Early in my career, I worked as a Sales Assistant to a team of Account Executives (AEs) at a leading radio and media company. I saw full-cycle sales firsthand and helped many salespeople prepare proposals for their prospective/existing clients. Before that, I sold merchant services door-to-door to small businesses.
I went on to enter the world of pure lead generation or “sales development” as the modern day business world calls it, and quickly learned how to be effective.
In my experience, many of the skills required to be a closer and a sales assistant translated well to Sales Development.
The roles are different on paper, but does that really mean a Sales Development Representative (SDR) can’t do the job of an AE and vice versa? SDRs and AEs aren’t so different and have many similar responsibilities. They’re both managing a pipeline, cold calling, handling objections, and above all, showing patience.
Although a SDR transitioning into an AE role is doing a different job, they'll still use many of the same best practices. Even an AE who has never been an SDR is still doing much of the same work that SDRs do on a daily basis, and they're still in a performance-based role:
- They both have to do prospecting
- They both have to understand and speak their buyer’s language
- They both have to follow up with prospects persistently
- They both have quotas to meet every month and quarter
- They both get paid based on their performance
The main take-away I’ve come to find through my professional journey is that sales is sales. If you have developed the right skillset and mentality, you can sell anything if given the right tools. I’m thankful to work with a team that equips me with what I need to succeed. RevenueZen has done a killer job providing effective and innovative tools to help myself and my colleagues thrive in the sales game.
Salespeople are like artists. An artist finds inspiration in their surroundings and creates art with the resources they have readily available in that moment. Sales is no different. Whether you’re an AE or SDR, you have to be smart in your strategy, painting the ideal picture for your clients with the colors you’ve been given.
...oh, and both SDRs and AEs can work well remotely!