Flip, That, Funnel!

It’s high time we restructure our SDR / AE teams

Have we ever stopped to think about this? I mean really think about this, the whole structure of your sales and marketing team. We’re so tied to the idea of the “funnel” that it pretty much rules all in terms of conversions, quality and quantity. What it doesn’t do though, is dictate how you structure your team.

Look at the funnel and the roles that correspond to each portion. Filling the top of the funnel (the largest part) belongs to the SDRs (the smaller team). Handling those leads (a smaller amount) is taken care of by the AEs (the larger team)…What?!

Misappropriated roles aside, having your team of closing specialists prospect (because let’s be honest, if you have that many AEs they’re doing their own prospecting) is a huge waste of time and energy. In the meantime your SDRs are burning out because they have a mountain of leads to qualify and not enough resources to do it effectively. So I propose a flip. Have your SDRs outnumber the AEs based on your funnel conversion ratios.

Think about it. The more SDRs you have the faster you can qualify MQLs and run outbound campaigns on your target lists. More SDRs means more leads for your AEs to put into their pipeline, and if they don’t have to focus on prospecting they can focus on closing.

Take a look at how you’re structuring your team — how much stock do you put into the SDR team? Do they look like more of a luxury — where there are only a few of them and they don’t take enough of the qualification responsibility, or are they viewed as an asset — where they take a large amount of qualification responsibility and they outnumber the AEs? Maybe it’s high time that the SDR be considered an asset versus a luxury, and your AEs start to focus on closing instead of prospecting.

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