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sales resume tips and best practices

25 Sales Resume Tips to Stand Out From the Clutter in 2020

The resume is continually evolving and what seemed standard and beneficial just a few years ago can become a disadvantage in the current recruiting environment. With employers receiving an average of 50 to 75 resumes per role they post, making your resume stand out can sometimes seem like a moonshot. Making matters worse, your resume generally has less than 10 seconds to make a positive impression and avoid being flushed down the drain.

While a LinkedIn profile is very important, resumes still matter, and some organizations (especially enterprise companies) will want to see a resume in order for you to apply. In this guide, we’ll provide 25 actionable sales resume tips so you can land the sales job you’ve always dreamed about.

Under these dismal conditions, what should a smart sales professional on the lookout for a dream job do?

First, don’t panic. If there’s a science to selling, there’s an art to writing resumes. All you have to do is learn it. Fortunately, career sites, professional coaches, and hiring managers have been sharing their insight on how best to make your resume shine.

Here are 25 sales resume hacks that will compel recruiters to take your application to next level.

1) Go for high impact.

Ideally, resumes should pack a punch. But that is hardly the case in real life. In fact, recruiting managers regularly receive hundreds of generic resumes that look and sound similar, echoing the same cliches, and even sharing the same grammatical errors. Not surprisingly, weak resumes just become fodder for the recycling bin at the end of every recruiting period.

Remember: The three goals of sending a resume are…

1) to signal an Intention.

2) to convey Information.

3) to make an Impact.

So create one that is unique, memorable, personalized for each employer, and clear about the value and benefits you offer. You can’t sell yourself by being generic or timid.

2) Leave a strongly positive impression.

Making an impact is good, but standing out for the wrong reasons is definitely bad. A resume that seeks to differentiate itself through artificial methods (i.e., larger/smaller paper size, loud colors, too much images, arrogant/disrespectful language, radically different content formats, etc.) will likely get the resume owner into a blacklist.

Do this instead: you can still be creative and impactful while adopting best practices, maintaining high standards, and conforming to effective formats. There are many ways to leave a positive impression: crisp language, elegant and readable formatting, relevant but rare sales skills, remarkable sales accomplishments, highly sought after certifications, awards and accolades.

 3) Customize your message for every employer.

Your resume may be about you but it is also very much about the recruiter. Avoid sending a one-size-fits-all resume, especially to employers you really admire and want very much to join.

As a rule of thumb, always think about the specific recruiter or employer you are aiming for when authoring or structuring your resume. Consider one or more of the following —

  1. Mention the specific employer in the Current Career Objective section (if you intend to have one.)
  2. Respond directly to the employer’s job post or ad by highlighting your skills, certifications, training, or qualifications using the style, ordering, or language used by the recruiter.
  3. Research about the services and products of the employer and make the case for how you can sell such offerings.
  4. Showcase the value and benefits the employer gets if they were to hire you.

4) Make it sweet and short.

Your resume is the elevator pitch you use in the job market. Go ahead: Be impactful and make an impression but do both as fast as you can. Go for a single-page resume whenever possible and avoid exceeding two pages. Unless specifically requested by the recruiter, never send multi-page resumes.

5) Always have a summary section.

Provide a quick way for the recruiter to assess your credentials and potential value using a summary section near the beginning of your resume. If you are not using an Objective section, then positioning your career or profile summary just after your Contact Information section is best.

In the summary, showcase unique experiences and accomplishments. Mention the demonstrable benefits the employer can expect to get when they hire you. The summary section should be articulated using elegant and crisp language and should clearly articulate your value proposition.

6) Watch your language.

Avoid trite, formal, legalistic, or jargon-ridden text. Think about recruiters forced to skim through dozens of resumes that sound like a lease agreement or a private policy statement every single day.

Instead, go for a smart and casual business tone using crisp and simple but elegant language. Use power words (contextual terms that resonate with specific types of employers) but refrain from cliches and stale expressions.

Oh, and if you happen to get that interview, watch your body language too!

7) Be readable.

Every aspect of your resume — formatting, sectioning, print quality, fonts, language, etc. — should be optimized for readability. Think of your resume as an app or a website and recruiters as users. User experience (UX) must be optimal for recruiters to even consider reading key sections of your resume. If your resume is haphazardly formatted or uses confusing language, recruiters will be more irritated than impressed.

8) Think strategically.

Depending on your situation, you can use a historical, functional, hybrid, or other types of resumes. For example, consider complementing a standard curriculum vitae with a video resume if you are trying to land a job with a media or advertising company. Use a functional resume if you are entering the workplace fresh from college and you have very little employment history to speak of. Always adopt what is best for your particular situation.

9) Answer common questions recruiter/employer

Anticipate the questions employers ask when looking for top talent. Using your resume, provide quick answers to the most pressing questions they might ask. Here are some you should consider:

  1. What are your most important achievements when it comes to sales?
  2. Have you won any award or accolade?
  3. How did your previous employers benefit from your performance?
  4. What is your average win rate for all the employers and products you worked with (Do not answer if your performance is less than sterling.)
  5. What’s the estimated value in real dollars of the deals you have successfully closed for each employer?
  6. Which sales skills or techniques have you mastered? Show proof.
  7. How do you handle challenging leads or situations.

10) Formatting matters.

Adopt a stylish format but don’t get too creative that recruiters begin to focus more on visuals and optics instead of your core message. Consider the aesthetics of your resume but not to the point that you de-prioritize brevity, readability, or conciseness. Use prominent section headings to help recruiters easily find what they are looking for. Deploy bullet points instead of long paragraphs whenever applicable.

11) Organize your profile into clearly defined sections.

The main sections of a standard resume are —

  1. Contact Information
  2. Profile Summary
  3. Relevant Certifications, Licenses, or Awards
  4. Work Experience (typically arranged in reverse chronological order)
  5. Education

Depending on the situation, your strategy, or the availability of information or support, you can include one or more of the following optional elements:

  1. Personal Brand Tagline (this can be a personal quote or a catchy description that highlights your credentials, favorite technique, or mantra/philosophy as a professional)
  2. Current Career Objective
  3. Achievements (Bulleted items. Use if f there are too many to include in the short summary)
  4. Personal Info (Use only if somewhat relevant to the role or company you are focusing on. If so, you can mention volunteer work, hobbies you are passionate about, or non-work related achievements that enhance your character. Avoid mentioning sensitive issues such as politics and religion).
  5. Character References

12) Provide complete and clean contact information.

Make it easy and convenient for recruiters or employers to get back to you when they need clarifications or when they want to go ahead with a job interview. Give clear, complete, and correct email addresses, phone numbers, and home address. Provide the links to your LinkedIn profile, portfolio site, blog, or other personal/professional websites.

