sales recruiter vs job search pros and cons

Sales Recruiter vs Traditional Job Search: Pros, Cons, and Everything In-Between

Should I use a sales recruiter to advance my career? Or is it better to search for a sales job the traditional way? In this article we’ll be diving into the pros and cons of each.

Whether you are an employer or a job seeker, success at finding top-notch sales talent for your business or at nabbing the dream job that leads to your ideal career path in sales depends on the particular recruitment method you choose.

Employers can run a careers page on their company website, post urgent vacancies on job boards, participate in job fairs, give shoutouts over social media, or partner with specialist recruiters and search consultants.

Job seekers on the other hand, can explore the same platforms businesses use to find talent. They can join local career events or engage employers on social networks. They can also check out a company’s careers page, probe popular job boards, seek the help of specialist recruiters in their industry.

Each of these methods have their merits and drawbacks. But given the daunting challenges both employers and job seekers face in the highly competitive world of sales, identifying the best recruitment method right at the onset for your unique situation can be a game changer.

To help you out, here’s a rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of common traditional job search methods as well as those associated with specialist sales recruiters and search consultants.

Using Sales Recruiters: Pros & Cons

While specialist recruiters and talent search consultants have been offering job-matching services for years, not many employers and jobseekers are aware of the unique and tremendous value they provide. This is unfortunate considering the shrinking ratio of ideal matches to the number of completed onboarding engagements as the talent market becomes more competitive and complicated.

Job recruiting agencies specialize in bridging the goals and needs of an organization with those of highly skilled professionals. Often, businesses consult these agencies only when they need to fill high level positions or when they need to keep their search off the radar.

Pros

  1. Industry-wide connections. Specialist job recruiters virtually know all business leaders in their industry who are relevant to talent recruitment. In particular, sales recruiters know which specific enterprises (and their associated decision-makers) have an urgent need for fresh sales talent. They also know which sales leader or which sales organization have ample leg room (wait, a new series B funding?) to hire exceptional sellers even when the actual need in terms of headcount has yet to materialize. They are even aware of open jobs that stay under the radar. These HR veterans know exactly who to call up and how to engage these people with the aim of creating recruitment opportunities and completing a hiring cycle.
  2. Domain knowledge. Tech recruiters know the fundamental aspects regarding the human component of technology development just as sales recruiters know which skills are in high demand among sales teams; and how people can proactively fit into the selling process. They know account-based, social, solution-based, and other methods of selling; and which type of selling credentials or experience matches each framework. Specialist job recruiters under retainer arrangement with top brands know the corporate culture and preferred worker personas of the companies they serve. This insider knowledge enables sales recruiters to orchestrate the best and longest lasting people-job matches in the industry.
  3. Time-saving. Because sales recruiters operate with surgical precision, both employers and job seekers who use their services save considerable amount of time compared to casting very wide nets using traditional ways of job search. Sales recruiters unburden employers from the task of creating a shortlist of good candidates. They also help job seekers avoid doing multiple interviews for each company they apply to by simulating the filtering effect of the interview process for them.
  4. Trust. Top sales recruiters know the terrain and the dynamics of what they are doing such that they consistently deliver acceptable outcomes. This reliability builds trust, especially among hiring managers who are often beset with hundreds of diverse resumes that require long, tedious hours of diligent review just to sift a few good candidates from hordes of unqualified applicants. Job seekers handled by leading sales recruiters get extra mileage on their application, as a result of employer trust.
  5. Passion/driven to perform. Aside from being experts, specialist job recruiters are passionate about their role and are driven to perform because outcomes dictate their profitability. Like sales professionals, for example, sales recruiters need to “close winning deals” between a company and a sales applicant. The more such deals they close, the better their revenue and reputation get. That means you can expect job recruiters to share the responsibility of job-hunting for you.
  6. Cost-effective (for job seekers). Some sales recruiters do not charge fees from job seekers up front. That means sales professionals can seek help from multiple job recruiters without paying anything until they successfully land a job. However, payback happens upon any successful onboarding. Some recruiters — especially those focusing on the C-suite — which provide premium services do require payment at the onset. Nearly all job recruiters charge participating employers for their specialist services, either via a retainer, contingency, or other types of arrangement.
  7. Good hand in the negotiation table. Job recruiters have excellent negotiation skills, developed from years of balancing employer, job seeker, and sales recruiter priorities (they make money by playing off the relative values being exchanged by jobseekers and employers). These negotiation skills sometimes result to better compensation packages for jobs seekers but not always.
  8. Game-changing career advice. Some specialist job recruiters provide crucial career advice for free. Because they need to close acceptable deals with employers, they need to prime all talents under their care for every hiring challenge ahead. As domain experts, they know which skills, certifications, or credentials a job seeker needs to successfully land a particular sales role. They even advise applicants on how they should behave and answer questions during interviews.

Cons

  1. Incurs costs. While the cost of engaging specialist sales recruiters differs across companies and sectors, their services always come at a price. Both employers and recruiters contribute to job recruiter revenue, with employers — especially those that retain third-party recruiters and talent scouts — generally accounting for the larger share. However, there might be arrangements where potential salaries of new hires get undercut to partially subsidize business costs.
  2. Mismatching. While job recruiters are expected to know the career landscape and the businesses that make up their industry, a few desperate recruiters may tag a job seeker for an opening that poorly fits the applicant’s skills just to force a deal into conclusion. This unfortunate behavior results to disappointment on both the employer and the job seeker.
  3. Underselling. To make a hire more palatable to employers, job recruiters sometimes agree to less than optimal employment packages relative to a candidate’s credentials. While these recruiters know an applicant’s true worth, the lower pay grade or sterner benefits makes it easier to close the hiring loop and move on to the next applicant. .
  4. Difficulty in identifying trustworthy recruiters. The specialist job recruitment and talent search industry has grown over the years, with many new players adopting lower operational and ethical standards. This makes it more likely to engage misguided agencies — especially those operating within a contingency arrangement — who might forego high standards (re: perfect talent-job matching, cost assessments, etc.) just to close a recruitment deal.

Tips for Dealing With Sales Recruiters:

Deal only with reliable job recruiters. Check their reviews on Google and Glassdoor, and always check references.

Don’t neglect traditional job search methods — especially those that take place on interactive social channels — even when you do decide to work with a specialist recruiter.

Traditional Job Search: Pros & Cons

This category covers how to get a sales job by using online job boards, career websites, professional networks/trade portals, job fairs, and print-based/publisher-driven classified ads.

We’ve written about ways you can hack the job search process before, so check that out as well!

Pros

  1. Ubiquity. Millions of jobseekers/career professionals and thousands of companies/ employers use job boards, and most have accounts on networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.
  2. Familiarity. Extensive usage and broad exposure make online job boards, print media advertising, and social/professional networks highly familiar to both employer and jobseeker. Posting a job ad over these traditional channels will almost certainly be noticed by active job seekers who can, in turn, easily send applications, create online worker profiles, or upload resumes.
  3. Searchability. Most job boards and web-based networks provide advanced targeted search functionalities, allowing both employer and job applicants to streamline their search based on location, industry, compensation preferences, experience, and other factors.
  4. Ready access and ease of use. Nearly all companies and professionals who have an internet connection can easily access, use, and optimize job boards and social networks for the purpose of seeking employment or hiring talent. Over the years, both parties have become quite familiar with the interfaces and inner workings of these online talent marketplaces.
  5. Fast turnaround. Posting job ads, resumes, and applications takes very little time. Depending on the job requirements and the availability of native messaging functionalities, getting responses tend to be reasonably fast.
  6. Multiple portals, publishers, and channels to choose from. While professional networks like LinkedIn are relatively uncommon, there are literally hundreds — maybe even thousands — of job boards to choose from. Aside from the Big Three (Indeed.com, CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com), other notable players include Glassdoor, SimplyHired, USAJobs, CraigsList, Dice.com, and Robert Half. There are also regional and industry-specific talent marketplaces like Behance (for digital creatives) and StackOverflow (for software programmers).
  7. Low cost. Professionals who are job hunting can use social networks and job boards for free. On the other hand, employers have to shell out some amount to post job ads over most of these channels. Meanwhile, big-name brands with high employer ratings can expect steady traffic on their own career web pages, which they can leverage for free.
  8. Flexible posting terms. Job boards offer highly customizable post parameters and arrangements for employers when it comes to ad copy, duration, and targeting.
  9. Linkable. Online ad posts and worker profiles can be hyperlinked to company websites or online portfolios so that searchers can get more details about an employer (corporate culture, brand, etc.) or a job applicant (work samples, recommendations, etc.).
  10. Interactive/network-building. Online job boards and social networks are highly interactive, with a few having their own native messaging capability. Even when interactions don’t immediately result to onboarding, applicant-employer engagements help grow a job seeker’s professional network or a company’s talent pool.

