Want to submit a question and be featured in our advice column? Click here. (Don't worry, you'll remain completely anonymous).
Dear Quota Team,
I’m in my third year of sales and am trying to decide between two different roles. Currently, I’m an inside sales rep for a company that’s kind of a hybrid between a tech company and an agency. One of the roles is an internal role at my company, moving up to team leader (this is just under a sales manager at my organization), and the other is an Account Executive role at a well-funded tech company that’s not a competitor to the company I work for now.
The team lead role comes with a very small base pay bump, and an even smaller bonus based on team performance. I would still be an independent contributor, but would also be involved in helping other reps manage their deals and more involved in training new reps. Based on my calculations, I would probably make between 10k and 15k more per year than I am making now if I took the team lead role.
The AE role would be more of a lateral move. My current company has a decent product and customer base, but it has a ceiling and I don’t think there will ever be an IPO or anything like that. This new company is likely to IPO eventually, though I’m not necessarily counting on that. The base for the AE role would be almost $40k higher than my current base, and total on-target-earnings (including the base) would be almost $100k higher than what I’m making now.
Basically, if I take the team lead role, I’ll be making just a bit more money, but I’ll be more on track for a sales manager position, whether it’s here or somewhere else. If I go the AE route, I could make a lot more money and break into a more “traditional” tech sales role compared to where I am now. I think I can be successful in either case, but am having a hard time making a decision. Generally speaking, I am in sales for the earning potential. But the idea of getting into management is very appealing for me too. Do you have any advice?
Deciding in the Northeast
We think the answer comes down to how much you like your current employer. You didn’t say whether you’re happy where you are. If so, then the devil you know might be a better option than the devil you don’t. As some of our other advice columns have shown, the grass isn’t always greener.
That being said, if you’re motivated mostly by money, then the AE position sounds like a smart move. Assuming reps there are hitting their targets, a $100k pay raise is pretty huge. And when it comes to moving up into a management position, you can do that anywhere if you proactively put yourself on that track.
So, if you love your current company, then consider taking the team lead role. If it’s not what you expected, you can always make the switch a year from now. However, if money is what’s driving you to work hard everyday, then the AE role is unlikely to disappoint. Just do your research and make sure you’re going into it with eyes wide open. Good luck!