However, do not use or mention email addresses, blogs, or other identifiers that do not help your personal brand. Email addresses such as loverboy1299@gmail.com or blog sites such as Bad Girl’s Revenge hardly exude competence or professionalism.

13) Achievements vs. Responsibilities

Always favor accomplishment over responsibility. Describing your skills, tasks, and functions is ok, but telling a story about how you use those skills or performed those tasks to achieve organizational goals is a lot better. So instead of merely saying that you performed sales ops functions as an analyst, you can say that you created a data-driven strategy that helped sellers improve their win rate by 10%.

14) Don’t include the Stone Age in your Work Experience section.

If you have been in the job market for awhile and have worked for quite a number of employers, focus on your career milestones in the last ten years or so. Recruiters are more interested in your current and more recent employment history than they are about your stint as a part-time librarian when you were in high school. For the same reason, arrange your employment history in reverse chronological order. Use brief descriptions and cite noteworthy achievements whenever applicable.

15) Even an A+ won’t compensate for poor sales metrics.

Highlight your academic achievements if you are new to the workplace. Mention relevant papers or projects you’ve made, as well as honors you have earned as a student. If you’ve been around though, prioritize work experience and accomplishments over education. That means positioning employment history above education in your resume.

16) Certified, trained, and ready to roll.

Recruiters seek candidates who have undergone verifiable training programs or have earned relevant field certifications. Position the Training and Certification section if the role you are applying for strongly requires such qualifications. Some of the most coveted certifications in sales include the Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP), Certified Sales Executive (CSE), and Cornell University’s Executive Leadership Certification.

17) Get personal if it helps your brand.

You can opt to add a Personal Information section in your resume if space permits and if mentioning something beyond your sales career enhances your professional brand. For example, volunteer work for a worthy (non-divisive) cause certainly helps create a picture of social responsibility and commitment to a community. A hobby such as scale modeling may explain how you have developed discipline and a keen attention to detail. On the other hand, your sports life may explain your highly competitive nature.

18) Sales is a numbers game.

Quotas, win rates, and revenue are all expressed as numbers. Your sales performance is measured in metrics. That is why a salesperson’s resume without the right numbers will never make the cut. Whenever possible, quantify your achievements to help recruiters assess your potential.

19) Get visual.

If you can fit them in your resume, visual aids such as graphs and charts can add style and clarity to your message. Some resumes look exactly like infographics. However, you should only add visuals if it matches your message and is relevant to the particular employer you are currently engaging.

20) Inaccuracy will destroy you.

The work history, achievements, figures, dates, and other information in your resume should always be accurate. At worst, inadvertent errors will erode your chances of getting selected, specially if you have comparable rivals for the position who have submitted error-free resumes. On the other hand, intentional inaccuracies (i.e., lies) — when caught — can send your name into a database of blacklisted jobseekers. More importantly, you wouldn’t want to be branded as “dishonest” in an industry that already attracts its hefty share of suspicion.

21) ABC means “always be consistent.”

Structurally and content-wise, your resume should demonstrate a high degree of consistency. That means section headings and line spacings should be rendered the same way throughout the document and that entire resume conforms to a recognizable and visually appealing format.

Content-wise, the resume should have a uniform tone and language when articulating your value proposition or when describing your achievements. Furthermore, all information you include in the resume must agree with all the information about you that can be accessed publicly (such as your profile on LinkedIn and other social media sites). Most profile inconsistencies are likely to be minor but a few might erode your authenticity as a sales professional.

22) Review, update, and polish.

Unless you’re close to retiring, resumes are always works in progress that require constant review, updating, and polishing.

Proofread your resume for structural, grammatical, or factual errors. Allow your friends or a professional editor to help you polish your resume. Remember, incorrect grammar and spelling impacts how recruiters view your professionalism, discipline, and attention to detail. Use relevant, crisp, and smart language to show the depth of your understanding and demonstrate your potential as a sales leader.

23) Look at other resume examples

Try to find other resume examples that are relevant to your industry and experience. This can help you zero in on which key words and KPI’s you should include in your own.

24) Go beyond a resume or a LinkedIn profile.

Resumes have traditionally been the primary ticket for navigating the job market. You send a resume to signal that you’re interested in and applying for a job at a particular employer.

There are now many other channels for reaching businesses looking for talent. These include LinkedIn, online portfolio sites, and referral systems. There are even tools that allow you to create infographic and video resumes. These forms are becoming more popular. Lastly, don’t overlook specialist services that provide profile pages for field/sector-specific professionals. Salespeople for example, can create compelling online profiles on Rainmakers.

25) Make your brand worth selling.

You are a brand as much as a seller. If you can sell esoteric products and services few people care about, then you should be able to sell yourself.

As an integral element of your personal sales and marketing kit, your resume plays a crucial role in getting you through the screening door and into the position you are aiming for.

You’re good at selling so practice what you do best: research like crazy about the customer (employer), customize your pitch to establish a strong connection, articulate your value proposition (the benefits the employer gets by hiring you), and clinch the deal.

how to get a tech sales job with no experience

How To Get A Tech Sales Job In 2020 (Even With No Experience)

2020 is around the corner and you want to get a new job in tech sales. Problem is, you’re not sure if you have the experience. Well, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll explain how to go about getting a tech sales job in seven steps, even if you have limited experience.

Step 1: Basic Research

Making any important decision in life, like lookig for a new job, often begins with research. In order to wrap your head around the tech sales ecosystem, do some basic searches around tech sales stack examples, major players in the industry, what types of roles there are, and how you can move up the ranks over time. Be sure to also familiarize yourself with the terminology of any verticles you are particularly interested in, as you would not want to be caught off guard in a conversation with a possible recruiter down the line.

Step 2: Build A Tech Oriented Sales Resume

Your resume is a representation of you, so you want it to reflect on you in the best way possible and highlight your strengths. Even if you are competing against seasoned salespeople, you can get the most out of the experience you do have.

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 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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!

software sales career paths

Software Sales Career Paths To Know About In 2020

Software Sales Career Paths

What do the CEO of Oracle, the founder of Sequoia Capital, and Mark Cuban have in common? All started their careers selling technology.

Software sales is an excellent way to jump start your career whether or not you plan on working in tech long term. Here are the primary software sales career paths to know and understand:

  • SDR to AE
  • SDR to SDR Manager
  • AE to Sales Management

In this article we’ll go over traditional and nontraditional career paths that begin with software sales. We’ll detail how much money you can expect to make and give you some tips on how to get where you want.

The Starting Point Is Almost Always The SDR Role

Almost all software salespeople start of as Sales Development Representatives (SDR’s).

If you’re unfamiliar with the term or position, SDR’s don’t actually sell software.

