What is the most difficult aspect of hiring digital sales executives? Some companies struggle with identifying growth accelerators. Before they can get to hiring these executives, companies must first understand job titles.
You might be thinking, that’s silly. Everyone knows the difference between a Sales Manager and a VP of Sales. But I have found digital sales executive titles can be deceiving. At one organization a title means 50 direct reports, at another it is an individual contributor.
I created this guide to help hiring teams sort through and better understand the responsibilities of digital sales executives.
Before we get into the definitions, are you preparing to hire someone? Use our sales interview scorecard to standardize the interview process.
SDR & BDR
Sales Development Representative (SDR) and a Business Development Representative (BDR) are often interchangeable titles, especially in SaaS companies. These individuals are responsible for lead generation. They prospect, generate leads and book appointments for Account Executives or other closers. This is an individual contributor role and is typically for individuals at the beginning of their career in sales. In larger organizations, there is 1 SDR/BDRs reporting into 2-4 Account Executives or opportunity closers.
Business Development Manager
Typically, a Business Development Manager (BDM) does not drive net new business. In AdTech and MarTech companies, they often pursue alliance partnerships. In some organizations, the BDM will oversee SDRs and BDRs.
Inside Sales Manager
This individual typically oversees the BDRs, SDRs, and BDMs. Additionally, they report and analyze sales metrics and own an organization’s sales administration process.
Account Executives are responsible for closing the business opportunities that the BDRs and SDRs bring to them. In some organizations, they may do full-cycle sales, including prospecting. Account Executives are individual contributors and may be called “closers.”
Regional Sales Managers
This is a title that frequently differs from organization to organization. However, despite the manager title, Regional Sales Managers are not leadership. They are most often individual contributors. This is an elevated Account Executive that is responsible for a specific territory or region. Their ultimate responsibility is driving net new business. The Regional Sales Manager is also responsible for contract renewal.
Like a Regional Sales Manager, a Territory Manager is typically an individual contributor. This individual is not part of the leadership team. The Territory Manager’s main responsibilities include managing, growing, and renewing existing accounts.
The larger the organization, the more likely the Sales Director is an entry-level manager. When the Sales Director is a manager, Account Executives report to them. However, in AdTech and MarTech companies, the Sales Director is frequently an individual contributor.
This is another tricky title. In some organizations, a Sales Manager is higher within the org chart than the Sales Director. This depends on the company structure. However, the Sales Manager is often the first layer of management. They often oversee Account Executives and Business Development Managers, and again, this depends on the company structure.
Vice President of Sales
This description encapsulates several different types of VPs, the Regional Vice President (RVP), Senior Vice President (SVP), and the Executive Vice President (EVP). The title and responsibility depend on the size or the organization and where the company is on its growth journey. Most often, the Vice President of Sales manages Sales Managers and or Sales Directors. The Vice President of Sales is the next layer of leadership and is very often responsible for a strategy component, and not simply revenue.
Chief Revenue Officer or Head of Sales
The Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) and Head of Sales is the highest sales leader in an organization. More often than not, the CRO is directly managing the Vice Presidents of Sales. The entire sales team ultimately reports up into an organization’s Head of Sales. It is important to note, in smaller organizations, a CRO may be an individual with an inflated title. In these companies, the CRO may have less direct reports and infrastructure to manage, making them closer to a Vice President of Sale over a CRO in a larger, Fortune 100 organization.
How to Hire Digital Sales Executives
Parsing through resumes can be challenging – especially when hiring digital sales executives. Titles mean wildly different things depending on the organization. When you’re hiring ask about quantifiable outcomes and achievements. Do they match what the individual will be doing in your organization with your specific requirements?
Using a third-party digital sales executive recruiter like Talentfoot will help you quickly uncover the talent you need. Contact us today to learn more about how we work with companies just like yours to fill executive sales positions in a quick, efficient way that delivers exceptional hires.