SDR Manager vs Enterprise AE: Career growth Q

I'm at a crossroads where I have the opportunity to either grow my career on the AE side or potentially join management, and my company is growing very quickly. Not quite sure my exact career goals at this point as I began my career in Saas almost 2 years ago, but definitely see leadership in my future.


I'm sure a lot of folks out there might have experienced this dilemma, so I really want to hear your honest thoughts, regrets, wishes, etc.


I would totally go for the SDR manager position now, but I do have a point of contention- I only have about 1 year of closing experience - do you think this would stunt my career growth later on? How important is closing experience as you progress further and further in your career?



Best way to progress career in sales: SDR Manager or Enterprise AE?

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โ˜๏ธ Software Tech
๐Ÿงข Sales Management
๐Ÿš€ Career Goals
16
Sniper
Valued Contributor
3
Enterprise Account Executive
Love the hard 0% for sdr manager
slayallday
Personal Narrative
0
Enterprise Account Executive
yeah definitely getting a feel for the vibe lol
breezyboiii
Politicker
2
Sales Boiii
If you're not sure of your exact career goals then it'd make sense to build your personal brand until you figure it out.

Closing whales as an Enterprise AE is one of the ways you can get noticed by those that will help with networking.

Sure being an SDR manager has the ability to do the same but for a good portion of it, you'd be reliant on other people as opposed to choosing your own path. Just my 2 cents.
slayallday
Personal Narrative
0
Enterprise Account Executive
Is this what you have seen in your own personal experience?ย 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
2
โ˜•๏ธ
Your earnings and growth are ultimately capped when you take the SDR Manager role. You'll end up in that niche of management because VPs, for the most part, won't trust you to run sales pipelines..
slayallday
Personal Narrative
0
Enterprise Account Executive
That's how it seems- I searched "SDR Manager" on linkedin as "past job title", and it seems like everyone who had that title moved to director of sales development, rather than managing AEs
UrAssIsSaaS
Arsonist
2
SaaS Eater
Id be wary of putting a cap on your potential if you move into the SDR manager role. It'll be hard to move up into a MM management role without any experience closing in that role.ย 

If you go the ent AE route you gain all of the closing experience you need and can always pivot to management in the future. Don't take the quick out into a half ass manager role. Keep grinding. You'll make more as an ent AE and will keep more doors open in the future.ย 
CuriousFox
WR Officer
1
๐ŸฆŠ
AE role. I am biased though ๐Ÿ˜Ž
slayallday
Personal Narrative
0
Enterprise Account Executive
It really does feel like that nothing can really beat closing deals...
pretengineer
Politicker
1
Head of the crumpets
I would ask what you want to optimise for; e.g. Immediate future earnings? People management experience? Full overview of the sales cycle? Are you selfless enough to get the people around you to shine, receive less praise and spotlight on yourself?


Personally, I would do AE first and then become a Sales Manager (whether BDR or AE). That squarely puts your career in IC -> Manager roles (rather than choosing to move from BSR manager to Sales repย  (possibly) later on).
DrunkenArt
Politicker
1
Sales Representative
A lot of shit rolls downhill as an SDR manager, a lot. If you have a high performing team, then you're in a good spot, but SDR roles always have a high turnover rate and it can be challenging to keep building success.ย 
Rallier
Politicker
1
SDR Manager and Consultant
Having been an SDR manager and an AE, I'd suggest enterprise AE route
slayallday
Personal Narrative
1
Enterprise Account Executive
Really- how long were you an SDR manager for?
Rallier
Politicker
1
SDR Manager and Consultant
Just under two years. Long term the earning potential for an SDR manager is a lot less than an AE. Plus itโ€™s a lot easier to motivate one person (me) than it is 7 others
LegacySoftware
Opinionated
1
Strategic Account Executive
Current BDR manager (x2) and former Sr AE. BDR manager for sure gives you more โ€œinsuranceโ€. I found as an AE, I was doing a lot more work totally by myself - some may love that โ€” I did not. I enjoy working through problems with my BD team, growing their skill sets. AE - depending on the โ€œsize of the enterpriseโ€ youโ€™ll be selling into - youโ€™ll have a LOT to learn most likely. Either path is beneficial to your career - but you have to be *impactful* in either.
RealPatrickBateman
Politicker
1
๐Ÿ”ชAmateur Butcher๐Ÿ”ช
I could be wrong here.... but if you look at the life of an SDR Manager and an Enterprise AE (as well as the income) I believe you will find your answer. Same amount of frustration and handholding, however one is DRAMATICALLY earning more and has more freedom of time.ย 
apacsalesninja
Executive
0
Sales Director
If you only have less than 2 years of closing experience now, Iโ€™d strongly advise you to pursue the AE route. Youโ€™re gonna be learning so much more through closing big deals plus youโ€™ll be making way more money too.
slayallday
Personal Narrative
0
Enterprise Account Executive
How many years in on average have you seen people transition?
apacsalesninja
Executive
1
Sales Director
Iโ€™ve seen AEs being โ€œpromotedโ€ to SDR Manager in 2-3 years, but their careers seem to stagnate after getting into this โ€œmanagement roleโ€. Those that eventually grow to become Head of Sales (managing closing reps) are ones who have grown a solid career as an AE (5-7 years at least). Just my experience from various tech companies! (startups, unicorns and big tech)
slayallday
Personal Narrative
0
Enterprise Account Executive
Great advice thank you!
BlueJays2591
Politicker
0
Federal Business Dev Director
I've always loved management and have been an AE before, so I went the SDR manager route. I'm also in a SaaS firm that sells tech way over my understanding, so instead of doing that and getting fired a year from now, I took a lower paying yet secure job. I also want to work my way up in the management world so it worked out well.
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