Companies with a Sales Development department have an advantage because they can support Account Executives in two ways: by doing inbound and outbound sales at scale, so the company has more opportunities to close deals. Let’s discuss more about AE relationships.

When SDRs and AEs dont coordinate closely, big advantages are lost. This can be due to territory boundaries or just not having enough communication between team members.

The late, great Chet Holmes said that salespeople need to work as a team and not just rely on individual brain power.

If you have the luxury of assigning SDRs to two or three AE’s, make sure they are assigned based on your business needs and market. Use these five tips to ensure that all AE relationships between them are healthy.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

1. Hold Multiple One-On-Ones for SDRs and AE Each Week

In ensuring AE relationships, the best teams meet twice a week. They have 1:1s that last about 20 minutes, and each meeting has an agenda for what needs to be done in the coming days.

  • Book recurring, one-hour meetings on the sales development representative and account executive’s calendars to discuss best practices.
  • If one person is calling the other, include a dial-in number.
  • When you have a meeting, try to plan it out before hand. You can usually get through more in 20 minutes than you think.

The SDR will be evaluated on scheduling meetings and demos for the AE. Make sure that they are clear about qualified meeting criteria, as well as what qualifies a buying opportunity.

  • Qualified meetings and demos are when a company is the right fit for us, has an interest in what we have to offer, and wants to take it one step further.
  • Qualified opportunity is a company that’s a good fit for you and someone with influence or power can get you to the decision maker.

1:1s are beneficial for the week ahead and next week.

2. Complete and review pre-call plans (after the initial meeting has been scheduled).

Completed pre-call plans are essential for initial meetings and discovery calls. They help you take control of the process, as well as show more confidence to your prospect.

Before a call, you should have pre-planned what you want to discuss.

  • What company is coming to meet with us? (Inbound: How did they find out about our services and products? Outbound: What made them want to come and see what we have?)
  • Whats the latest news about our company that we should know?
  • How do we reach out to the most important people in the company?
  • How are they doing financially? (If public: How much revenue have you had so far this year?)

and what you want to know from the call.

  • If we didn’t offer our product, how would they be doing business today?
  • People get more stressed during the holidays, and this is a time to be mindful of that.
  • They agreed to speak with us because they are excited for this opportunity. They also think the timing is perfect right now.
  • They are always there for us. They provide a base pay, bonuses and commissions so that we can be the best.
  • What are we going to do after this?

The pre-call plan is full of open-ended questions instead of yesno ones. This means you can influence the conversation versus interrogate.

3. Debrief After Each Initial Meeting Immediately to Build stronger AE Relationships

SDRs and AEs should ask the right questions, even if it’s a high level qualification or deep discovery call. They need to debrief afterwards and assess whether they asked all of the appropriate questions.

The moment the sales call ends, the SDR and AE contact each other to discuss what went well during this phone conversation. They will also figure out how they can help make a pipeline opportunity happen.

  • What did you think of the call? How are we doing?
  • Does this new customer offer an opportunity to bring on a new client?
  • Who will be the next to take action? Who should send a recap email? What are they doing now?”

4. The Secret to AE Relationships: Communicate “In the Moment” with One Another

Communication in the moment is very effective, especially when salespeople work remotely and are not always at their desk.

You dont have to wait for the scheduled 1:1 if you can get answers right away. You can use text, instant messaging, and your mobile phone.

I think the next step for us is to speak face-to-face.

5. Consider CRM as the Single Version of the Truth

The AEs job is to sell, work the mechanics of deals and get in front of prospects. When they fail at that, it can cause serious problems with CRM adoption and usage.

In AE relationships, there are many ways to make the job of a salesperson easier. Some companies offer integrated intelligence offerings, outsourced help, in-house CRM administrators and mobile apps.

  • You can sync company and contact data with InsideView in one click.
  • The fewer clicks, the better
  • Make sure to train and coach all of the salespeople on a regular basis.

5 tips to keep your SDR- AE relationships on track. The best way is by “getting along” too.

When Sales Development Representatives and Account Executives work together, there is a lot of synergy. They can help each other out in many ways.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
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