Instead, they help expand the pipeline of Account Executives (AE’s) by cold calling and emailing potential clients. The SDR role prepares a new employee to become an actual salesperson in the following ways:

  • SDR’s learn to deal with the pressure of having aggressive sales goals in form of a quota (not for revenue, but for meetings set).
  • SDR’s often have to explain details of the software and its use cases to potential clients in order when a potential client is on the fence about taking a meeting with an AE.
  • SDR’s have the opportunity to join their AE’s calls (or they should at a good company) and watch the AE complete demos and execute the sales process.

Think of being an SDR as being an apprentice. Depending on the type of company you work at you can expect to be an SDR for 6-24 months before becoming an AE.

How To Get Promoted In Sales

Being an SDR is a grind. The work is monotonous, stressful, and it’s safe to say that you want to get promoted out of this role as quickly as possible.

Here’s how you get promoted:

  • Perform well
    • Meet and exceed your quota every month
    • Do your best to be in the top 20% of your team
  • Behave well
    • Get along with your teammates and managers
    • Come to work ontime and don’t be the first one to leave
    • Be positive about working hard and set a good example

SDR to AE

Getting promoted from SDR to AE is very straightforward, and most companies should be able to promote you to this role within a reasonable timeframe. If your priority is to become an AE as fast as possible you should, as mentioned earlier, work for a small or medium sized company that’s growing and that sells to smaller companies. If you don’t mind being patient join a more established company like Oracle, SalesForce or Adobe.

AE’s in the SF Bay Area make anywhere from $80,000 to $500,000 annually. The top 20% of performers at Oracle make between $250,000 and $500,000. Medium sized software companies that service Fortune 1000 companies (NGINX, MuleSoft, LiveRamp) also employ AE’s who earn similar salaries.

Typically people start off as an AE selling to small and medium sized companies. By performing well, you’ll have the chance to sell to large enterprise accounts.

SDR to SDR Manager

Becoming an SDR Manager depends as much on the employee as it does on the company. Oftentimes a company doesn’t need a new SDR manager — if you work for this sort of company you won’t be able to get this position.

At rapidly growing companies there is often need for more SDR managers to supervise ‘groups’ or ‘teams’ of SDR’s within the general SDR organization. If you join a small startup as an early SDR before there is a SDR manager (and you’re reporting to the Head of Sales or CEO), you could evolve into the SDR manager if and when there are enough SDR’s to merit the position.

This is, again, based on how well you perform and how much respect people at the company have for you based on your performance and behavior.

SDR Managers, in the SF Bay Area, typically make between $120,000 and $180,000 annually. This is a position one could hold for life or that could lead to other management and operations roles. That being said it would be hard for an SDR manager to become a Head of Sales if they have no experience closing deals.

AE to Sales Management

Moving from AE into Sales Management within the SaaS world typically happens one of two ways:

  • Being internally promoted
  • Joining a small startup as the head of sales

In the first scenario, you’re working for a company that is expanding rapidly (doing well) or has some management turnover due to poor performance (struggling). In the initial scenario you’re one of the top performers and you’ve been with the company for a while. The sales team is now being split up by geography or vertical and managers are being appointed for each category. You’re now responsible for a team of AE’s and SDR’s and are officially in ‘sales management’.

In the latter scenario, you’re company isn’t doing so well so your head of sales is fired or leaves. Given that you’re the top performer, perhaps the CEO will make you responsible for the entire team’s success.

Like moving from SDR to SDR Manager or AE, moving into sales management primarily depends on performance (are you good enough to merit a promotion?) and if the company has a need for the new role. That being said it’s much harder to move from sales to sales management that it is moving from pre-sales to sales.

How Long Do You Have To Be An SDR Before Leveling Up?

We’ve found two primary factors that determine how long you’ll be an SDR before you become an AE:

  • How large are the companies that your company sells to?
    • Enterprise sales are much more complex to execute. If you’re selling to Fortune 1500 companies you’ll likely take more time to be promoted as your managers will want to train you for as long as possible beforehand.
  • How large is the company you work for?
    • Larger companies typically take longer time to promote, as there is less growth than a startup that is doubling in size. Therefore there are less openings for people to move up to.

Consider MuleSoft and Salesforce. Both companies (who are currently hiring like crazy) are quite large and both companies sell to large companies (Salesforce also sells to small companies). If you browse around on LinkedIn for SDR’s and AE’s at these companies, its clear that it often takes nearly two years of being an SDR before becoming an AE. On the other hand if you work for a small startup that sells to small businesses its much more likely that you’ll move up to a sales role within 6-9 months.

Other Sales Career Paths

Oftentimes sales people move into marketing or customer success roles if they prefer a less ‘intense’ role. We wrote a full breakdown on all the various sales roles you could evolve into as well.

The skills they learned doing sales for a few years (effective communication, problem solving for clients, time management) are very useful for account management. Additionally exposure to people buying software gives salespeople unique insight into ‘what makes people buy’, enabling them to be effective marketers.

Some salespeople succeed at moving beyond the sales floor and into the boardroom. The godfather of Silicon Valley venture capital, founder of Seqoia capital, who’s investments have a market cap of $3 trillion, Don Valentine, started his career as a technology salesman. He wasn’t selling software (this was in the 70’s, to early for that), but selling semi-conductors in that time period is comparable to selling software today.

There’s more examples. As mentioned before Mark Cuban and Mark Hurd (CEO of Oracle) started their careers selling technologies. Dan Fishback, Board member of several silicon valley companies and former CEO of DemandTec (IPO’d in 2008) started his career as a salesman at Unisys.

So there’s no limit to what you can do when starting your career in software sales. We hope this guide has given you a general overview of the various career paths you can take, and what you need to do to get where you want to go.

25 TECH COMPANIES HIRING SALESPEOPLE LIKE CRAZY IN 2020

The economy is the strongest it’s been in years and companies know it. 2020 is going to be a great year for getting your new job in tech sales and that’s exactly what we will help you achieve.

One way to make sure you get the best possible job is to first be aware of what’s out there. We put together this list of all the great opportunities that will be available in 2020. Be aware, all numbers are estimates and are not 100% set in stone.

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

25. World Wide Technology

Overall ranking: #99

Company rating: 4.2

What it does: Technology consulting

What employees say: “Bar none, THE BEST place I have ever worked.” — World Wide Technology Senior Consultant (Denver, Colorado)

Open positions:

24. Expedia Group

Overall ranking: #92

Company rating: 4.2

What it does: Travel technology

What employees say: “Expedia is the best place to work. I have been here for 11 months and enjoying every single day. The culture is upbeat, leadership is transparent, clear on direction, very well organized process oriented company. Awesome work life balance.” — Expedia Software Engineering Manager (Chicago, Illinois)

Open positions:

23. HP Inc.

Overall ranking: #87

Company rating: 4.2

What it does: Maker of laptops, PC desktops, printers, and more.

