The War Room

BDR career growth

How long did it take you to progress from a BDR to an AE?

๐Ÿš€ Career Goals
Sales Training & Enablement
When I was in the role, it took me about a year and a half, and then I moved into a specialized role. This seems like more of the practice these days in order to allow for BDRs to gain some experience prospecting outside of Inbound leads and attacking a certain vertical.

From there, I lead a team of these BDRs for about 9 months, and then moved into Sales Ops. I did close in an AE role between that for a few months just to prove that I could do it (for myself), but I found it less interesting than I thought.

All this to say, I think it's important to be patient in the role, but make sure that you have those conversations early on with your manager about where you want to go and in what time frame.ย 

I ย think the first step is consistently hitting your number in a role. BDRs often reach out to me about becoming a sales trainer (less than a year into their role). I'm always willing to meet with them to see where their interests lie and how I can help them. However, I ask the following things of them before we meet:

- Why are you considering this role as opposed to a closing role?
- If you're considering a closing role, are you consistently hitting your number?
- Have you had conversations with your manager about your career path?
-Are you open to and consistently absorbing and apply new sales training that's delivered to you?

Practically, some things that helped me accelerate my growth in the BDR role:

- Shadowing deals that were passed over to my AEs.
- Reviewing every Opportunity call passed over (listen to your voice, take notes, and ask for feedback from your AE and Manager)
- Set some smart goals using this formula:

I think all of these (in addition to hitting your number) will provide justification for promotion.

Hope this helps.
Notable Contributor
Senior Account Executive
2 years and 4 months, worked as a BDR at 2 different companies and got my AE shot at a third company in the same industry when I finally had enough
Valued Contributor
Senior Account Executive
I'd say if you stick at the same company for around 12 months you should be in a good position to explore AE internally. Even if it's not the world's best role, I'd recommend staying in one place as a BDR until promotion because any time you change jobs, you have to start all over & reset that 12 month "BDR clock".ย 

In those 12 months, don't just hit quota as a BDR. Exceed quota every month & be the example to follow for what the BDR/AE relationship should look like. Get close with the AEs you source for & pull as much advice you can from them. They will be your biggest influencer and likely will write you a referral if you were a good BDR.
Praised Answer
Inside Sales
Don't rule out hopping companies to get the AE promotion. You'd likely have to be an SMB AE / Inside Sales Rep, but you'd be closing. Smaller companies and startups are more likely to take a chance on an SDR/BDR. A big established company isn't going to hire you when they've got a dozen other interviewers with closing experience.ย 
Is sales a cop-out career?
How do you take sales
friendlyginge , ย  MurphysLaw , ย  Big4OutTheDoor ย  and 92 people voted
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