Cons

  1. Multiple channels to engage. Given the runaway number of job boards and social networking sites, both employer and job applicant need to maintain presence and update their accounts on multiple platforms. Doing so requires additional time, effort, and focus.
  2. Intense competition. Because professionals and companies go to job boards and professional networking sites by default, competition for top-notch talent and highly desirable employers intensifies.
  3. Prolonged processing time. Employers often need to review dozens to hundreds of applications for each position. This makes the process of short listing ideal candidates quite time-consuming even as sending applications can be lighting-fast.
  4. Posting costs can pile up for hard-to-fill positions. Jobs with a long or a highly demanding list of requirements may attract many unqualified applicants but few candidates who have the necessary skills to competently assume the role. The relative rarity of qualified candidates may compel employers to keep their posts active on job boards for longer periods.
  5. Generic applications to job posts. Job seekers who explore multiple job boards may send the same generic application and resume across different platforms. This behavior results to less-than-ideal applicant-job matches because job seekers give inadequate focus on the unique needs of each employer.
  6. Possibility of good candidates not making targeted search results. Many job seekers optimize their profiles and resumes for a job board’s native search engine, primarily by using keywords. Depending on the search parameters activated, this may result to some good candidates slipping through an employer’s hiring funnel.
how to get a sales management job

8 Things You Need To Do Before Applying For A Sales Leadership Position

Sales leadership positions are held by the elite. The men and women who earn a sales management job in tech startups or enterprises are the people who bring massive revenue and inspire huge results with their teams.

They have the strategy, experience, and methods to bring what the business needs to the table for their employer, their prospects, and their current customers, as well.

If you want one of these hot-seat roles, it’s not going to be an easy interview. You need to treat the process like a sale itself.

Here’s 8 things you need to do in order to land a successful sales management job:

  1. Know your ideal position.
  2. Find a niche.
  3. Understand how to identify key stakeholders.
  4. Make sure your job search is targeted.
  5. Be an advocate for your potential employer.
  6. Treat your interview like the sales process.
  7. Know how you’ll add value in the first 90 days.
  8. Get to know the people you’ll be working with.

1) Know Your Ideal Position

Within sales, there are many different departments that require leadership. For example, business development teams need different leadership and management compared to sales enablement or field sales reps.

If you happen to specialize in one or two of these departments, you need to look at larger companies to join.

Think about it. The VP Sales or CSO at a bootstrapped tech startup is going to have everything on his shoulders – the training, process creation and development, hiring, coaching and stack development.

But the VP of Business Development at an enterprise organization will have more narrow, specific focuses. This may suit your skillset better, as well as your previous work experience.

Consider if you prefer a department-based leadership role or being the head-honcho of the whole sales organization.

Finally, think about what type of work you most like to do. If you love to help people, being the business development leader will allow you to coach the SDR or BDR team. They’re learning, are thirsty for knowledge, and want to improve so they get promoted. This is a good fit for you.

Put together a list what you like doing and the corresponding positions that match your interests.

2) Find a Niche

You may already be working with a company that works with clients in the industry you are passionate about. You may be selling something you really care about. But, if this is not your current situation, it is extremely important to find it ASAP. Sales leadership roles are reserved for the elite, and sales leaders are expected to deliver elite results. There is enormous pressure in these roles. You do not want to question your choice of industry or employer after a few months in a new job.

It’s also important to remember that enterprise companies have numerous verticals they sell into. For example, you may think that joining the Salesforce sales leadership team means you would sell to X type of company, but not every rep and team faces the same niche. There will be room for movement when you consider this.

3) Understand How To Identify Key Stakeholders

Identify accounts – not employers – but continue your search by identifying which businesses are ready to bring you in.

Newly funded, growing, or even those businesses currently hiring are all viable accounts for you to review. Make a list of 10 at a time and research them extensively.

Think of the phrase “Go for the No” in sales. Research the companies in your chosen niche and industries until you find the red flag that indicates you wouldn’t want to work there.

Build a comprehensive list of target accounts for which you would want to work.

4) Make Sure Your Job Search Is Targeted

Listen to leading sales podcasts and you’ll hear the top performing sales reps tell the story of how they joined their company. Often, they have sold themselves an interview with their chosen account exactly how they would prospect into that same account.

This shows inventiveness, gives the business a taste of what you can do and what their team would be able to do under your tenure.

Map out the account, identifying the senior leadership team members. Find out who is on the sales team, look at their site, find their upcoming webinars, blog posts, join their email newsletter. Do everything to gather intelligence on the business so you can perform the best outreach your leadership has received at the company.

Don’t just drop in your resume and apply for a job via their site, or email the hiring manager. You can do that, but to have the best chance to land a great job and proving you are the right fit, do things the right way.

5) Be An Advocate For Your Potential Employer

One way to gain visibility and recognition is to socially surround the leadership team and the sales team. This will give you one-to-one recognition when you share the leadership team’s content. When they come to interview you or see you are showing interest, you already have the familiarity with the team.

It’s a great way to upgrade the standard conversation you have when you first walk into an interview. Instead of the small talk about your journey into the office or the weather, you get the “Oh, you shared my webinar last week, right? Thanks for doing that, we had a ton of sign ups!”.

Don’t just do that for the people on the team, do it for the business pages too. The marketing team will notice, and the network you already have might benefit from sharing of useful content from the potential employer (a win-win for both you and the network that benefits from the content).

Finally, imagine if you got the job and gained an inbound lead prior to your first day. Wouldn’t that be impressive?

6) Treat Your Interview Like The Sales Process

If you understand what the business needs or who it wants to hire, you can rest assured they want to bring change to the sales organization. Treat the interview like a pitch for a large business.

Prepare. Prepare. And prepare some more. Present exactly what you want to do and how you’ll do it. Remove the feeling and use of the word “If” from the thinking of the interviewers as much as possible.

Of course, you won’t have 100% of the information and understanding of the business during the interview, but be as close to 99.9% as you can and leave your future colleagues certain of exactly what you would do on Day 1 and beyond.

Allow for questions, come prepared with questions, and generally bring a solution to the table that makes good business sense. If you notice the sales team is young and you love to help coach, explain exactly that and lay out how you propose to help the young team learn and go on a journey to become better and winning reps.

Don’t come to an interview for a prestigious position and ask a couple of questions, answer theirs and leave like you’d been interviewed for a mid-management job. Leadership positions require leader-like preparation and strategy.

7) Know How You’ll Add Value In Your First 90 Days

Plan exactly what will happen with your arrival at the company. What tools will you want to use or look at, and why. What new processes might you want to explore, what new tactics do you have in your playbook that you would want to test? Share this during your interview process when you are at the more serious stages of the interview, not as soon as you sit down.

It’s important to stress with that you need to think hypothetically, but make your plan as realistic as possible. You don’t know the budget, nor what tools the company already uses. Explain that you want to give an idea of exactly what happens in your mind when you picture the first 60 days, 6 months, whatever time period is most comfortable for you.

This helps the leadership team work out what direction you’ll take. It’s not a land the job and assess and move; you’re showing you come prepared with a plan.

8) Get To Know The People You’ll Be Working With

This process has an element of scale where you’re not going to engage in 1200 conversations with potential colleagues when you’re at the early stages of formulating your top company list.

The benefit of this is to build relationships within the team and to show your real intention to join the team for reasons other than the salary. The one thing to be careful of is to not go too far with talking about where you are with the interview process and equally too far on the specifics of the work the people are doing.

25 Tech Sales Companies Absolutely Hiring Like Crazy In 2018

Are you looking for your next sales job? We’re here to help. We’ve searched through various sources to find the best 25 tech sales companies that are hiring like crazy for various sales roles.

We hope you enjoy this list as much as we enjoyed making it. Also please note that some things (such as salaries listed) are estimates and should be nearly accurate but not 100%.

