The New Relationship Between AEs and Their Directors

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This session is titled The New Relationship Between AEs and Their Directors by Mike Haylon and Sara DeBrule of Yesware.


“Underperforming seemed contagious. And the sales team dynamics were cancerous.” – Matt Bellows, CEO of Yesware

When we started out at Yesware, we hadn’t developed much of a process around who we would hire, what characteristics would add value to our team, and what type of salesperson would be the best fit for our company. As we grew, we realized our sales team was unsuccessful.  We needed to build a process that would allow us to scale and grow our team in order to be successful. We needed to change the relationship between our Account Executives and Management.

Here is the process we followed:

  • Build a pipeline of candidates

    • We wanted to ensure that we were building a pipeline of qualified candidates from different sources in order to build a healthy team.

  • Build a qualification process.

    • We had to have a focused idea of who our ideal hire would be, and had to build evaluation questions around that vision. Is this someone we wanted to work with? Would they add value to the team?

    • One important method is to vary your questions, especially among different interviewers. If each interviewer asks a variety of questions and collaborates at the end, it gives the candidate a view of camaraderie amongst the existing team.

  • Be transparent

    • Be honest about where you are as an organization, and where you are going.

  • Start to paint the picture for the prospect

    • Ask questions that can provoke them into articulating how they view the company. We want them to feel like how it would feel to be a part of the team. Build value throughout the process.

  • Finally, Invest time and put a process in place. You may sacrifice immediate revenue, but the long term benefit is worth it.