From Top AE to VP Sales: Dispelling Myths and Embracing the Leadership Journey


In the realm of sales, the ascent from a high-performing Account Executive (AE) to the coveted position of Vice President of Sales is often met with skepticism. There’s a prevailing notion that top reps might not make effective sales leaders, a rumor perhaps perpetuated by the unfortunate legacy of ineffective sales leaders who struggled in the field. In this blog post, we challenge this myth and explore the transformative journey from being a top AE to stepping into the role of a sales leader. It’s a journey that demands a shift in mindset, a commitment to unlearning and reprogramming, and a dedication to continuous learning and skill refinement.

Believe in Yourself, Not the Hype

The first step in this journey is to believe in yourself, not the hype surrounding the notion that top reps don’t transition well into leadership roles. The key lies in recognizing that leadership requires a different mindset and approach. It’s about more than just closing deals; it’s about guiding and inspiring a team to achieve collective success.

Unlearn to Reprogram

Transitioning from a top AE to a sales leader requires a willingness to unlearn certain habits and thought processes ingrained during the AE journey. Reprogramming involves adopting a broader perspective, understanding team dynamics, and developing strategies that extend beyond individual success. It’s about seeing the bigger picture and leading others towards it.

Refine and Learn

The journey doesn’t end with unlearning; it extends into a continuous process of refining existing skills and acquiring new ones. Top AEs stepping into leadership roles should actively seek opportunities for growth, be it through formal training, mentorship, or coaching. Finding great mentors, coaches, and working for exceptional leaders becomes crucial in this evolution.

The Crucial Role of Leadership

Recognizing the significance of leadership is paramount. Effective sales leaders are not just taskmasters; they inspire, guide, and create an environment where their team can thrive. This realization becomes the cornerstone for those aspiring to be sales leaders.

Game Recognizes Game

When you’ve navigated this transformative journey and honed your leadership skills, you become the go-to person for your top sales reps when strategizing on key deals. Game recognizes game – as a sales leader, your ability to understand and contribute to the success of your team members will set you apart.

The Next TOP: Sales Leadership

If you’re a top AE feeling the desire to help others excel in the way you do, sales leadership might be your #nextTOP. Disregard the myth that you won’t be a great sales leader; instead, focus on your potential to inspire, guide, and lead your team towards collective success.


In conclusion, the journey from a top AE to VP of Sales is not just a career progression; it’s a transformative process that demands belief in oneself, a commitment to unlearning and reprogramming, and an ongoing dedication to growth. By dispelling the myths surrounding the transition, embracing the nuances of leadership, and recognizing the impact you can have on your team, you pave the way for a successful career as a sales leader. Remember, your journey from the top AE to VP Sales is not hindered by myths – it’s defined by your determination to lead and inspire.

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