Here are some abbreviations used:

  • SDR – Sales Development Representative
  • ADR – Account Development Representative
  • BDR – Business Development Representative
  • ISR – Inside Sales Rep
  • SMB AE – Small business Account Executive
  • MM AE – Mid-market Account Executive
  • EAE – Enterprise AE
  • MNG – Management

1) Salesforce

Image result for salesforce logo

    • Location: San Francisco, NYC, Dallas, Chicago, Irvine etc.
    • Types of jobs: SDR, BDR, SMB AE, MM AE, E AE, Mng
    • Compensation: Variety
    • Glassdoor: 4.3 with 3k+ reviews

2) Oracle

Image result for oracle logo

    • Location: Redwood City, NYC, Austin, etc
    • Types of jobs: Various AE roles, most of which require at least 3 years of experience. Enterprise sales roles typically require 7 years experience.
    • Compensation: The average sales rep earns $110,000, top 20%er’s earn approximately $250,000, and the best sales reps earn around $500,000. Read about it here.
    • Glassdoor: 3.4 with 17k+ reviews

3) Mulesoft

Image result for mulesoft logo

    • Location: San Francisco, NYC, London, Sydney etc
    • Types of Jobs: ADR (their version of SDR), E AE
    • Compensation: ADR base salary is between 50k-70k and the AE’s have an estimated base of 90k-140k.
    • Glassdoor: 4.2 with 200+ reviews

4) Cisco Meraki

Image result for cisco meraki logo

    • Location: San Francisco
    • Types of Jobs: ADR, ISR, SMB AE, MM AE
    • Compensation: Base salaries range from below 50k for sales development jobs to above 70k for AE roles
    • Glassdoor: 3.8 with 193 reviews

5) Tibco

Image result for tibco logo

    • Location: San Francisco, Boston, NYC, Austin, Denver etc
    • Types of jobs: BDR, ISR, E AE
    • Compensation: Base salaries range from below 50k for sales development jobs to above 100k for Account Executive jobs. Tibco is rumoured to have even higher paid top sales people than Oracle. If you’re looking to make a bunch of money, this could be the place to go.
    • Glassdoor: 3.4 with 900+ reviews

6) Flexport

Image result for flexport logo

  • Location: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Amsterdam, Hamburg etc
  • Types of Jobs: SDR, AE, Mng
  • Compensation: SDR bases range from 50-70k, AE bases range from 70-110k
  • Glassdoor: 4.2 with 50+ reviews

7) Sumo Logic

Image result for sumo logic logo

  • Location: Redwood City, Denver, London etc
  • Types of Jobs: SDR, AE, E AE
  • Compensation: SDR average is $64,000 and AE average is $140,000 (total compensation)
  • Glassdoor: 3.6 with 179 reviews

8) Amplitude Analytics

Image result for amplitude analytics logo

  • Location: San Francisco, Amsterdam
  • Types of Jobs: SDR, AE, E AE, Sales engineer
  • Compensation: SDR base is around $50,000 and AE bases are between 85k and 110k
  • Glassdoor: 5 with 37 reviews

9) Thankx

Image result for thanx logo

  • Location: Denver, San Francisco
  • Types of Jobs: SDR, AE, Sales Director
  • Compensation: SDR base is around $50,000 and AE bases are around 70k
  • Glassdoor: 4.8 with 53 reviews

10) Invite Manager

Image result for invite manager logo

  • Location: NYC, Chicago, Dublin
  • Types of Jobs: BDR, CM, E AE
  • Compensation: SDR base is around $40,000 and AE base is around $90,000
  • Glassdoor: 4.8 with 37 reviews

11) Braze

Image result for braze logo

  • Location: SF, NYC
  • Types of Jobs: Enterprise AE, Mng
  • Compensation: Bases for AE’s are in the mid $100,000’s
  • Glassdoor: 4.4 with 24 reviews

12) ClearCompany

Image result for clear company logo

  • Location: Fort Collins, Boulder
  • Types of Jobs: ADR, AE, E AE
  • Compensation: ADR’s have bases of $50,000 and AE’s have bases of approximately $100,000.
  • Glassdoor: 4.7 with 32 reviews

13) Skillz

Image result for skillz logo

  • Location: San Francisco
  • Types of Jobs: SDR, AE, E AE
  • Compensation: SDR’s base salary is approximately $60,000, AE $90,000
  • Glassdoor: 3.8 with 63 reviews

14) Apptus

Image result for apptus logo

  • Location: San Mateo, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston
  • Types of Jobs: BDR, E AE, Strategic AE
  • Compensation: Average AE compensation is 95k
  • Glassdoor: 3.5 with 350+ reviews

15) Nginx

Image result for nginx logo

  • Location: San Francisco, Dallas, Dublin etc
  • Types of Jobs: SDR, AE, E AE
  • Compensation: Average AE base is 72k
  • Glassdoor: 4.2 with under 10 reviews

16) Dealpath

Image result for dealpath logo

  • Location: San Francisco
  • Types of Jobs: AE, E AE, Sales Ops Manager
  • Compensation: AE base is between 80-120k
  • Glassdoor: 4 stars with under 10 reviews

17) Airtable

Image result for airtable logo

  • Location: San Francisco
  • Types of Jobs: SDR, AE, CSM
  • Compensation: SDR base is 60k, AE base is 90k
  • Glassdoor: Not enough data

18) Iterable

Image result for iterable logo

  • Location: San Francisco
  • Types of Jobs: SDR Manager, AE
  • Compensation: AE base is between 60-80k
  • Glassdoor: 4.9 of 17 reviews

19) Lever

Image result for lever logo

  • Location: San Francisco
  • Types of Jobs: AE, E AE, MM Sales Director
  • Compensation: AE base is between 60-110k (depending on seniority of role)
  • Glassdoor: 4.7 with 59 reviews

20) Talkdesk

talk desk logo

  • Location: San Francisco
  • Types of Jobs: SDR, SMB AE, MM AE, Mng
  • Compensation: Average AE base is 78k
  • Glassdoor: 3.4 with 143 reviews

21) Zendesk

Image result for zendesk logo

  • Location: San Francisco, Dublin
  • Types of Jobs: SDR, AE, Sales Director, SDR Manager
  • Compensation: Average AE base is 66k
  • Glassdoor: 4.4 with 329 reviews

22) Slack

Image result for slack logo

  • Location: San Francisco, NYC, Dublin, Tokyo
  • Types of Jobs: AE, E AE, Sales Engineer
  • Compensation: Average Enterprise AE base is 120k
  • Glassdoor: 4.8 with 106 reviews

23) Lyft

Lyft logo

  • Location: San Francisco, Dallas, NYC
  • Types of Jobs: BDR, Senior Field AE
  • Compensation: Average Senior AE base is 109,000k
  • Glassdoor: 3.8 with 222 reviews

24) Prosperworks

Image result for prosperworks logo

  • Location: San Francisco
  • Types of Jobs: SDR, AE
  • Compensation: Average AE base is 66k
  • Glassdoor: 4.4 with 38 reviews

25) Lattice Engines

Image result for lattice engines logo

  • Location: San Mateo
  • Types of Jobs: SDR, AE, Field Sales Director
  • Compensation: Average AE base is bewteen 100-120k
  • Glassdoor: 3.7 of 72 reviews
sales roles and salaries explained

8 Primary Sales Roles (And Salaries) To Know In 2018: Full Breakdown!

If you’re unfamiliar with the SaaS sales world and are considering entering it, the various sales roles you may hear can become quite confusing.

We’ve identified and categorized 8 primary roles within most sales organizations. What’s interesting to note is that only 3 of the 8 categories are engaged in actually selling a product, while the other categories are focused on supporting those doing the actual selling.

It’s also worth noting that often times, in small startups, a person will hold two of these roles.

For example a ‘Full Cycle Account Executive’ is a combination of pre-sales and sales role.

Likewise at a small startup, a lone Account Executive may manage 2 to 3 SDR’s, which would be a management and sales role combined.

If you’re thinking it’s time to move on from your current sales role and level up, this guide will help you visualize the different paths you could take.

8 Types of Sales Roles

  1. Account Executive
  2. Outside Sales Rep
  3. Sales Development
  4. Post Sales Account Management
  5. VP of Sales
  6. Sales Manager
  7. Sales Operations
  8. Sales Engineer

1. Account Executive

This, of course, is the central role to the whole sales organization. If you are a SaaS Account Executive, you are the one interfacing with clients as they come closer to making a purchasing decision.

Whether or not they sign, and whether or not your company makes money, ultimately depends on your ability to align your company’s services with your potential client’s needs.

Account Executive Avg. Base Salary (via Glassdoor)

account executive salary

SaaS Account Executives can make anywhere from $60,000 to $500,000 annually.

How much you actually end up making depends on the following factors:

  • How much demand is there for your product?
  • How skilled are you at selling your product?
  • How expensive is your product?
  • What is your commission structure and base salary?

The most common job title for this role is ‘Account Executive’ and its variants i.e. Enterprise Account Executive, SMB Account Executive etc.

2. Outside Sales Rep

This role is basically an Account Executive who doesn’t work in the main company office regularly (or at all).

Outside sales reps pursue deals with a company’s largest potential clients. They work ‘outside’ because they are meeting in person with their clients rather than over the phone.

A company based in SF may hire experienced Outside Sales Reps in NYC, Chicago etc to pursue business with companies in those areas.

This is a great role for people who like to be independent. It’s a role where if you’re hitting your quota you can do whatever you want with your day, because you’re not in an office full of co-workers and managers.

Outside Sales Rep Avg. Base Salary (via Glassdoor)

outside sales rep salary

Outside Sales Reps for SaaS companies are almost always well paid, earning an average base salary of around 60k, but with OTE’s can earn between $150,000 and $350,000 annually (some can make up to 500k).

3. Sales Development

As most B2B software companies know, marketing alone is far from enough to substantially fill the sales pipeline.

Enter the sales development team. You need highly skilled SDRs in order to scale your outbound sales process.

