Tech companies can have various monetization methods, sales cycles, and processes. These lead to different structures of sales teams and different sales roles, depending on the company. All those job titles in tech sales might be confusing, so we've put together this list of ten common sales team roles to help you better understand what each position encompasses.
#1 Business Development Representative
Business Development Representatives (BDRs) are responsible for the first stage of the sales process. They identify prospects, initiate the first contact with potential clients, cultivate and qualify leads, and fill the company’s sales pipeline. Their duties and responsibilities typically include researching leads, cold calling, cold emailing, contacting prospects on LinkedIn, and networking. Business Development Reps usually specialize in outbound prospecting, as their goal is to find new business opportunities. To succeed as BDR, you will need strong communication, networking, and research skills.
#2 Sales Development Representative
Sales Development Representative (SDR) is another pre-sale role. Unlike Business Development Representatives, they focus on inbound or warm leads. In other words, they usually work with potential clients who have already expressed interest in the product by downloading content from the website, requesting a demo, or attending a webinar, for example. It is worth noting, though, that the job titles BDR and SDR are often used interchangeably, even though their responsibilities may vary in this way at some organizations. Both positions are excellent entry-level roles for anyone interested in tech sales.
#3 Inside Sales Representative
The job title Inside Sales Representative (ISR) refers to sales professionals who handle sales remotely from their office desk. Unlike outside sales representatives, they do not meet with prospects face-to-face but use phones, email, or video conferencing tools to connect with potential clients. This type of sales is prevalent in B2B, SaaS, and tech sales.
#4 Account Executive
Account Executives (AEs) do actual selling and transform potential leads into customers. They prepare presentations, run demos, explain the benefits of the product they offer, develop detailed proposals, negotiate agreements, and close deals. These professionals serve as the primary point of contact between a company and its clients. The role of Account Executive typically requires at least some experience in tech sales and an in-depth knowledge of the promoted product. To succeed in this job, you will need excellent negotiation and interpersonal skills.
#5 Sales Engineer
Sales Engineer (SE) is a common role in sales teams. These professionals work with complex scientific and technological products or services. They combine their technical expertise and selling skills to provide pre-sales support. Sales Engineers work with customers to better understand their needs and propose the most suitable solution. They explain the benefits of such solutions and troubleshoot any technical issues that might arise during the sales process. They also handle communication with other departments within the company to ensure that developed products meet client expectations. The role of Sales Engineer requires solid technical knowledge, business acumen, and problem-solving skills.
#6 Account Manager / Sales Representative
Account Managers or Sales Reps do not focus on generating sales. Instead, they are responsible for maintaining good business relationships with existing clients. They ensure that all internal departments work to meet customer needs. They also provide post-sales support, handle complaints, and find solutions for any issues that clients might encounter while using the product. They also look for post-sales and cross-sales opportunities. To work as an Account Manager, you will need good active listening and communication skills as well as the ability to think strategically.
#7 Customer Success Manager
Similar to Account Managers, Customer Success Managers (CSMs) or Customer Success Representatives take care of existing customers' accounts. They help customers through onboarding, assist with resolving issues, and oversee renewals, cross-sells, or upsells. Their primary focus is ensuring their clients get the most out of sold products and stay loyal to the company. The role of Customer Success Manager requires a customer-first mindset, empathy, excellent communication skills, and in-depth knowledge of the company's current products and services.
# 8 Sales Operations
Sales operations teams streamline the sales cycle through automation and implementing new work processes. They analyze data to measure the effectiveness of the sales cycle at each stage, set and maintain tools for lead management, reporting, or forecasting, organize training for sales representatives, and ensure that current best practices are followed. Sales ops teams often consist of several analysts led by a Sales Operations Manager.
#9 Sales Manager
Sales Managers lead sales teams. They manage the budget, develop sales plans, set sales goals, evaluate the performance of each team member, motivate and support them, hire new sales representatives, and oversee their training. Sales Managers also coordinate sales teams' work with other departments and ensure that sales efforts are aligned with the company's objectives.
#10 Director of Sales / Head of Sales
The Director of Sales holds a leadership position within the sales organization. They work with Sales Managers to set targets, budgets, and KPIs, develop an overall sales strategy for the business, and report sales performance to C-level executives.
Depending on their role, tech sales professionals are responsible for different stages of the sales cycle. BDR and SDR work in pre-sales, identifying and qualifying leads. Sales Engineers bridge the gap between business and technology, while Account Executives focus on closing deals. Customer Success Managers and Account Managers provide post-sales support, ensuring customer satisfaction. Although they all work together to drive revenue and growth for the company, each role requires a unique set of skills and can suit different personalities. Now that you know the difference between tech sales positions, you can choose a career path that is best for you.
We hope you found this article on roles in tech sales enlightening and informative. There's a whole universe of opportunities waiting for you in this fast-paced, dynamic field. If you're enticed by the idea of combining technical prowess with sales acumen, a role as a Sales Engineer might just be your calling.
We invite you to dive deeper and truly understand what it takes to excel in this role through our comprehensive Sales Engineering training program. We're confident this program will provide you with the practical knowledge and skills required to succeed in the tech sales landscape.
Don't wait for the opportunity to come knocking - take the first step toward your future in tech sales now. Click on the link to apply for our Sales Engineering training program. Be bold, be decisive, and let's shape the future of technology together.