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SDR/BDR to AE Alignment

Do you prefer to have a 1:1 structure for SDRs and AEs? Meaning each SDR is assigned an AE (maybe 2) to work closely with on all their leads? If so, why?


Or do you prefer a "pod" structure where a group of SDRs source for a territory and send those leads out to the AEs in that territory from a round robin list? If so, why?


Finally, if you use something other than those structures, what is it and would you recommend it?

๐Ÿ‘‘ Sales Strategy
6
Rallier
Politicker
+9
Account Executive
I've always had a 1:1 structure. Helps you to build a relationship with the AE and develop a feedback loop.ย 
KB24
Valued Contributor
+5
Senior Account Executive
Couldn't agree more. When I was an SDR we were in a huge growing phase as a company, so we had like 20 SDRs and 30 AEs. I had 1-2 AEs I sourced for during my time as an SDR. I loved it. I learned from them during weekly syncs and they gave me a ton of help when it came to my AE interview. Plus when I was experienced enough, they actually let me handle certain parts of the sales process.

We've since moved to a pod structure with our SDR org and I know that a 1:1 situation doesn't work when you have a bad SDR, but I just don't think feedback can be implemented as well when it comes from like 8 AEs vs. 1. As an AE, it feels kinda weird giving feedback, especially if I don't know the SDR as well. I'd much prefer to be assigned an SDR that I can coach & cater their outreach to how I sell.
BigMeech
WR Officer
+11
Coors Light Advocate
Dedicated mapping works the best in my opinion, allows for more targeted outbounding and teamwork.ย 
ExtremeVibeChecker44
Praised Answer
+2
Inside Sales
Also allows a good relationship to build. SDR works harder for AE, AE qualifies fringe meetings / takes care of SDR.ย 
KB24
Valued Contributor
+5
Senior Account Executive
Exactly! weekly/monthly syncs with AEs to go over strategies and accounts to target are a great way to build the relationship and avoid passing bad leads.
zhang
Old School Bravo
Sales Manager
1:1 structure has been great. Great built-in mentorship for the ADR, long-term relationships are developed, the ADR naturally flows into the AE role very smoothly.ย 
KB24
Valued Contributor
+5
Senior Account Executive
Plus with a good relationship, AEs can involve their ADR more frequently in other meetings to take notes, add input, etc.
braintank
Politicker
+6
Enterprise Account Executive
1:1, never heard of a pod structure before
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
I'd prefer 1:1 to keep law and order when qualifying prospects.ย 
softwaresails
Politicker
+4
Sales Manager
I know everyone is saying a 1:1 ratio but we couldnโ€™t make the numbers work right.ย 

We went to 2:1 and it was so much better for us.ย 
KB24
Valued Contributor
+5
Senior Account Executive
We ran into this too for some reps. Experienced AEs were getting new or underperforming SDRs assigned & since it was 1:1 there were a lot of AEs pushing for a pod structure
softwaresails
Politicker
+4
Sales Manager
Yeah this is the exact reason we didn't do 1:1. We are even thinking of just having an SDR team that rotates through the AEs with leads on a round robin structure to get around this issue.
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