Salespeople, in order to deliver on revenue goals, need enough qualified opportunities.

SDRs are responsible for cold calling and emailing various potential clients, to spread awareness of the product and try to produce a meeting between said potential client and someone on the sales team.

Sales Development Avg. Base Salary (via Glassdoor)

sales development representative (SDR) salary

This role is typically a gateway towards an actual sales role. Compensation, including commissions, typically range between $50,000 and $85,0000 in the SF Bay Area.

The most common job title for this role is ‘Sales Development Representative (SDR)’ or Business Development Representative (BDR)’.

4. Post Sales Account Management 

Once a contract is signed, a SaaS company must work to maintain the business relationship with a client. This is very important because cost to gain a new client is often so high (marketing, sales commissions etc) that there is no profit from an initial year of doing business but only from a second year if there is a renewal.

In addition to technical support staff to fix bug related software issues, SaaS companies employ sales-minded professionals to maintain business relationships post initial sale.

These ‘Account Managers’ are responsible for checking in on clients, teaching new team members of the client how to use the product, and identifying up-sell opportunities. In some teams the Account Managers will be responsible for executing these up-sell opportunities as well, thus they engage in actual sales too.

Account Manager Avg. Base Salary (via Glassdoor)

account manager salary

SaaS Account Managers typically earn anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000.

5. VP of Sales

Sales leaders have a manifold job. While a salesperson is responsible for her own revenue, the Head of Sales (titled variously as VP of Sales) is responsible for the entire company’s revenue!

VPs of Sales are primarily responsible for creating a strategy that will enable all individual salespeople to be successful.

This may include tasks like messaging strategies for the product, determining which customers to target, organizing the team across verticals, and much more.

At a smaller startup the sales leader will also be responsible for hiring, as well managing the entire sales team.

This means holding sales people accountable for quotas, training and coaching salespeople etc.

At a large company the sales leader will manage several sales managers, and focus more on strategy and less on actual management.

Additionally, for very large and important deals, sales leadership may roll up their sleeves and get hands on involved in some selling. This is rare but it happens from time to time.

VP of Sales Avg. Base Salary (via Glassdoor)

vp of sales salary

The compensation for sales leadership varies widely. High level sales leadership at companies like Oracle and IBM likely earn close to seven figures in salaries. Yet sales leaders at startups who gain equity stand to earn a hefty payday if and when their company is acquired or IPO’s. Expect to earn at least 170k if you land this role, with the potential to earn 350k and above.

6. Sales Management

This role, when it is distinct from Sales Leadership, usually happens at medium sized companies or larger. This is because the sales leader can usually manage up to 10 people personally.

As a company grows, usually, the first sales manager they’ll hire or promote that is separate from the sales leader is the SDR Manager, responsible for the SDR team. SDR Managers can generally earn up to $120,000 – $180,000 annually, that’s with bonuses and commission included of course.

As a company grows more the sales team becomes split along verticals. These verticals can be based on company size (SMB, Mid Market and Enterprise) or on industries (Insurance, Manufacturing, Retail etc). Often times each vertical will have its own manager and these various managers will report to the sales leader.

While sales leaders create the strategy for the sales team, sales managers implement this strategy. They work with the individual contributors and combine encouragement, education, and pressure to make the team deliver.

Sales Manager Avg. Base Salary (via Glassdoor)

sales manager salary

Sales managers for SaaS companies will earn between $160,000 to $280,000 annually, with commissions and bonuses included.

7. Sales Operations

Support staff for the sales team in SaaS companies typically fall in two categories. The first category is those who work in ‘Sales Operations.’

At larger companies, sales leadership may not have the bandwidth to fully analyze all of the different procedures on the sales team.

In this case the operations team will, with the sales leadership, evaluate how things are done on the sales and pre-sales team to maximize effectiveness. The operations team is essentially responsible for making sure things are run smoothly.

Sales Operations Avg. Base Salary (via Glassdoor)

sales operations manager salary

People who work in sales operations often earn between $85,000 and $150,000 annually.

8. Sales Engineers

For companies that sell highly complex technical products, Sales Engineers will accompany sales people on client meetings to answer certain client questions and to run product demos.

While the Account Executive will address business concerns and implications of using their product, the Sales Engineer will speak with the client’s engineers about their technical concerns.

Sales Engineer Avg. Base Salary (via Glassdoor)

sales engineer salary image

These folks are often paid as high as software engineers, earning between $100,000 and $250,000 annually.

body language during job interview

How To Ace Your Sales Job Interview With These Effective Body Language Tips

We’ve all been there. Nervously waiting in the lobby for an upcoming interview mulling over what to say, how to say it and trying to anticipate all the possible questions that will get thrown our way, all so we can try to get one leg up on the other candidates and hopefully land that job!

And that’s great. Those are all definitely important things to think over but there’s another aspect to the interview that many people probably aren’t taking into consideration, and that’s body language.

What is body language? Good question.

In essence it’s the nonverbal communication that occurs between people on a subconscious level. It goes below the tennis match of spoken words that is the actual conversation of an interaction.

And let’s be real, it takes a certain degree of emotional IQ to recognize the body language of others, and respond to it accordingly.

Ever heard the phrase, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”? Well there’s quite a bit of truth to that.

When it comes to communication, only 7% of what’s being conveyed is actually carried out through spoken words. The remainder comes from body language and tone, which account for 55% and 38% of the overall communication respectively.

Although there is importance to what you say, maybe we’re disproportionately focusing on the one aspect of our communication. Maybe we should instead focus on the other aspects that make up the majority of what makes a great first impression.

Do you want to be 93% more effective in how you interact with others? If the answer to that question is yes, then read on.

Tone

As mentioned earlier, tone can account for 38% of what is being communicated on a subconscious level and for many people this actually makes a lot of sense intuitively.

“Sit down.”

In and of itself this seems like it would be a pretty straight forward statement. You want someone to take a seat. However, depending on the tone that’s taken in making this statement, there can be great degree of variation in its connotation.

For example, when spoken in a loud, angry and authoritarian manner much as a parent might say when reprimanding their child, the meaning is clear that the parent means business. The volume and anger convey to the child that there is a great level of disapproval in regards to the topic of discussion that is to follow.

Conversely, if that same statement is made in a calm and collected fashion much like a friend might say to another when having them over as guests, it now portrays a sense of welcoming and friendliness. It’s clear to that friend that what’s to follow should be a very enjoyable conversation which contrasts greatly from our previous example.

As such it’s definitely important to pay attention to your tone when speaking to someone during your interview. A bit of advice, it’s best to make sure you sound confident and happy as the recruiter or hiring manager will more likely get a sense that not only are you serious about this job opportunity but also very capable to handle the responsibilities that come with it.

Eyes

This can be an especially difficult aspect of body language to master for the more introverted individuals, but nonetheless it’s a very important aspect of what makes a great first impression. Too little eye contact can portray a lack of confidence or give the other person a sense that you may be hiding something. Too much eye contact and you may come off as overly aggressive which can actually leave just as bad of an impression, but on the other end of the spectrum.

Knowing just the right amount of eye contact to maintain during a conversation can definitely be a bit of an enigmatic subject for some, but here are some pointers that should make things a little easier.

Use the 50/70 rule.

As a general rule of thumb, when speaking you should try to maintain eye contact about 50% of the time and 70% when listening. The latter is particularly important because it conveys to the other person a sense of genuine interest and makes them feel as though you are truly hearing what they’re saying. If you find that it’s difficult to gauge this ratio, another best practice could be to simply match the other person’s level of eye contact.

Maintain eye contact for about 4-5 seconds at a time.

If you maintain eye contact for a shorter period of time than prescribed above you may come across as someone who is too nervous or unconfident. Maintain eye contact for longer than 5 seconds and you can verge on the side of coming across as aggressive or even creepy, which may trigger the other person’s fight or flight response and ultimately leave them with a bad first impression.

Imagine a triangle between the person’s eyes and mouth.

This is the area of a person’s face that most people tend to focus on in typical business and social interactions. It’s important to keep this in mind because if you focus solely on someone’s pupils this might again trigger their fight or flight response. You can avoid this by imagining this triangle as it allows you to maintain “eye contact” without coming across as aggressive or creepy.

Mouth

The mouth can be very telling of how someone is feeling which is why we intuitively know that a smile means someone is happy and a frown means someone is sad. This may seem so simple and obvious but it’s also possibly the reason why people too easily overlook its importance in a job interview.

As many of us are told, you should definitely smile when first walking into your job interview.

This is because humans have a natural sense of reciprocity. When an individual sees another smiling, they will very often mirror that smile. That act of getting someone to smile will subconsciously get them on the track of enjoying that particular interaction.

What’s less obvious, and what some people might sometimes miss, are gestures like the pursed lips.

