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Common Revenue Roles at a Startup

“Pay special attention to “batons” that cross functions. Whenever a process crosses teams (Marketing handing leads to Sales, or Sales passing new clients to professional services, etc.), a “baton” is passed. These handoffs are the cause of 80% of the problems and defects in your processes. Redesign how the batons are passed to ensure they are passed smoothly and aren’t dropped.” Aaron Ross, Author, Predictable Revenue
As we continue to scale at SalesWise, it’s important to pay very special attention to our sales process, and the many different hands involved in sales. Especially as I’m hiring in both sales and marketing, it’s important for candidates and existing team members to understand the flow.

Here are the roles for us throughout the revenue-side of the business:
  • Marketing – Can go into many facets here. Specifically, the different ops sides of marketing, but from the beginning, it’s likely marketing is involved to serve up leads for sales to then engage on. (More on these later.)
  • Business Development Rep (BDR)/ Sales Development Rep (SDR) – In Aaron’s book, he cites the importance of bifurcating prospecting from the actual closers. The BDR/ ISR is the early stage of the sales process charged with contacting leads, qualifying leads, and hopefully, setting a conference between lead and the…
  • Account Executive (AE)/ (Inside or Outside) Sales Rep  – These are the organization’s closers. These individuals are charged with working with the prospect to close the deal. They may build relationships with prospects to move the opportunity forward and through to close.
  • Sales Engineer (SE) – “SEs work closely with AEs during the heart of the sale and play the role of trusted technical advisor. They are tasked with translating technical details into business value and mapping technical solutions to business problems.” – Keyuri Yagnik, Sales Engineering Consultant
  • Implementation/ Onboarding – The onboarding team in our case overlaps with the engineering/ product team for now – they help launch a pilot. Given we have some setting up on our end to create dedicated servers for customers, we are hand-holding these implementations before building an AE-admin board and perhaps a self-servicing admin panel.
  • Customer Success (CS)/ Account Management – This role is about ensuring a customer's on-going engagement and education of the platform. The CS provides feedback to the engineering team of what they've found from existing customers. CS teams can also be responsible for up-sell and cross-sell opportunities; thus, it's common for some CS teams to carry quotas.
  • Customer Support/ Customer Service – Different than the Success team in that this role is not assigned to customers, typically. Instead, they provide levels of support from troubleshooting to more technical. They help “fix” issues. 


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