Strategy for The SDR / AE Sales Team

A common request from account executives (AEs), and sales development reps (SDRs, BDRs) is “What can we do together as an SDR/AE team to get better, and help our clients.”  Whoever asked, give that person a RedBull… I love Love LOVE that question!

Here are some ideas that you may be able to use:

  • WORK TOGETHER: The SDR and AE role is all about teamwork that leverages each other’s specialty.  Not about who is Batman, telling Robin what to do. In a working team, the SDR is a specialist in online research, finding the right person, contacting, and gaining their interest, whereas the AE is a specialist at helping a client identify the underlying problems and remedy that with potential solutions. Work together and MAGIC will happen.

PippenJordan Team

The ultimate display of teamwork during the famous 1997 Flu game with Pippen & Jordan

  • RESEARCH: Research what worked for you over the past 30/60/90 days.  Build a heat map of which clients were responsive to your inquiries.  But also create an overview of which markets were NOT responsive.  Identify what made the hot opportunities – hot, and what made the cold opportunities – cold.  Don’t overanalyze.
  • MAP IT OUT: Identify and write down all the steps you take in your daily sales process… and I mean EVERY step (see example below).  Then figure a way to do it better, faster in less steps. Most teams are – without realizing it – delaying the sale.  This is your time to question every step, do we really need to put every client on a 30-day trial?  Take 30-45 mins for this.  You can always come back.

  • PLAN:  Now create a plan where you do more of what works, and less of what does not work.  Simple right?  Take 10-15mins to do this together.  Commit this to your schedule.  E.g. every morning a 5-15 minute to talk about the plan for the day.
  • PROBLEM SOLVING: Identify a list of 10 of the most common and difficult questions by your clients, for the SDR those questions in general are around objections, for the AE those are mostly about proving value.  Work on a response together. My advice… start with an easy objection, before you move up to hard ones.
  • ROLE REVERSAL: Practice with each other.  Practice. Practice. Practice. Role play “ring ring” games where you practice opening lines, addressing concerns, and objections. When it gets boring, reverse roles. I realize that most of you are not on the phone a lot these days. However ring ring – is a very productive way of learning together.
  • MASTER TOOLS: You most likely are pretty good at LinkedIn? And Outreach. Or perhaps ClearSlide. Even Prezi!  But are you a specialist? Do you truly “master it”?.  The next weeks is an excellent time for advanced education on some of the tools you use daily, and/or identifying new tools that can help you.
  • CREATE A VIDEO RESPONSE: Create video response to your client’s question.  When a client has a question it sometimes can take a day to write the response.  Why not setup the camera – iPhone/Android phone + a tripod – go to the white board, and explain it.


  • BLOG: When you are getting the hang of creating “custom” videos, why not create a video blog as a team, where you are addressing common client questions you hear out there.  Put it on youtube and link to that video on your LinkedIn profile.  Show your clients you care about them and your clients will care about you.
  • ATTEND AN EVENT: Attend a regional event together, such as a Sales Hacker, SaaStr event, a Social Selling Meet-up etc.
  • DEVELOP CONTENT: Create content together; remember you always feel like “this piece of content is missing” and “that piece of collateral is out of date” – take a shot and create it.  Chances are one of two, a) you nailed it, everyone happy – b) Marcom freaks out and realizes they need to do it, everyone happy.
  • HAVE FUN: Last but not least, reading this article will not do you any good, schedule the first get together with your AE/SDR, and make it FUN, no need to lock yourself up in a dark room at the office, go out and meet over a coffee outside the office forget the PC bring a notebook – better yet – go for a hike together (carry a pen/notebook to capture ideas).  A proverb by Confucius says it all:

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

5 SDR Onboarding and Ramp Hacks for Sales Managers

How to get started?

You just hired a new Sales Development Representative! He or she is 24 years old, with plenty of lead generation experience, is sharp, and is ready to crush it. Now what?

Jacco van der Kooij is the Founder and CEO of Winning By Design and Sales Mentor at Storm Ventures and Reach Capital. His life has been changed by helping his customers, and he strives to show others how it can do the same for them. He’s been a SaaS Keynote speaker for conferences around the world sharing his message of customer enablement along the way.

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