Sales roles for early talent

There are two main early sales roles at SaaS companies like Shopify. If you are accepted to Revenue School - our four-month sales training program - you'll shadow and gain hands-on experience to prepare you for these two roles: inbound and outbound sales. Read on to find out what's involved in these positions. 

Inbound sales representative

In this role, you are part of a team that handles inbound leads from potential and existing customers. Inbound leads include anyone who reaches out to Shopify through inbound calls, live chats, contact-us forms, partner referrals and marketing events.

As an inbound rep, you provide a first-class customer experience and quickly reach out via phone or email and ask questions to understand the customer’s business. If you identify that Shopify can help them and the business is a good fit for the platform or additional offerings, you then move them forward in the sales process and assign them to a senior representative, such as an account executive, to close the deal.

For example, if a marketing director from a wine company fills out a form to attend a Shopify webinar, you would follow up and contact them to find out more about their ecommerce needs and how you can help.

Outbound sales development representatives

This role is known as an SDR or sales development representative. As an SDR, you would focus on outbound lead generation, meaning you would research businesses that are not on the Shopify platform and reach out to demonstrate how the platform can help them grow or resolve a problem. 

Your day-to-day as an SDR includes developing and executing your outreach strategy, collaborating with other sales roles, generating your own pipeline and engaging with potential customers through a variety of personalized touch points (e.g., calls and emails).

SDRs use various tools to understand the prospect’s business and find ways to personalize their outreach to their contacts. You could reach out to companies ranging from larger well-known brands to local shops.

For example, an SDR discovers a lifestyle company is having security issues with its website. That SDR crafts an outreach strategy consisting of calls and emails to highlight how the Shopify platform can resolve those issues. 

Characteristics for early sales roles

There are a number of qualities that make someone a good fit for an inbound or outbound sales role. Here are the main ones: 

  • Shopify merchant-obsessed
  • Personable/helpful
  • Curious
  • Persistent/resilient
  • Have strong time-management skills
  • Creative
  • Problem solver/solution-oriented
  • Possess a team mindset

Where to go next

The salespeople in these two roles create a world-class experience for prospective merchants to help them find the best solutions for their business problems. 

Once you’ve mastered these roles, you can explore other sales opportunities including account executive, sales lead, solutions engineer, launch engineer and merchant success manager.

Want to know more?
Listen to Shopify sales leader Daniel Kurrasch share stand-out qualities for salespeople early in their careers.