If during the course of a conversation, you happen to catch the other person purse their lips, even if just for a moment, it would behoove you to take notice. Depending on the context it may indicate disbelief in what was just said and so it could be an opportunity for you to clarify further should that be appropriate. In other cases it may mean the individual doesn’t agree with what is being said and could be your cue to quickly skirt on to another topic.

Should you happen to catch the other person place a finger over their mouth during your discourse, it’s a sign that the individual is trying to hold back from speaking by literally blocking their mouth. As such, and again only if appropriate, you may want to ask for their thoughts or opinions on what was just said so you can clear the air before those hesitations come back to haunt you later in the interviewing process.

Lastly if you see someone looking intently and biting on something such as the arms of their glasses or a pen, it means that individual is thinking deeply to themselves. If you notice this gesture you may not blurt out more information just to fill the silence. It may actually be a better course of action to allow them some time to gather their thoughts.

Some other gestures that indicate deep thinking are the rubbing of the chin and placement of their fingers on their temples. Though do be careful because if this gesture is paired with a furrowed brow, it could instead be an indication of frustration.

Arms

The arms are another telling and therefore important aspect of body language to be paying attention to during the interview.

Crossed arms for example are often an indicator that there is some sort of disagreement in the other person’s mind. Subconsciously people cross their arms to put a literal barrier between them and the other person their speaking to.

Therefore, if you see this gesture during an interaction it should be a cue that something is not sitting well with the other person. Of course there is a bit of context to take into consideration though as it can also mean that the other individual may simply be cold but in an office setting this is more than likely not going to be the case.

Something else to keep in mind is that during an interview you’re there to get a sense of the company as much as the hiring manager is trying to get a sense for your fit at their organization. So, if during one of your questions the recruiter or hiring manager starts to cross their arms during their response, it could mean that what there’s something more than what they’re revealing to you directly as they are literally but subconsciously trying to guard themselves.

Another arm gesture that is worth noting is when the arm is being used as a rest for the head. This is a big indicator of a person’s boredom. The heavier the head leans on a single arm, the greater the degree of boredom.

Should you find that you are going on at length about a particular response to a question take not as to whether the other person starts to lean their head against one of their arms as it should be a cue for you to quickly finish your final thoughts and allow the conversation to continue on to other topics. Most typically this will occur with the arm being further supported by the arms of their chair, though it’s also possible that it may occur against the table which would actually be a bigger indication that you should move on.

Body

Since we’re focusing on body language here, it’s only fitting that we also touch on the body itself.

Though body posture isn’t quite as revealing as some of the other gestures we’ve covered so far, there is still some insights you can gather by how someone chooses to orient their body.

For example, when two people are aligned in thought often times their body postures will be aligned as well. You can actually see this in action in everyday life. When two friends or lovers might be out for dinner, they may often find themselves mirroring each other’s postures at multiple points during the course of their conversations.

This phenomenon is fairly subconscious and is indicative of the two people’s agreeable attitudes towards each other. Interestingly enough, though this often happens subconsciously, if used correctly you can better work towards someone’s favor by mimicking his or her body posture consciously.

If the interviewer is leaning towards one side more predominantly than the other you can slowly, during the course of your conversation, start to shift your body to lean in a fashion such that you are mirroring them. The same can be said about the positioning of your arms. You could of course apply this to your legs as well but in most interview situations interviewers and candidates are sitting down so this particular strategy might not be relevant in all interviewing situations.

One thing to keep note of though is that in order for this strategy to truly be effective, it must be used correctly. Pay special attention to shifting your body posture slowly and naturally with the flow of the conversation because if you simply copy the other person with every movement they make, not only will you be giving yourself away but you will come off as insincere which will completely go against the whole purpose of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Summary

Now that you’ve had a chance to read through this article the next time you walk into an interview you can step in with a little more confidence knowing that you have the power of body language on your side.

In summary, some of the things you want to be paying attention to are tone, eyes, mouth, arms, and body.

When thinking about tone, try to project a sense of happiness and confidence to demonstrate that you’re eager and capable for the job at hand. Also pay close attention to the tone of the interviewer when they respond to your comments or questions.

Maintain strong eye contact. If it’s particular difficult for you to maintain staring at someone’s eyes, try to imagine a triangle with the eyes and mouths creating the corner to make it a bit easier for yourself. Also try to keep your eye contact for spurts of 4-5 seconds at a time. Maintaining eye contact for less than that period of time can show a lack of confidence and too much longer can come across as over aggressive or possibly even creepy.

Pay attention to the interviewer’s mouth as it can give a lot of clues as to how they feel about a particular statement. If they’re smiling after you’ve responded to one of their questions, you’ll know you’re on a good track.

However, pursed lips or a slight frown should be your cue to remedy the situation if possible. Don’t force it though. Always keep in mind the context of the conversation or situation and follow suit such that it’s a natural progression in the interaction.

Also look at the person’s arms. Ideally you want them to be open as it’s a sign that someone is mentally open to what you’re saying as well. Be ware of the crossed arms as that is most likely a sign that they’re not taking well to what is being said.

Lastly, use body posture to your advantage. Though mirroring people’s body posture is most often done on a subconscious level when they find each other agreeable, you can still use the phenomenon to your advantage in a conscious manner. Just be careful not to overdo it as you don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot by making it obvious that you’re simply trying to mirror them. Do this by transitioning your body slowly and at a pace that’s natural to your conversation.

Now go out there and use these powers of body language to ace your next job interview. Good luck!

job search mistakes

5 Reasons Nobody Will Hire You In Sales (And What To Do About It)

In this article, we’ll breakdown 5 deadly job search mistakes that will ultimately cost you getting hired as a salesperson, followed by what you should do instead.

Sales is a difficult industry to survive in. But it’s an industry so many people want to get into due to the huge rewards it offers, both financially and long-term career-wise. This makes it even more important to land the right job with the right company, so you can get the right training and experience to achieve your goals.

5 Costly Job Search Mistakes, Commonly Made By Salespeople 

In many cases, there’s no shortage of job vacancies or positions available. In San Francisco alone, where all the hot SaaS startups and tech companies are hiring like crazy, there are more than 1000 unfulfilled SDR (sales development representative) opportunities.

And yet, many job candidates continue to struggle to land a sales job, often for the following reasons:

  1. Targeting the wrong industry.
  2. Targeting the wrong roles based on your skills.
  3. Aiming too high.
  4. Bad location, or conflict of commitments outside of work.
  5. Your method of reaching out to potential employers stinks.

So… here’s how to tackle each issue.

1. Targeting the wrong industry

Think carefully about what topics you could work on that would make you want to work hard and put in the time without any complaint. If you’re a sports enthusiast, maybe your sector should be sports companies or targeting sports companies.

Imagine the sales conversations, problems and goals you want to speak about for your salary. Could you work every day talking about medical devices if you don’t care about that sector at all? You probably could, but your employer probably won’t see your raving conviction to the cause and industry they focus upon.

The solution: sell what you love.

People lacking specific industry knowledge often get jobs within a new sector, but it helps a lot when you’re able to draw on your passion and knowledge for a particular vertical during interviews and sales conversations. Genuinely being able to reference your 20 years of supporting a specific team or following X sport, or X topic, will provide a strong foundation for future conversations you’ll have in a new role and demonstrate to your new employer that your on-boarding time will most likely be fast and painless.

2. Choosing the wrong sales role

There are many different types of sales roles. From the lower levels, sales/business development is a very common first role for people starting a sales career. It’s a good place to begin to learn the industry, put in your time, and hone your craft.

But that’s not for everyone. Sales Operations is another common route for getting into sales. You might come from a product background, or a business operations background. It’s great for learning what you need to uncover and find out about your prospects, how to personalize messaging and be super-targeted in your outreach. That is the route to real sales success, so being in the support line to give a fellow sales rep actionable intelligence is a good way to build your personalization muscles.

Evaluate your skills and interests. Are you a person who loves to research, takes their time with things and is thorough? Sales Enablement may be the right path for you, rather than sales development, which is much more vigorous.

But…

If you’re super-driven and let nothing stand in your way (time, effort, and rejection included), then sales development is your starting spot.

3. Aiming too high

If you don’t want to work in a job where burnout is an oft-discussed topic, and you already bring some sales experience to the table, you may want to aim for a higher-tier position, such as an Account Executive (AE).

However, that doesn’t mean you should apply to be an AE immediately. Many companies have built out their SDR to AE progression plans and will actively help you through it.

If you’re still at an entry level, take some classes or read a few essential sales books to jump you up to speed.

It’s fair to start at the bottom and work your way up. In the end, this gives you greater experience and a broader background when applying for senior sales positions. You can reference your time “in the weeds” and it shows further progression than jumping across management positions.

4. Bad location, or have too many conflicts of commitment outside of work.

Many candidates don’t consider that what happens outside of work is equally important. It’s different for everyone, but we all have circumstances and situations to work around.

