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Being an AE while living far outside of territory

Some of you may have seen my Win Wire post mentioning that my entire company (K-12 SaaS) was laid off after an acquisition on the same day the biggest deal I've ever closed was going to Board for final approval.

Since then, I'm happy to report that I was extended an offer at my #1 choice of company as a Regional Account Executive serving the Chicago metro area. At my current company I am a Regional AE/AM hybrid covering IL, MO, IN, IA and have done very well despite me living in Virginia. My last day here is June 30.

Obviously due to COVID, I haven't had the chance to prospect on-site since February 2020 but that will surely be happening again soon. This is a considerable "promotion" for me with a large base increase and likely a large increase in commission, assuming I do well, but with that my responsibilities are shifting from a hybrid new/renewal goal to almost entirely new. The Regional VP to whom I'll be reporting did not want to hire anyone living outside of Chicago, but he really liked me and my results and I was very highly recommended.

My question to you is, have you ever been in a similar role where you're responsible for a large new business number in a territory not close to you physically? How much did you travel? Any tips on strategy or anything else I should know?
๐Ÿ˜“ Advice
๐Ÿ”Ž Prospecting
โ˜๏ธ Software Tech
6
GDO
Politicker
+6
BDM
I was in such a situation. Local for local works best. But itโ€™s ย possible
TheQueenofDiamonds
Valued Contributor
+4
Account Executive
In my company, also tech Ed, everyone is remote =lots of travel, but it works. Once you meet prospects face to face, you can do pretty much everything else remotely after it's just harder to get their attention in the beginning. Also, the best for us is referral and since your role is hybrid (AE / am ) you can utilize your clients to grow your prospects count. Ideal outreach more so in education industry. Gl !!!๐ŸคŸ
ย 
slaydie
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
I'm not in Ed-Tech so perhaps the space is a bit different but I sell SaaS and am located in Canada but sell into American markets. I've never traveled to close a deal or meet a customer. It was all done remotely even before Covid. So it can be done! As always it will take a bit to build up your book and get the lay of the land but hopefully it doesn't give you any issues.ย 
broette
Contributor
+1
Enterprise AE
Interesting point! Curious - are you enterprise? or SMB/MM? what's the average deal size?ย 
slaydie
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
A little bit of everything. Mainly MM though. Average deal size is ~40k.
TheSolicitorGeneral
Politicker
+5
Small Market AE
I worked as an SDR supporting reps nationwide. Basically, Iโ€™ve talked to a shitload of people from all overย 

1.) If you can mirror, try and mirror your prospects. I.e when I called on prospects in central Texas, I was more cordial and we were liable to talk about kids/grandkids/ vacation plans etc. When I called on people in Brooklyn or Long Island I cut to the chase pretty much every time.ย 

2.) Try and get a feel for local popular restaurants and do virtual drops in the form of gift cards. I.e. Portilloโ€™s gift cards for CHI, Whataburger gift cards for TX etc.ย 

3.) Try and plan fun trips to the territory to do some fun stuff to mention in your prospecting. Idk how many times I brought up my 8th grade class trip to our CHI prospects lol

CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
You can do this! You've basically been virtual for a year anyway ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ
BenitoBlanco_
Good Citizen
+1
Regional Account Executive
thank you! i actually was virtual before COVID so luckily itโ€™s not new from that angle, but i started as an AM with a very low new business goal, then went to hybrid with a decent new biz goal (which i blew out, iโ€™m at 125% to my yearly goal right now). i just want to get ahead of things now, since in the new role iโ€™ll be starting, my goal will be weighted very heavily on the new side of things since my title will be Regional AE. from our discussions it didnโ€™t seem like renewals will be much of a focus for me, so thought iโ€™d ask these savages if theyโ€™ve had success in a hunter-type role remotely.
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