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The Complete AWS Account Manager Review Guide – Inside Sales

Learn about the AWS Account Manager salary, culture, and role.

*Note: This is for the Inside Sales Account Manager role (Inside Sales Rep).

Role Basics

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What title does AWS give Inside Sales Reps?

Externally, Inside Sales Reps are known as Account Managers and Account Executives. Internally, they are known as Inside Sales Reps (ISR’s).

What type of work experience do you need for this role?

The required years of experience and work experience vary depending on the level you come in at. 

Inside Sales Reps begin at Level 4 and top out at Level 6. There are some field sales reps who are Level 7’s, but this is very rare.

  • L4: 2 years of full cycle sales experience 
  • L5: 7 years of full cycle sales experience
  • L6: 12 years of full cycle sales experience

Note that this is full cycle sales experience, so SDR experience would not qualify.

How is the sales org structured?

The main sales orgs are ISV, startups, and enterprise. The sales orgs are then further siloed by account type and spend.

Within the startup org, for example, the highest tier of accounts is the DNB group, or Digitally Native. Accounts in this territory include Netflix, Instacart, Robinhood, and other unicorn-like companies that have blown up in the last decade. 

The next tier of accounts is known as Hot Startups. The companies within this tier are on the cusp of blowing up into a company like a Netflix. 

One step below Hot Startups is the High Potential patch. The High Potential patch will be growing companies with a relatively small AWS spend. 

The sales org eventually further segments down to Greenfield accounts. Greenfield accounts are smaller companies with little to no AWS spend.

Within all of these patches, orgs are further segmented down by geographic location and industry (healthcare, financial services, etc.).

AWS does not segment by product. AWS Sales teams sell every product in the AWS suite. However, there are several Business Development specialists who focus on a particular product that you could bring into a meeting with a customer.

 

What does an Account Manager do at AWS?

The inside sales Account Manager’s main responsibility is to increase AWS consumption within low priority accounts and new lines of business at existing accounts.

It’s also important to understand the AWS sales team structure. The inside sales Account Manager role is an overlay sales role. They are aligned to one field sales rep and the field sales rep’s territory. The field sales team will lead the go to market sales strategy within that territory, and the inside sales rep will help fill gaps in the territory. The inside sales rep and field sales rep will also have an SDR (known internally as a Demand Generation Rep) assigned to them to help with prospecting.

For example, the field sales rep might own the relationship with the key stakeholders in IT at an account, but need extra help getting into a different line of business at the account, i.e. Finance or HR. The Inside Sales Rep would then try to break into the account in those lines of business. 

Another way they might work together is a field sales rep will focus on the top 5 or 10 accounts in the territory, and let the Inside Sales Rep focus on the remaining accounts in the territory.

However, AWS does not explicitly define how the Field Sales Reps and Inside Sales Reps are supposed to work together. Management expects the field sales and inside sales team to work out the go-to-market strategy between themselves.

Which AWS offices do Inside Sales Rep work at?

Inside Sales reps work out of the Seattle and Washington DC offices. However, due to the pandemic, all Inside Sales Reps are work from home.

What level are AWS Account Managers?

AWS Account Managers, whether inside or field sales, are typically L4 through L6. There are some cases where you see an L7 Account Manager.

AWS Demand Generation Reps (DGR’s), the name AWS gives their SDR’s, are typically L3.

Culture and Daily Life

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What's the AWS sales culture like?

Your day to day as an Inside Sales Rep will depend on your field sales rep you are aligned to, as the field sales rep ‘calls the shots’ and leads the go-to-market strategy for the territory. The inside sales rep role is new so there are not strict guidelines as to how the team should operate.

Your time will be split between prospecting, administrative work such as updating Salesforce, and customer calls.

AWS has a very intensive hiring process, so expect to have high expectations, a high pressure culture, and be surrounded by high performing individuals.

How many hours per week do AWS Account Managers work?

Generally, you will work 50 to 60 hours per week. You can expect 70 hours per week when you are first starting out or when deals are closing.

Salary, Commission, and Quota

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How much does an AWS Account Manager make?

Your salary, commission, signing, and stock bonus depend on your level and how well you negotiate.

Check the AWS company page for detailed information on compensation.

How are the quotas structured?

Quotas are based on growing the territory’s annual consumption. For example, if the territory consumed $50 million in AWS credits last year, this year your quota would be based off being able to grow the consumption to $57 million.

The quota revenue operations creates is determined by a variety of factors, but mainly the territory’s prior year performance and projected growth.

AWS Competitors

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How competitive is the product and solution set?

AWS’s product set is top of the line. It consistently ranks at the top of Gartner’s cloud rankings and is well known throughout the industry as the top cloud provider. You can consistently win greenfield customers, grow existing accounts, and close multi-million dollar deals.

Who does AWS compete with?

AWS’s main competitors on the cloud side are Microsoft, Google, IBM, Alibaba, Oracle, Dell, and Rackspace.

Tips to Succeed

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What is the best AWS Sales Org to sell in?

The best sales org at AWS is the Enterprise sales org for multiple reasons. 

  • Established Customers
  • Large Deals
  • Internal AWS Resources Available (Solution Architects)
  • Tried and true internal processes – Fair Quotas, Clear attainment Goals. The newer orgs, ISV, for example, don’t have as much history to build their quotas off of.

 

How big of a role does territory play in your success?

Territory plays a minor role in one’s success. Most people at AWS according to our data hit their quota at AWS. 

If you are in the ISV org you will be facing an uphill battle as the org is new so there are various challenges around attainment, SE resources, and overall strategy.

What is the AWS sales training like?

You get a dedicated three month period where you will get product and sales training. The training is mostly video based, so you should be prepared to focus on retaining and memorizing the content. The rest of the training is workshop based and interactive training, although is only a small portion.

At the end of the training period, you will have a ‘Check ride’, where you will do a sales presentation for management. They will test your product knowledge and sales presentation skills. 

You will also need to get your AWS Cloud Practitioner certification.

What advice would you give to a new rep?

  • Be flexible and build a strong relationship with your field rep. 
  • This is the field rep’s territory, so be prepared to follow their lead.
  • Network internally so you can get the right internal resources (product and Biz Dev experts) on your calls
  • Take advantage of the training period to get acquainted with the products and network
  • Do not panic if you don’t get everything the first day in seat. It takes about six to nine months to really ramp up at AWS. There is so much to learn in terms of product knowledge, sales skills, and internal processes.

Is now still a good time to join AWS as a sales rep?

Yes. The inside sales team is rapidly growing, the pay is top of market, and the technology is best in class which makes it an easier sell. If you can handle the long hours but are looking for a high paying inside sales job, this is the place to be.