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What advice would you give to an early in their career tech sales rep, who is interested in being promoted into sales management sooner rather than later?

Late in tenure of BDR role, with an Account Executive position targeting SMBs looming on the horizon.


What advice would you give me on pursuing a sales management sooner than those your age? How do I position myself best?

What tenure/experiences would you be looking for to hire an individual with no prior sales management experience in the tech space?

Would it better to get your managerial footing at a start-up or a larger behemoth vendor?

โ˜๏ธ Software Tech
๐Ÿงข Sales Management
17
Justatitle
Politicker
+7
Senior AE
Highly recommend that you talk to other managers because management ainโ€™t all itโ€™s cracked up to be. You deal with reps and have to deal with a bunch of them and different personalities and you deal with management and have to play a careful balancing act.ย 
SalesRecruiter
Opinionated
+7
Recruiting Director
100% agree here. Iโ€™ve seen a lot of BDRs jump at the opportunity and jump right back into an individual contributor role. It will help to talk it out with some that have made the move.

I work for a tech company of about 450 employees. We would never hire someone externally with no management experience to lead one of our BDR teams. I obviously canโ€™t speak for every company out there but Iโ€™d say thatโ€™s a common thing. I would say youโ€™d have to prove yourself in your current role and seek out the opportunity with your current employer.
ThatDudeFrio
Contributor
+1
Business Development Representative
Thanks for the point out on having to manage numerous different personalities. But with group based decision making rising for even the smallest of customer evaluations, aren't you managing numerous different personalities in that sales cycle? Is the main difference you're pointing out being the financial downside in comp for dealing with all of the reps? Even in an IC role, I feel that I'm navigating constant bureaucracy, politics and different impressions. (but that may be due to being inside and not in the field)
Feds_Watchin
Politicker
+4
Account Executive
Youโ€™re not wrong on that last point. The main difference being you will hold a # for your entire team. Not being in absolute control of that would drive me fucking nuts if I had even a few duds on my team.
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Rallier
Politicker
+9
Account Executive
Meet as many people as you can and read as much as you can. The first part is more important though, network, network, network.
ThatDudeFrio
Contributor
+1
Business Development Representative
The hands you shake...absolutely agree!
BANTer
Contributor
+2
Executive Director, Head of Tech Vertical
I became the head of sales at a startup 5 months in without previous sales or management experience. I was 26 and the youngest manager, was definitely a lot easier at a startup and helps you cut your teeth in an ever changing environment. That experience didnโ€™t really matter when I moved to a much larger org where I had to start as a senior AM and took me 1.5 years to VP by the time I was 30 (typically it took 5 years). This role got me my next role and negotiating power to hit my first role setting up a sales department from scratch which Iโ€™m starting in 2 weeks. If you like managing, do it and do it young. Consistently seek feedback and find good mentors to become a better leader.


Advice on getting there faster? :

My first mentor told me to always manage up (ie offer to help your manager so you can help them rise but not come across like youโ€™re trying for their role). My mentor after that was not a manager I needed to manage and she fast tracked me to VP but told me I had to build my brand beyond just delivering the strongest numbers so get involved in company initiatives. I ran one on the sales and account management playbook and it got me good face time with senior execs.

