Four plays for better alignment between AEs and SDRs

Posted August 20, 2021

One of the most crucial relationships across an entire revenue team is between AEs and SDRs. They work so closely together, and their individual successes lead to better collective outcomes.

Leaders can assure next-level collaboration in a number of ways, which Outreach sales leaders Sam Nelson and Mark Kosoglow recently shared.

Pool SDRs and AEs Together

More companies today are pooling their SDRs and AEs together, instead of having a 1:1 ratio. One advantage of a pool is if one or two members are not pulling their weight, the rest of the group can pick them up and still make their number.

Another reason for this trend is how seamless sales engagement platforms make collaboration. With Outreach, an SDR and an AE both know what’s going on in every account all the time.

“An SDR can see if the prospects are responding or not, or what the activity is,” Sam said. “You can dig in and get really granular into what’s happening in an account without having to meet. You can see everyone who has been through a sequence, everyone who hasn’t been through a sequence yet, and everyone who is currently in sequence.”

AEs can also find out what an SDR is up to and what they’re planning to do in the near future. Such transparency makes understanding happen across the pool, efficiently, with minimal direct communication.

Make Referrals Easier

When an SDR asks an AE for a referral on LinkedIn, they should draft a sample message with the key talking points to send.

“If you can make this a one- to two-minute exercise for them to send the introduction, it’s much more likely to happen,” Sam said. “If you write the message out yourself, the way you would send it if you were them, you can presuppose all of the context you need.”

As Mark noted — per an observation from his dad — if you make someone’s work easy, they’ll work hard for you. So, SDRs, by making things a little easier on your AEs, they’re more likely to send a referral, more quickly.

Use CCs on Prospecting Emails

A good idea for SDRs is to CC the AE in the initial prospecting email, giving them a heads up so they can respond with a quick note.

In Outreach, you can see when a team member responds to an email. That won’t stop the sequence. View counts don’t get inflated either.

“It increases replies a lot,” Sam said. “And it doesn’t take a lot of effort.”

Share and Respond to Your Sequences

One of a few tag team plays SDRs and AEs can do together is build and share their sequences.

SDRs should outline their steps, tasks, when they’ll be executed and whether or not they’re automated, for example. Then, they should share that information with their AEs, who can craft a relevant version on their own end, the Tandem Sequence.

With powerful sales technology, AEs can set sequences up and then assign specific tasks to their SDR.

“Whenever a phone call task pops up, you, the AE, can reassign that to your SDR to make the phone call while you’re sending the emails,” Mark said. “So if you have a strong, well-thought-out sales engagement platform, you’ve got that flexibility to do awesome plays like this that make a huge difference.”


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