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.

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: these 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/

The Industry Standard Salary for SaaS AE’s

The Industry Standard for AE’s follow this formula (according to this research report interviewing 300 SaaS companies)
The Magic Formula

Quota should be 5X OTE  
Example 1

$100K base salary

$200K OTE

$1mil ACV Quota


Example 2 – more junior person

$50k base, $100K OTE, $500K ACV Quota

So what?
– If you ask a SaaS AE what their quota is, you can likely calculate what their salary is 

If you are negotiating a salary and they give you a quota that is 10x your OTE, say no! You’re being unfairly compensated for the difficulty of the role.

The reason for this proportion is because paying you 20% of revenues leaves your company enough room to still make profit. Also, this is for net new customers, not for renewals.


I’ve talked to salespeople at Splunk, Qualtrics, other cloud companies, etc. and the salespeople there all earn an amount consistent to this formula.


To gather enough skills to become qualified to get an AE job I’d say takes 3-4 years of experience from graduation.

But once you have those skills, you can pretty much go to any SaaS company (anything on the Forbes Cloud 50 list) and get a salary package like the one above

B2B Tech Sales Landscape

Do you want to work in tech sales but are not sure which company you want to work for? Here’s how we can categorize tech companies into 4 quadrants.

Media Darlings

  • They are called darlings because everyone LOVES the brand and wants to work there. These companies make most of their money from selling advertising (E.g. Google makes 80% of its revenue from Google Ads), hence “media”.
  • Pros: Best brand name, your employability skyrockets. Generally cool products
  • Cons: These companies do not typically have established new grad programs, they usually poach experienced hires from other companies.

Old Guards

  • These companies have proven themselves, have 50+ years history, and household names. They are generally market leaders in the product areas.
  • Pros: High pay, long training program (6 months), brand recognition
  • Cons: Culture can be lacking. A lot of company processes and bureaucracy

Midmarket

  • These companies have a market capitalization of $100mil-$5bil. So they are not startups but they are more established.
  • Pros: Often have really cool culture. Shopify/Salesforce consistently win top employer awards in Canada
  • Cons: Usually restricted to Inside Sales roles. Because the company is still scaling, mostly 100% outbound cold calling for entry-level.

Work Horses

  • These are companies that are solid employers (often on Best Employers List), however are often resellers of other companies products / companies that are not perceived to be market leaders, so do not benefit from the same powerful brand image that other companies have.
  • Pros: Great training
  • Cons: A lot of outbound cold calling due to poor brand recognition

Other/Related

  • These companies are in the technology space but work on slightly different business models. Teksystems is really in the staffing business but places for technology roles. Also good choices, but I don’t have much information available.

Movement Between the Quadrants – Here’s the magic!

  • It is easier to make a horizontal move than vertical one. Generally speaking if you get a job at Google, it’s easy to land an interview at IBM or Shopify. But if you get a job at Xerox, it will require some work to land yourself an interview elsewhere.

This was originally taught to me from Asad Zaman, from Sales Talent Agency. Credits to him.

The Differences Between B2C Sales and B2B Sales

In this post I will help educate you on differences between B2C (Business To Consumer) Sales and B2B (Business to Business) Sales.

It’s the difference between working as a Real Estate Agent selling homes to families, and working in Commercial Real Estate for CBRE selling offices and buildings to businesses.

It’s the difference between working as a Teller in a bank (Retail Banking) vs working as Equity Research Analyst on the Sell Side (Investment Banking).

Selling cellphones at Best Buy is completely different from selling business software at a B2B Technology company.

Different Types of Sales

B2C SalesB2B SalesEnterprise Sales
Problem solving/ProductsSimple problemHelping businesses Save time/moneySolving complex business problems
“Consultative sales”
StyleEmotionalLogicalEmotional + Logical + Business Case
Sales Cycle (length of deal)Hours, within a dayWeeksMonths
“Triple decker”
TrainingOn-the-jobWeek-longSix-month longs
Pay100% commissionBase + commission40k + 20k typical for new gradsBase + commission
50-60k base + 15-20 typical for new grads
CultureOften students or non-university graduatesSexy startup, cool perksNot as cool, but generally cushy
Cold calling?100% prospecting80% prospecting20% inbound/account management20% prospecting80% inbound / account management
ClientsAny joe blowBusiness ownersF500, large businesses