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Cranky AE

Hey All, Business Development Rep here. Would love to hear your advice dealing with an extra difficult AE. We are all adults here, so trying to manage the struggles between us and not get management involved.


edit: The AE talks down to me (even though I am a top performer), pipes my deals low, won't flip opportunities within the SLA or even close, will not respond to my slacks, refuses to collaborate and honestly would prefer I just set meetings and not communicate at all (not the company expectation).


14
swerve
WR Lieutenant
+4
Account Executive
Man...I am so tired of seeing AEs treat BDRs this way.

Two routes to resolution:


1. (Harder but possibly more effective) - tell that bum directly how he’s hurting the teamwork dynamic with his behavior. They need you motivated more than you need them. You have the ability to stop feeding his pipeline, or he has to saddle up and prospect more himself.

2. Like @exec mentioned - go to your boss and explain what’s going on. If they’re any good as a leader they’ll go to bat for you.
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
True that. But i wouldn't go "threaten" directly the pipleline. Ill go on the route of passive aggressive so you get sympathy and try slowly imply that he is toxic. In front of witnesses because if you go overtly threaten the pipleline you give him grounds to be more of an asshole. 
exec
Catalyst
+5
Account Executive
Cranky how? 
ColdCallPro
Opinionated
+3
Account Executive
Exec, thanks for asking for clarification. The AE talks down to me (even though I am a top performer), pipes my deals low, won't flip opportunities within the SLA or even close, will not respond to my slacks, refuses to collaborate and honestly would prefer I just set meetings and not communicate at all (not the company expectation).
exec
Catalyst
+5
Account Executive
It can be tough for a BDR - especially in the enterprise segment where there could be an age gap or ego that doesn't align with the company culture. 

I've been fortunate enough to not have a situation where the AE was talking down, but have dealt with the issues you mentioned around lack of organization around answering slacks, flipping opportunities or building them altogether. 

One thing I'll say is management is typically already aware of these issue as it translates to the AE's success and efficiency. I wouldn't necessarily bring it up with a VP or Director, but if you have a direct BDR Manager it's okay to share your concerns. If you have a conversation with your BDR manager, I'd recommend bringing qualified lead examples as this will help you position your concerns around your loyalty to the company and commitment to partnering with your AE to drive revenue. Your manager should go to bat for you to keep morale high - especially if you're a top performer.  
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Tres_Comas
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
Do you cover for more than 1 AE? If so I would spend as little time & effort on the difficult one and spend more time with the ones who are willing to collaborate and make your life easier. You're a top performer so it sounds like you're doing well at breaking into accounts. If that cranky AE starts seeing you filling other AE's pipelines and seeing some of your meetings are closing he will have no other choice than to work with you. From my experiences, the AEs who don't work well with their BDRs are the ones who don't have a long successful tenure at their companies. At the end of the day AEs need BDRs way more than BDRs need them.
avocadobegood
Acclaimed Answer
+5
MM Account Executive
to be honest - it sounds like this is the point at which management should be notified. as @exec said, no need to grab a VPS or CRO but whoever your direct manager is should absolutely be notified (this is assuming you haven't had luck broaching it directly with the AE in question).

the lack of collaboration is concerning - just go in there with data points and some examples of where the lack of collaboration is hurting results / team overall and you should be fine. sounds like you're keeping a level head about the whole thing, so kudos to you there.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
There could be a lack of training. Or a lack of communication on the AE's side. If you are actually sending valid opportunities then make sure you discuss it with your boss during your one on one. 
MrBravado
WR Officer
+3
VP of Marketing
This article by Esther Perel may be helpful. She specializes in relationships. She identifies three sources of conflict:

1. Power and control 2. Care and closeness 3. Respect and recognition
More here: 
https://review.firstround.com/how-to-fix-the-co-founder-fights-youre-sick-of-having-lessons-from-couples-therapist-esther-perel
Stax
Opinionated
+3
AE - Major Accounts
If you have any faith in your boss -- you should definitely bring this to their attention. You aren't risking a relationship with your AE, because it's nonexistent anyway, so escalating can only help you at this point. 

This sort of attitude towards SDR / BDRs is really unfortunate. Hopefully you can get aligned to some better AEs / mentors in the near future. 
thegreatestsalesperson
Notable Contributor
+17
AE
Hate to see this constantly happening.  As a BDR I had many issues with my AEs.
I even had 1 AE scream at me in a 1v1 just over flipping an opportunity.  The way I handle this was actually by showing him my knowledge and understanding of both the product and how to run sales.  After calls I would question the reasoning behind saying certain things or why he didn’t ask other things.  Again this was definitely not a great situation but by handling this way I was able to start seeing more opportunity’s being flipped and this AE eventually came out to tell me I’m a better salesperson than him. 
I also brought up the situation high level with my manager and the AE manager was made aware of some of the difficulties.
The higher quality the ops you present to them and the more collaborative you can be I’ve found the more respect you can earn. 

I like the approach of hey I get it you’re super experienced and would rather not interact with me but by helping me out and providing me feedback to why these opportunities aren’t moving forward I’ll be able to product better opportunities for you which leads to more money in your pocket!
Stroke the persons ego everyone likes being told they are awesome.  It’s pretty cool to see how you’re crushing quota and I think you’re a great salesperson and I’d love to learn and get some pointers for you so I can eventually be in your shoes but more importantly continue honing my craft of being an SDR and setting the highest quality meetings for you as possible 
Ya
YaBoi
Manager, Business Development
You need to bring this to your manager and describe what's going on.  If you're a top performer they're going to want you happy in some way or remedy the situation.  You have more leverage in this situation as a top performer than you probably realize.  
LTYale
Public Sector Business Development
Whatever you do - don't make things personal. Cranky AEs(at least good - cranky AEs) know their character flaws. Just do your job - communicate clearly - & seek an opportunity to work with another AE if possible. Good management always finds out the root of the problem. There's a difference between being skilled & cranky - vs a cranky bozo.
Donthaveatiff
Customer Development
Honestly, have a conversation with his manager to discuss how to best collaborate with him. If his boss is bought into you, then he will act as a champion to coach the AE through partnering with you. 
Lambda
Politicker
+6
Sales Consultant
As an ae I love my bdr/csms

It makes no sense why I would belittle someone on the Team ma looking to help! 
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