Would an AE by any other name sell as sweet? Shakespeare may have talked of roses, but here at Findymail, we’re talking about sales.
If you’re looking for your first sales job (or you’re an Ops person trying to understand who’s who on the Sales team), we’ve got you!
Today, we’ll walk you through the key sales titles and their responsibilities.
Let’s dive in!
1. Entry-Level Sales Title: Sales Representative
While there are hundreds of sales job titles (which can vary from company to company), the sales representative is the most popular entry-level role.
Depending on the company, a sales representative may work in inside or outside sales (working from home or the call center or going out in the field to discuss deals with customers). However, their day-to-day responsibilities are similar.
Sales Representative Job Responsibilities
- Generating leads
- Discussing, demonstrating, and negotiating with prospects
- Preparing sales proposals and contracts
- Reporting & achieving sales targets
Typically, sales representatives are responsible for customers up to the point where the purchase has been made. However, your mileage may vary depending on the company you work for, so you may continue to manage the buyer account even after the sale has been closed and won.
2. SDR vs. BDR: The Difference Explained!
If a company has a well-developed sales process, it’s normal not to see job posts for “sales representatives.”
Instead, and especially in B2B SaaS, you’ll typically see sales titles such as:
- Sales development representative (SDR)
- Business development representative (BDR)
SDRs typically work on qualifying opportunities from inbound channels.
For example, an SDR would be tasked with scoring the leads that marketing delivers through the website or lead magnets.
On the other hand, a BDR is in charge of getting new leads. For example, a BDR would make cold while an SDR makes warm calls.
What Does a BDR Do?
A business development representative’s key responsibility is generating more leads through cold outreach.
For example, as a BDR, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with prospecting through Sales Navigator.
You might also find yourself generating leads, tracking down the right email addresses (Findymail can help!), and then deciding on the best outreach approach.
What Does an SDR Do?
If BDRs get prospects into the sales pipeline, then it’s SDRs’ responsibility to move those prospects through the pipeline to a close.
A typical SDR job description includes the following:
- Contacting previously-generated prospects
- Lead qualification
- Generating qualified leads for Account Executives
In both cases, these sales titles prevent unqualified leads from wasting AEs’ time.
3. Understanding the Account Executive Sales Title and Responsibilities
One step higher up from sales representatives, SDRs, and BDRs, we find Account Executives.
Typically, the AE will close deals and ensure the collaboration between the company and the client is on the right track.
Account Executive Job Responsibilities
- Communicating and following up with prospects
- Providing product or service demonstrations
- Negotiating deals and projects
- Creating contracts and proposals
- Creating sales strategies
Sometimes, an AE may be in charge of lead generation, but typically, that falls under a sales representative’s scope.
Instead, most of their time is spent in meetings with clients, posing high-value questions to buyers to identify needs and managing budgets and timelines.
Account Executive vs. Account Manager
AEs are often confused for Account Managers because of how sales tend to be structured in modern organizations.
For example, typical AEs now handle clients from the first touch-point throughout their lifecycle. Traditionally, AEs would close the sale and then hand over the clients to Account Managers responsible for expanding those accounts, optimizing the customer experience, and generating new opportunities.
4. Sales Consultants
Unlike typical sales representatives who focus on meeting quotas, sales consultants spearhead account-based marketing and smarketing efforts.
The main tool in their kit is consultative selling - starting by understanding the client’s needs and then devising the right way to solve the problem.
However, like other sales roles, sales consultants’ main responsibility is correctly presenting the solutions and increasing the company’s bottom line.
What Do Sales Consultants Do?
- Prospect and client outreach
- Researching and developing an understanding of the client’s requirements to match them with the right product
- Acquainting clients with the products or services
- Establishing and maintaining client relationships to maximize revenue potential
Ultimately, the consultative sales approach is gaining more popularity for a good reason. When a company has plenty of products under its umbrella, sales consultants help match the right prospects to the right products, aiming to increase their lifetime value.
5. Sales Managers
Unlike other sales titles for independent contributors, sales managers oversee whole sales teams to ensure they meet targets, use cutting-edge sales strategies, and increase the company’s revenue.
Depending on the organization’s size, a sales manager may be responsible for teams of SDRs and BDRs or manage a combination of different roles.
Sales Manager Job Responsibilities
- Managing and coaching sales teams
- Ensuring the sales teams are meeting (and exceeding) quotas
- Preparing sales strategies
- Hiring and training new staff
Sometimes, you may come across titles such as "regional sales managers" or other titles divided by territories, departments, or product types.
6. Senior Leadership Sales Titles
Senior sales leadership isn’t so much boots-on-the-ground as tasked with preparing strategies for branching into new markets, expanding revenue on a large scale, and monitoring the performance of all sales teams (and how they affect the company’s bottom line).
Typical senior leadership sales titles include:
- Sales Director
- Vice President of Sales
- Chief Revenue Officer
For example, a big organization may have the Chief Revenue Officer sitting at the top, with the VP and Directors reporting to them.
What Does a Sales Director Do?
A sales director is responsible for:
- Creating plans to meet targets
- Planning and managing the launches of new products and the sales of existing products
- Managing sales managers and other sales team members
- Identifying new opportunities
VP Sales Job Responsibilities
The Vice President of Sales in a company would typically be responsible for:
- Managing sales strategy, budgets, and teams
- Setting sales goals and targets
- Providing sales forecasts
Chief Revenue Officer Job Responsibilities
The Chief Revenue Officer is responsible for every revenue-generating process in a company, which typically means they’ll have to:
- Oversee and help revenue orgs like Customer Success, Sales and Marketing collaborate
- Ensure the company reaches their business and revenue goals
- Identify and analyze opportunities
Sales Titles Are Diverse, but the Goal Is the Same
Sales titles and responsibilities vary from company to company, so review the job listings carefully before applying.
In some cases, you may perform more lead-generation activities as an AE than an SDR.
However, you'll be good if you can’t wait to get your hands on a thick book of accounts!
And if you need help finding the correct email address for your top-quality leads, Findymail has got your back!