Many sales development representatives (SDRs) hit the ground running in their role with hopes of being promoted to an account executive (AE). While SDRs are busy identifying their company’s target customers and outbound prospecting, they’re also developing valuable skills that serve as important building blocks for future sales success.
It’s important to look at the number of meetings they book and how many of their leads convert to closed deals, but there is so much more that goes into a successful account executive than just the numbers.
So when are they actually ready to move up?
If you’re wondering how you know when it’s time to promote a SDR to an AE, we’ve outlined important criteria to consider:
Interest in Professional Development
When considering whether you should promote an SDR, you need to gauge the employee’s level of interest first.
- Have they ever expressed interest in wanting to change roles?
- Are they satisfied in their current role?
- Do they have long-term goals for their sales career?
Assess their level of self-motivation to understand whether or not you can trust them to manage prospect relationships without constantly being under a watchful eye.
- Are you regularly nagging them to complete tasks and initiatives?
- Do they review and manage their own KPIs?
- Do they stay on top of goals and deliverables independently?
Follow Up Skills
Most SDRs focus on booking meetings for AEs and move on to the next lead, but are they ready for the longer sales cycle of actually closing a deal? Monitoring how your SDRs interact and follow up with their leads is a good way to see if they can really cut it as an account executive.
- Are your SDRs following up on on leads they provide to the AE team?
- How does your SDR respond when they hear “No”?
- Is your SDR persistent and patient?
Attitude Towards Change
Some employees jump at the chance for change and others immediately enter panic mode. Gauging whether your SDR is all about change in their life will help you understand how they may approach a role transition.
- Does your SDR get excited about change?
- Is your SDR easily overwhelmed by unplanned circumstances or situations?
- Is your SDR comfortable taking the lead?
Identifying whether your SDRs are ready for the next level can be a complex process. Start by getting to know your SDRs beyond just their metrics. Getting a true understanding of their personality, strengths, and weaknesses will provide critical insights to how they will handle the transition to AE role, and whether they will be successful.