You may be looking at tech sales jobs and wonder, “what are all these different job titles?”
Or, you may already be working in tech sales and you want to know how to make sense of different roles in tech sales and chart the course of your sales career. Either way, here’s a useful glossary of all the sales roles that you might see on a sales team or in job listings for tech companies:
New Business Roles
These are the sales positions that are responsible for the top of the funnel – bringing in new business and turning leads into customers.
Account Executive / Sales Executive
Account Executives (also called AE’s) bring in new business. They are responsible for establishing and maintaining a client relationship and ultimately getting the signature.
BDR stands for Business Development Rep, while SDR stands for Sales Development Rep. Development reps are responsible for conducting research in order to generate leads. Development reps assess the quality of the connection and whether it’s worth pursuing. Your ultimate goal is to fill the sales team’s pipeline with new opportunities.
Channel sales (aka Partnership sales) is the indirect sales channel that business-to-business companies sometimes use to go to market. Primarily, this is where one company sells their product through another company, a channel partner. Channel partners are also known as Value Added Resellers (VARs) and Managed Service Providers (MSPs). VARs and MSPs often have a regional focus and may also have a specific technical focus such as security or cloud migration.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is a sale where a company manufactures and sells products, or parts of their product, that their buyer, another company, sells to its own customers while putting the products under its own branding. Ex. Selling the hardware and software components that go into an iPhone.
Sales Support Roles
These roles provide a necessary technical and strategic edge to the client-facing sales process.
Sales Operations (aka Revenue Operations) covers a wide variety of responsibilities and this may differ from one company to the next. Examples include sales strategy, lead management, territory alignment, sales optimization, compensation plans, sales automation, training, and reporting. They assist all aspects of the structure and logistics of the sales organization.
Sales Engineers are the bridge between technical functionality and sales. SEs apply technical knowledge to help sales reps persuade prospects to choose their products. They also spend lots of time meeting face to face with both sales reps and clients, solving any technical problems they may have.
Account Management Roles
Account Management works with clients that are in an advanced stage in the sales funnel, from renewals to direct client support.
Account Managers are responsible for focusing on existing accounts. In addition to ensuring the needs of their clients are met, an account manager will find creative solutions and innovative techniques to continue selling their company’s services (up-sell & cross-sell), eventually leading to client retention.
Channel Account Manager
The Channel Account Manager is responsible for enablement of the Channel Sales partners (VARs & MSPs). Making sure those partners have everything they need to succeed and help grow business.
A Customer Success Rep (aka Client Success) guides customers through the support phase. This may include onboarding, new product training, troubleshooting and implementing best practices. CS forms a direct relationship with customers and provides them with direct support when needed, helping the customer make as much possible use out of the product.
What is Inside Sales?
Inside Sales reps sell remotely from within an office-based environment, rather than relying on in-person, face to face sales. Inside sales reps use phones, email and online channels to bring in new business.
Need help figuring out where your skills and experience fit in? Check out this guide: New to Tech Sales: What Role Should I Apply For?