Peanut butter and jelly. Tacos and Tuesdays.

Some things just go together. 

At ZoomInfo, our Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) and Account Executives (AEs) complement each other across the sales process. 

First things first, how did we get here? 

According to a 2019 study, 67% of salespeople agree or strongly agree that they are close to experiencing burnout.

Yet, 60% of respondents believe they would be viewed negatively for taking time off to manage burnout.

Here at ZoomInfo, we knew this was a problem. So we set out to create a sales team structure that encouraged high-performance without burning out our sales stars too quickly. 

And so, the AE/SDR pairing was born. 

Introducing: AE/SDR Alignment 

Sales can be an intimidating field to enter. It’s fast-paced. High-risk, high-reward.  But when you hit your stride, amazing things happen. And that’s what we get to see every day at ZoomInfo. 

Our talent pool comes from developing within. 

We have a feeder system in place, meaning we put inbound Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) in a position to eventually go down one of two paths:

  • The management path (ie team lead)
  • The sales super-closer path (ie: account executive)

This all starts with their AE pairing. We match up promising SDRs with one AE so they can learn the ropes. 

Beyond the sales organization, these SDRs move all across the company; driving  placements in product marketing, operations, product management, and even engineering. 

This path is not exactly groundbreaking, but then again, neither is any other development path. 

It comes down to giving your team the tools they need to learn.

And believe it or not, something simple like prioritizing people and their development is truly an investment in partnership that pays recurring dividends for both parties.

“There are so many spaces that you can’t progress as fast as you can at ZoomInfo,” explains Megan Hanisko, SDR and Team Lead. 

“If you grind and try to milk as much as you can from all the opportunities that you have here, why would you not succeed? Why would you not want to make as much money as possible?”

Next up, we’ll be talking to Megan about her role to team lead and how the AE/SDR pairing has helped her succeed.

About the author


ZoomInfo combines the leading business contact database with best-in-class technology to pinpoint, process, and deliver the marketing and sales intelligence you need— exactly when and how you need it, to always hit your number.

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