What employees say: “HP’s global footprint makes it unique in allowing you to have a BIG impact. Senior leaders are quality execs who’ve proven their mettle. Lots of opportunity to contribute given the size of the businesses.” — Anonymous HP Employee

Open Positions:

22. NetApp

Overall ranking: #82

Company rating: 4.2

What it does: Data storage solutions

What employees say: “Great team chemistry. Interesting work. This company cares about its employees a lot and there are numerous events at work and outside work which show this.” — NetApp HPC Solutions Architect (Sunnyvale, California)

Open positions:

21. Apple

Overall ranking: #71

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: Computer hardware and software, and more.

What employees say: “The company is AMAZING. There are limitless advancement opportunities. You work with some very cool people and the leadership cares about your development. You may get coaching but you never get battered or belittled.” — Apple At Home Advisor (Lakewood, Colorado)

Open positions:

20. Cisco Systems

Overall ranking: #69

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: IT, networking, and cybersecurity solutions

What employees say: “Military Friendly Culture empowers and gives transitioning veterans the opportunity to learn develop self to full potential. As a Military Retiree I feel there could not have been a better company to transition to than Cisco and the leadership team is very understanding and appreciative of what we bring to the table.” — Cisco Program Manager (Austin, Texas)

Open positions:

19. Paycom

Overall ranking: #62

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: Payroll and HR software

What employees say: “This is honestly the best job I think I’ll ever have. The benefits are amazing and the pay is more than I ever thought I could get. BE WARNED this job is hard. Never in my life have I had so much stress. That’s the reason why it pays so well. Be prepared to be stressed every day and have heavy daily work loads and have new procedures constantly thrown at you from management. But guess what it’s your job so you either adapt or you don’t make it.” — Paycom Specialist (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Open positions:

18. AppDynamics

Overall ranking: #58

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: App performance analytics

What employees say: “Great encouraging and supportive leadership. Promotional opportunities every quarter. Family atmosphere, where everyone has a genuine interest in you as an individual and employee.” — AppDynamics Business Development Representative (Dallas, Texas)

Open positions:

17. VMware

Overall ranking: #51

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: Cloud infrastructure and digital workspace technology

What employees say: “Lots of smart and talented coworkers who are happy to share information you will learn a lot in a short amount of time but are expected to contribute. Slackers need not apply. If you’re a slacker you won’t survive the high stress and fast pace.” — VMware Technical Support (Broomfield, Colorado)

Open positions:

16. Kronos Incorporated

Overall ranking: #44

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: HR, payroll, recruiting, and timekeeping software

What employees say: “The culture is positive. Employees are hard working and care. Leadership cares for employees and their experience. The company also cares for their customers.” —Anonymous Kronos Employee (Denver, Colorado)

Open positions:

15. Cengage

Overall ranking: #41

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: Education technology and online textbooks

What employees say: “The leadership of the company has been jaw-droppingly motivated, visionary, and transparent. They have turned a company haunted by downturns in the market into a trendsetter that is adapting profitably. Along the way they have been committed to employee growth and job satisfaction. I am thrilled with what we are doing for learning.” — Senior Cengage Systems Analyst (Rapid City, South Dakota)

Open positions:

14. TaskUs

Overall ranking: #40

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: Outsourced customer support

What employees say: “Taskus puts their people first, they understand that their people are the ones who make their company! I have gone through many interviews with other companies and Taskus is the first one who truly shows it!” — TaskUs Digital Content Moderator (San Antonio, Texas)

Open positions:

13. Intuit

Overall ranking: #38

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: Business and financial software

What employees say: “Incredible company that has market dominance, yet also has so much room to grow. Management constantly preaches disruption, and its reflected in our priorities and work.” — Intuit Data Scientist

Open positions:

12. NVIDIA

Overall ranking: #36

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: Creates interactive graphics for gaming and professional markets, like healthcare

What employees say: “I’ll be up front and say that it has always been my dream to work here. With that in mind, I came in telling myself to look at this place as objectively as possible to not cloud my judgement. After working here for over a year, I must say, the hype is real.” — Senior Nvidia Systems Engineer (Santa Clara, California)

Open positions:

11. Microsoft

Overall ranking: #34

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Creates computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and more.

What employees say: “Respect for the individual, constant stressing of core cultural values of letting everyone be heard, etc. Decent work/life balance, though it’s hugely dependent on the individual to enforce. Individuals are encouraged to engage with managers at any level (for example with your manager’s manager’s manager…). There’s a general high-level of passion for the products we make.” — Senior Microsoft Electrical Engineer (Redmond, Washington)

Open positions:

10. Compass

Overall ranking: #32

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Real estate agency and platform for buying, selling, and renting a home.

What employees say: “Having recently joined Compass, all I can say about the company, its mission, and the people in it is… ‘simply amazing.’ Compass is a unicorn. It is that rare company that combines passion, focus, execution, vision, and has a heart and a soul.” — Anonymous Compass Employee (San Francisco, California)

Open positions: 

9. Adobe

Overall ranking: #30

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Software development company best known for its design and photo-editing solutions.

What employees say: “Relentless commitment to customer success. This is the core of most day to day decisions and the North Star for all activity. This makes it a place to be proud to work. Incredible products. Amazing benefits and culture that draws incredibly talented individuals.” — Adobe Learning Specialist (San Jose, California)

Open positions:

8. SAP

Overall ranking: #27

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Develops enterprise software to help manage business operations and customer relations.

What employees say: “We have yoga and meditation classes, mindfulness workshops. Many invited guests from technology industries to provides you with information.
Leadership women work shops, global coaching, mentoring programs and flexible work environment.
 It is truly a top notch company that will give back to their employees.”— SAP Manager(Montreal, Québec)

Open positions:

7. Paylocity

Overall ranking: #20

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Payroll and HR software

What employees say: “Great company culture. People that really believe in what we do, and investment in technology to push the envelope.” — Paylocity Account Executive (Tampa, Florida)

6. Ultimate Software

Overall ranking: #18

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: HR software, including payroll, benefits, and timekeeping products.

What employees say: “Amazing company. It’s the only payroll / HCM organization that truly cares about the customer – and while it’s not easy – the organization has maintained an amazing culture all in an effort to provide the best support to the customer. I love that.” — Anonymous Ultimate Software Employee

Open positions:

5. DocuSign

Overall ranking: #17

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Electronic signature technology

What employees say: “We’re on a good path with no signs of slowing down and a lot of untapped market potential. This is great news. Because the company is growing fast, there’s a lot of opportunity to grow your career and step up into new roles.” — DocuSign Enterprise Corporate Sales (San Francisco, California)

4. HubSpot

Overall ranking: #16

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Sales and marketing software

What employees say: “I’ve been at HubSpot now for almost 4 years and there’s nowhere else I’ve even thought about working in that time. Why? HubSpot is a great place to work. I feel like I’m valued. I have a lot of autonomy in how and when and where I work. I feel strongly about the mission of the company.” — Anonymous HubSpot Employee (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Open positions:

3. Salesforce

Overall ranking: #11

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Customer-relationship management software

What employees say: “Supportive and inclusive environment, clear and reasonable expectations, challenging environment, awesome corporate mission, lots of room and support for professional growth.” — Salesforce Solutions Engineer (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Open positions:

2. Procore Technologies

Location: New York City, New York

Types of jobs: SDR, BDR, SMB AE, MM AE, E AE, Mng

Compensation: $49,000 – $125,000

Overall ranking: #2

Company rating: 4.5

What it does: Cloud-based video conferencing technology

Open positions:

1. Zoom Video Communications

Glassdoor Review

Location: San Francisco, NYC, Dallas, Chicago, Irvine etc.

