The Gulls took a 15th-minute lead through 12-goal top-scorer Rene Howe after Exeter's Tommy Doherty was adjudged to have handled Nathan Craig's deep cross, before Exeter drew level with a penalty of their own in the 84th minute.
Ling said: "They (Exeter) came here third in the table and we got a point off them. We have drawn three and lost three and obviously need a win but this gives us some hope we are starting to head in the right direction.
"We have got Chesterfield here on Saturday, so we are home again and hopefully we can play for 90 minutes like we did in the first half.
"Rene Howe is back on a bit of a roll now, that's his 12th goal and he tends to go on runs with his goals, so let's hope this is another one because he has scored twice in two home games.
"He is an important component for us and you always know if he is on the field he can make something happen. He did that again.
"Overall I thought we did well in the first half but were holding on the longer the game went on in the second half.
"I said to Joe Oastler to effect the game and by doing that sometimes you have to stay on your feet. If he had done that then maybe we would have seen it out.
"But it's a point. We need to build on that and we need a win to get confidence back in the camp because we keep conceding so many goals late on in games."