If you live very far away from any considerable towns or cities, you may find it hard to land an SDR role. Companies will want you in-house for these roles. They’re able to meet with you easier, train you ad-hoc, involve you in team activities and rewards easier. Remote teams exist – but they generally exist as teams in a specific location – not from home.

Equally, if you need to leave the office at 3 until 7 for family commitments, it’s going to be difficult for an employer to choose you over a person ready to work as many hours as they can and want. Sadly, that’s the logic of businesses and they must hire who’s best for them, so you need to look at any circumstances that blocks or influences your ability to become a sales professional.

5. Your method of reaching out to potential employers stinks.

It’s common for burgeoning sales talent to win over their preferred employers by using “sales outreach” to gain the attention and time with the team leader.

Show that you are a creative, attention-winning prospector by prospecting your way into an interview. Do it with class, and don’t come off as desperate.

Have your potential employer want to understand more about what you will bring to the table. Check out the team on LinkedIn, and watch out for their LinkedIn headlines. They often say they’re hiring, so that’s a good reference to mention – it shows you did your research (sales people love to know you did that!).

tech sales job description for sales development and account executives

What Tech Sales Job Descriptions Are REALLY Telling You

In this article, you’ll learn what tech sales job descriptions are really telling you, along with a breakdown of the different types of sales positions that exist in tech.

Before we dive into how companies advertise sales positions (and what that means for you, the job seeker), it’s good to have a basic understanding of the possible types of tech sales jobs that exist.

In a certain sense it’s quite simple. Excluding managerial roles there are two types of tech sales jobs, those related to sales development (it’s possible to get sales development jobs with minimal experience) and those related to actual sales, closing deals, etc (typically known as an Account Executive).

But within these two categories there is a great amount of variety.

Different companies have different needs, and therefore being an SDR/AE at one company is likely quite different than having the same job title at another company.

Let’s first consider SDR’s and the types of roles that there are.

Types Of SDR Jobs

1. Outbound SDR:

This is a labor intensive role, often best suited for people fresh out of college beginning a career in tech sales. It involves a lot of cold calling (80 – 100/day), mass emailing, leaving voicemails — it’s the epitome of grunt work. Companies that lack a great deal of marketing leads will often compensate by using teams of outbound SDR’s to generate opportunities manually.

2. Inbound SDR:

This is a much ‘chiller’ job compared to an outbound role, available at companies with a significant amount of interest in their product. The Inbound SDR will qualify various inquiries and decide which ones are worth passing along to the sales team. These are great jobs to look for because any company with enough interest in their product to need Inbound SDR’s likely has substantial product market fit.

3. Enterprise/Strategic SDR:

This is a role where an SDR works closely within a team or directly with an Account Executive to open up important business opportunities. It will still involve cold calling, but will require more strategy than a normal Outbound role. Often Enterprise SDRs will have to map out the various people in an account and create personalized emails based on their LinkedIn profiles.

Of course, most SDR roles will not be one of these three types exclusively, and will be more of a hybrid of several. Let’s now look at some SDR job descriptions and see what one can gather from the description.

SDR Job Descriptions: Decoded

Example 1: Diffbot

Account Development Representative (ADR)

The Account Development Representative (ADR) at Diffbot is the first line of customer identification and qualification for the Data Solutions team. This role helps qualify inbound and prospect outbound leads for the company’s sales process — ADRs are innately curious about how AI will revolutionize the nature of information processing across all industries in the future. They are comfortable speaking the language of all of the various stakeholders in a large organization: ranging from the developer up to the CEO, to learn about how they use data and educate them about how our technology can make their workflows more efficient.

Core Responsibilities:

– Lead prospecting targeted outbound accounts for new opportunities; respond to and qualify inbound leads for potential customers

– Meet and exceed set monthly opportunity generation goals

– Communicate professionally and build relationships with C-level and VP level contacts at companies across various industries

What Does This Actually Mean?

From this description, we know that the ‘Account Development Representative’ role at Diffbot is really a hybrid of an Inbound SDR and Enterprise SDR. We know that there is an Inbound competent to the job because it says so plainly. We know that there is an Enterprise SDR component to the role because of the bit about being ‘comfortable speaking the language of all the various stakeholders in a large organization.

What this translates to, roughly, is that the ADR will have to interface with several people within an organization. This could be to book a meeting for an account executive, but it could also be do some detective work and find out who the decision maker/makers are. The ‘Account’ Development Representative has to think about entire accounts strategically, rather than just throwing out blind repetitive cold calls.

Example 2: Apptimize

Sales development is the life blood of Apptimize. The CEO loves sales development and in the early days manually sent 500 emails per day. The sense of accomplishment when you go through the prospect responses, the rapid iteration through different combinations of target profiles and pitches- maybe we’re weird but we find it satisfying and fun. Business development is how we get our best customers.

This role is ideal for someone who wants to live at the the front line of our go to market strategy and figure out what works with what audience and what’s going to come up during the sales process.

What Does This Actually Mean?

While it doesn’t say so specifically, from the second sentence it’s quite clear that this is a job description for an Outbound Sales development role. Here’s how you can tell. First and foremost, Apptimize gloats about and admires the manual outbound sales process that the CEO went through in its early days. Secondly, the description specifies that this role is for someone who wants to be on the ‘front line’.

Note: If you read this article and retain anything, remember that in sales being on the ‘front line’ is code for an extensive amount of cold calling, cold emailing — manual sales work. From this job description, it seems likely that Apptimize’s SDR role is almost purely outbound.

Example 3: Airtable

Core Responsibilities:

  • Strategize around sales inquiries with other members of the sales team.

  • Educate existing free Airtable users about the value of our premium product.

  • Coordinate users’ product exploration journeys, each tailored to the specific organization at hand, to convert budding interest into commercial action.

  • Rapidly learn how to model a wide range of use cases across different industries and the key dynamics that affect those use cases.

  • Actively deploy these modeling capabilities in highly targeted customer situations.

  • Conduct high-leverage, in-depth research to find new sales leads and enable success with the newly identified leads.

  • As an early team member, be energized by the opportunity to help build a process from the ground up.

  • Use data to problem-solve around the sales process and generate force-multiplying changes.

What Does This Actually Mean?

This role is an Inbound SDR role. Their Sales Development Associates are expected to work only with current customers using the Airtable product and warm leads who have inquired about the product. There is some strategic work in attempting to find new business opportunities, but because there’s no reference to working with VP’s or CEO’s the work is likely much less about strategizing careful outreach and more about generating interest with inbound leads to pass along to the sales team. You’ll need an intermediate level of sales skills and experience to perform well in this type of role.

Types of Account Executive (AE) Jobs

As An Account Executive selling SaaS, there are three basic categories that your job can fall under. Here’s what we’ve come up with:

1. Transactional Selling:

In this role, an Account Executive will meet with many clients for a short amount of time (often only one phone call). There is not an incredible amount of strategy involved with this sort of sale, and successful AE’s focus on securing ‘one call closes’ through persuasion and hustling to get more leads.

2. Enterprise (Complex) Sales:

In this role, an Account Executive will have to go through several meetings with various stakeholders, and strategically align various interests of multiple parties to close large six to seven figure deals. It’s the classic definition of a complex sale.

3. Everything In-Between:

Mid-market sales, which leans towards medium sized businesses or small departments within large corporations, is the most common type of software selling. AE’s will usually have 2-5 meetings with 1-3 parties to close these deals, which require more patience than transactional selling but move faster than large enterprise deals.

4. Full Cycle Sales:

Full cycle AE’s lack the support of SDR’s to book meetings and generate opportunities. This means they must foster their client relationships from start to finish, and focus a decent amount of time not on selling but on generating opportunities. On the other hand pure Sales AE’s spend all day closing marketing and sales qualified leads without working on Business Development at all. You won’t become a Rainmaker in one day in this type of role. Big deals take time to close, but they’re worth it!

Account Executive (AE) Job Descriptions: Decoded

Example 4: Freshdesk

In this hunter, quota-carrying sales role, we’re seeking passionate and highly driven professionals with prior software / SaaS sales experience. The Account Executive will play a leading role in accelerating Freshdesk’s revenue growth in the U.S.

Specifically, the Account Executive will:

  • Generate pipeline for Freshdesk’s Mid-Market business
  • Prospect, manage the sales process, and close new accounts in rapid cycles, in primarily insides sales environment
  • Work closely with Freshdesk teams to quickly learn and communicate Freshdesk’s value proposition clearly and effectively
  • Sell multiple product-lines: Freshdesk (customer facing, multi-channel online helpdesk) and/or Freshservice (employee-facing, online IT service desk)
  • Be part of the core U.S. team to represent Freshdesk at industry events

What Does This Actually Mean?

