Sales Development Reps (SDR) and Account Executives (AE) are both critical components of your sales team. They hold a unique relationship that’s both dynamic and mutually beneficial.
SDRs have a huge impact on pipeline for AEs, and your AEs have professional experience that can help SDRs advance their careers.
We asked an SDR and AE on the LearnCore team to see exactly why these two roles bring so much value to one another:
“Partnering with an SDR that’s focused on my territory has made prospecting much more effective,” says CJ Holmes, Director SMB Sales for LearnCore. “We meet every week to discuss potential targets so we both understand our audience which has helped increase the number of meetings being set.”
According to Dulce Melendez, Sales Development Representative at LearnCore, “I really enjoy working closely with my AEs because I need to understand their sales process and the steps it takes for them to close a deal. As I talk with prospects and try to set a meeting, I’ve developed a better sense of quality targets and how far conversations can potentially go.”
Getting SDRs and AEs in sync will help their individual employee performance, and also your sales organization as a whole.
Tips to Help Your SDRs & AEs Win
Set Regular Meetings
The best thing your SDRs and AEs can do to build a strong foundation is to keep lines of communication open by meeting frequently. Have your team members set a time that works for both roles, and schedule out weekly or bi-weekly meetings months in advance. Creating a regular cadence will help decrease meeting cancellations and scheduling conflicts.
Define Lead Qualifications and Territories
Your SDRs and AEs should work together to define exactly who and where they are targeting. This will help SDRs increase their efficiency by focusing on leads that are more likely to convert. Your SDRs will also waste less time on dead ends.
If your SDRs are assigned to AEs with specific territories, challenge them to tap into local networks and resources to generate specific types of leads.
Assess Quality of Meetings
Setting meetings is crucial, but only if the meeting is with a quality target that has the potential to be a deal, otherwise everyone’s time is wasted. It’s important for SDRs and AEs to assess the success of their work by reviewing the following:
- Did the lead qualifications produce quality meetings?
- Are scheduled meetings taking place or are leads regularly cancelling the meeting?
- How many disqualified leads pass through the cracks?
- Do they need to make target adjustments to get better results?
This analysis is a continuous process that allows SDRs and AEs to perfect their process.
Just like a sales manager would meet with their reps on a regular basis to review quotas and general performance, SDRs and AEs should meet once a month, or bi-monthly, to review the big picture. Are they meeting goals? Are there gaps in the communication process? Are there missed opportunities? Transparency is key!
Teams work best together when they’re both invested in the relationship. Encouraging your team members to connect on a non-work level will help them generate a higher level of synergy. Plan social outings or events that allow your SDRs and AEs to interact in a relaxed setting so they can get to know each other outside the pressure of the office.
Helping your SDRs and AEs work together successfully is a win for everyone. AEs see a bigger pipeline and more potential deals, SDRs get an opportunity to learn and develop their careers, and your organization as a whole will see a boost in revenue.