Building a Sales Team with SDRs and AEs

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Building a successful sales team is a vital consideration for any startup. Without the right people in the right positions at the right time, failure can be inevitable. How do you ensure that you’re able to build a successful team, though? It all comes down to understanding SDRs and AEs. In plain English, those would-be sales development representatives and account executives.

Defining the Roles of SDRs and AEs

Understanding the roles of both SDRs and AEs is essential to building a successful sales team.

AEs: Account executives generally spend their day in search of new leads, handling meetings, and connecting with SDR teams. They may also conduct product demonstrations, and they usually spend a great deal of time on the phone with prospects.

SDRs: A sales development representative generally focuses on developing leads, rather than closing sales. They research and respond to prospects, user personas extensively, and prioritize top prospects before handing those off to AEs.

Building Transitioning Leaders

Promoting from within is an essential consideration for building strong sales teams, and you can do that by transitioning high-performing SDRs to AEs over time. That works well for your business, but it also ties in with the future plans for most SDRs. How do you transition them successfully, though? It all comes down to focusing on the representatives who want to do more, and achieve more. Choose high-performing SDRs who aren’t afraid of success, and who hit their metrics consistently.

Hiring AEs and What to Look for in New Hires

While you can and should promote from within, that’s not always possible. In some instances, you’ll need to hire account executives from outside your company. This can leave you open to a great deal of ambiguity and lead to potential challenges if not handled correctly, though.
What should you look for in a potential outside AE hire?

It really all comes down to knowing exactly what you need in an AE, and then creating a rigorous screening process and sticking to that with every single potential AE that you interview. Failure to follow these steps with every potential hire could lead to negative repercussions, wasted time, and lost money.

How Many SDRs Do You Actually Need?

Balance is crucial in your personal life, but it’s also a vital consideration for running a successful business. In building sales teams, you need to balance the number of SDRs versus the number of AEs you have, and that balance hinges on a wide range of different factors. Just a few of those include the number of quality leads needed to close a new account, the number of opportunities needed to hit your sales goals, the number of opportunities required per AE, and the number of AEs doing demos per day.

With the right people onboard as SDRs and AEs, the right AE hiring practices, and a good understanding of how to balance the number of SDRs and AEs within your business, you open your business up to growth, profitability and success.


Author: Oliver Curtis

Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.

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