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How to Make Salesforce AE Intros

 

There are over 10,000 Salesforce AEs that work at Salesforce and they span market segments, products, and vertical focus. They are responsible for substantial quotas so let me hit you with some real talk – Do not expect them to do your prospecting for you. Period.

AE awareness of your application is important when you are in a deal, especially if you offer a native solution and are competing against off-platform options, but you can’t rely on the AEs to give you intro into accounts you haven’t worked with. Of course there are fringe cases, like if you have Marriott & Hilton as clients and want an intro from the AE that covers IHG, but the bar is very high for these to be a good use of your time. The reality of the PNR % is that it is nice but your 15% doesn’t get the mindshare of the Salesforce products they sell where they receive 100% toward their quota. For example, if your deal is $60,000 in ACV/ARR for your company and your PNR rate is 15%, then the AE receives $9,000 towards their quota as if they sold a product directly to the customer for that amount. If your solution drives the purchase of more Salesforce licenses, that obviously will increase their interest level in helping.

Instead of asking the AEs to open doors for you, provide awareness of what is happening in their account once you have an opportunity that is already in your sales process. When you get on the call, the tone should be one of sharing information about the use case at their customer, who you are working with, and a very brief overview of your company/application touching on the PNR they would receive. This will earn your sales rep the right to ask a couple of questions that help their sales campaign. Some examples:

  • What is the procurement process?

  • Who else should we be talking to?

  • Will procurement look to take an incremental discount?

  • What deals do you have active for this quarter that I should be aware of?

I have a template that I have tweaked over the years and has a better than 75% response rate, and a better than 50% rate for scheduling a meeting with the AE. If you are interested, let’s meet and I’d be happy to share it will you or help you craft your version as part of an engagement.

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