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Over the past few months, I’ve been constantly talking to VPs of Sales, SDR leaders, and SDRs themselves. One constant struggle I hear is the SDR to AE handoff. The problem is mostly centered around accountability, process and compensation. In this article, I’ll analyze the core issues that are deeply rooted within the SDR AE handoff process, and propose a few actionable solutions to address it, along with general best practices to follow.

Note: My perspective is from an organization that uses mostly Outbound SDRs. Small changes may be needed to adapt this to inbound.

SDR vs AE: Vicious Cycle of Blame

The main problem I hear is finger-pointing, this is especially apparent on teams where there is a pod system and SDRs are paired to AEs, but it can happen on any team regardless of the setup.

SDRs complain that the AEs handling their demos are not as good as other AEs, and that’s why their opportunities aren’t moving forward.

The AEs on the other hand complain that the SDRs are just sending unqualified demos and therefore they aren’t on track to hit quota.
Who’s responsible? How do you fix this?

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