AE & SDR Collaboration: Like Thunder & Lightning

Thunder and lightning: a powerful duo, and what AE/SDR pair Carolyn and Tyler chose as their partnership identity. 

Where Tyler is the spark, or the flash of lightning, Carolyn takes on the role of thunder, bringing the sale home with a bang. 

An AE and an SDR should compliment one another. And as Carolyn and Tyler discussed in their interview — the metrics they care about may differ, but at the end of the day, making the sale is the ultimate goal. 

From getting to know each other in quarantine to making sales calls from home — let’s take a look at this unique pair and their tips for closing the deal. 

The AE/SDR Partnership

The AE/SDR partnership is supposed to be complimentary. In fact, in the case of Carolyn and Tyler, it seems to work the best when the two have somewhat … different personalities. 

“The nice part about working with Tyler is he’s so even-keel. I always tell him that he’s smooth and steady, and it really helped my mindset during the whole process of the sales cycle. I think if I was dealing with somebody that was really high strung and high energy, it’d be a big disconnect between the two of us,” explains AE Carolyn Thompson. 

On top of having personalities that vibe well with one another, Thompson explains that the key to being a good AE/mentor is recognizing that in fact, their jobs are different. Therefore there will be different priorities for an SDR and AE. 

“I have learned from Tyler that everyone at this company, in any company has different priorities. Because we think that we’re entirely in sync, and we would love to be, but really what makes him money might be different from what makes me money,” says Thompson. 

And more than anything else — communication is key. 

“The most important thing in a SDR and AE relationship is definitely communication. Me and Carolyn would talk weekly in regards to different opportunities that she’s working, whether I’ve made different touch points on an account, big or small. I think that’s one of the most important things is to always keep each other in the loop on this,” explains SDR Tyler Johnson. 

Together But Apart: Working Together In Quarantine 

Being in sales is difficult. Being in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic is … exceptionally challenging. It only makes the bond between SDRs and AEs more important. But who says you can’t get to know someone over Zoom? 

“Tyler and I really met during quarantine. We had never built a relationship at work while we were physically in the office. So we were kind of getting to know each other over video chat and just talking about life. And that is really, really important if you’re going to have a partner in crime in business to be able to get to know them,” explains Carolyn.

Selling Tips From Thunder & Lightning 

To Carolyn and Tyler, the name of the game when it comes to sales success is persistence and positivity. In a position that ultimately welcomes rejection, staying cool, calm, and collected is the way to achieve your goals. 

“I think that’s really a big thing just because there’s so much, not necessarily failure, but there can be a lot of negatives to sales — there’s a lot of no’s. There’s more no’s than yes’s. So by having that positive mentality you’re already winning half the battle,” says SDR Tyler. 

Sometimes it takes a lot of practice to achieve this kind of sales nirvana. Other times, it just comes naturally. 

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard Tyler raise his voice literally not once. And that is a massive strength of his because I can tell you in the SDR role you face so much, not just rejection, but general frustration of prospects not understanding what you think they should understand or just kind of being combative in general. And for me, it raises my blood pressure. So I’ve had to constantly train myself to keep this tone of voice that is very neutral and matter of fact when I’m frustrated, but it is really hard. And for Tyler that is just like his natural state,” says Carolyn. 

Helping Each Other Grow …

One of the main benefits of the SDR/ AE partnership is the mentorship that each individual gets from the experience. For the SDR, you gain access to what it’s like being an Account Exec. And as Carolyn mentioned, SDRs do a lot to provide perspective to their AE’s. 

As we all already know, sales is difficult, and comes with a unique set of challenges. 

“You kind of look at the 90 day view of, will I care about this in 90 days? And it’s generally a no. And then you just focus on your priorities. So for me it’s kind of that like, quiet resilience that’s really, really important…knowing your power and knowing you can be the best but never talking about that,” says Carolyn. 

Where Tyler keeps Carolyn calm, Carolyn pushes Tyler to do better. 

“There’s definitely a lot of pressure, which I feel like puts you in a position where you have to perform. Because if you’re paired up with someone who’s at the top of the leaderboard, you can’t just be booking these willy nilly demos, you need to be really sending them top notch,” says Tyler. 

“So I think it was a blessing in disguise as much as it’s like, oh man, I’m paired with Carolyn Murray. It’s a lot of pressure but, I definitely think I took that and I was able to leverage that in the best way possible.”