2023 SaaS Account Executive Data

Sammy Abdullah
4 min readMar 5, 2024

The Bridge Group is a SaaS sales consulting firm that we hold in high regard. They release outstanding sales data which can be found at their site, bridgegroupinc.com. We recently reviewed their “SaaS AE Metrics & Compensation Report” which compiles data from 172 executives at SaaS companies with median revenue of $24mm and median ACV of $47k. It’s worth the read and below I summarize the findings.

40% of pipeline is from Marketing. This includes inbound SDR support but excludes outbound. Note that last year, the survey showed 33% of pipeline from marketing. “Controlling for revenues, the percentage of pipeline sourced by Marketing falls as ACV rises.”

You need SDRs. Excluding companies below $5mm ARR, 74% of companies use SDRs. The inflection point for SDR support is driven by ACV. At some point companies move from ‘we can’t afford SDRs’ to ‘we can’t afford not to have them’. Laggards are more than twice as likely to not deploy SDRs.

Expansion doesn’t sit with the AE. Only 26% of companies rely on AE’s for expansion. CSM’s and account managers were used by 50% of companies. Everyone else did a blend. High growth companies are less likely to rely on AE’s for either expansion or renewal.

As you mature, you have distinct sales roles. “58% of companies support the customer lifecycle with at least three distinct sales roles — SDRs, AEs, and CSMs (AMs, Renewal Reps, etc.). When we remove companies under $5mm in revenues, that number rises to 68%.” Additionally “companies above $50mm are 1.6X as likely to segment engage, land, and expand into 3+ distinct roles.”

Your team needs software. Excluding the CRM, the median spend on other technologies for AE’s is ~$300 monthly. The median sales stack has a CRM plus 4 additional tools.

Remote is here to stay. 46% of open roles are fully remote, and 33% are a blend. In 2022, fully remote was 37%, so the trend has accelerated.

AE’s are way more experienced. “Average experience prior to hire rose 0.9 years above 2022’s level to an average of 3.6 years. It’s hard to understand how large a shift that is.” In 2022, average experience prior to hire was 2.7 years, and was down from the typical average of 3.0 years.

Ramp time is up. Average ramp times sits at 5.7 months. In 2022 it was 5.3 months, and in 2020 it was 4.3 months. Perhaps this is a result of software products becoming more complex and robust, but frankly that’s just our guess.

Average tenure is 2.8 years. “Average tenure is now 2.8 years (up from 2.2 years in 2022). Tenure in excess of four years has doubled since 2022. So after ramp, you have roughly 24 months of productive sales from a new hire. Median annual turnover is 30% whether voluntary or involuntary. Only 11% is involuntary turnover. “Unsurprisingly, with layoffs being broadly publicized and stiffer job market conditions, voluntary turnover was down sharply from 2022. In fact, this result is the lowest “quit” rate we have observed since 2015.”

60 activities per day. On median there are 17 phone activities, 23 emails, 12 Linkedin actions, and 8 other.

Quotas and achievement. Median quota is $800k annually, up from $740k in 2022. 51% of AE’s achieve quota. That is way down from 66% in 2022. “Further, we found the highest share of respondents with “<50%” of reps at quota in the history of this project.”

Sales cycle and win rates. The sales cycle is 5 months on median. However, win rates are way down, to 19%. “Win rates declining from 23% to 19% (in 2022 and 2024 respectively) might not seem all that significant. But in terms of required pipeline, it represents a dramatic shift from 4.3X to 5.3X coverage.”

Median earnings. On target median is $190k split 53/47 between base and commission. “Continuing a decade-long trend, median OTE rose to record highs in 2024. While quotas have increased at roughly 2% annually, OTEs have risen at more than 5% compounded annually over that same period.” At 100% of quota, the median commission rate is 11.5% of ACV.

Teams are small. The median number of reps reporting to a leader is ~7. Managers make $198k, Directors make $284k, VP of Sales make $331k on median.

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