account executives (AEs).
What happens when that SDR is 10x more productive since their outbounding can:
- know about all internal docs / policies
- write a first draft of the email copy
- search the web for ways to personalize the message
and most importantly:
- learn as a department, automatically
Each message sent can be baked into a company-specific AI model using OpenAI's fine tuning process. I'm not talking about each business training some expensive model that costs millions to make. I'm talking about API endpoints that already work and are cheap today.
So when every SDR helps create 10x more pipeline, that means you either need to:
- hire more AEs to close more of that pipeline
- hire fewer SDRs
Given these options, if a company has the ability to close more business and increase revenue, it will. It's very likely we'll move to a world where the pipeline an SDR produces dramatically increases.
It's also likely that AEs will be aided by AI, but not as much as SDRs will.
I do think AI can have an impact, but it feels closer to a 2x or 3x, not 10.
So larger orgs with existing headcount will likely take this path: hire more AEs, close more revenue, and speed towards market saturation.
Efficiency of GTM organizations is about to dramatically increase.
Venture backed companies scale very quickly already. The one thing slowing growth was a factor of how quickly teams can hire great people.
If your great people can be 10x more productive, companies will likely stay smaller for longer.
Why hire 500 people when you could make due with ~100 and hit the same revenue numbers?
As we ratchet up new technology, the speed at which companies scale will continue to increase with the limiting factor being the all elusive product market fit.
Working at a big org? Be ready to be outsold by a 50 person start up that entered your market six months ago.
Starting a new company? Lean into the tech to scale founder-led sales for as long as you can. Question all "this is how it's always been done" advice.
p.s. — need proof? I'm running a local Gong competitor and built post recommendations with very little effort.