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

Ryerson Sales Initiative – Why Sales? Speaker Panel

Speaking on a panel tonight at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. My goals to serve as an effective panelist tonight:

1️⃣. Be entertaining, not just informative. Information without emotion is not retained. Students can be tense, or nervous since they are putting themselves out there. As a panelist I think it’s great to share inspiring stories, make jokes, use analogies, use body language, and other creative ideas to help the audience feel comfortable and open to receive the most from the Q&A.

2️⃣. Share industry insights, not general business advice. Students who attend extracurricular events are usually already very self-motivated, so they don’t need to be reminded of things like “follow your passion” or “be a team player”. They need more something like “What are some common misconceptions about working in sales?”

➡️Community, please share with me any advice on what you think makes a panelist effective. Examples welcome.

Tonight I hope to add some creative flair to my presentation. Hint: I love music 🎵🎵🎵

hashtag#b2bsaleshashtag#ibmhashtag#trsmhashtag#ryersonsalesinitiativehashtag#speakerpanel

Work Conditions Cannot Provide Satisfaction. They Can Only Prevent Dissatisfaction.

Working at Google? Free lunches? A six figure salary? Ability to work from home?

These are all “work conditions”, or formally known as “hygiene factors”. And I’m here to tell you that cannot provide you job satisfaction. They can only prevent dissatisfaction.

That means that, if you didn’t have these things: you would complain about them.

So what can give you job satisfaction then?

How does this relate to finding my dream job?

This is an elaboration on Herzberg’s two-factor theory.

Don’t seek hygiene factors e.g. “I want to work at Google! Have you heard about how amazing their office is?”, instead, seek motivating factors “I really find meaning in doing this type of work, I would probably even do it in my free time.”

With that in mind, you should probably first define what type of work you like doing, then second define what type of company you’d like to work for.

As a sidenote, I’ve actually been to the Google office. It’s true, they have slides and fuzzy carpets, and free 24/7 lunches! But still, I’ll abstain from saying I’d love to work there, since I have no idea if I’d be interested in the actual work.


Now to put this idea on a catapult and launch it further, I’m wondering if this can apply to spousal relationships. E.g. Physical attractiveness is a “condition” that cannot provide you relationship satisfaction, it can only prevent dissatisfaction.

Let me know your thoughts!

Featured on the TRSM Co-op Website

As a former leader of the Co-op Students’ Association I always advocated for co-op an excellent career option for other students. I did 3-4 class talks throughout the year. So I was called in to be profiled.

https://www.ryerson.ca/trsm-co-op/student-profiles/Ryan-Ing/

My top reasons to choose co-op 
(1) Discover what your dream job is by exploring mulitiple companies, in different roles, in varying industries. I explored Financial, Retail, and Technology!
(2) Earn a great wage and graduate debt free… or you can spend your co-op money buying a used car like me 
(3) Build a ton of relationships with different companies to increase your chances of a full-time job offer when you graduate.

If you haven’t had a 1:1 meeting with your counsellor in the BCH, do so.

They have an endless list of job opportunities and their job is to help you succeed.

2017 – The Year I Taught Myself Investing & Trading

Me: Hi, I placed an order to buy to buy one share of IBM but the order is not going through!!

Questrade Helpline: Sir it’s only 830am, the stock market doesn’t open until 930am.

Me: Oops!! Wow, the things they don’t teach you in business school 😳

I believe that everything in life is a skill. If you are unsatisfied with some area of your life, chances are you lack a skill in that area.

Tip: Most books are available free at the Toronto Public Library.

For me, I lacked skills and knowledge in investing. Business school teaches you how to read a balance sheet, but they don’t teach you how to buy a stock. So I taught myself.

Learning investing is never really ‘urgent’ – most people wait until they’ve accumulated a bunch of wealth and then scramble to figure out what to do with it. Many people hire a financial advisor to figure it out for them. I decided to the opposite. I figured by learning all of this now, the moment I have a windfall of cash I will know what to do with it. I will be able to be my own financial advisor.

Besides that, every working professional has some edge on the market – doesn’t hurt to set aside a small amount for speculative plays 😉

.“If you read three books on any one topic, you are basically an expert compared to the general population”

If you want a book recommendation, give me a shout!

Featured in the Globe & Mail Nov 2017

On November 7, 2017, I was published in Canada’s national newspaper.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/business-students-biggest-sales-job-was-himself/article36851067/

PDF version:

Wonder how I got published in the newspaper? Well.. there’s really no shortcut but hard work… I emailed every single news outlet I could think of and tried to show them value. I.e. Here’s a story that’s going viral and you can be the first to publish it!
Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, Ryersonian, Eyeopener, Buzzfeed, BlogTO, Narcity, Globe & Mail, and more…

Until finally one answered!

End of IBM Summit Internship

I never win those case competitions at school – but here is a competition I thought we had a fair chance at. We presented to the President of IBM last week and won first place.

I made the most of EVERY opportunity this internship had to offer. I wore a suit & tie every single day. I volunteered to run the blog and published 7 posts. I read Thomas Watson’s biography on my spare time. The video unintentionally went viral at work. I published an editorial for Talentegg.ca. I don’t drink, but I still showed up to every social.

When my manager said he was gonna go verbally spar with a corporate lawyer over a multi-million dollar negotiation, I asked if I could just come and listen and he let me. He called the lawyer a cruel baby-seal clubber and still won the deal. We laughed.

Anytime someone said “I’d be happy to help, just reach out” or “I think you should talk to this person” I did just that, and followed-up to meet for a chat. It didn’t matter if that person was another intern, a manager, or an executive. They were worth the time and I prepared so I was worth their time.

An internship is often like university. You are not remembered for all the things you do in class, you are remembered for all the things you do outside of class. Be outstanding.

I would not have done anything differently over those 15 weeks. I am returning back to the Ted Rogers School of Management – Ryerson University for two semesters and I’m done!