3 Ways to Build Stronger AE and SDR Alignment, as seen on Drift

Ernest Owusu

It’s an unusual time to be in sales, to say the least: Pressure to hit quotas is on the rise, we can’t collaborate from our desks, and generating pipeline has become even more difficult. It wasn’t the summer that most sales teams expected. But, great salespeople adapt to any circumstance.

And that includes how we manage ourselves within our team. Even with everyone working from their couches or kitchen tables, sales leaders need to make sure AEs and SDRs are aligned on mutual goals and understand what it’ll take to succeed. Here are three ways you can ensure a strong AE and SDR relationship and handoff 🤝

1.   Account Alignment

One thing that I’ve always found interesting is that although AEs and SDRs work within the same territories, they tend to have extremely different opinions around which accounts present the greatest opportunities for pipeline generation. However, because of the current climate, it’s absolutely critical that AE and SDR pairs are tightly aligned on which accounts to pursue, when to pursue them, and why those specific accounts present the greatest opportunities for success.

Fortunately, technology can help get your team there. Your team might already have an ideal customer profile which should point you towards an account that your company is ready to talk to, but knowing the accounts in your ICP doesn’t necessarily point you towards companies that are ready to talk to you. While a company might be a great fit for your solution, they might have experienced a downsized team or reduced budgets, so they won’t be receptive to your outreach – even if it’s a work of art. But if we strategically combine buyer intent data and match it to ICP accounts, we can understand when the accounts we want to talk to are actually “in-market” and ready to talk to us!

SDRs and AEs, aligning yourselves with accounts in your ICP that are “in-market” will make it easier to march towards success. Even if you don’t have the ability to identify ICP accounts that are “in-market,” having an honest conversation around the accounts that BOTH AEs and SDRs are excited about pursuing will create alignment. An easy way to ensure this is to commit to weekly check-ins (actually commit to them and try not to deprioritize them for other tasks) to discuss your processes. AEs should emphasize the key pain points SDRs need to capture during prospecting, which can help you determine if an account is closer to buying.

Want to find out the other ways to maintain alignment?

Read the rest of the blog here!

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