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Career Paths in Tech Sales

When starting a new career journey, it’s a huge plus to set a goal and map out a career path for how you want to reach that goal.

A career path involves understanding what knowledge, skills, personal characteristics, and experience are required for a career that you want. Once that path is mapped out, you are then able to take steps that will lead you to where you want to go.

The first step in mapping a career path is knowing the opportunities available to you which we’re going to talk about today!

There are many opportunities for growth in the tech sales industry. When working in a sales org or freelancing, you can choose to go from a Sales Development Rep (SDR) /Business Development Rep (BDR) to Account Executive (AE) to Enterprise AE to VP Sales all the way up to the C-Suite.

There are so many career pathways which we will breakdown in this newsletter:

Sales Development Rep (SDR) - This is the entry level sales role where your primary focus will be identifying, reaching out to, and booking meetings with your target customers (prospects).

Business Development Rep (BDR) - This is similar to the SDR role. The title and nuances may differ from one organisation to another but the role is fundamentally about sourcing, contact, and getting business leads into product/service demonstration (demo) meetings.

Account Executive (AE) - After about six to eighteen months in an SDR/BDR role, you would most likely be up for promotion. The next step can be becoming an AE. When you’ve sharpened your sales skills, becoming an AE is a great step forward.

As an AE, you would be running demos or giving presentations; identifying, surfacing, and addressing potential buying obstacles; crafting personalized value propositions; getting the commitment to purchase; and negotiating the actual terms.

Enterprise AE - Where an Account Executive is responsible for managing sales deals for existing clients, an enterprise AE is responsible for managing the key clients in an organization. Key clients are essentially the big accounts. Some of the responsibilities of an enterprise AE are generating new leads, establishing and managing relationships with company executives and clients, working on sales process management, demand generation campaigns, marketing responsibilities and creating and working on sales planning and proposals.

VP Sales - VP sales/Vice President of Sales, works to contribute to the overall growth of the company. As a VP Sales, you would be responsible for recruiting top talent that will strengthen your team, and organization as a whole. You will also work with your team to develop strategy that will enable the organization to expand and continue to succeed within the target markets.

C-Suite - The “C-suite” refers to several corporate executive positions in a company with the word “chief” in the job title. Common roles in the C-suite include the chief executive officer (CEO), the chief financial officer (CFO), and the chief technology officer (CTO). As you continue to build your sales skills and increase your experience points, you can make your way up to one of these positions if you are interested.

Next week, we’ll share other career paths that you can explore with a background in sales.

Are considering a career in sales or looking to broaden your sales experience to take advantage of opportunities in the tech sector within and outside Africa? Then your best next step is to join Kiso.

Kiso is an African Tech Sales Community that is free for all who are interested in learning more about the opportunities in the tech sales sector. The community launched last Saturday and already has 72 members.

Here's what members get in the free community:

  • Tech sales awareness education

  • Job search education

  • Free webinars

  • Industry updates

  • A community of tech sales enthusiasts

We also offer a paid one-month intensive program where we take things up a notch.

At Kiso Intensive, participants:

  • Learn tech sales and job prospecting skills in live training sessions

  • Optimize their job search profile (LinkedIn, CV, Cover Letter, About Me Video)

  • Master their story

  • Identify links between their experiences and sales

  • Use their new sales skills to prospect for jobs

  • Prep for interviews for entry level tech sales roles (SDR/BDR)

  • Receive feedback and support on their work at every step

This is just the beginning for us. We have plans to provide more value to our Kiso Intensive alumni in the near future, such as:

  • Practice workshops

  • Job performance support

  • subsidized course/program fees for continuous learning

  • tech sales internships

  • member verification for Kiso referrals

  • ... and lots more

From all us at Co-create Africa

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