How A Tech Sales Team Is Organized

Are you interviewing for a tech sales role and not sure where you fit?

In this article you will learn how a sales team is organized, that way if you are interviewing at a company, you will know exactly what role you fit into and you can ask way more educated questions to the interviewer.

Salesforce.com is the company that pioneered this organizational structure, as published in this book.

SDR: Sales Development Rep – Inbound leads. Inbound calls, live chat on the website, download ebook, etc. KPI: Number of leads qualified.


BDR: Business Development Rep – Outbound prospecting – “40 dials a day”, cold emailing, LI sales navigator, tools like SalesLoft. KPI: # of calls. # of connects (how many pick up the phone). # meetings of booked.

AE: Account Executive – Closing. – Pitching, demoing, qualifying, objection handling, pricing. KPI: # of deals closed. # deal size / revenue.


CSM: Customer Success Manager – Ensuring the customer is happy with the product. KPI: # customer satisfaction (csat), # retention rate, #upsells cross-sells


Sales Engineer / Tech Sales – Help AE’s close deals by providing technical expertise. “Product experts” KPI: Usually salary, or maybe 80% base salary

KPI means Key Performance Metric, which is the main measurement of the person in that job. Think of batting averages in baseball or field goal percentage in basketball.

So here’s how the sales process happens. An SDR receives a call from a customer who is interested in buying, or a BDR makes a cold call and finds an interested customer. The SDR or BDR books a meeting with the AE. The AE shows up to meeting and assesses needs, makes the pitch, talks pricing, handles objections and goes for the close. The Sales Engineer also supports the AE during the meeting to answer technical questions.

For shorter sales cycle, the AE may have 1-2 meetings. For longer sales cycles, they may have up to 10 meetings. Once the customer has bought the product, the CSM takes over to make sure the implementation goes smoothly, and ensures customer satisfaction so that they renew when the contract ends.

If you want to learn more in-depth about this, you can buy the ebook Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross. It’s an easy 90 minute read that gets right to the point about the above, but in more detail.

Featured on Speaker Panel hosted by Palette Inc SalesCamp Oct 2020

Today I spoke on a panel hosted by Jenn Cutajar and Daniel Beliciu, M.Ed as part of the Palette Inc. SalesCamp, to share insights on getting a job in sales.

One audience member asked a question that initially stumped me 🤔 “How do I get a job at IBM if I don’t have tech sales experience?”

Normally I would say, that’s not big of a deal, so long as you are prepared and knowledgeable you can enter through the new grad or MBA program. But he didn’t qualify for either of those as he already had many years of work experience and they were not in the tech industry.

So the solution I was proposed was:

👉 First, go get experience at a client, competitor, or partner. They may be lesser-known or less competitive to get into, but the quality of work and skill attainment will be just as valuable. This way you can gain the industry insight you want, and your career journey will be very relevant to the recruiter.

A simpler example would be if you want to get a job at a Tesla dealership, go prove yourself by working at a Toyota dealership and re-apply.

Think two steps ahead!

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Ted Rogers Influencer Series – August 27th, 2020 6pm-7pm

I am speaking this Thursday 6pm to Ryerson Students. Sharing the stage with another TRSM Alumni Marco Baltazar 🔥🏆!!


The purpose of this event is inspiration/motivation to lift the spirits of any student on their career journey, especially during these difficult times! Event is a brief 60 minutes long, and you will be able to ask questions.

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/ryaning_speaker-trsm-activity-6704062371893166080-HCg3

👉 If you are a Ryerson student/alumni, please feel free to register, link in comments.

#speaker #TRSM

Overall, the event went great and I experimented on ways to make it more engaging – I screenshared even if for only 30 seconds to make a point. I also brought a couple of props in. I physically showed the books I was recommending by pulling them off my bookshelf.

Audience: 30 people live at the event.

Event Timeline & Internal Planning

Supercharging Your LinkedIn Profile Workshop – Ryan Ing and Nick Nguyen August 12th 2020

Today I hosted a LinkedIn webinar with Nick Nguyen and 60 live attendees. My first time doing a 100% online workshop like this. Here’s what surprised me:

– MORE people engaged with me in the online version, than when I did it in-person. People are less shy to write in the text box or DM you, as opposed to putting up their hand or walking up to you in a classroom.

– People really loved the poll 📊 feature. Definitely incorporate these into your webinars. It’s like when a teacher asks you to “raise your hand if you agree…” in a classroom. People are conditioned to respond and feel good participating.

I guess that online workshops can sometimes be superior to in-person versions 🤷‍♂️. Especially if you’re teaching a digital skill where screen-sharing is more efficient.

The result? Check out some of my our role model profiles below:
– Aymen Saqib + Jamie La

Definitely beat my profile from when I was in 2nd year!

Thanks Brad Wells, Harsimran Walia, and the Ted Rogers School of Management for hosting me!

Feedback From The Workshop (public)

Feedback From The Workshop (Anonymous survey we sent out)

If you are interested in having us come in for a workshop (we specialize in business students), feel free to reach out!

Organized Crime in the Future will be Cybergangs

The BBC recently featured a story about a call centre that was scamming people for technical support. What I found so alarming is the level of sophistication of these cybercrime mobsters….

– VMware to remote desktop into victims computer

– Docusign to get them to sign heinous contracts

– GoToMeeting to view their screens

– RingBa to track call center agent efficiency in prospecting

– CRM to track marketing metrics on which campaigns were the most effective on victims

– The floor managers paying incentive bonuses to the best scammers

– Mobsters brainstorming on new scams “Why don’t we pretend to be amazon returns calling?”

