How Emily Dresser built an AE driven outbound culture at Heap

Guest Contributor
April 12, 2024
How Emily Dresser built an AE driven outbound culture at Heap

The best PG play to get AEs prospecting: 

How to run a Draft Day with Heap’s Emily Dresser

Heap’s Commercial Committee is responsible for developing ideas on how to generate pipeline. Like most companies, there are a ton (>10,000) stale accounts (i.e. no activity for 2+ quarters) in Heap’s CRM. These accounts have shown intent historically, and are ready to be prospected into. The committee proposed re-targeting these accounts with AE outbound as a new lever to pull for pipeline.

The Challenge:

  1. Selecting the highest intent accounts on a recurring basis (not waiting for annual territory recarve)
  2. Getting AEs excited to prospect

The Solution:

An account draft day. Allow AEs to select 20 new, hot accounts and be the sole owners of pipegen.

“AEs are now begging for drafts. We run them ~2x a quarter.”

What is a draft?

Emily wanted to encourage AEs to prospect but it’s hard to drive excitement around this process when AEs feel like the majority of their accounts aren’t ones they would have chosen for themselves. 

“The usual territory refresh is a mundane process where AEs have no say. But with the champify draft, they have skin in the game. They go research specific accounts and then have a chance to select the accounts they’re excited about.”

Emily decided that she needed to develop a fair mechanism for AEs to claim accounts that combined structure with ownership. 

“There’s this mentality that if I open up the account pool to everyone, that it becomes the Wild West and the savviest rep or the one who’s most skilled in salesforce will end up with the best accounts. We wanted to create a way where our reps felt control over their own destiny without completely relinquishing control”

Draft eligibility: account selection

Determine which signals are most important to your reps so they are bought into the accounts, and the number of accounts needed. Emily decided that each AE can select 20 new accounts during the draft. This kept the limit manageable, but large enough to see results. So, she selected ~500 accounts from the intent cohort to be used during the draft.

“We’re big users of Champify over at Heap so we worked with our account team to leverage Champify as our key intent signal when weeding out which stale accounts had the most warmth.”

The Strongest Signals: 

  1. Champifys: Use the number of champify on the account in salesforce to locate the accounts with former customers. Play around with it to see if you should prioritize accounts with 2+, 3+ or 5+ number of champifys. Heap used number of champify >= 2.
  2. 6sense’s profile fit score: the profile fit field was used as a secondary filter to narrow down the account list further. Heap used profile fit > 60.

Key Learnings: don’t show all the high intent accounts during the first draft.

(1) Keep it at a manageable number so you don’t overwhelm the team 

The first time Heap did the draft, they allowed AEs to select 30 accounts each. This ended up being too many - folks weren’t engaging them all and it required additional research. Emily found 20 new accounts to be the sweet spot.

(2) Keep some for next time - AEs will be less excited about the accounts in the second draft if they see them as leftovers from the first one.

Scouting combine: account research

48 hours before the live draft, Emily shares a view only Google Sheet via email with the ~500 accounts and clear specifications for the process. With draft day on Tuesdays, Emily sends the pre-draft email out on Friday mornings. 

“I find that the AEs like having the optional extra time on the weekends to conduct research. They are all task switching throughout the day so for some, having the downtime over the weekend allows them to do some focused research”

Draft day: running the draft

1. Define your rules of engagement:

  • 45 minute draft
  • Live, via Zoom
  • AEs have 45 seconds to select 2 accounts
  • AEs names will be ordered live by a random generator

2. Document draft selections

Emily shares her screen and edits the Google Sheet live as names are generated and AEs select accounts. As an AE picks an account, she puts their name next to the account in the sheet. AEs get visibility into the process and track which accounts are still available to be picked.

“AEs feel like they have a voice and they have influence over their success at Heap.”

3. Partner with Ops to update account ownership in Salesforce

4. Set clear goals and expectations for engagement

Ops pull together reporting and the front line sales managers are responsible to ensure the AEs are logging activity on the accounts.


After the first Commercial draft in October, Emily’s reps were begging for more as were the AEs in other segments. Commercial Sales ran a second draft exactly 1 month later. And now - with an established process, AE excitement, and cross functional buy-in - Emily runs multiple drafts a quarter.

Results from draft 1 (4 weeks post-draft day):

  • 16 total meetings
  • $350,000 existing pipeline created (converted meetings into Discovery)
  • $150,000 in S1 opportunities that have yet to be converted
  • Forecasted revenue ~$200,000

Coaching your team: best practices

1. Arm your team with cadences to help them execute faster

Because Heap uses Champify as a key indicator, several warm contacts are automatically surfaced. When the account changes ownership, each rep gets an email highlighting all the former customers on the account linked and resources to set up a cadence based on Champify’s playbooks. This sets reps up to start prospecting easily, without having to do a ton of digging on Linkedin to find the right person

2. Track the right metrics to ensure rep accountability and monitor success

There are a few key metrics to track:

  1. # of Activities per account by rep
  2. # of meetings booked by rep
  3. Total Pipeline
  4. Total Revenue
3. The number of draft eligible accounts matters

“Don’t send them 1200 accounts! Consider the number of accounts you want each AE to select - we landed at 20 - and then send 5-6x as many accounts. You don’t want to overwhelm them and you also don’t want to show all your cards. From the AE POV - they have a day job and need to be closing deals.”