We match salespeople with the right company and challenge!
The sales role has changed dramatically in the last decade. The internet, e-commerce, the cloud and IoT, combined with fast-paced technological developments, have placed entirely new demands on today's salespeople. Like modern dating apps, the buyer has the ability to pick and choose between different suppliers and offers.
At a time when the customer is almost never a first-time buyer of a product or service, it is increasingly important to understand the customer's business in order to understand their needs. Working as a salesperson in such a market often requires more than "picking up the phone" (nobody answers anyway) to be successful.
The variety of titles for similar roles is hard to miss when it comes to sales. What is the difference between an Account Manager, Account Executive, Sales Development Manager, Key Account Manager, Business Development Manager, Growth Manager or Sales Executive, to name a few?
Of course we know the actual meaning of the title, but we always start by finding out what our client means by the title before we begin a new assignment. During a meeting, we work out your ideal profile together. Often, this also gives us a chance to inform our clients about the state of the market. How easy or difficult it is to find the candidate of your dreams, how much they cost and what can be attractive or discouraging.
As in all our recruitment assignments, we actively conduct outreach in sales recruitment as well. We believe that good people usually have a job, often that they both enjoy and perform at. It is our job to make them realize what their career development might look like with you. We screen all our candidates through competency-based interviews. Depending on your needs, we can also supplement our interviews with personality and skills tests. We also offer case interviews, background checks and reference checks.
Once upon a time, there were salespeople, possibly both inside and outside salespeople, and then there was a sales manager. Today, sales roles look different, and the titles are something entirely different. Since there are no certifications to rely on, each company is free to choose titles. This sometimes leads to confusion in terminology and different expectations of what different roles mean between employers and candidates.
At Salesgroup, we recruit all types of commercial positions. By commercial positions, we mean those that either execute or enable business deals for our clients, whether they work strategically or operationally. Here are some of the positions we help our clients recruit for and how we perceive the meanings of these various titles.
Head of Sales (HoS)
The Head of Sales, or sales manager, is responsible for the company's sales and sales team. A Head of Sales has personnel and budget responsibilities and can be both operational and involved in driving sales or focus on leading the sales department.
Sales Manager (SM)
The title Sales Manager is often misunderstood to be the same as Head of Sales, which is the sales manager in Swedish. However, it is frequently used by international SaaS companies and refers to someone working on sales to new customers.
Key Account Manager (KAM)
This is the most misused title in the market. A Key Account Manager is responsible for the company's most important accounts - key customers. A Key Account Manager is responsible for one or a few large customer accounts and is in charge of strategically developing and retaining the customer. A Key Account Manager never hunts for new accounts; instead, they pursue new business opportunities with existing customers.
Account Manager (AM)
Ideally, an Account Manager should work on developing existing accounts, but this title is not often used this way in Sweden today. Instead, Account Manager has replaced the Swedish title "säljare" (salesperson) and can involve working on sales to both new and existing customers, often in a mixed capacity.
Sales Executive (SE)
The title Sales Executive is primarily used in SaaS companies and is typically the title for salespeople working on prospecting new customers.
Customer Success Manager (CSM)
Helps customers transition from potential customers to active users of your products. They focus on building long-term, close customer relationships and often manage the same customers as long as they are with the company.
Sales Development Representative (SDR)
This is a position between the marketing and sales departments. It's a salesperson who exclusively engages in dialogue through telephone, email, web, and social media with the goal of generating qualified leads that are then handed over to a salesperson, typically an Account Executive (AE).
Account Executive (AE)
The AE's task is to both prospect and engage new customers. After a new agreement is signed, the customer is usually transferred to sales roles like Account Manager, KAM, or Customer Success Manager, depending on the customer's characteristics.
Chief Revenue Officer (CRO)
Refers to a position where one is responsible for all revenues in a company. It's common for the Chief Revenue Officer to closely oversee both the sales department and the marketing team, as these are often the teams that generate revenue.
Head of Marketing / Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
The Head of Marketing or Chief Marketing Officer is often responsible for the company's marketing and any internal marketing team. Additionally, the title may include various responsibilities depending on the company but often encompasses both strategic and operational work.
Technical Account Manager (TAM)
A Technical Account Manager is part of the customer team and is responsible for supporting the customer with technical advice or guidance. A Technical Account Manager has a technical background and often, unlike pure salespeople, works on driving the development and operation of the product for the customer.
The collaboration with Salesgroup has been beyond our expectations from start to finish – from gaining good insights about us as a company and our needs, to delivering good candidates in a fast and flexible way. Salesgroup has been a stable, professional and caring partner in our recruitment process and we are very pleased with their performance in finding our next brilliant colleague.
HR Business Partner, Sanoma Utbildning
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Whether your company requires assistance with recruitment, other aspects of competence provisioning, want to discuss enhancing your sales organization or if you're a candidate seeking to progress in your career, we are available for a conversation or meeting.