Those were my 2 best pieces of advice I got. Outside of that make sure youโ€™re doing your role well (Salesforce notes, Clean Pipe, thoughtful engagement, etc) and just be pleasant to be around and people will push you forward.
ThatDudeFrio
Contributor
+1
Business Development Representative
This is exactly what I was looking for. Great advice, appreciate it!
Lambda
Politicker
+6
Sales Consultant
telling people you want it is important, asking what you need to do to get there and then making it your own to define why you excel and should be considered to move up
poweredbycaffeine
Politicker
+7
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
Qualifying question: why do you want to be a manager?
ThatDudeFrio
Contributor
+1
Business Development Representative
Good question - I think it starts from all of the sports I played growing up, where I always enjoyed coaching up younger teammates and watching them grow. I personally, find the most fulfillment in driving and being an impact in someone else's success that contributes to your team.
poweredbycaffeine
Politicker
+7
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
Do you think you won't find the same satisfaction by moving forward in an IC role and mentoring younger reps?
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mrsexyspizza
Opinionated
+6
Mid Market AE
I'd suggest you try your hand at managing other BDR's before setting your sights on Sales Management if you haven't been in a closing role before. You will learn a LOT.ย 
ThatDudeFrio
Contributor
+1
Business Development Representative
Good idea, I think that would give me the best taste and learn a lot through that process.
sp
sparta
Good Citizen
Account Executive
Depends on what you want out of career, day to day, money, stress.ย  I would say the easiest answer is to skip management stick in sales. But if you're goal is to climb the corporate ladder with blinders then I would crush numbers, talk to management, take management courses (most bigger companies have some sort of a la carte training course catalog) and learn from the best leaders.ย 
ThatDudeFrio
Contributor
+1
Business Development Representative
Thanks for your response - any management courses youโ€™d recommend?
AnchorPoint
Politicker
+8
Business Coach
Be a constant learner!ย  Don't wait on the organization.ย  Talk with managers - and not just in your department - about what they do, why they do it, and what they would change if they could.ย  Always ask how you can help them and if you commit - come through!ย  As Stephen Covey taught: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.ย  If you have not read 7 Habits, that is a great place to start.

bareknuckles
Valued Contributor
+4
CEO of my kitchen table
I would start by understanding what your values are and why you want to move into management? Is it based on salary, family, title, ego (good type) and/or career progression. Much easier to be promoted in startups based on my experience but it all comes down to values first. (e.g if you value money > everything, then you may want to stay in a BDR role where you could make more money than a Manager).
Stratifyz
Opinionated
+9
Business Development Rep
My .02:

If you want more freedom and the chance to build adaptability - join a startup.

If youโ€™re looking for something with more of a foundation and probably more room to make errors - look into behemoths.

That said, they both have the pros/cons. This is something youโ€™ll have to identify personally as to what aligns with you best.

Like you, I wanted to manage people as quickly as possible. I spent almost 9 years in the Army and very confident with coaching/leadership. I thought I wanted to do the same in SaaS but Iโ€™ll be the first to tell you, I donโ€™t think itโ€™s great.

Me personally, I want to get at least 3-5 years of IC experience before I even think about management again. This way I know what itโ€™s like to build success coming from the frontlines.

Hope this was helpful!
Artemis
Politicker
+7
Business Development Representative
Make yourself stand out. Offer to help new-hires in the sales role with onboarding, work with interns, ask questions and offer advice. You'll totally kill it!

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ThatDudeFrio
Contributor
+1
Business Development Representative
Whoโ€™s head are you giving a shake?
Jbeans
Good Citizen
+1
Director of Sales
Should have been mine when i took the job. ๐Ÿ˜‚ im just saying its not all glam.
Jbeans
Good Citizen
+1
Director of Sales
Im sorry That dude frio! I only read the question - didnt see the whole story! I def would caution jumping into managment before earning your stripes as a sales rep / tech sales - I would want confidence that whomever is leading me has done the work themselves - and try to be the boss you would want to have. For me thats fair, uses radical candor and inspires me to do my best. Managing people is rough at times - you have expectations from the top and from your team . And its a lot of emotional management of peoples feelings and personalities
ThatDudeFrio
Contributor
+1
Business Development Representative
No worries at all! Very true that I believe you wonโ€™t be able to lead if your team doesnโ€™t believe you have done it. It does seem challenging managing & navigating around numerous different personalities and feelings. Thanks for your insights!
Sl
SlanginSoftware
Contributor
+3
Regional Sales Director
Start building and documenting your sales process, email templates, objection handling, resource repository, etc. When I was an AE I started using note taking systems like Evernote & OneNote to build up my sales repository that I started using daily. Using these daily made more efficient and organized to the point that I was generating more revenue than the rest of the team and got a management role. By building this up on your own, it's something that you can carry with you to the next job and share with other colleagues or peers.ย 
devopsdude
Opinionated
+1
Account Executive
Management sucks, bro. The grass ain't greener.ย 
9
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