Types of jobs: SDR, BDR, SMB AE, MM AE, E AE, Mng

Compensation: Variety

Overall ranking: #1

Company rating: 4.5

What it does: Cloud-based video conferencing technology

Open positions:

personal branding roadmap template for job seekers

Personal Branding Roadmap Template For 2020 Sales Job Seekers

The importance of personal branding for career development is more vital now than ever for career salespeople thinking long-term. Your online reputation is now your resume and the key to future career growth.  

Having a personal brand gives you tremendous leverage when it comes to landing great career opportunities. For example, you might lack the job experience requirements for a role you really want, but having a strong personal brand may be able to compensate for that.

5-10 years ago, finding a new job worked heavily in the employers’ favor. Fast-forward 5-10 years later and digital transformation has shifted the advantage to the candidate. The MRI Network stated:

“86% of recruiters and 62% of employers felt the 2016 labor market was candidate-driven.”

Take a look at Tim Ferris or Gary Vaynerchuk as some key self-branding examples. Of course, they are at the extreme end of the spectrum, but they are the poster children for what you can achieve building a personal brand at scale.

tim ferris personal brand

Before diving into actionable personal branding techniques for job seekers (especially those in sales), it’s important to point out a hard reality. It isn’t going to be easy.

Building a personal brand is going to be a huge time commitment and will show little return in the short-term, but the long-term gains for the future of your career are limitless if you put in the blood, sweat, and tears in the beginning.

To get started you need to start asking yourself the questions below and write them down inside a google doc sheet or piece of paper.

Answer these questions to help you build out your personal branding roadmap in 2018:

  • What is your “value” differentiator?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What channels does your target audience live?
  • What outcome are you trying to achieve short-term?
  • What outcome are you trying to achieve long-term?
  • What is your motive for building a personal brand?
  • What keywords do you want to be found for?
  • What is your content strategy?
  • What KPIs are you going to commit to (daily/weekly)?

1 – What Is Your Value Differentiator?

The importance of personal branding for career development all starts with understanding your “value” differentiator.

This will sound like a daunting task in the beginning. The easiest way to understand this is by understanding your strengths and weaknesses.

What makes you standout amongst the noise as a candidate every employer would want to hire?

What makes you the expert in your field?

This is the key to getting started with your personal branding plan.

Determine Your Strengths/Weaknesses:

Take out a piece of paper and start writing down your strengths on one side of the page and weaknesses on the other. What wisdom do you have in your field that others don’t?  Where do you lack wisdom?

If you get stuck, don’t hesitate to reach out to your co-workers and managers from your past and current jobs.

Really challenge yourself to understand your weaknesses because these will show you areas that need improvement.

You should consistently thrive to optimize your value differentiator.

strength vs weakness personal brand

2 – Who Is Your Target Audience?

To capture the right employer’s attention, it’s imperative that you understand your personal brand target persona. This is comparable to understanding personas in sales and marketing.

Make a list of all the influencers, employers, or decision makers you are trying to start conversation with or get attention from. This should help you build out your target audience.

Industry: Thinking long-term about your career what industry do you want to work in for the rest of your career? Narrow this down to your niche as much as possible.

Seniority Level: Do you speak to executives, mid-management, or practitioners?

Job Function: Do you speak to marketing, sales, IT, or accounting?

Industry Influencers: Who are the experts in your field?

3 – Which Channels Actually Matter To Your Target Audience?

This part should be easy. The importance of personal branding for career development starts with not only understanding who your audience is, but even more important, is where do they live?

For most B2B professionals, LinkedIn is the best place to build your personal brand

In most cases, your target audience will be engaged on multiple channels. Pick two channels (three at most), in the beginning, and really focus on those as you are getting started.

  1. LinkedIn
  1. Twitter
  1. Quora
  1. Reddit
  1. Facebook
  1. Pinterest
  1. Instagram
  1. Snapchat

4 – What Outcomes Are You Trying to Achieve Short-Term?

In the beginning, when building out your personal branding plan, it’s vital to understand what outcome you are trying to achieve.  

What are your short-term goals? These are outcomes you can achieve as little wins in a short-period of time. Most of these will be around audience growth and engagement metrics.

Some recommended short term goals to help you get started:

  1. Grow targeted following
  1. Create 1-1 conversations
  1. Content creation
  1. Content curation
  1. Profile views
  1. Connections

5 – What Outcomes Are You Trying to Achieve Long-Term?

Short-term wins over time will help you get to your long-term goals. Your goal here is to turn your short-term wins into habits that help you get to your long-term goals faster.

Long-term goals should incorporate building real expertise in your field that captures the attention from your employers based on association and wisdom.

Some recommended long term goals to help you get started:

  1. Inbound 1-1 conversations with target employers/recruiters
  1. Increase in number of qualified interviews
  1. More opportunity in higher positions
  1. More qualified connections with industry influencers
  1. Interviewed on top industry podcasts
  1. Guest posts on top industry blogs

Link to this podcast → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKeolScvBdI

salesman podcast personal brand

6 – What’s Your Motivation For Building A Personal Brand In The First Place?

This one should be obvious, but it must be part of building out your plan, so you don’t lose track of why you are investing the time and energy.

For example, musicians build a personal brand so they can get booked for more shows and gain more fans.

For B2B professionals, you may be looking for thought leadership opportunities such as speaking at a conference.

This exercise might also help steer you AWAY from building a personal brand (and that’s okay).

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why am I building a personal brand?
  1. Who is going to benefit from my personal brand?
  1. Am I doing this to give more than I receive (or vice versa)?
  1. Will I be focused on building strong relationships?

If the answer to these questions seem to be more “me” focused than “we” focused, it might not be worth making the commitment.

7 – Which Keywords Do You Want To “Rank” For ?

Understanding keywords that you want to be found for will help drive the long-term success of your personal brand. Keywords play a major role when setting up and optimizing your social profiles (or website) to be found by employers in the short-term and long-term.  

