Are you considering entering a career in tech sales and curious as to what your day-to-day would look like? Let us break it down for you!
Tech sales are far from your typical, structured 9-to-5 job. You are the owner of your own results, and your reward potential is determined by how hard you work. Tech sales require you to be curious and proactive, self-motivated and constantly looking for new ways to improve.
This makes sales careers incredibly rewarding and exciting. They generally offer great pay and endless opportunities for growth. Nevertheless, whilst being the owner of your own destiny is attractive for some, it can become a source of stress for others.
“If you’re considering starting your career in tech sales, it’s important you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into”
Let’s have a look!
Note: the exact responsibilities and activities will vary greatly depending on the company, industry, and location. The activities below outline the most common activities we’ve gathered from talking to our network of 50+ SaaS hiring partners in Europe.
Main responsibilities and a typical day for junior sales roles (SDR/BDR)
- Junior sales roles are usually focused on generating and (dis)qualifying leads.
- The most common titles are Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) and Business Development Representatives (BDRs).
- The amount of time spent on an entry-level role varies greatly from company to company and usually anything between 6 to 24 months.
Outbound Lead Generation
Entry-level roles will usually have a heavy focus on generating new leads. The exact method will again vary for each company and industry but usually includes cold calling, emailing and social selling (usually on LinkedIn).
If you’ve just entered an SDR or BDR role, this will likely mean you will spend quite a lot of time researching leads that match your ideal buyer persona, finding their contact details and reaching out to them through the different channels mentioned above to try and close a discovery call.
Many people have the impression salespeople’s ultimate goal is to close a sale on the first call or interaction. This is a recipe for disaster. In fact, great salespeople and processes are focused on qualifying potential customers as fast as possible. This is the most important responsibility for entry-level salespeople.
This means you will spend a lot of time on “discovery” meetings with potential customers. In these meetings, you will chat to potential customers to go deep into their worldview, understand their problem, and determine whether it makes sense to continue the selling process for both parties.
A typical day
To find out what a typical day looks like, we had a chat with Tatjana Siegel, SDR at Teleclinic.
“This is my current ideal schedule – I’m still in the process of finding out what works best and there’s always room for improvement and adjustments. I recommend trying out different approaches and then live your calendar! :D”
- 6:10 am – Wake up!
- 6:20 - 7:00 am – Coffee & language studies
- 7:00 - 7:45 am – Yoga session
- 7:45 - 8:15 am – Breakfast & getting ready for work
- 8:15 am - Start work
- 8:15 - 9:00 am – Check latest updates / e-mails & react to it if necessary, then map out the day
- 9:00 - 9:30 am – Prepare demo meeting with potential client
- 9:30 - 10:30 am – Social selling
- 10:30 - 12:00 – Cold calling session
- 12:00 - 13:00 – Lunch break (ideally including a short 15 min nap)
- 13:00 - 14:00 – Internal meeting
- 14:00 - 15:00 – E-mailing (e.g. follow-ups from the calls in the morning)
- 15:00 - 15:45 – Online demo with potential customer & recap (sending another e-mail / invitation for next meeting etc.)
- 15:45 - 17:15 – Cold calling session
- 17:15 - 18:00 – Close open tasks for the day, lead preparation / schedule new tasks for tomorrow
- 18:00 - 18:10 – Close laptop, clean your desk and enjoy the evening!
Main responsibilities and a typical day for mid-senior sales roles (AEs)
- Mid-senior sales roles are usually focused on giving demo’s and closing deals
- The most common role is the Account Executive (AE).
If you’re an AE, get ready to spend quite a lot of time in meetings with clients. In a well-structured sales team, AEs will usually receive qualified leads from an SDR (see above), so these leads usually already have great potential to close and are interested in what you have to say.
The bulk of your calls with clients will revolve around doing sales demos. In these meetings, AE’s usually dive a little deeper into the client’s needs, and highlight the key features that solve the specific pain points they might have. Contrary to popular belief, these meetings should be a two-way conversation rather than a monologue by the AE!
Ultimately, Account Executives are laser-focused on closing deals. This means they have to keep an impeccable track record of communication with prospective clients and follow up regularly and effectively.
If you’re an AE, you will likely be constantly reviewing your pipeline to check current deals and try to engage with them in different ways to try and close deals ASAP.
A typical day for an AE
To find out what the typical day for an AE looks like, we had a chat with Ben Meuthen, Enterprise Account Executive at Asana. Here’s what he had to say:
“Obviously, every day is super different. The below kind of sums it up. Most blocks would be longer in time but this way it's more representative of what the different aspects of my role are.”
- 6:45 am – Get up / Coffee!!!
- 7:00 - 8:00 am – Gym or Home workout
- 8:00 - 8:30 am – Quick Shower + Breakfast
- 8:30 - 9:00 am – Structure my day/ Sort Emails/Tasks/To dos and create a priority list
- 9:00 - 9:30 am – Answer E-Mails
- 9:30 - 10 am – Social Selling ( LinkedIn+ Xing)
- 10:00 - 10:45am – 1-to-1 Meetings ( Manager Forecast Meeting, BDR, SE, CSM)
- 10:45 - 11:00 am – Meeting preparation
- 11:00 - 12:00 – Demo with Customer
- 12:00 - 13:00 – Lunch Break
- 13:00 - 15:00 – Discovery Meetings/ Workshops/ Negotiations
- 15:00 - 16:30- Outbound Calls/ Mails
- 16:30- 18:00 – Work on Opportunities/ Internal meetings with Legal, Solution Engineering etc…
- 18:00 - 18:30 – Check through to do list and write notes for next morning
If you’re considering entering a career in tech sales, we hope that gives you a better idea of what you can expect from your day-to-day.
Once again, working in sales is not for everybody. But if you value autonomy, being directly rewarded for the effort you put in, and thrive in dynamic, fast-changing environments, tech sales can be one of the best career paths out there.
Convinced and ready to take the next step? Find out how we can help you find your dream job!