The Right AE to SDR Ratio

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

I am not a fan of 1:many. Since I don’t know how you define many, I will say 1:4. 1 SDR to 4 AE’s as I rant.

  1. The rent is too damn high!! In short, it’s too expensive.
    1. If one has that many AE’s and you force rank them on productivity (figure out properly about AE’s ramping or pull them out) I can assure you the ones consistently at the bottom should be let go and you can typically hire SDRs 2:1 ratio (excluding SF/NYC). I do realize these folks are humans so I am not suggesting you fire for the sake of an Excel spreadsheet. They have lives, families, and personal goals.
  2. Nobody wants to have 4 bosses who want 4 things done a different way. Imagine if you had 4 different direct line bosses. Your job would be chaotic, even on a good day. There is no VP of anything who would want to report to 4 people. We can barely get VPs of Sales and VPs of Marketings to get along in many cases.
  3. The process could be broken – Every time I see a 1:4 ratio I see a company that claims to have a process but in reality the AE’s each do their own process of doing things, how they want things qualified, how it should be in the CRM. Not sure if that exists here, but I”ve seen it enough to know its a big problem.
  4. Immaturity of SDRs/ AEs – If your SDRs are typical, early in their career. They simply lack the courage and confidence to stand up to the Jerk-Store AE. Even worse the AE often does not know how nor want to “train” an SDR only to get 25% of effort, and then lose them in a few months as things always get shifted.
  5. The 1 to many allows an SDR to be exposed to different styles and experiences as they develop their own sales acumen. This is a HUGE concern to me. This means you have someone, again, young and impressionable, being left to the whims of salespeople who in many cases can barely get their shit in the CRM correctly. They will pass off secretarial tasks to the SDR and call it training. Your AE’s are not managers or coaches, they are AEs and to expect them to step up is a dream but I have yet to see reality.
  6. One proposal has been a semi-monthly cadence where the SDR spends 15-20 minutes with a rep at the completion of an intro/qualification call from an opportunity they’ve identified to execute the agenda. I am not sure who thinks one can learn anything in 15-20 minutes 1x/ month. In this case, it sounds like this will happen 4 different times, one per AE. While it exposes an SDR to a lot, I am not sure it’s the right play. Btw, I am going to spend 15-20 minutes a month learning to juggle chainsaws. #HighFive
  7. Management Training and Coaching – This is what line managers are supposed to do. Yes, you can learn from AE’s and there will be some that will help, but my experience is that maybe 30% of AEs are helpful. The rest “take what they can get from the SDR” and then bad mouth the company and executives because the strategy doesn’t work.

So what’s the solution?

  1. Assume you have 20 AE’s, that would mean you have 5 SDRs (1:4)
  2. Rank AE’s on goal attainment, 1-20, make sure you include the ramps of new AEs.
  3. Take the bottom 5 people on that list, and move them out of Sales.
  4. Then hire 10 more SDRs to get close to a 1:1 ratio.
  5. In short, make the AE’s beg and scream that they are too busy for meetings.
  6. Then you can hire more AE’s.

Got questions, call us 877-520-0008

Related Posts

Prospects Hate Your BANTs on Demo Requests

When you fill out a demo request and you get a rep playing 20 questions before you see the demo, how annoyed are you? Do you then expect your own prospects to be equally happy when your sales process does the same thing? Shame on you. If someone fills out a demo request and then has to be BANTED, are you really surprised they are angry? Really?  You just lied to them straight up. Just like the fake LinkedIn requests. Just like the “Re:” in the subject line of a cold email.  Liar, liar, pants on fire.  Own it. You lied to them, accept it, change your message, or stop being “shocked”. Here’s the first

Read More »

The President’s Club in 2021

The President’s Club, the much sought after trip for top sales professionals to relax and revel in their success. In 2020, that idea looked a lot different. And now that 2020 is dragging on into 2021, it’s time to start planning what President’s Club looks like in 2021. Timing Delaying all trips until Sept 2021, often taking advantage of the Labor Day week, can be slower. Yes, they are still planning for January/February 2022 for the 2021 President’s Club to incentivize the end of the year. Incentives The idea of a salesperson, and their significant other, getting 2 trips in 4 months is very incentivizing. More companies are allowing SDRs/BDRs to go on President’s Club

Read More »

2021: The Year of the Sales Reset

2021 will be the year of the sales reset. It will be based on the following: employee retention, hiring, current pipeline, desired pipeline, conversions, and 2021 goals. Let’s dig deeper into each one: Employee Retention Everyone understands that organizations had to go through resets on headcount. What will matter most is how the folks who made the cut were treated. If organizations tried to move forward with business as usual, high pressure, not reducing goals, or other “old school” methods, the people who made the cut will probably be the first to leave for better culture elsewhere. Yup, you kept them, then treated them like crap, and now you want them to stay? The only

Read More »

Why you need a Revenue Operations Team

Last week, Scott Leese and I were working on this blog post and then had the opportunity of speaking with two revenue operations aficionados from Salesforce, Greg Gsell and William Jager for our Surf and Sales podcast.  You can find the episode link at the bottom of this post. If you are really looking to understand and execute a revenue operations team in 2021, this post and that podcast will provide critical insights into all the things you want to understand. If we’ve learned one thing in 2020, it’s a deeper understanding of the Darwinian thoughts around, “Adapt or Die”. In many cases, the evolution begins long before the primary pain really rears its ugly

Read More »

John Barrows and Harris Consulting Group Team Up to Deliver N.E.A.T Selling™ via OnDemand Platform

N.E.A.T Selling™ training, used by companies like Zoom and Google, will now be available to subscribers to the JB Sales’ “Netflix for Sales” OnDemand platform. NOVEMBER 9 2020 — JB Sales JB Sales announced today that they will be adding N.E.A.T Selling™ sales training, developed by the Harris Consulting Group, to the library of sales courses available on the training video subscription service, OnDemand. The agreement between these two companies was reached after CEOs John Barrows (JB Sales) and Richard Harris (Harris Consulting) agreed on the essential nature of ongoing sales training, particularly in light of this year’s events. “Sales professionals have to confront two different realities,” says Harris. “First, work-from-home business means reps and

Read More »

Living WFH Through The Holidays

Working from home can be a challenge any time of year, but as the holidays are approaching, Richard Harris and Scott Leese joined forces for a Surf & Sales Bonfire Sessions with Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Predictable Revenue, Aaron Ross, to discuss how we can support our employees and how we can support ourselves and our families. They discussed: Executives who are parents (both sides of life duty) Managing employees who are parents Being a working parent Coping with stress, family, and mental health Watch the recording here: Proud sponsors of this Bonfire Session include: Predictable Revenue Findem Lead411 Perception Predict Need help navigating working from home through the holidays (or anytime)? Let’s talk!

Read More »