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How AEs Help SDRs on Their Career Path

4 min read
Updated Aug. 25, 2021
Published Jun. 21, 2017

The career path for the most SDRs leads into a role as an Account Executive. This makes sense: a rep with strong outbound skills develops the foundation they need to become an effective closer. In addition to learning the outbound skillset, SDRs often work directly with Account Executives and get to observe the processes and tactics that role requires. Successful sales teams can use this existing symbiotic relationship between SDRs and AEs to efficiently guide newer reps to the next level of their sales career.

Providing a little added guidance doesn’t have to be a big change to your process either. It can be as easy as looping an SDR into the rest of the sales cycle for a lead they source so they can understand the sales process better. Or you can put SDRs to work helping your AEs penetrate a larger account. Both will give your SDRs valuable exposure to AEs and help them learn and grow faster.

We invited Brad Ansley to this edition of Sales Tips to discuss how experienced AEs can help new SDRs reach their career goals.


Hey everyone. Brad Ansley here with Salesloft. For most new reps starting their careers as SDRs, the ultimate goal is to become Account Executives. So today what I wanted to talk to you about is some of the things that your SDRs and AEs can do working together to prepare your newest reps to become some of your most successful account executives.

Something pretty standard as part of an SDR training and onboarding process is for an SDR to sit in on the initial demo that an AE runs so they can understand how the company presents the product prospects. But taking that a step further as an SDR when you start to set up opportunities, you should really see one through to the finish line. Be a fly on the wall for the reconnect calls, for any negotiation calls, understand what types of cadences the Account Executives use to stay in touch with their opportunities. Having that understanding of what makes for an extremely qualified opportunity, you can start to apply that day-to-day as a SDR. There’s a natural tendency for new reps to want to schedule as many things as quickly as possible, and not do a whole lot of qualification if they have somebody coming at them saying, “Yes, I’ll take a meeting,” but your job as an SDR is to make sure that you’re sending over high-quality qualified opportunities. So having seen an entire deal from start to finish, you understand the types of questions that you need to ask, and you can be more intentional in the discovery process and set this meeting as if you were setting it for yourself as an Account Executive.

Another way that SDRs can learn for more experienced account executives is tag-teaming with them on very strategic accounts. When you think about an account-based model, we’re not going to just be reaching out to one person within a company, and we don’t want them to only hear from one of us as well, so an Account Executive and an SDR can work together to strategize on different levels of the organization. Who’s going to be reaching out to who, how can we best engage? Whether that’s meeting them at an event or finding a creative way to get in touch with them, working together to send a video.

Thanks so much for watching, I hope this is really helpful. I’d love to hear how your team is preparing the next generation of sales leaders at your company.