Enterprise Software Sales Reps Put Their Passion Into This Before Competing for a Top Sales Job
Top software salespeople know the best sales jobs are highly competitive.
Enterprise software sales jobs are competitive because there are more salespeople than exceptional sales opportunities. Find that hard to believe?
Well, let’s define what we mean by exceptional software sales jobs.
Finding a company has a robust solution, crack implementation teams, knowledgeable pre-sales support, marketing prowess, high-caliber SDRs/BDRs, and rock-solid executive leadership is a hard combination to find. Most salespeople have to work around company gaps and limitations.
Although there may be “lots of sales jobs,” there aren’t many exceptional ones.
The best salespeople compete for opportunities offering compensation packages north of 300K. So what’s a top software salesperson to do to win the job offer?
The best Enterprise Software Salespeople prepare for interviews with passion, diligence, and determination. They see this expenditure of time as an investment in their sales career.
They spend time investigating every ounce of information they can get their hands on, digesting organizational charts, reading Zoom Info snips, looking up employees on LinkedIn and even striking up conversations with the target employer’s reps before the first interview.
Depth of research is critical, and over-preparing allows top software sales reps to add value from the very first meeting.
Where should you focus your pre-interview research?
So glad you asked.
Happy to provide you with an actionable list to get your research started.
Pre-Interview Research Checklist for Software Salespeople
Research The CEO — So, who’s the CEO anyway? You need to memorize his/her name and look at their background. The CEO is your potential future leader we’re talking about, so get up to speed on this mastermind, and quickly.
Look up the CFO — Yes, you need to know who the CFO is. Why? Because they are usually the second most important person in the company. The CFO is the CEO’s confidant, the analyst, the person with conservative financial ideas, the voice of fiduciary responsibility, and the risk-averse amber hand of caution.
Don’t forget to find out who they are. Their influence runs deeply through most organizations, even if it isn’t glaringly apparent to others.
Search All News — Use Google and get the latest news on your future employer. What’s making the news about this software firm?
Review Current Website Blogs — Don’t forget to check out the company’s blog. Reviewing blog posts will give you an idea about their marketing team’s capabilities. What are they saying in their blog? What topics are they highlighting? Blog articles point you to concepts that are relevant and top of mind for an organization and their customers.
Read Recent Press Releases — Read press releases and find out everything you can about the company. You’ll find awards, office moves, honorable mentions, anniversaries, and other tidbits of insightful information.
Certainly Check Out the Current and Former VP Sales — Who is the VP of Sales? Who was the last VP of Sales? Research these two people extensively. After all, they will both impact your future due to their current and legacy sales strategies, mindsets, frameworks for engaging prospects, goals, quota’s, expectations, and more.
The current and past VP Sales will impact your day-to-day sales activities, strategies, and career opportunities.
Look Into the VP of Marketing—Who is the VP of Marketing? Since most prospects spend a great deal of time doing their research, the marketing team should be providing information that’s at least mediocre and not embarrassingly awful. Download whitepapers, free reports, and other marketing offers.
Sign up for a demo, request any be sure to request any and all information. This will give you a good idea of the marketing team’s capabilities You’ll not only see what they are producing, but the hot buttons they are emphasizing, the words and language they are using, and the topics they are choosing to emphasize.
Pull Forrester and Gartner Reports—Of course, you need to research the competitive landscape. Find out who you’d need to beat out on any software deal. What are the strengths of the solution you’re thinking of selling? What kind of competition will you be facing?
The more you can learn about the technology and its challenges, the better informed you’ll be walking into an interview situation.
Deep-dive into LinkedIn Profiles—Review all profiles, rough-sketch your own org chart, find out who’s on the sales team. What are their backgrounds? How much experience do they have? What are they saying on their LinkedIn profiles?
Visit Other Social Media Sites—Check out Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter and look for a company account. These accounts and the information they provide could be helpful, so don’t forget to take a look at them.
Sometimes they’ll have an explainer video of their software, or maybe even a presentation given by the CEO. Anything you can find might give you extra insight into what they are doing.
Explore Primary Research—This is one tip that I find the obsessed salespeople tend to employ. Reach out to someone on the team and see if they will share insights about the sales culture.
The information you receive will be less filtered when you contact a potential peer before you are formally introduced to the sales team through the formal interview process.
However, keep in mind, you don’t know much about who you’re talking to, or what kind of framework they’re filtering their opinions through. So, use good judgment when employing this strategy. Also, don’t come across as a stalking tiger, use emotional intelligence to do this smartly.
Other Valuable Research Tools—Crunchbase, ZoomInfo, Glassdoor, use any other research tools you may have to find out additional information. Glassdoor is a good resource to collect a sense of the cultural nuances of an organization. But, don’t read too much into the reviews.
Many employees who don’t enjoy working at an organization will be the ones most apt to leave a review. Happy employees are less likely to say anything at all. So take what you can and use your own good judgment.
You’re Sales Career is Too Important to Neglect Preparation
So, how’s that for actionable tips?
I know what you’re thinking---this is a lot of work. Who has time for this?
Well, ask yourself what percent of the population makes over 300K a year? According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s 2% of the United States.
Probably about the same percent of salespeople who will conduct every bit of this research.
Now, I can’t promise you this kind of homework will land you an exceptional software sales job, but I can promise you one thing---when you take the call, Zoom your interviewer for video chats, or walk into the company’s office, YOU’LL BE READY.
I bet you’ll be radiating confidence without giving it a second thought. Might even have to remind yourself to humble down a few notches.
So, what exactly should a software salesperson do with all of this information?
Find out in our next blog post.