Though the job title says ‘Enterprise Account Executive’ the job description is telling us something much different. First and foremost, ‘mid-market’ businesses are specified in the description rather than Fortune 500 companies. Also the sentence ‘close new accounts in rapid cycles’ indicates that the selling is likely transactional in nature. Finally there are several indications that the Account Executive is responsible for generating his or her own pipeline. Thus despite the job title the job description is indicating a full cycle, transactional Account Executive position.

how to find and contact a hiring manager about a job without seeming desperate

How To Find & Contact Hiring Managers About A Specific Sales Role (Without Seeming Desperate)

In this article, we’ll explain how to contact a hiring manager about a specific sales role—without coming across as desperate or overly aggressive.

After scrolling your way through a seemingly endless list of job postings, you finally found a sales role that seems absolutely perfect for you.

You polished up your resume, drafted a tailored cover letter, and submitted all of the necessary application materials.

Everything you need to do in order to be considered is done. But, you’re also eager to find a way to make a more personal connection—to go beyond the anonymity of the hiring process and put a face with your name.

One of the best ways to do this? By reaching out to the hiring manager with a friendly, professional, and completely un-pushy message.

Did that very thought just make your palms clammy? We know—putting yourself out there during your job search can be intimidating. Despite the fact that you work in sales, it’s still tough to sell yourself.

So, let’s dive in!

But First… A Word Of Caution

Reaching out to make a personal connection with somebody at the company can be a smart move.

However, it should never serve as a replacement for going through the application process that the employer has outlined.

For that reason, it’s wise not to reach out to the hiring manager about a specific role until after you’ve followed their instructions for officially tossing your hat into the ring.

Ignoring the steps that they’ve mapped out and instead opting to get in touch with a general, “I’m very interested in this position—please consider me!” message will only make you seem lazy and disrespectful.

So, make sure to heed the directions for applying (seriously, every last one) and then consider reaching out to the hiring manager as a secondary step to elevate your candidacy.

It’s great to be proactive about forging relationships—but, that doesn’t mean you can skip important steps and make up your own rules.

How to Find Hiring Managers

With that disclaimer out of the way, how do you find the hiring manager for a specific role? There are a couple of different tactics you can implement to zone in on the right person to contact.

1. Search the Company Website

Depending on the size of the company, you might be able to identify the appropriate point of contact directly on the website.

Click through to the “About Us” or “Team” pages and see if the company lists team members individually. If so? Look for someone that has a job title that relates to hiring, recruitment, talent management, or human resources.

2. Leverage LinkedIn

No luck on the website? As a salesperson, you already know that LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for forging relationships. So, it’s time to do some detective work on that platform.

From the LinkedIn homepage, begin by typing the name of the company you’re applying to in the search bar. If that employer has a LinkedIn profile, you should see it pop up within your search results.

leveraging linkedin search to contact hiring managers

Once you’re on that company’s LinkedIn page, you’ll see a link that says “See All Employees on LinkedIn.” Click that, and you’ll be brought to a page that displays the LinkedIn profiles of that specific company’s employees.

For this example, we’re looking at the LinkedIn profile of Google—which means there are thousands of employees. If the company you’re applying to isn’t nearly as large, you’ll have a much easier time zoning in on the appropriate contact.

But, if not? Use the filters to help you narrow your results. Click the “Filters” button and then type in a keyword (i.e. “talent” or “hiring”) to see only people who have that term in their job title.

job searching on linkedin

How to Contact Hiring Managers

You’ve found the person that you want to contact. Now, there’s another big question hanging over your head: What do you say? What sort of message is polished and professional—without seeming pushy?

After you’ve submitted your application, your best bet is to send a connection request (along with a personalized message) via LinkedIn.

Why is LinkedIn better than email? Well, for starters, it’s a social network—meaning it’s a far more casual and low-pressure way to reach out.

Secondly, because it’s a social platform, it makes for an incredibly easy way to stay in touch. A simple “like” or “comment” on that contact’s activity will keep you at the forefront of his or her mind—without having to send formal or purposeful emails in order to do so.

When you do send a personalized connection request, keep things short (you’ll have limited characters anyway) and somewhat general. Remember, this isn’t your opportunity to get into a lengthy discussion about the role. Instead, your goal is just to make an introduction and demonstrate your interest in the position.

This means that your messages should hit on three key things:

  • Your name
  • The position you just applied for
  • Your enthusiasm for finding out more about the role

With that in mind, your finished message could look something like this:

Hello Susan,

My name is Kat, and I just applied for the Sales Director position with Dunder Mifflin. I know my skills are a great match for what you’re searching for, and I’m really looking forward to finding out more about the opportunity.

In the meantime, I’d love to keep in touch on LinkedIn!

Best,

Kat

This message is friendly and concise. But, perhaps most importantly, it doesn’t make an ask. It doesn’t beg for an interview. It doesn’t ask about the hiring timeline. There’s no action that the recipient needs to take other than to accept your request.

That’s important. Much like when prospecting, the more straightforward (and less desperate) your message is, the higher the likelihood the hiring manager will accept your connection request and perhaps even respond.

When that happens? You have a foot in the door and a somewhat personal connection with that company—which can help you stand out from the competition and land an interview.

Over to You

Getting in touch with a hiring manager about a specific role can be a smart move to help you make an impact after you’ve submitted your application. After all, being able to put a face with your name (and your impressive experience) will make you all the more memorable for employers.

However, there’s no denying that step can still be nerve-wracking.

If you want to skip it altogether? Create a profile on Rainmakers. You can share your history, showcase your skills, and have interested employers directly contact you—rather than the other way around.

Does that sound way too good to be true? We promise it’s not. Apply now to get accepted and setup your own profile.

how to get a tech sales job in 2018

How to Get a Sales Job at a Hot Tech Company in a Ridiculously Short Amount of Time

Wanna land a tech sales job in a ridiculously short amount of time?

We’re about to teach you how to do it in 2018. Buckle up.

How To Get a Tech Sales Job… FAST

  1. Be Insanely Specific About Your Goals
  2. Build a List of Hot Tech Companies
  3. Copy Their Sales Job Descriptions To Find Keywords That Matter
  4. Update and Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
  5. Make Sure Your LinkedIn Profile Matches With Your Resume
  6. Reach Out / Engage With Members Of Your Network
  7. Make Alliances With Recruiters
  8. Role Play Your Interview
  9. Book the Phone Interview
  10. Convert to an In-Person Interview
  11. Ace the Interview
  12. Negotiate Your Offer

Follow this step by step guide, and you will succeed. I promise.

Don’t just start doing stuff out of order. Read this guide at least twice, then execute one step at a time.

Even if you have no experience, it doesn’t matter. Follow these steps and you will land in glory.

#1: Be Insanely Specific About Your Goals

Most people define a job title they want (e.g. investment banker) then look to see who was hiring.

Now go and do the complete opposite. Define the kind of company you want first, then identify the position you can add the most value.

You will ABSOLUTELY get better results with a more targeted approach, trust me.

Think about location too. Many hot tech companies (especially in SaaS) are located in San Francisco.

Other emerging hubs are booming too though – like Austin, San Diego, Denver, Boston and New York.

What do you want?

#2: Build a List of Hot Tech Companies (Use a Virtual Assistant, Optional)

Build a list of all the possible companies that you think may be a good fit. You can do this yourself or hire someone on ODesk or eLance to do it for you.

I worked with a woman named Jane who lives in Costa Rica (she does great work).

This is the job description I sent her:

Hey Jane –

I could use your assistance to research available job positions at local tech companies.

Can you build a spreadsheet and find job positions available for “Sales Development Representative” and “Account Executive”.

– find local address closest to san francisco: on above websites or foursquare.com
– find employee count and capital raised here: first on crunchbase.com or then angel.co
– find sales role: on their home website under jobs or careers

Can you send this back to me as soon as possible? Like later today?

Use that to get you started!

Business Insider also has a solid list of tech companies who are hiring right now.

#3: Copy Their Sales Job Descriptions To Find Keywords That Matter

Pick your top 3 target companies.

Then copy and paste the text of their job descriptions into this word cloud generator tool.

Wordsift-screenshot-how-to-get-a-sales-job

You’ll be able to find highly recurring keywords aka keywords that matter to your future employer.

Then use these keywords to update your LinkedIn profile and resume.

For more keywords to brush up on, check out this sales glossary of 260 terms.

#4: Update Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is all about story telling and highlighting your best self.

Present your story in a way that illustrates how all your past experiences have led up to the very moment you apply for a company.

Use the keywords from your word cloud above.

This will make your skills and experience more closely aligned with their job descriptions.

Plus, your profile is more likely to appear in recruiter searches.

Whatever you do, don’t be deceptive! It will come back to haunt you.

#5: Make Sure Your LinkedIn Profile Matches With Your Resume

Nowadays, most tech companies see your LinkedIn profile before your resume anyway.

Make sure you remain consistent across both channels.

Layout and design is important too. Many employers will disqualify you based on this alone (if you bomb it).

