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Should SDR's always work with a specific AE?

My company has never used SDR's, and we're currently exploring the option (per my suggestion). Do you think an SDR should be paired to an AE or can a team of SDR's feed a team of AE's with some system/rule in place for you gets what:

-round-robin

-geography

-company size

-vertical

Should SDR's be paired with a specific AE?
Attached poll
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๐Ÿ‘‘ Sales Strategy
๐Ÿ‘ฅ Hiring
๐Ÿงข Sales Management
12
NorthernSalesGuru
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
It creates a more successful culture. That said, not all AEs are mature enough for this relationship to be beneficial
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Fair point!ย 
slaydie
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
When I was a SDR, I had experience working both models. I personally enjoyed the team pairing because it allowed me to develop a relationship with the AE and they took me under their wings and mentored me. As we gained trust I went from shadowing their calls to facilitating the agenda to running some demos with them. It was a great learning experience and worked in my favor as leadership noticed and promoted me. Working as a group and round robin is fine too but and is helpful to avoid bad pairings.



As an AE I soley worked with 1 SDR. The SDR would support 2-3 AE's. I loved this relationship. We would have weekly or bi-weekly syncs, go over our hit-list, strategize, work on messaging etc. It was a really great partnership. I did the same with my SDR partner and let them take more and more responsibility throghout the sales cycle and now they are an amazing AE - way better than me!


We are now back on the round robin SDR/AE pairing and I just find myself less engaged. I have no relationship with the SDR's which is unfortunate.
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Thanks for the insight... leaning this way for sure!
goose
Politicker
+10
Sales Executive
SDR's should work for marketing
TheDeplorable
Politicker
+7
AE
Marketing should work for SDRs
POWERDIALER
Opinionated
+2
VP of Business Development
Is it opposite day?!
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
So your SDRs work for sales right? Curious to hear the reasoning!
GDO
Politicker
+6
BDM
Yes! But they can still be paired as well.ย 
goose
Politicker
+10
Sales Executive
Ok maybe. ย But Iโ€™d prefer to specialize AEs by market size or some other demo so they can be more effective. ย SDRs should just dial and market.ย 
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poweredbycaffeine
Politicker
+7
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
They are the traffic cop between marketing funnels and sales funnels. 1000% agree with you on the SDRMarketing alignment!
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Can you elaborate? Our company has never had SDR's and our marketing team is very small... it seems like the path of the least resistance to put them in sales.ย 
goose
Politicker
+10
Sales Executive
Hear me out. ย Any activity to move a suspect from unaware to aware is marketing activity. ย That's why we refer to them as MQLs. ย Once a suspect becomes a prospect (someone with a problem we can solve) the opportunity becomes qualified and we call in the sales team. ย If you have SDRs working on opportunities they are sales people. ย 
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GDO
Politicker
+6
BDM
Being paired is a good idea for the SDR s learning curve. The AE has an insentive to teach him.ย 

for the company itโ€™s easier to plan succession.ย 
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Makes sense to me!
looper1010
Celebrated Contributor
+12
Account Executive
Pairing us a good model for mentorship.ย  It's also in the AE's best interest for the SDR to do well.ย  I love training my SDR!
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Thanks for sharing! Any training best practices for a smaller org/team?
TheDeplorable
Politicker
+7
AE
No. I enjoy working and networking with multiple AEs
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Is the ratio 1:1 in terms of SDRs and AEs?
poweredbycaffeine
Politicker
+7
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
Is this assuming that SDRs are your orgs BDRs? As in there isnโ€™t another layer between? If so, then I would prefer to align them either by vertical or territory, whichever way your AEs are aligned. That way they can build expertise and experience in a specific focus in which they will potentially be promoted into. This is a fast track method to developing effective talent that can transition quickly.
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
We currently have a BDM/AE type role and nothing before that, just marketing. I am open to any and all ideas, but budget will always be a big factor in what is and isn't possible.
JoeRogasm
Politicker
+4
Sales Development Rep
At my first BDR position, I got paired with two AE's. Loved the dynamic and teamwork we had. Made me work extra hard to get meetings for these guys and succeed. Left to take a job in SaaS and now none of the AE's here could care less. I think it's crucial to be paired up
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Love to hear that! Out of curiosity, what industry did you come from?
JoeRogasm
Politicker
+4
Sales Development Rep
Manufacturing. My old company manufactured Data Center Cabinets and other Data Center infrastructure.ย 

I really liked the team I worked with but I hated management. They tied 20% of our commission to hitting a $1 Million in pipeline every quarter. Personally, S/BDR's shouldn't be responsible for pipelines. We're just helping you get your foot in the door.ย ย 
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MaSaaSter
Opinionated
+4
US BD Lead
I think it is good to pair up SDRs with an AE, absolutely. It is important to have trust and understanding between the two, as they are directly reliant on each other. I do not think this should be an exclusive relationship though. If you have a very ambitious SDR, they shouldn't be limited to working a limited amount of accounts/exclusively the AE's accounts. This can create complacency, and prevent innovative and unique developments. I firmly believe SDRs are the ones who can truly create innovative thoughts and approaches.ย 
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
I like that... thoughts on SDR's reporting into sales or marketing?
MaSaaSter
Opinionated
+4
US BD Lead
Depends on what their focus is in my opinion. If its a purely outbound focused SDR, then I think they should be reporting to sales. If its an "inbound SDR", then it should be in the marketing rollup, as they are a direct result of marketing's work.ย 
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aiko
Politicker
+7
Sr. Account Executive
we have 1 SDR to 3 reps. Its not enough but it works for now. Hoping to have a 2/3 ratio.ย 
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Thanks for sharing!
NoSuperhero
Politicker
+6
BDR
It's a team effort. I think it's best to whoever best serves in terms of time, vertical, and region. It still depends on the organization but BDR's should work for all AE's, IMHO
Allisce
Politicker
+3
Account Executive
I wish we had assigned SDRs and they get promoted WAY too fast in my org. Like the second they get good they are gone so they are all terrible all the time
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Haha, I feel like this is hard for every org... should there be a better way to incentivize them to stay SDRs?ย 
Allisce
Politicker
+3
Account Executive
Maybe at least having a time frame before they are considered for promotion, we will have some promoted after a month
whathaveyousoldtomorrow
Opinionated
+2
Account Executive
YES YES YES - I invest in my BDR! She learns my accounts, and I let her run meetings she sets with coaching and prep. When I had a family emergency earlier this month, I wouldve been LOST without her. Its for everyone's benefit. 100%
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Love to hear this!
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