Using the “skills” section inside your LinkedIn profile will help you determine which industry keywords employer’s and recruiters search the most. This should be a pretty simple process, but you can also search industry hashtags using hastagify.me to get more granular in your search.

featured skills linkedin personal brand

8 – What Is Your Content Strategy?

Want a little known secret to building your personal brand, FAST?

Content. Simple as that.

Content is the key driver when building a personal branding plan that captures attention at scale. The key here is to be super strategic with the content you curate, create, and share.

Aligning your “value” differentiator with your content is key to capture your target audience’s attention. Your keyword strategy will need to be integrated heavily into this strategy.

Focus on these two key areas:

Content Curation – Sharing other people’s content is vital (especially in the beginning) to driving more targeted connections, conversation, and attention. Who are the industry influencers in your space? Who are the key employers you are trying to get in touch with? Use their content to drive the conversation using a value vs ask approach.

Content Creation – Creating original content should be a priority. It’s the only way you will gain the reputation as the expert in your field. This should be a mix of video and blog content. Using LinkedIn publisher should be a key area of focus. This builds your credibility inside your profile and allows recruiters to understand your “value” differentiator. Eventually, building your own website will need to happen as well.

linked profile keywords personal brand

9 – Which KPIs Will You Commit To (daily/weekly/monthly)?

Consistency is the key to driving short-term and long-term success.

  • How many times a week are you going to curate content?  
  • How many times a week are you going to create content?
  • How many times are you going to post on dedicated channels daily?
  • How many times will you engage daily? Weekly? Monthly?

Build out a posting strategy that holds you accountable and turns your activity into a habit. Using social publishing tools like Sprout Social, Buffer, or Hootsuite will help you automate the process to become more efficient.

NOTE: In the beginning, stay away from automation as much as possible. Really focus on the 1-1 conversation to build relationships that matter.

Putting Your Personal Branding Roadmap into Motion

This all might sound like its going to be a lot of work (and it will be), but start focusing on taking baby steps in the process.

After you start seeing short-term wins it will help you pick up momentum.

Think about the next 10-20 years of your career.

Visualize the opportunities that will come your way if you put in the time now, so you can reap the career rewards later!

emotional intelligence sales job 2018

The *ONE* Unwritten Trait You Must Possess To Get a Sales Job in 2020 (And Three Tips On How To Improve It)

Imagine walking into your office on Monday morning only to discover that after months of courting your top prospect has terminated their relationship with you. Would you throw a fit and blame your sales team? Or would you take a moment to compose yourself and then start figuring out what went wrong? While we’d all like to believe we would choose the third reaction, emotions can be a difficult beast to tame. And although equating intelligence with emotion may seem like an oxymoron, emotional intelligence now accounts for 80% of the qualities responsible for success in the workplace.

And if you happen to be in the market for a new sales gig, emotional intelligence is one the most underrated qualities you can possess as a sales candidate.

The challenge? You can’t easily claim that you’re an emotionally intelligent person during an interview because it’s not a numerically measurable KPI.

Emotional intelligence on a resume is like a deflected pass in basketball. You know it makes a difference, but it’s hard to prove the ROI. 

So, What Exactly is Emotional Intelligence?

In a nutshell, emotional intelligence involves a person’s ability to recognize and regulate their own emotions as well as the emotions of others.

A study of Fortune 500 companies found that salespeople with high emotional intelligence “outperformed those with medium to low EI by 50%“. With numbers like these, it’s no wonder an increasing number of sales professionals are investing in the development of their emotional intelligence to obtain the following qualities.

Self Awareness:

Those with high emotional intelligence are self-aware, which means they know their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to customer relations. This is important as it allows you to understand how you come across to potential clients and promotes a relationship based on understanding.

Self-Control:

Self-control is also a trait of the emotionally intelligent and is especially important in sales. Dealing with clients is unpredictable, to say the least, which means the ability to control your emotions could be the difference between a closed deal and a lost one.

Empathy:

Empathy is the ability to understand what others think or feel. In other words, it’s the ability to put yourself in your prospective clients’ shoes in order to understand them better.

Much like self-control, empathy can save a strained professional relationship. Rather than pushing your own agenda, empathy allows you to understand where your client is coming from and enables you to provide them with what they need in that moment.

Fortunately, while some individuals naturally exhibit high levels of emotional intelligence, it is also a skill set that can be improved upon with the following practices.

Key Takeaways For Improving Your Emotional IQ

1) Scheduled Self-Reflection:

Salespeople are notoriously busy. Between answering and sending out emails, managing client relationships, and putting out proverbial fires it can be difficult to carve out some downtime.

Although it may seem counterproductive to put your day on hold for self-reflection, it could be the secret weapon you need to increase your sales. It takes time to examine our behavior and set intentions for change, without it our desire to improve is a moot point.

Whether it’s riding the subway or waiting for your spin class to start, find the time to ask yourself some introspective questions such as:

What did I do well today, and how can I continue that behavior?

What caused me to react poorly today?

What can I do differently next time?

2) Practice Empathy:

Take a moment prior to your interactions to view things from the other side of the table. Sure, your prospects may have a need for what you’re selling, but they likely don’t have the time to understand everything that you offer. This means they need you to be their valued shortcut that helps them to make an informed decision without wasting precious time.

3) Practice Responding, Not Reacting:

Remember the scenario above about losing a top prospect? The first two scenarios are examples of reacting to an emotional trigger, while the last scenario is an example of responding.

In contrast to an unconscious emotional reaction, responding involves making a conscious choice about how you will act. So, the next time someone cuts in front of you in the Starbucks line or uses the last of the coffee creamer at work – practice your cool, calm, and collected response.

Nobody said being a salesperson was easy, but there are times when it’s undeniably worth it. While the challenges you face every day may never change, your reactions can — all it takes is a little practice.

Why Inside Salespeople Should Be Aware Of Blue Light

According to a recent study, inside salespeople spend about 62% of their day in sales technology and 33% of their time emailing for sales-related purposes. If you’re in sales, that’s 95% of your day spent looking at a computer screen. That doesn’t include the personal time spent scrolling through social media on breaks or after work, watching television at night, and the fact that you may use multiple screens on the job. Did you know that computer screens release blue light wavelengths that can affect your body in a negative way? Computer vision syndrome is the effect you may feel on your body from extended exposure to blue light. 

What is blue light? Blue light is a short, high energy wavelength that is both in the world naturally and artificially. Blue light is released from the sun and helps regulate sleep patterns. When you’re exposed to blue light it signals the body to release cortisone to feel awake and ready to take on your day of work ahead! Then, there’s an absence of blue light when the sun sets and the body starts to produce melatonin to get ready for bed. 

Blue light is given off artificially by computer and other digital screens, too. Artificial blue light tends to be stronger and more intense to the body than the natural form from the sun and since you can be exposed to it all day and all night, it can be damaging to your sleep patterns and overall well-being.

