The War Room

Is it possible for me to get another AE role with only 5 months of AE experience?

I've been at my company (SaaS) for a little over 2 years, started as a BDR and was promoted to AE in June. I did really well as a BDR, got my senior BDR title after 1 year (fastest possible based on eligibility requirements), and got promoted to AE the 2nd time I applied for it. The company is the leader in its field and is a fairly large, respected and well-known company, but the AE team I joined is a relatively small/experimental team. Without getting into the "why", our team specifically deals with a lot of prospects who are pissed off at our company for one reason or another. The majority of my conversations are unpleasant and spent trying to resolve prospects' issues with us, and then trying to close them after that. I spend less than half my time doing the normal AE things I wanted to be doing, things my AE did when I was a BDR on a "normal" team - stuff like discoveries, building the value of our product, etc. The majority of AE teams at our company are more conventional like that, mine is just a small weird one.

I want to find a new AE role somewhere else, but I don't know how feasible that is for me. I've only got 5 months of experience as an AE and I haven't hit quota once. Only around 20% of our AEs hit quota in a given month, I've talked to our top performers and they all put in insane hours which I don't really want to do. My performance is about average on my team, and it's hard to be driven to do better when I dread my prospect meetings because I know they'll probably yell at me or be pissed off at me about something I had nothing to do with.

Do I stand any chance of getting an AE role at another company, even though I've only got 5 months experience and haven't hit quota yet? As much as I dislike my current job I really, really don't want to go back to being a BDR. If I need more experience to be considered for other AE jobs, how long should I stay here for? I genuinely think I would do great in a more conventional AE role, this team just really isn't a fit for me. But I don't know how I could frame this situation to a prospective employer without sounding like I'm blaming everything except me.

☁️ Software Tech
πŸ‘₯ Hiring
🧠 Advice
Account Executive
I would stick it out til about the 8 month mark at which recruiters will be reaching out daily on LinkedIn.
WR Officer
Senior Account Executive
Try it and see. So many people are changing jobs right now it may not matter.
Big Shot
There's not much of a difference between missing quota for 5 months or missing it for 12 months, at least in terms of an interview process. You'll still need to spin and talk about how "well I was 3rd on the team but no one was hitting target" etc.Β 

If you're there for 12 months missing quota, that's almost better in my eyes, as the fact that you weren't fired should say something about how your attainment was acceptable to your org and the quota was mis-aligned.

I've tried to leave my first closing role this quickly and it's really tough. I say once you get to about 7-9 months you'll see more success, because recruiters/hiring managers who's job requirements are "1 year closing experience" will be like eh, close enough.Β 

Then after that you'll see another jump in success applying at the 1ish year mark.Β 

The other thing to keep in mind, maybe most importantly, is that at this point, the quality of the organizations that will consider your candidacy will increase dramatically.Β 
Notorious Answer
Account Executive
Simply put - Yes.Β  People are hiring like crazy, and you've already created the talk track for when the recruiter asks you the question.Β Β 

Identify recruiters for companies you want to work for, and connect on LinkedIn.Β  Companies are looking for talent, and the way I see it - your lack of experience could play in a positive manner because that makes you "teachable".Β Β 

Get out there and try.Β  Get it, fam.
You are a Mammoth so think big like one. First of all feel sad about it, but we need to look ahead, right?

How did you do as an SDR? Forget targets, but we're you enjoying SDR role or AE in terms of work?Β 

There are a lot of opportunities right now and I don't think you'll find it hard to get a job though I understand your AE experience is less than 6 months. Simple mantra, revamp your resume to make it more relevant and start applying.Β 
Business Development Executive
If you want to try for something different try it.Β  Corporate hiring is a shit show.Β  There is no meaningful way of knowing what they'll do.Β 

It may take an extended period of time to go through the machinations to get hired and all of a sudden that 5 month tenure is a year.Β  Who knows by the time someone gets around to processing a job offer you might be doing better where you are and turn it down.Β 

In my first AE job I was fired in 6 months for sucking at life.Β  I got my next sales job for one reason.Β  The company was desperate for bodies (pre-2008 crash) and they hired me.Β  This turned out to be a great job.Β 

I've found that worrying about the questions a new employer is going to ask about your current job is not time well spent.Β  Just see what happens.Β 

Enterprise Account Executive
Just update your LinkedIn and resume to say AE the whole time you were at the company. Nobody will know any better at your new spot and you will score a solid gig making good cash. It’s possible to start in sales as an AE and never be a BDR.
Growth Manager
This does work but do know that in the interview process, they will definitely ask how you started as an AE or will assume this was a BDR/AE role, so just be ready for those questions.
How do I get an AE role as a SDR/inexperienced AE?
AEs: How did you get your first AE role?
AEs.. How long did it take you in your previous position (BDR, AM, etc.) to get to a closing role?