It depends. But it’s probably not a waste of time.
In an ideal world, if you are selling a true Enterprise SaaS product, you’d Sell High and you Aim High. You go as high in the org as you can penetrate, as close to the budget holder. Not above that level, but that often means the VP level or higher.
There are many stakeholders in any decision. Many. And they all have some role to play. And often, the one most impacted by the business process change, and the one tasked with finding a solution … even if she doesn’t truly have the budget … is as important as her boss in the sales and decision-making process.
You’ll see this most viscerally in inbound leads. You can control who you target in outbound. In inbound, you get who you get, at least at first. You may get a Manager when you’d prefer a Director, or a Director when you’d prefer a VP, etc.
What we all know is a decision making happens at many levels in organizations, and sponsors aren’t always 100% correlated with decision makers.
So yes, in an ideal world, you’d be selling to power on Day 1.
But we’ve all closed million dollar deals that started a few rungs down the org chart.