Roles/Responsibilities for Discover Calls & AE Handoff

As an early-stage company, with a new (ish) product, we're working to refine and perfect our Discovery Call process and the AE Handoff.

Part of the challenge lies in that our new SDRs are still being ramped (2 weeks and 3 months in), one of our AE's has the sound "mechanics" of Disco Call framework and sales methodology and the other has the most subject matter expertise by 10 miles.

As such, we want to ensure our Disco Calls go GREAT and increase our conversion to a next step. However, we also don't want to have 3 salespeople on a Disco call, which may not be the best use of time and will more than likely overwhelm the prospect.

Wondering... 1) given our early stage, what's the best path to learn and refine as this framework as a team? 2) when do we put a line in the sand for more specialization? 3) how should we collectively be advancing our subject matter expertise (elevator pitch alignment, brief demo uniformity, etc?)

Ultimately, we want a smooth handoff, strong qualification and higher likelihood to convert into an opportunity.


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    • Profile picture of Joe Latchaw
      ( 2.4k POINTS )
      1 month, 3 weeks ago

      To ensure a strong handoff, you need to align your SDR’s to your AE’s and ensure what they want is being qualified on those early calls. This way when someone says yes, there isn’t a tennis match over details. I agree having three folks on discovery is a lot so I would suggest your AE and the prospect and possibly an SME in the solution they were looking for. We were putting our SDR’s on discovery calls but it was chewing up prospecting time and our AE’s started treating them like sales admins.

      Hope this helps!

    • Profile picture of AJ Alonzo
      ( 2.7k POINTS )
      1 month, 3 weeks ago

      Couldn’t agree more, @jlatchaw85. We implemented a “lead card” system where the SDR has the necessary qualification listed out for them. That way when they work the account and gather that info it gets collected in a single place (as well as the CRM) for AE delivery.

      We found that the better prepared the AE was for the call, regardless of experience, the better the conversation (seems obvious haha). But it allowed the AE to prepare for a more productive conversation and focus on moving the prospect to the next step (in our case, product demo) vs. spending time qualifying the prospect AGAIN.

      Create a process that promotes SDR AE alignment and really focuses on prioritizing the *right* qualification criteria.

      Our “line in the sand” was post Disco, as the AE should be able to determine whether or not a demo makes sense or an SME needs to be brought in. Get your AE to ask a lot of questions and really flesh out the problem your prospect is trying to solve. Have them be the delta between the information that’s on your website and the prospect can easily find, and the information they can’t find online.

      Best of luck!

    • Profile picture of Jerimiah Lancaster
      ( 490 POINTS )
      1 month, 3 weeks ago

      I’d first start to define what does “qualified” mean. What is that criteria? Share examples of what good and bad lead to opps look like then memorialize them somewhere (ideally a playbook) so everyone can point to it.

      Second, once the criteria is developed then you can train the team on the qual process. What does that process look like? Does it involve fields in SFDC? Does it entail a meeting to discuss? How about both of those? Also identify where the process could break: What happens when the AE doesnt think its qualified? (The goal here is to avoid “who’s on first”)

      Third, try it out! The process will break, it will need refined, and the team will take time to adjust. The best way to do this is have the team listen to those call together and provide feedback to one another. No need for 3 reps on one live call. Schedule disco review time and iterate.

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