The War Room

I was hired at a really good start up about 4 months ago for a SDR role that I was told I wouldn’t be in for very long. They’re gonna go public in the next year, but Zoom Info reached out to me about an Account exec position. Now I’m wondering if I should take the guaranteed route to AE or let my shares vest and get to AE at the place that took me. Usually I wouldn’t consider jumping so quickly, but AE is AE.

stay or go
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🧠 Advice
WR Officer
King of the Coors Knights
Most of the time they just spam anyone with an SDR title and then tell you once you interview it will be a 6 month timeline again. Unless you have an offer in hand, you do not have a “guaranteed” route. Unless you truly can not stay at your current company, put your head down and put in the work.
Notorious Answer
Padre de Tequila, General of the Coors Knights
Were you OFFERED a job as an AE, or were you approached by a recruiter about an open AE position you could potentially interview for?
Fire Starter
In final interview, I took it cause I was curious and didn’t think I’d get that far when I told them I wasn’t in a rush to leave where I’m at. But they pushed me through the process anyways.
I'm gonna go against the grain here and say finish the process with ZoomInfo and see what they offer you. Don't highlight in their interview process that you're not looking to leave, but say it would need to be a great fit for you to leave. 

Zoom is a real company with inbounds, SDRs, a solid solution and product market fit. People need what they have. We all know there are shitloads of startups that have cool solutions but no one wants it that bad. As you can tell from my username, I've worked at a few of them lol. 

If your AEs at your current company are struggling, that's a HUGE red flag. That would push me to seriously consider going elsewhere. No you don't want to job hop, but what's the point of getting promoted if your quota is unattaniable and you get fired in 6 months? And EVERY SDR team promises promotions in the next X months lol. Is there anything that would lead you to believe this is true? Anyone who has recently been promoted in a similar amount of time?

HOWEVER: as someone else said, a lot of these recruiters will reach out to SDRs about AE roles, and then bait and switch them to an SDR conversation once they have them on the hook. Just be aware of that, has happened to me half a dozen times. If this ended up being a lateral move, that would change things. 
WR Officer
Senior Account Executive
The title and role are enticing I'm sure. Weigh the options and do what's best for you and your family.
Literally weigh the options. What's the total valuation of the shares? Chances are selling those out after going public will be more than a salary bump to AE.
VP of SaaS & Unit Economics
SaaS Stocks (as an IC) are usually worthless when compared to big W2s upfront payments at Enterprise Accounts.

Take the cash and run.  SaaS Stocks become valuable when you are in 2VP/VP/CRO roles, but as a Sales Person you're a mercenary.

The SDR job is a dead-end right now.  Get out of that position.  Become an AE and smash in the big numbers.  Get there fast.  Take the promotion QUICKLY.

Find the W2.

There might be .000001% of SDRs who make their money on Stock Options.

Don't make friends until later in your career when you want to become a FLM.

Drift was going to go public too.  But guess what, they're now owned by Private Equity and that's the way it is.

How do you KNOW you're going public?  

Sell your shit on the secondary like the other mercenaries out there, but unless you got the cap-tables and you know what's up... stay the back as a top W2 AE.

You're incentivized to BREAK the comp plan.  So do it.  Sweep the leg.  No mercy.

-SaaS Data
lmk if i can help...
WR Officer
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
If they are due to go public, as in filing their paperwork, then why would you leave before the big payoff to join a company that already went public?
Are you comfortable with your existing company? Do you think what AE does in your company will excite you once you are transitioned? How about the team and work culture.

Do you really want to sell zoom info? Do they have work life balance.

These are some of the questions I would ask myself before jumping into conclusion. But I will always appear for an interview to learn more and find my worth.
National Consultant
I suggest following up to zoom first. In my experience with AE interviews there are 3-5 steps before you recieve an offer. Better to go through that first before jumping ship.
Account Executive
Get the offer then bring it to your current company and see if they’ll give you the promotion
Do you have an offer in hand from ZoomInfo? Is ZoomInfo something you’d be interested in selling? How does the stock they’re offering (if any) compare to the options you currently have? It sounds like you will be an AE soon regardless. So maybe consider which will be the right fit in the longer term.
Notable Contributor
Director Sales and Market Development
Work hard and keep grinding. I have yet to have all my shares vest, i have been paper rich and reality poor after acquisition more times than i care to say. Do whats best and if Zoom has a compelling offer ask for Restricted Stock Units since they are public and you are leaving equity on the table. Or let it vest and then take a job and buy your options 
Account Executive
ZoomInfo's a good company, but like the others have said - until you have an offer in hand, you're an SDR in a good spot. 

Finish the process and see how you do. Don't count your chickens before they hatch - learned that the hard way. 
WR Officer
Think of shares vest as icing on the 🎂 if ZI offered you an AE role you should seriously consider. I find startups always drop equity with their comp convo but you have to really do the math on how much it’s worth if they IPO or in a buyout. As an SDR or even as an AE you’ll probably won’t retire anytime soon with your vested shares unless you’re high up the totem pole.
Account Executive
In the tech space, time of tenure equals money, but only as an AE, so if you can land somewhere i say go for it, but stay for at least 2-3 years so when you move to another opportunity that comes up your asking price for both base and commission goes up considerably
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
It can't hurt to interview but definitely keep your mouth shut in the meantime.
Valued Contributor
First, I'd say wait until you have a definite offer in hand before making any real decisions.

Second, check with your manager to understand where you're at in regards to a promotion at the current company and what else they need to see from you for the jump to happen.

Given you joined four months ago as an SDR and are about to go public it's very unlikely that you will be receiving anything meaningful as a result of your options (no offense just trying to be realistic, plus you have quite some time left to vest). The benefit of being a part of a company that's about to IPO is that they're doing well (I hope) and you have an inside look at how the sales team is truly doing. 

Dig through salesforce and really do your research (are people hitting quota/closing deals, is there a good flow of inbound/outbound, generally will you have an opportunity to close and make money), take a hard look at who your managers could be, etc.
Just made the jump from SMB to enterprise SaaS which even I'm still shocked about. What's your advice to someone new to this side of the game?
Embarrassing to ask but how do you find a new AE sales job? I'm an AE (5 years exp)...
Is it possible for me to get another AE role with only 5 months of AE experience?