I've dreamed about being an AE for awhile now and this morning I finally got my chance! (and failed miserably)
I've been an SDR at my company for 11 months, top performer with meetings set and opportunities created and feel like I've earned my way to becoming an AE at some point in the near future (even having these discussions with my manager and VP).
So I set a demo with a CTO and 5 of his developers and bring on a regional sales manager and sales engineer to run the call. Now, I already have a tough enough time in this region because my AE left and I have to set meetings with the region VP who passes them off to RSMs. I show up to the meeting this morning, get friendly with those on the call, only to be told by the SE that the RSM will NOT be showing up. WTF?
I scramble to decide what to do. Do I run this call? I've never run a demo or even a formal discovery call (besides a cold call) before. Do I let the SE handle it? I decide because I've seen enough AE's run these types of calls before, how hard can it be? Turns out, very hard. I get 5 minutes stumbling through a couple slides and am talking nonsense when I just stop and say sorry and tell the SE to take it over and show the product. At this point, I am so flustered and in shock I call my manager and explain to him what's going on and he tells me to be a fucking salesperson and close the meeting for next steps.
Long story short, turns out the CTO and his team were still impressed even though I completely shit the bed. I asked for next steps and they said they are interested in continuing the conversation so that's a little win at least. Also turns out this isn't the first time this RSM has failed to show up...it's a shit show.
So my question(s) for you savages: what would you have done in this scenario?
Did I shoot myself in the foot trying to run a demo without any prior experience?
Or will my management look at this and think, DAMN thewhyguy has some big cojones trying to run a demo...
P.S. Respect to all my AEs/RSMs(who do their fucking job)/Closing savages