Getting Your AEs on Board With AE Prospecting

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So often these challenges collide when it comes to AE prospecting: they don’t want to prospect, don’t know how to, and, in many cases, were not taught how to prospect. 

Here are some suggestions for navigating these conversations. And yes, we are very aware that in today’s market people can leave. 

Let’s talk about the last issue first. If people are leaving, that is not always a bad thing. This means you can revamp your team, your way.  

Compensation

If AEs are leaving for a higher salary, you only have one choice: meet the market rate. A good AE or SDR will know your options are worthless, so don’t try to sell on that. If your founder doesn’t believe this, then have them contact me. I am happy to explain in specific detail.

Pay your people the market rate, or better yet, 5% higher and you solve this problem.

AE Prospecting

Now let’s talk about AE prospecting. Yes, all AE’s should be prospecting even when supported by an SDR team. These reps will often be your most successful. It doesn’t matter if you are selling into the Fortune 100, all AEs MUST PROSPECT, period.

Be sure to set the expectations in the interview process. Ask them to describe a time they prospected from beginning to end on a deal. Have them explain each step. Have them explain how recent it was. Have them explain which tools they’ve used to do AE prospecting.

And ask them, “How do you feel about prospecting in this role? It is a requirement.”

If they get squirmy, marinate in that, and be sure they are clear and you are clear on expectations. 

If you have a team, or inherited a team, that has not been prospecting, it’s time for a reality check. 

You will need to be honest and direct. 

You will need to show them the support you will give them, be it prospecting training, tools training, or time management. 

Under no circumstance should you ever start with “Hey, I know you aren’t going to like it.”  That just puts you into a position of weakness. You can address the issue when they bring it up. However, you must find a way to acknowledge they have been heard and that its time to accept it or move on. 

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to share in the comments. If you need to chat, you can schedule time directly with me here.

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