Oh so terrible and heartbreaking to watch. Happy to hear in the end they were captured by police.

Sometimes I think we have to remind ourselves, technology can be used for both good and bad.

What Companies Hire Associate Product Manager New Grad Roles?

My friend Abdullah Memon was very passionate about breaking into Product Management when he was set to graduate from his B.Comm Degree at Ryerson in 2018. He had focused on doing all of his internships in product roles at places like Canadian Tire Corporation, CIBC, and RBC. He had a clear goal and direction, similar to myself.

He even made a legendary LinkedIn post describing how he wanted to interview at Wealthsimple and asked if anyone could tag the CEO in the post, for which many people did, and he landed an interview.

Although he did not end up landing the job there due to lack of hiring tickets, he learned that Product Roles often require specific entry points, and are very attainable if you focus your time in the right areas.

So I asked him for what advice he could share with other students, and here it is:


What Companies Hire Associate Product Managers?

They tend to fall into three types…

1 – Big tech companies with APM programs: the likes of Google, Uber, Lyft, Facebook, Quora, etc. These are established rotational-type programs where you learn and work closely with a PM and do the tactical day to day work of a “product owner” – such as writing user stories, working with design and dev to clarify requirements, share insights from data, talk to customers, etc. While the PM owns the product roadmap and strategy, and leads the vision for the team.  You’re getting your feet dirty and learning by supporting the team.

2 – “Mid-sized” companies leveraging APM programs: Some small to mid-sized companies will hire APMs and they’ll structure a program around it. These are common in places like Toronto where the bigger tech companies don’t have the full rotational programs. The purpose of this is to transition people into PM, and they often target people who already have 2-5 years of experience in consulting, engineering, marketing, sales, customer success, etc. Similar to the above, you’re learning by supporting the team but rather than a 18-24 month program, it’s usually 6 months-ish. Not common for new grads to get in, but it’s entry level into product nonetheless. (e.g.: see APM Toronto, where Shopify, Freshbooks, Wattpad, TWG, and others provide that kind of experience)

3 – Small companies hiring APMs:┬áthese are rare, but I’d say the most rewarding, because even as an APM, you’re very quickly forced into taking on the role of a PM. There’s no structured “program”, there’s very little training and you’re expected to just take ownership and do what needs to be done to help the product team succeed. You’ll also take on a bunch of other tasks surrounding it (as they say “in startups, you do way more than your role”) like product marketing, sales demos, documentation, support, etc. It’s overwhelming and demanding but a big experience boost.


If you have any other questions or tips to add, feel free to get in touch!

You Can Use Uber to Send a Package through “Uber “Connect”

Brilliant feature for inter-city mailing.
Plus, you don’t have to pay for tracking!!

Use cases:
– Sending urgent paperwork from your office to a colleague in another office
– Anything time-sensitive ⏱️ from your house to a friend’s. A warm cooked meal from your kitchen🥡, some freshly picked flowers from your garden 🌷, a bottle of Advil for your hungover buddy too sick to get out of bed 😂

The packages should be sealed and secured for safety reasons.

It’s basically disrupting the bicycle courier business.

I’d say this has a lot of potential. Anyone tried it yet or have thought of some cool use cases?

URL to LinkedIn Post

#Uber #product #features #delivery #couriers

Why Stubhub May Go Bankrupt Over The Next 12 Months

I think that companies like StubHub, Tickpick, and Vividseats have a high chance of going bankrupt over the next year. Their business model will implode if too many customers ask for returns.

What do you do when 90% of your customers want refunds at the same time? Just reverse all of the transactions and give them the cash back, right? 🤔

👉 This is not possible with Stubhub because, they already paid the cash to the resellers (while taking a 15% cut). So if they want to refund the customers… they only have 15% of the cash they originally had 😲.

It’s like this… Imagine you pay a pizza delivery guy a commission to deliver your pizza. If the customer wants a refund, you can refund them the cost of the pizza… but it would be impossible to give the customer the pizza delivery guy’s hourly wage and tips! That person has already been paid out. But in this case, the wage and tips represent the majority of the cash.

I’m no CFA, but someone tell me if I’m not understanding the cash flows here correctly…

Personally I love buying tickets from these websites. But I’m quite afraid my concert tickets to the Weekend I purchased may become worthless if the company becomes insolvent.

#strategy #tickets #businessmodel #concerts

Additional analysis here: https://www.ticketnews.com/2020/04/opinion-stubhubs-urgent-peril-and-the-industry-response/

Samvit Roy asking Jim Whitehurst about IBM Culture During Slack AMA

Congrats to my colleague Samvit (Sam) Roy, MBA, CSPO, BE for being first to ask our new President a question during his Slack AMA session!!

Jim answered honestly and transparently. Great content. He also used some humor to lighten the mood, a much-needed pause from the pandemic.

Here were my favorite jokes:

“If you put a Red Hat together with big blue, you get a purple shirt which I would have wore… but I didn’t do my laundry yesterday” 😂

“I have a lot of experience but I’m also new to IBM. At the office I would still be trying to find the bathroom… but luckily I’m working from home so I know where it is” 😂😂

“No I’m probably not gonna write a new book, but maybe when I retire I can write a new one describing how IBM became the defining technology company of the 21st century just as it was in the 20th century” 🙏🙏🙏

#bars #IBM #Red Hat