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SMB AE vs Enterprise SDR

Hypothetically pay is the same. Which is better and why?
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19
Rallier
Politicker
+10
Account Executive
I would 100% say the AE role is better. The more closing experience you have the easier it is to make a move into a higher paying role
TheQueenofDiamonds
Valued Contributor
+4
Account Executive
AE - full circle v just outreachΒ 
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+13
Senior Account Executive
AE. Only if you are a closer. You have better opportunities too.Β 
MCP
Valued Contributor
+4
Sales Director
AE. Prove yourself in the SMB space and you can move up from there. Use mid-market or enterprise motions as they make sense to, to prove your future worth via stories about your micro-threading process. Tell them the litany of questions you asked, etc.
Do.it.for.the.checks
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
It depends how involved with the AE are you? If you are 1on1 and meet daily or have the opportunity to shadow. That's good knowledge and experience.

You'll have to take SMB role eventually, but a year shadowing a talented Enterprise AE is knowledge you can't get any other a way.

And fwiw, SMB (assuming high velocity short sales) is about hard work not sharpening your closing skills. That isn't the differentiator in Enterprise, its a prerequisite.
Do.it.for.the.checks
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
Also depends on your career objectives. What is that you want in 5 and 10 years?
thegrinch
Politicker
+7
SDR
I agree that the closing experience you would gain in an SMB AE role is better for moving up towards a high flying AE job. Me being young in my career I want to work towards the high paying closing role, but I can also see how an older fella might just want an easy SDR role to pay the bills.Β 
Avon
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
I’m been an sdr and am now an AE. I honestly think being an sdr was harder
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
Become the closer and work your way up to an ENT AE role...or wallow in the depths of SDR hell? Yeah, I'm gonna choose a closing role.
mitts2
Politicker
+8
Account Executive
if you want to grow your career at all, its AE everytime. More closing experience will get you way farther in your career.

Closing is also just way more fun and satisfying.
MrNiche
Valued Contributor
+5
Senior Account Executive
AE 100%. Especially if you're somewhat early in your career. Some of our ENT SDRs are really strong and would perform as SMB AEs but they like the SDR life and have been doing it for several years.Β 

Even if the SMB AE role isn't perfect at this company (it's gotta be more lucrative), it's way easier to switch companies as an AE than it would be having to interview externally with no AE experience.
Plus it's not like you couldn't move to ENT SDR if you end up hating being an AE and closing vs. sourcing.
Re
RedLightning
Politicker
+7
Mid-Market AE
SMB AE. It's cool chasing big logos, but you don't have enough prospects to get a good amount of reps in. A year of full cycle SMB AE means you're getting better at every stage of sales because you have way more deals to learn from.Β 
ne
newsalesguy14
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
SMB AE here who was the company's enterprise SDR prior. I think there are pros and cons to each. Honestly, AE is a bit tougher than what I imagined, so I would say it's useful to learn the closing skills as fast as possible.

That said, I worked 1on1 as the enterprise SDR with my enterprise AE, and I learned so many things that made me a better salesman in general, that will assist me for the rest of my career.

In order to capture business in the enterprise space, you really need to know how to communicate precisely, speak at a high level, and know what audiences are perceptive to what messaging. Add this to working with my AE in the discovery phase, and I got a good grasp there.

That said -there's much more to closing than just prospecting and discovery. But, I think if you have a good mentor in the SDR position, then it could look nice on your resume in the long-term. At the same time, if you plan on jumping jobs sooner than later, then be an AE so you don't have to start over as an SDR.
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
SMB role. Start selling. Even if you get the shot to be an Enterprise AE several years down the road via the SDR path, I think you'll struggle having not sold before.

Edit to clarify
DrunkenArt
Politicker
+7
Sales Representative
AE. Nothing like having full control over your earnings and sales process. SDR roles are great, but in essence, you're setting someone else up to make money while you usually get diddly squat.Β 
Upper_SaaS
Politicker
+8
Account Executive
Pay might be equal but the career advancement SMB AE is by far a better opportunityΒ 
Sheriff
Politicker
+6
Sales Trainer
ALWAYSΒ  THE PICK CLOSING ROLE. SDR life sucks, the two best days are the day you get hired and the day you get out. Sooner you get closing experience sooner you can figure out if you can actually sell and if this is the life you want to be in.
goose
Politicker
+12
Sales Executive
If you don’t know then you don’t know.
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