8 Tips to get promoted from SDR to AE
Leaping from an SDR to an AE is no simple task, but strategic planning and a thirst for growth can certainly be your springboard. In this short blog, I’ve broken down the eight essential steps to take when successfully making the jump to Account Executive.
Let’s get into it…
1. Excel at Your Existing Role:
This is one of the more obvious but you need to stand out as an SDR to even be considered becoming an AE. Smash your targets, learn from feedback, be a sponge, and keep refining your skills to stand out amongst the crowd. Your work ethic must be impeccable to be noticed by management.
2. Understand the AE Role:
Knowledge is power. Understand what being an AE entails from those in the role right now. Shadow or have informal chats with other Account Executives to grasp their day-to-day tasks. Sit on demos, closing calls, and anything in between to get a feeling of what it’s like.
3. Deepen Product Knowledge:
Becoming an AE involves becoming a product master. Use every resource at your disposal to deepen your understanding of your company's products or services. Of course - the AE's job is not to be a product pusher but knowing the ins and outs of your product will make answering questions and demos much cleaner.
4. Form Strong Relationships:
View networking as more than just a tool for sales. Forge ties within your team and outside, and seek mentorships from successful AEs at your organization. You can also connect with AEs and industry leaders on LinkedIn or even take the extra mile and go to in-person events. Find other sales professionals - pick their brains and bounce some ideas off them to see what you can improve on.
5. Take on More Responsibilities:
Proactively shoulder AE-related responsibilities. Volunteer to assist an AE with any business case or POC (proof of concept) to not only learn what it’s like but to also be involved and get noticed by management. It’s important you do not let this affect your performance as an SDR. Make sure you carve out enough time to be involved but also take care of your activity.
6. Craft a Transition Plan:
Partner with your manager and the AE manager to carve out a clear plan to reach your goal. Integrate regular feedback and goal-tracking within your 1-on-1s so that you are aligned with your objectives. This will help you stay on track as well as keep each party accountable.
7. Prepare Ahead of Interviews:
Ace your AE interviews with intensive research and practice. Reach out to other AEs and conduct a mock interview. Don’t just do this once - practice makes perfect. Also, use your organization’s call database to watch other AEs and use some of their tactics.
8. Stay Patient and Determined:
Journeying from SDR to AE may twist and turn. Be resilient and use the milestones created with your manager to stay on track. For some, it won’t be an easy ride but keeping a positive and determined mindset will keep you on track.
Remember, transitioning doesn't follow a set timeline. So, while you're striving to cross over to an AE role, excel in your current one. Be it inch by inch or a quantum leap; it's your grit and unwavering resolve that will take you a step closer to your goal. It's all about relentless dedication, developing your capabilities, and propelling your success. You've got this!