Marketing “oldie” but SDR/AE process newbie here. I'm working on re-vamping our lead management process and am wondering if anyone out there would be willing to share their advice and/or how they do it. Here's some context:
We're a super small team. We outsource SDRs. Our in-house AEs are expected to do their own prospecting. As in, they’re expected to be hunters and anything that comes from SDRs/marketing is gravy. We're using HubSpot sales & marketing hubs (professional level on both). We're not necessarily doing enterprise sales here, we mainly sell into small/mid-sized public/non-profit orgs, but looking to move upstream + scale more efficiently (which is part of the reason for needing the re-org).
Currently, our lead management set-up is super simple. All contacts, no matter what stage, are assigned to the AE based on states in their territory.
From a marketing perspective, contacts are segmented and worked based on lifecycle stage and/or different content/email/online engagement signals. Basically anything that's not an active oppty is sent over to SDRs (outsourced, more on that later) to try to set meetings.
AEs are expected to prospect on their own but are more or less left up to their own devices regarding who to reach out to, when, how, etc. They do get notifications when one of their assigned contacts lands on specific "high intent" pages on the website, downloads content, etc. Most will follow up with those contacts, but usually pretty poorly/generically.
I've very recently taken the SDR function over to marketing from sales. I have one person on staff who came over from sales to marketing as part of this transition who is effectively an SDR manager in charge of managing the outsourced SDR team. The outsourced SDR team is local (not like telemarketing from the Philippines or anything like that—they’re truly SDRs). It’s a pretty high-performing vendor that we’ve been working with on and off for a while and overall we’re happy with them (I can share info with anyone who is interested if you want).
Additionally, SDR manager is also going to start being in charge of basically a strategic account development role themselves. So, working with AEs to develop a strategic accounts list and start going after those accounts very specifically, with the expectation of doing their own prospecting, emailing, calling, etc. to book meetings and open opptys with.
OK, so my main question is: Is anyone willing to share how they assign/segment their contacts between SDRs and AEs, specifically where AEs are expected to be prospecting heavily, so we’re not burning out contacts?
Additional/related questions: Do you only assign a certain segment to AEs and, if so, how do you determine who gets assigned? What accounts and/or contacts are your AEs expected to prospect into vs. SDRs? At what point in the process do you make the ownership switch from SDR to AE? What happens when a contact no-shows a meeting—is it SDR or AE that is responsible for follow-up (or does it depend on the account)?
Do you use any sort of process where an AE can “check out” accounts/contacts for their own prospecting or do they only get what you give them based on your assignment criteria?
I’ve read a bunch of books, articles, etc. on the idea behind SDR & AE relationships, but few discuss it in the context of when AEs are also expected to prospect (though, nearly everyone seems to agree that AEs should be doing at least some prospecting). Any practical/real-world examples and processes are greatly appreciated for this newbie. Thanks!