The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 4 years ago

Friday Fundamentals EP 2: SDR Promotion Paths


Most SDR programs are built on how many pipelines you can generate. We polled The Revenue Collective to discuss the timetable when transitioning from an Entry Level Sales Representative to Junior Account Executive.

Should it take 12-18 months before a promotion to a Junior Account Executive position? Should we be focusing on milestones?

If you’re promoted too soon, does this affect your ability to succeed? We discuss all things SDR on this week’s episode of Friday Fundamentals.

Hey everybody, it is the sales hacker podcast, it's your host, Sam Jacobs, the founder of the revenue collective, and I am the chief revenue officer of a machine learning and big data company called behave ox, which is building the first ever behavioral operating system. Now we're here for Friday fundamentals. If you remember from last week, Friday fundamentals is a shorter just five to ten minutes, and I bet sometimes believe and go shorter than five minutes, but it's five to ten minutes in length, focusing on specific tactics, case studies and insights that were collecting that we're hearing from you, the listeners, or that we're discussing amongst the revenue collective. Now the revenue collective as chapters in Denver, Toronto, London, Boston, New York and Amsterdam and growing quickly, and so we've got a group of close to two hundred VP level and above sales and marketing executives and we're talking every single day about the issues that we're facing. Now, before we get started on this episode, we...

...want to thank our sponsor outreach. Outreach triples the productivity of sales teams and empowers them to drive predictable and measurable revenue growth by prioritizing the right activities and scaling customer engagements. With intelligent automation. Outreach makes customer facing teams more effective and improves visibility into what really drives results. Hop over to outreach DOO forward sales hacker to see how thousands of customers, including cloud era, glass door, Pandora and Zillo, rely on outreach to deliver higher revenue for Sales Rep now today, on Friday fundamentals, we're going to talk about the progression from str to account executive. How long should it take, what you should expect, what you should be measured on and why it might be better to wait a little bit. So we pulled the group, the revenue collective, and the consensus was that it should take about twelve to eighteen months on that progression from entry level sales development representative to junior account executive, and so that's the...

...consensus. Now some of the folks in the group we're talking about really less just focus on milestones. Now, what are those milestones? Those milestones are obviously going to include the number of opportunities that you open and that you create. So, again, most SDR programs are really based on what's the level of pipeline that you can create. There are some SDR programs that are also based on the amount of closed business that you generate and then there's finally, some programs that are really points based. They can be about meeting set sales qualified opportunities. I think the most common, though, is going to be sales qualified opportunities per month. Now there are other criteria for promotion that you want to think about, testing well on written and role play exams and alignment with company and team values, but most of the time it's going to be around your quota attainment relative to pipeline generation. Now that pipeline generation is going... take place over a ramp period, of course, but what we're hearing from the group is that twelve to eighteen months is the amount of time that you should expect to be an SDR and there's a reason for that, and the reason is that if you are promoted before twelve months, the data tells us, and I think Trishpertuc and the bridge group have done some research, the data tells us that you have a much greater likelihood of failure as an account executive if you're promoted too soon. So the data tells us that under twelve months the success rate is just fifteen percent and over twelve months it jumps to sixty percent. So think about that. If you're an str and you're promoted to account executive under a year, you have a eighty five percent chance of failure, versus a forty percent chance of failure when you're promoted to account executive if you just wait a few more months. And so that's a really big reason to really take some time and really learn the business and the product that you're selling before you really push hard for that promotion. Now, that...

...being said, many of the programs that we're seeing obviously have career ladders. So there might be typically three ladders within a typical SDR program and at every level which you achieve based on some attainment of quota attainment, you get a higher base salary, you get a slightly higher quota and variable compensation and then you have to achieve again to get to the third level. So one of the members of the revenue collective talks about if you're a business development ramp, which is their word for U S Dr, you have to achieve an average of eighty percent of your fully rimp quota over three months and then you get promoted to the next level. Then you achieve again eighty percent of your quota over the subsequent three months and you get promoted to senior business development manager, senior str now the senior business development manager gets a bigger base with a higher quota and is then eligible for to be an account executive if there's a spot open. And what this revenue collective member is telling us is that when they do that they're seeing an eighty percent time to attainment at time of promotion.

So eighty percent of the AE's hit quota when they manage through that process. So again, it takes about twelve to eighteen months. If you're under twelve months, it's a much higher degree of failure. I guess the last thing I would say is that you really have to understand that there is a difference between being a sales development wrap and an account executive and you want to be careful about that. Yes, there are quotas and there's pipeline generation expectations and some of the great leaders, the great sales leaders out there, people like Mark Jacobs at CB insights. They will help you develop they will coach you, but there's really nothing like having a quota as an account executive. And once you have that quota, you know the clock starts taking you're on the clock. You have a responsibility to hit that number and there's not a lot of going back. And so what I mean is if you're promoted to early and you become an account executive, there's a very real chance that if you're not ready, you churn out of that organization fairly quickly. So I would really caution people to take that time, take that twelve to eighteen months,...

...really learn the business, finds an organization that has some of those ladders that we just described, typically three ladders on the way to becoming a junior account executive, and use that time so that when you are promoted to account executive, you have a much higher likelihood that you're going to attain your quota and become that superstar. But you know you are. So this has been Friday fundamentals, where about six and a half minutes. I'm trying to keep this short and pithy. If you want to reach out to me, always feel free. You can reach me at Linkedincom in. Sam F Jacobs. We want feedback, we want to hear about the tactical issues that you're facing. We want to help you with negotiation, with cold calls and all of those things. On Friday fundamentals, of course, we also want to thank our sponsor outreach, and we will see you next Friday.

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