Why can it be damaging? Salespeople spend a lot of time using online tech tools in order to do their job effectively. When you spend 7+ hours a day looking at a computer (and sometimes more than one computer at a time), the effects of blue light can begin to take their toll. Some effects you may feel after just a few hours of working are headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes. If you’ve ever noticed any of these symptoms while at work it may be caused by your screens. Over time, blue light can even cause retinal damage which can contribute to age-related macular degeneration. This is a type of retinal damage that can result in partial or complete vision loss.

How can you help yourself? If you’ve ever noticed any of these symptoms while you’re working, you know it can be painful and annoying. Computer vision syndrome can not only disrupt your workday, but your everyday life as well. So it’s important to try to take preventative measures so you don’t feel the headaches or experience problems with your vision.

Firstly, try to add blue-light-blocking tools into your life. On the eyeglasses market, you can find eyeglasses paired with blue light lenses that filter harmful rays from reaching your retina. With the retinal damage blue light can cause overtime, it’s important to protect yourself. Another tool to try out is f.lux which adjusts the light on your computer screen to be a warmer tone. Glasses and apps like this can help reduce the immediate symptoms caused by blue light. 

There are a few exercises you can start to do to give your eyes a break throughout the day:

  1. 20-20-20: Every twenty minutes, look 20 feet away from where you are, for 20 seconds. This helps your eyes readjust to the natural light in the room you’re in, reducing eyestrain. 
  2. Palming the eyes: Cover your eyes lightly with your palms but keep your eyes open. This gives your eyes a break in a dark environment to reduce the feeling of strain. 
  3. Figure 8’s: Make figure 8’s with your eyes. If you’ve been staring your computer or television, this movement can help tear production so your eyes don’t dry out. 

Finally, your diet can even help reduce the symptoms of blue light strain. Foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin are great for your retinas; they help block blue light and reduce your chances of suffering from age-related macular degeneration. Some foods that boost the amount of lutein and zeaxanthin you take in are kale, spinach, peas, squash, brussels sprouts, corn, and broccoli.

In sales, it’s extremely important to be mindful of the amount of time you’re spending on your computer and the effects that technology can have on the body. It may be impossible to control the use of digital screens at your job, but there are plenty of ways to help prevent the symptoms of computer vision syndrome. Additionally, while you use your computer heavily at work, try to abstain from using your phone or computer excessively in your personal time to avoid getting headaches and dry eyes caused by blue light.

The Role of Sales within Account-Based Marketing Strategies

For as long as enterprise software has been around, the default go-to-market (GTM) strategy was to create as much noise as possible to garner attention around your product and go after hand-raisers and high-fit prospects with a sales team. This is what some refer to as the volume lead-based model.

Though this model is not entirely obsolete, it’s proving to no longer be as effective as it once was. This is partly due to the fact that it causes many inefficiencies throughout the sales process but more likely due to the fact that, regardless of the field, most markets software organizations target are becoming overcrowded with vendors. This oversaturation is leading to a lot of noise within people’s inboxes and making it much harder to stand out to actually capture someone’s attention.

What many have proposed as a solution to this problem is an idea called Account Based Marketing or ABM for short. If you’re already working in sales or marketing for a tech organization it’s likely an acronym you’ve already heard many times before. However, it seems to have many different meanings to different people, which begs the question, what exactly is ABM?

ABM takes the traditional lead-based model and flips it on its head. Rather than targeting as many people as possible and having a sales team try and find the needle in a large haystack, this process starts first by identifying high-value clients the company would like to have a very specific focus on. Once this target list has been identified, highly personalized and tailored strategies are then put in place with messaging that will hopefully prove to be too enticing and relevant to ignore.

It is a means of finding greater success with outbound marketing & sales campaigns through more effective collaboration. There are benefits to be gained from simply improving communication among the various departments, tips for which we’ve written about before, but when that isn’t enough leaders need to consider systematic changes to their GTM strategy that can provide greater efficiencies which in turn will hopefully lead to greater revenue.

To some, this may mean simply adding digital advertising campaigns to focus on companies that the sales team is planning to go after. The additional air coverage will very likely have some impact in improving engagement results but ultimately that would only be a piece of the puzzle.

ABM in its entirety should really be a cohesive effort to have a 1:1 conversation with an organization on why and how your solution can provide value the prospect currently doesn’t have at their disposal today. There should be the same unified message being delivered across every channel used to reach these leads/prospects and this message should evolve as the sales cycle continues to develop. 

For example, if we were an ABM platform vendor the first course of action would be to raise awareness on the value of ABM in general to develop an internal need. In a true ABM strategy, there would ideally be material related to each prospect’s situation or environment to more easily help them more concretely envision what benefits they can achieve by adopting a new solution as opposed to proposing hypothetical scenarios.

Once the need has been developed, the next course of action should be to differentiate your solution from other vendors in the market. The messages being delivered here could touch on how your solution works better with the technology investments a company already has in place or superior capabilities you have over your competition. Relevant case studies and customer testimonials would also be gold at this stage in the process. 

As these conversations develop the onus to develop these responsibilities will fall less on marketing and more on sales to receive the baton the bring it across the finish line. From a high-level perspective, there should be a gradient pattern of share in responsibility where early engagements have the ball in marketing’s court and later phases of the engagement would be on the sales side.

Now as a sales professional, marketing will essentially view you as another arm or channel they can use to reach target accounts. Typically though this would be reserved for those accounts that are showing some level of interest. 

From a day to day perspective, your responsibilities won’t change in terms of how you’re carrying out your job. A switch to an ABM strategy will more than likely simply mean a switch in focus for what companies you go after and why. You’ll still need to go through the motions of qualifying your opportunities and facilitating the conversations with a personal touch to bring to close.

In summary, the true role of a sales professional within ABM should be to provide a human touch or element through rapport and empathy that’s often hard for marketing teams to achieve through their typical channels. If you’re interested in learning more please comment below and let us know what you’d like to learn more about.

If you’re looking for other sales advice you’re also welcome to check out our other articles on the Rainmakers blog. Of course, if you’re looking to break into or find a new opportunity within tech sales you can also find listings for your future job on our website at https://www.rainmakers.co/

Ways to Track and Present your Personal Sales Brag Book

Nutshell.com defines Brag Book as “a collection of testimonials, case studies, or pictures collected from satisfied customers. A sales rep can present their brag book to prospects to illustrate their prior successes and how they’ve exceeded their clients’ expectations.”

As someone in a sales position at a tech company, you know what your sales manager loves to see out of your key metrics. Those same metrics can be used when applying to future sales positions, and that’s why a brag book is an asset to your continued success.

