What’s in the Title


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Job titles are an important part of our work lives. In many ways they define us as professionals and become the measure for how others perceive us and behave in our presence. They are also indicators of our authority and expertise and our climb up the career ladder.

It is a fact we have learned to live with, in the corporate world – where you are identified by your job title more than by your name.

It might be safe to assume that titles originated in the cavemen era, since it made it easier for them to relate a man to his skills and to his contributions to the society at large.

Today job titles can boast a history of their own, they have undergone several changes over the decades, owing to the demands of the ever growing number of businesses across the world and to the fact that the ‘it’ term for one generation ceases to appeal to the next.

As a marketer I find it really interesting to note different titles which are used in sales and marketing landscape. There have been some innovations in the last 2 decades or so, geared by the growth of the IT industry. Some of these changes have been driven by environment like Chief Sales Officer seems to be giving way to Chief Revenue Officers (Revenue sounds better than Sales) and some driven by need to reflect the value of the new functions.

In this post, let’s take a look at the various Marketing and Sales titles in the industry and how they have evolved. Most of today’s titles can be divided into two broad categories – the refined versions and the new entrants to the marketplace. And then of course there are those which belong to the twilight zone – the amalgamates of sales and marketing functions.

In Sales

We see Regional Sales Head, Divisional Head, and Head – Business Development giving way to more sophisticated titles like VP International Sales and VP Business Development.

Some of the new titles entering the sales space owing to the increasing demands of running and getting business are those of Sales Administrator, Sales Coordinators and Account Executives – Sales. All titles and people behind ensure, the sales team functions in an organized manner and gets business orders in plenty for their company. Setting goals, measuring performances, assessing the market growth at the ground level is some part of the jobs of these individuals.

Actual sales itself in many companies is divided into Inside sales – people who first establish contact with prospective buyer – those who make the cold calls to target companies in their list and Field sales, people who finally go and get the actual sale done.

Telemarketer or Telesales is another category which is quite common in both B2B as well as B2C companies. These roles are a great training ground for people who want to pursue a career in sales.

In Marketing

With the boom of social media marketing, there has been a phenomenal increase in the number on new roles and titles. Now you have Executives, Specialists, Managers and Directors for every type of marketing activity a company undertakes.
There are the Direct marketing managers, the email marketing managers, marketing communication managers, event planning managers, marketing database managers, online marketing managers and Directors, SEO Specialists, the list can be endless. It seems the more the number of channels a company uses to market, the more the number of titles it adds to its admin database.

I guess those days are not far off when we might just see, Twitter response managers or Facebook ‘like’ update Managers :)

While the traditional sales and marketing roles and their titles are undergoing change, there is a new breed of executives whose professional status can be described as a marriage of sales & marketing roles. Demand Generation Managers, Global Online Demand Managers, Global Lead Management Program Manager are some titles which are responsible for both marketing, developing new business leads and also managing those business leads.

Most titles vary from company to company, depending on the process flow and reporting format adopted by the company. However, C-Level titles, like CEO, CXO, COO etc. continue to hold a universal appeal.

While many titles do give an overview of the authority and decision making capability of the holder, it may not always be the case. A lot depends on the size of the company and its territorial spread.

The roles and responsibilities shared within organizations are constantly changing. Hence as marketers and as sellers of products and services it becomes imperative to be on the know of these changes, connecting to the right person with a pitch or query can make or break your future relationship with that organization.

Also, pitching to an executive keeping his roles and responsibilities in mind makes the pitch more customized and useful for the person, increasing the chances of eliciting a positive response…

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shreesha Ramdas
Shreesha Ramdas is SVP and GM at Medallia. Previously he was CEO and Co-founder of Strikedeck. Prior to Strikedeck, Shreesha was GM of the Marketing Cloud at CallidusCloud, Co-founder at LeadFormix (acquired by CallidusCloud) & OuterJoin, and GM at Yodlee. Shreesha has led teams in sales and marketing at Catalytic Software, MW2 Consulting, and Tata. Shreesha also advises startups on marketing and growth hacking.


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