Sales Models, Metrics, and Motions Blog

SDR, AE, and CSM analysis

Sales Models, Metrics, and Motions Blog

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Data on the SDR to Enterprise AE Career Path

Posted by Matt Bertuzzi on Thu, Feb 20, 2020

I like to spend time on the r/Sales sub over on Reddit. It gives an unfiltered and anonymous perspective on what future, current, and past SDRs are asking and advising.

Questions around compensation and timing of the Entry-level SDR to Enterprise AE path are common. So I  reviewed 236 LinkedIn profiles of current Enterprise Account Executives that also contained a stint in Sales Development.

What does the path look like?

There are as many paths to an Enterprise AE role as they are routes into Sales itself. Let’s be honest, very few kindergartners express a desire to carry an enterprise bag someday. I noted many profiles dipped in and out of the straight line career path. This includes stints as:

  • SDR Team Leads
  • Channel Sales Reps
  • VP/Director of Sales

That being said, the most common career path looks more or less like this:

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SaaS Account Executive Compensation in 2020

Posted by Matt Bertuzzi on Thu, Jan 30, 2020

We’ve just released the 2020 SaaS AE Metrics Report. This marks the 7th round of this research project. Leaders from 287 SaaS companies shared their key metrics--growth rate, ACV, model, quota, comp, tech stack, and more.

You can get a full copy of the report here, but I wanted to share one finding that really stuck out.

AE comp soars to new highs

Last year, I wrote about SaaS AE compensation continuing to outpace the broader US economy.


That’s a 52% increase since 2010 (~5% compounded annually). Compare that to SDR compensation, which has been flat since 2010 when adjusting for inflation. 

In this report, we find median SaaS AE on-target earnings of $158K. More than 70% of respondents report OTEs in excess of $120K. Wow.

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SaaS AE Compensation Heading into 2020

Posted by Matt Bertuzzi on Wed, Sep 25, 2019

Turn on economic news these days and it’s nearly impossible to miss stories about the tight labor market and (depending on how you measure it) moderate wage growth. 

The chart below compares the Unemployment Rate  and Average Hourly Earnings indexed to June 2009--the official end of the last recession.

Net-net, the unemployment rate has fallen by ~60% while earnings have increased ~30%. 

We’ve been diligently working our way through our latest round of AE research and I wanted to share a preview of what I'm seeing. If the AE role were following the larger economy, we would expect to be seeing 2.5% compound annual growth in On-Target Earnings. In other words, a $100K OTE in 2009 should be roughly $124K today.

In reality what we're seeing is much, much bigger. 

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Insight on the Sales Tech Stack (of the Present and Future)

Posted by Matt Bertuzzi on Fri, Jun 21, 2019

Gartner's 2019 Current and Emerging Technologies in Sales is making the rounds on LinkedIn.

I’ll be honest, I spent quite some time trying to grok what it was saying. I’m more of a numbers person than a visual learner, so I made a bit of a remix. I thought I’d share it here to get the community’s feedback.

First, I spreadsheet'd their data out by adoption, current ROI, and future importance. I used distance to center to measure Deployment Level  (1-9 scale) and followed their size and color key for Current ROI and Future Importance (1-3 scale).

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