Your brag book should contain any records, key metrics, or verifiable numbers that speak to your skills. Include items like:

  • Three years worth of sales figures, ranking reports, and awards
  • Any standout accomplishments like “#1 sales rep” in the company
  • Email examples that speak to your talent of communicating with active and prospect clients
  • Three years worth of W-2’s and YTD earnings to back up any sales claims you make

The key metrics can be broken into two categories: Quantity and Quality.

Quantity driven metrics include:

  • Accounts called
  • Leads sources
  • Emails
  • Calls
  • Connects
  • Demos
  • Opportunities

Quality driven metrics include:

  • Contacts sourced per account
  • Calls per lead
  • Unique leads called
  • Connect Rate
  • Demo to opportunity Conversion
  • Calls per opportunity
  • Connects per opportunity

The question is, how do you track those, where do you store them, and how do you present them to future hiring managers to ensure you get the job that you deserve.

We have found some tools that can help you track, store, and share your metrics in an accurate and somewhat variable way with future hiring managers as you advance your career.

Call Activity Scorecard

This call activity scorecard helps you set goals and track the number of calls you make each quarter and how many conversions, opportunities created, and wins were the result of those calls.

Weekly Email Tracker

This easy weekly email tracker helps you track the number of emails set, unique people emailed, how many new prospects are being contacted, number of deals closed due to emails, etc.

Sales Activity Worksheet

This sales activity worksheet assists in tracking metrics like the amount of hours worked per week, your weekly/monthly/quarterly goals, leads generated, the size of details, and contracts signed.

Rekener

Rekener is a sales rep scorecard software provider that helps you track leads, quotas, opportunity stages, and KPI trends.

Rainmakers

Recording your metrics is an important habit to get into that will pay off when it’s time to look for new sales opportunities. When you sign up for an account on a job site like Rainmakers.co, your numbers and sales figures are displayed on your profile for companies that are looking to hire proven salespeople.

The Progression of SDR to Account Executive

In any sales organization there needs to be at least two things: a funnel of leads that are brought in by Sales Development Reps, and a team of Account Executives to manage new clients once they come on board.

Historically the entire spectrum of the software sales process was handled by a single sales rep, but as time moved on the industry realized the value and efficiency Henry Ford’s idea of specialization of labor. As a result, the responsibilities originally held by that single sales rep were naturally broken up into three main roles: Sales or Business Development Representatives, Account Executives, and Customer Success Managers.

Let’s take a quick dive into each of these roles to help you get a better understanding of what they’re responsible for.


Starting first with the Sales or Business Development Representative, often written as the acronyms SDR or BDR.

Role of an SDR

The SDR is responsible for the very early stages of a sales cycle. Their responsibility is to filter through various conversations and pass the opportunities most ready to make a buying decision on to an Account Executive (AE) so they can contract out the proper terms and close business.

Now depending on the company, its product and go to market (GTM) strategy, there can be two flavors of this role. Some organizations may have both inbound and outbound SDRs while others may have just one of those.

Most organizations I’ve seen or heard about that have both an inbound and outbound SDR team structure often start newly hired reps as inbound reps and promote them to outbound reps after a little time in the role due to the difference in the nature of conversations when speaking with an inbound lead as opposed to reaching out to one cold.

Inbound leads already have a business initiative in place and are actively seeking information from vendors to solve a business challenge or pain. Outbound leads, however, are often unsolicited and therefore have much less patience in dealing with a sales rep unless they can quickly find relevance for their product in the world of the prospect’s business or role. Therefore, a successful outbound SDR will need to have the ability to think quickly on their feet along with a masterful understanding of their company’s product to handle any objections that come their way.

Should someone be highly successful in mastering the responsibilities of proficiently sourcing new business opportunities, they’re commonly presented with the option of moving up into a role either as an Account Executive or Customer Success Manager. This is also highly dependant on the organization and their specific needs to grow and support their product. Take a moment to better understand your organization and its needs if you are at this stage in your career and looking for a promotion before starting that conversation with management.

Role of an AE

As mentioned before, the role of an Account Executive is to engage with prospects who are ready to near a purchasing decision and provide the necessary information and assistance to the evaluation team. From this, they can reach a decision resulting in the account turning into “Closed Won” business for that organization.

Though this may sound simple and straightforward, there are many nuances to this last-mile stretch of the software sales cycle that need careful attention to detail for a successful outcome. Companies hardly ever make a purchase without due diligence. As a result, deals are often competitive, even more so if your company competes in a highly crowded space.

Account Executives need to effectively understand the needs of their prospects to illustrate how their solution is best suited to alleviate those challenges. There are also often proof of concepts (POCs) that need to be taken care of to validate the value of a given product which requires a rep to once again expand their skill sets. Great Account Executives, particularly those dealing with consultative sales cycles, must be prepared to be great project managers as well as salespeople.

And of course, the actual closing of the deal is no small feat. There are multitudes of potential headaches waiting in the weeds of conversation as details around pricing and terms are agreed upon on by both sides.

Once this entire process has been run through its cycle and the company has had the fortunate news of being informed they are the chosen vendor, the account will ultimately be brought to a Customer Success Manager (CSM).

Role of a CSM

The job of a CSM, as their title may suggest, is to ensure the success of the customer with the company’s product or services. A CSM may go by other titles such as Account Manager or something else depending on the organization, but as a whole they are responsible for ensuring the customer is happy with the use and value of the product and maintaining the relationship such that the customer will choose to renew once the original contract’s term has lapsed.

The clear distinction between the AE and CSM roles are that the former is responsible for bringing in new business while the latter is responsible for retaining existing business.

If a company has various product lines or product tiers, which is very often the case with software organizations, cross-sell and up-sell opportunities can also come into play. This essentially refers to the effort of getting customers to buy additional products or upgrade their contract to a higher tier. This responsibility typically falls under the role of either the AE or CSM at the discretion of the company’s leadership team.

Moving from SDR to AE

If you are looking to break into this line of work or are already in the early stages of being in the trenches, this should give you a fair understanding of what to expect as you move forward with your career.

Based on some analysis done by the Rainmakers team, the average duration for an SDR could be expected to be about 1.5 years with an average salary of $50-55K per year. The average salary of an AE or CSM will typically be in the range of $60-80K per year. This however refers primarily to your base salary.

SDRs should normally expect to make additional commissions based on performance against their quota which are commonly measured in meetings set or opportunities qualified. AE’s and CSM’s typically get a percentage of the deals they close. Depending on the deal size at your organization, this payout can vary widely but should definitely outpace your earning potential as an SDR.

Whether you are an SDR looking to move up within the organization or are already an AE, you can always set yourself up for continued success by going the extra mile with tasks, being efficient with time, having a little grit, and by adding your personal touch.

For more knowledge and insights on the software sales industry and tips on how you can get ahead in sales, subscribe to the Rainmakers blog and stay tuned for future posts. You can also start your journey or progress your career by finding a job at https://www.rainmakers.co/