Definitions for the 10 Most Common Roles in a Sales Team

Samir Sampat

Setting up a sales team requires taking the time to learn all the roles and figure out what your organization needs. When you have a strong sales team, it works like a well-oiled machine and delivers all of the solutions that your business needs. It can even help you improve other departments ensure that your business is on track for success. 

Of course, there are several different sales team roles that a business may have, and you may not have all the same ones depending on various factors. However, some roles are more common than others, and those are the ones we’ll look at here. Bear in mind that depending on the size of your business and other factors, these positions may have different titles or roles in your company, or you may not have some of them at all. 

In any case, it’s important to know what makes up a good sales team. The 10 roles below are the most common ones that you’ll find your team needing, and they each have a different set of duties and responsibilities to fulfill. You can’t very well create a winning sales team if you don’t know who you need and how to structure them as part of your organization. Here’s what you need to know about the different roles in sales. 

1. Sales Director

The Sales Director is a role that is responsible for everything from strategic leadership to the corporate direction of a company. They oversee staff, are in charge of training, sales goals, and other efforts. In a smaller business, they may also contribute on a day-to-day basis while enterprise-level directors may be more hands-off in their role. 

2. Sales Manager

Sales managers are usually one step under the director and may have a number of their own employees to manage as part of their role. They may manage the sales process, the team itself, or other areas of the business in combination with area managers and others, as well. They usually handle training and support for the sales executives and account managers, as well as others involved in the process. 

3. Area Managers

Area managers will have the responsibility of managing a certain area, or territory. This could be a region, a specific state, or even a larger area, depending on how far the company reaches. These managers may report to sales managers or the Sales Director, depending on the hierarchy of the company and its sales department. They may handle operational direction for a team or group of sales reps, and they travel frequently in some cases. 

4. Account Executives

An account executive is a senior role in the sales team. This position is the one that comes in after the BDRs and SDRs (we’ll talk about those next) and closes the deals. The execs have more expertise in closing deals and locking down the sale. They specialize in high-value accounts and are great as coaches and mentors, too. 

5. Business Development Representatives

Business development representatives (BDRs) are typically responsible for cultivating leads and generating business for the company. They may focus on attracting key accounts or getting certain clients on board to help further the business and continue its growth. 

6. Sales Development Representatives

These are essentially your inbound sales reps. They focus on connecting with as many prospects as possible, qualifying leads, and moving deals through the pipeline until they need an account executive for closing. These inbound roles are typically the counterpart of BDRs, discussed above, who typically have more of an outbound prospecting role. 

7. Sales Account Manager

Sales account managers are responsible for filling the role between the sales team and the customer, staying with the account after the conversion has happened to ensure smooth onboarding and an ongoing relationship. They can also handle sales opportunities that come up along the way, so their role is a bit multifaceted. 

8. Sales Executive

Some companies hire sales executives to manage transactions and accounts with existing clients and customers. They may have a similar role to a sales rep, but it’s a bit more of a junior position, doing more outreach and admin that sales reps may not have time for. They provide a supportive role for the sales team and can start to take on their own accounts over time as they grow in their sales role. 

9. Customer Success Representatives

Once sales have been made, customer success reps typically come in and handle things like cross-selling and upselling, trying to ensure that your customers are getting the solutions that they need and that you aren’t losing revenue because your existing customers aren’t getting the attention that they deserve. Customer Success Representatives are incentivized by daily and long-term harvesting and outreach goals. 

10. Sales Specialists (Experts)

Consultants, as they are also sometimes called, are specialists that have expertise in a particular area of sales. They aren’t closers, but they are the go-to choice for any challenges that come along with the sale process, as well as industry-specific concerns or questions and other needs. They support the sales team by assisting with developing and presenting demos and proposals. 

While you’re defining your sales team, let Smith.ai handle your communications and more

You’ve got a lot on your plate when it comes to putting together a top-rate sales team. When you partner with the dedicated experts at Smith.ai, you’ll be able to trust that all of your business needs are handled, from outbound sales and support to assistance with lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even things like payment collection and more. 

Plus, we’ll help you craft a strategy to manage it all and ensure that your team never misses a beat. What can we do to help you get your sales team off the ground? Schedule a consultation now to discuss the 24/7 virtual receptionists at Smith.ai and their role in your sales team, or reach out to us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484.

Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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