I’m serious. Choose a simple design for your resume. Somethings easy to read and understand. You can find plenty of quality resume templates at Creative Market.

#6: Reach Out / Engage With Members Of Your Network

Opportunities can be hidden in unlikely places. And you don’t want to leave any stones un-turned when you’re hunting for your dream job.

Steps one through five are all preparation steps before you can being outbound

But now, it’s time to send out a short 3-5 sentence email to your personal network.

Explain the type of company you want to join and your desired role. It’s hard for people to help if they don’t know exactly what you want.

Also, email your entire network on LinkedIn. You can easily export their contact info into a csv file (complete how-to instructions here). Then email each contact directly or in bulk.

#7: Make Alliances With Recruiters

I think recruiters are great. They are your second channel of warm introductions.

They help you prepare for interviews, they make introductions, and even schedule interviews for you.

A good recruiter should feel like a sidekick.

Here in San Francisco, you can refer to Rainmakers for new opportunities.

Just be honest and transparent when working with a recruiter.

Just tell them about the other opportunities you are pursuing.

That way you avoid any overlap or redundant outreach.

#8: Role Play Interview Over and Over

I’m so awkward during interview role plays. I don’t know why.  But, there is one thing I can do about it. And so can you.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

Get comfortable telling your own story.

Role play phone interviews and in-person interviews with yourself first. Then with recruiters.

Trust me. This exercise will pay off.

#9: Book the Phone Interview

By now, your network and your recruiters will begin feeding you opportunities.

It certainly helps to supplement this activity with some direct outreach of your own. Especially to any high priority companies where you don’t have a warm intro.

As the opportunities flow in, start to schedule those phone interviews. Typically, I will schedule no more than 3 interviews per day.

#10: Convert the Phone Interview to an In-Person

Remember to tell a story. Here’s the basic story framework:

  1. Setting
  2. Complication
  3. Turning Point
  4. Resolution

When they ask you sales interview questions, think through all your own personal experiences.

Then choose one experience each time to best represent the full range of your skills and abilities.

These stories should come more naturally once you complete steps one through ten here.

At the end, always ask for next steps. I wouldn’t get too caught up in “closing” people.

Just let them know you’re fired up about the opportunity and want to take next steps with them. And next steps are to meet in-person for an interview.

#11: Ace the In-Person Interview

Always wear a suit and tie.

That’s what you you’ve been told, right?

Well, I don’t recommend it for hot tech companies. A jacket is a nice touch, but nothing more is needed.

Remember, most people in tech love flannels and tee shirts. I advise you to dress slightly above your audience, but still look like you are part of the team.

When you sit down, pull out two copies of your resume and one copy of your cheat sheet. Casually, place them on top of the binder resting in front of you.

Engage with them, tell them your story and always ask for next steps.

#12: Receive and Negotiate Your Offer

You want to love where you work. And they want you to love it too!

So, gather as many job offers as you can. Until, you find the right one. Then negotiate that one offer to close.

Traditionally, there isn’t too much negotiating for junior roles. But as I understand it, the more valuable you become to an organization the more leverage you will have.

Conclusion

This takes work. I went non-stop for three weeks straight. I was booking 2-3 interviews per day.

And I’m confident, if you follow these steps above, you will find your dream sales job at a hot tech company too.

how to get a tech sales job with no experience

How To Get A Tech Sales Job In 2018 (Even With No Experience)

So you want to get a job in tech sales? Good, because you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explain how to go about getting a tech sales job, even if you lack experience. 

Step 1: Build A Tech Oriented Sales Resume

First things first. Just like any other job, you want to start with a solid resume. Think back to your past experiences and pull together a summary of the most relatable sales skills you can bring over into your new responsibilities as a sales representative in the tech industry.

Not sure what those relatable skills might be? No worries, we’re here to help you out.

For starters, if you have any sales experience at all from a previous job that’s absolutely a great place to start. Whether or not you’ve specifically sold technology, if you’ve gone about selling anything, much of the selling process remains the same.

You’ll still be uncovering as much information as you can about your prospective customer in order to learn what it is that they want or need and then tying the underlying reasons behind that desire back to your product or service.

What if you don’t have any previous sales experience?

Don’t worry, you can still find a way. At the end of the day, sales is simply the profession of persuasion. No matter what kind of work experience you have, you’ll almost certainly have had to do some kind of persuading.

Whether it was persuading your co-workers to jump on board with your new idea or even to go eat together at a particular restaurant, what you’ve been doing is persuading people. That said if you really can’t think of any situations where you’ve done some kind of persuading, well… perhaps you may want to reconsider a profession in sales.

Let’s move on. So now you’ve got your resume all built up and polished. What next? Getting interviews. 

Step 2: Begin Your Job Search Process

There are many ways you can go about this. You can go directly to a company’s website to look for open positions if you have a specific one in mind, but more often than not you’re going to need some help with even identifying what companies you’d like to work for.

This is where platforms and recruiters can come in handy. If you do some searching online there are plenty of them, even ones dedicated specifically to tech sales, that you can leverage. Of course, we can help you too. 

Step 3: Make Sure You Prepare For Your Interview FAR Ahead Of Time

There are a few things you’re going to want to do before you step foot into the room with your potential employer.  

  • Research about the company itself.
  • Learn when they were founded.
  • Learn their products and and unique value proposition.
  • Discover what differentiate them from the other players in the market.
  • Find any other details that seem important to be informed about.
  • Recent news about and announcements from the company are always a plus.

Step 4: Learn Your Target Company’s Sales Process (And Picture Yourself In It)

Above all, you’ll want to really familiarize yourself with their sales process. After all, you are applying for a position in sales.

Prospecting

You need to understand the following things intimately:

  • Who are your potential customers are and how will you find them?
  • What tools or services will you be using?
  • If you’re not sure, this can actually be a great question for you to ask during your interview.
  • What are the tools and services the company is using today?
  • Why did they choose to bring on those specific tools?

Engaging

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How are you going to reach out and get connected with your prospects?
  • What’s the reasoning behind your strategy?
  • Based on the company’s target industry, market and customer profiles – what methods do you think will be most effective? And why?

Discovery

Here’s what you should do:

  • Schedule a time to have a conversation with your prospect to learn more about them.
  • What is their current situation?
  • What problems are they dealing with?
  • Based on what you uncover, think of the ways you can best articulate the ways in which your company’s products or services can alleviate those pains.

Closing

In technology sales, the step that usually comes after the discovery is the demo.

This is where you as the sales rep have the floor and opportunity to clearly illustrate to your prospect how their lives will be improved through the use of your product or service.

You do this by relating the benefits your company provides to the problems they voiced to you during the discovery part phase.

There may be a bit of back and forth after that in terms of negotiation and the need to deal with a procurement team but soon after the demo the final step you’ll want to end with is closing the deal.

This is when your prospect and the involved stakeholders have made the decision to move forward in doing business with your company and are willing to put pen to paper, or so to say.

Step 5: Revisit and Master Stages of the Sales Funnel

A great way to think of this process from a high level is to think of it much like a funnel.

In fact, the concept of a sales funnel is very prevalent in the world of technology sales and is something you’ll likely want to familiarize yourself with as well.

You can easily do a search for this term online and get a quick understanding of what it is and how it would work for a business. As a quick summary though, it’s the idea of taking a large number of leads, which you then refine into prospects based on some target criteria, and ultimately convert into customers by putting them through the sales process.

Awesome. So you’ve done your research and taken the time to understand what the sales process is and how it works. All that’s left for you to do now is nail the interview.

Step 6: Nail The Interview

There’s a ton of advice out there around the best ways to approach an interview but here are a few pointers to help you get started.

Be on time. In fact, show up a bit early so you have some time to spare. Trust me, having that little extra time before the interview to level-set and get your head straight can only bode well for you.

Next, keep in mind that most hiring managers are likely looking for 3 primary qualities.

Those are competency, character and the ability to learn.

Competency is simply a measure of whether or not you can do the job at hand. If given the opportunity, would you be someone the company can rely on to get things done effectively?

Character is important because let’s face it, whether you like it or not, co-workers are people we end up spending a lot of time with. As such your potential boss is probably looking to see if you’re someone he/she can stand having around and, more importantly, if you’re someone he/she can trust.

The last quality you want to make sure to convey to the person at the other side of the table is the ability to learn.

As a bonus, you may want to think about emotional intelligence too. This will help you to become more empathetic as a sales professional, something that employers definitely care about.

Sure, it’s great and all if you’re a good person who’s capable of doing the job at hand but, that’s not all that’s important in the work place. Change is imminent in all aspects of life and business is no different. Your boss is going to want to know that, should it become necessary, you’ll be someone who’s open to new ideas and willing to adapt to the changing circumstances rather than someone who is always stuck in their old ways.

Again there’s a ton more information out there on additional things you can do to do well on an interview but keep these things in mind and you should land your dream job in tech sales in no time. Now go out there and make it rain!