I recently started at a larger software company as an AE. As I’m getting more into the process, I’m finding things odd. Like, cold calls and emails are metrics I’m judged on more than closed won business. I know that’s part of the job but it seems strange I’m judged on it so heavily. And, I seem to be the first real outside AE hire as everyone else seems to have been promoted up from SDR roles, including all of my direct management. I’m questioning if I made the right move. Stick it out or look?

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Closed won business is great, and is how you should be getting paid — but filling your pipeline (via cold calls, emails, etc) is important so that you have pursuits for future closed won business. This approach helps ensure you don’t exhaust your open opptys and then have nothing left to pursue. You could consider asking your sales leaders if a better structure might be for SDRs to do your prospecting and then you lead the closing process, but maybe this company doesn’t want that structure?

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From my experience, many times a vacant AE role is due to the previous rep either being ‘managed out’ (for poor performance) or pursuing a better job that looks more promising than their current job (possibly due to lack of promising deals)

Metrics shouldn’t be the destination- it should be the journey to your destination (hitting quota)…. But I hate when orgs hold reps to vanity metrics… metrics can be faked, and not all output/ activity is time well spent. It boggles my mind that some orgs micromanage metrics… and I’ve learned it really boils down to one of two things: bad culture/ lack of autonomy, OR, the org as a whole has a problem with under/poor performance and quota attainment. Metrics matter when people are not talented- or do not know how to think outside of the box, rise above the noise etc. But also, hard work outperforms talent, when talent doesn’t work hard. Just do the metrics. Hit the dials, send the emails, the sooner you get those out of the way, the more time you’ll have to dedicate to social selling/ strategizing, etc.

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To me this is a sign of a healthy understanding of what it takes to generate sales. Inputs beget the outputs. You can't just be accountable for the outputs without some expectations around what volumes of inputs are required to get there. This is a data driven approach. If you prefer more opaque approaches or you have issues with accountability or authority, then this place might not be the right fit for you.

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