Finding the right SaaS sales role can be a challenging task, with so many options available and high stakes involved. As a sales executive, your success depends on your ability to identify roles that align with your skills, interests, and long-term career goals, as making the wrong choice can mean months of frustration, missed quotas, and career setbacks. In this guide, we’ll explore the key factors you need to consider to ensure you’re targeting the best-fit roles that offer the potential for long-term success in software sales.
Technical skills required to sell the product
Before starting a new role in software sales, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the product or solution that you’ll be selling. This includes technical knowledge of the product and its features, as well as how it meets the needs of your target market. Research the product’s technical specifications and user documentation, and try to understand the value proposition and unique selling points. It’s also helpful to talk to current sales reps, product managers, or customer support teams to get a deeper understanding of the product and how it’s used by customers.
The proposed territory
Before joining a new company, it’s important to understand the territory that you’ll be responsible for in software sales. This includes the size, potential customer base, and whether or not it aligns with your experience and expertise. To assess the potential of the territory, speak with a sales rep already addressing this market and leverage data and insights from industry analysts to get a sense of the market size and growth potential. Additionally, it’s helpful to understand the current customer base and competition in the territory, and any regulatory or legal considerations that may impact your sales efforts.
Management and leadership
Consider the type of management style that best suits you, and then evaluate whether the company’s management team aligns with your preferred style in software sales. Some managers may prefer to provide hands-on coaching and support, while others may take a more hands-off approach. Consider what type of leadership and management style you work best under, and ensure the hiring manager’s style matches your preferences.
On-target earnings (OTE) and benefits
When evaluating a new sales role in software sales, make sure you thoroughly understand the compensation structure and benefits package. Pay close attention to the on-target earnings (OTE) potential, as well as any bonuses, commissions, or other incentives. Additionally, make sure you fully understand the company’s benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and any other perks that may be offered.
Sales enablement and marketing support
To succeed in a new sales role in software sales, you need more than just a great product and a solid sales strategy. You also need strong sales enablement and marketing support to help you achieve your goals. Evaluate the company’s sales enablement and marketing programs to ensure they are robust, effective, and aligned with your needs as a sales executive.
Industry and competitive landscape
To be successful in a sales role in software sales, you need a strong understanding of the industry, market, and competitive landscape in which the company operates. Research the company’s reputation and position in the market to understand its competitive advantages or disadvantages. Determine if they are an established market leader, a niche player, or a start-up. Utilize platforms such as G2, Gartner, and Forrester to access analyst reports that provide insights on the company’s market share, customer satisfaction ratings, and competitive landscape.
Understanding the company’s competitors and the competitive landscape can help you develop an effective sales strategy and identify potential roadblocks to success. This will help you determine if the organisation has the reputation and resources to differentiate itself from competitors and provide the necessary support to help you achieve your sales targets. Additionally, having a clear understanding of the market will enable you to anticipate market trends and changes
Company culture and values
Researching the company’s reputation as an employer and their track record in supporting and growing its sales organisation is crucial when preparing for a sales role. Utilise platforms such as Glassdoor, RepVue, and other online forums to gain insights on employee satisfaction, company culture, career progression opportunities, and other important factors. Talk to current or former employees to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences working for the company, and ask about the challenges and rewards of their role in sales.
Additionally, understanding the culture and values of a company is essential to your experience and success in a sales role. This includes researching the work environment, team dynamics, and how they prioritise customer success. Factors to consider include work-life balance, employee recognition, diversity and inclusion, and professional development opportunities. Check the company’s website, social media accounts, and online reviews to get a sense of their culture and values. You can also reach out to current or former employees to ask about their experience and insights on the company culture.
Product roadmap and future direction
A company’s product roadmap and innovation plans are critical factors that can impact the success of your sales efforts. Consider whether the company is investing in product development and innovation, and whether its products are well-positioned for long-term success. If a company’s product roadmap is weak or its innovation plans are lacking, it may be difficult to achieve your sales goals in the long term.
As a sales executive, it’s important to understand the product roadmap and future direction of the company you’re considering joining. This includes the company’s long-term vision and goals, as well as their plans for product development and innovation. A strong product roadmap and vision can indicate a healthy and sustainable business, while a lack of direction can be a red flag. Research the company’s recent product releases, customer feedback, and any public announcements or events to get a sense of their future direction. You can also ask the hiring manager about the company’s future plans and how they plan to stay competitive in the market.
Choosing the right SaaS sales role is crucial for your success, both in the short and long term. By qualifying your options thoroughly, you can find roles that play to your strengths, align with your values, and provide ample opportunities for growth and advancement. At DynamicWhale, we specialise in matching SaaS sales professionals with top SaaS companies that are looking to expand their teams. Subscribe to our newsletter today to receive the latest insights and stay on top of your game in the competitive world of SaaS sales.