Full-cycle sales rep: what is it and when do you need one

There are two outbound sales methodologies: SDR/AE synergy or a full-cycle sales rep. In this article, we explain what to consider when choosing between the two.

The SDR/AE model is quite new. It became popular in the 2000 and earned relevance through Aaron Ross’ book Predictable Revenue. Since then, this methodology has grown in popularity to the point that most SaaS companies choose to divide the sales process without considering other alternatives.

What is a full-cycle sales rep?

A full-cycle sales rep or Inside Sales is the sales rep who prospects their own leads and completes the sales process until the deal is closed. Their responsibilities are equally divided between lead generation and closing deals.

When should we have full-cycle sales reps?

Both methodologies have their pros and cons. In order to decide which is the most appropriate structure, we should consider the following factors –

Market maturity

When we operate in mature markets, our potential clients may already be working with our competitors. In this case, we’ll need sales reps who can invest time in developing the opportunity. This person is a full-cycle sales rep.


Due to the nature of some products, there may be companies who do not offer one single solution, or they may offer solutions that are adaptable to the clients’ needs. This would be the case of consultancy services or complex tech solutions, for instance.

In these situations, we should seek a person who can dive into the product. From there, they’ll be able to generate interest. Therefore, we are not looking for an SDR, but an AE who can specialise in our product and develop the full sales cycle.

Market size

The smaller the market, the less leads. For this reason, we wouldn’t recommend having a whole team uniquely dedicated to lead generation. Instead, it will be best to have full-cycle reps.

Our company’s maturity

When our company is still young and we don’t have a defined target market yet, it’s recommended to start with a full-cycle sales rep. Once we have defined the parameters and sales strategy, we can consider onboarding SDRs.

Learn more about Outbound Sales roles: Sales Development Representative and Account Executive

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