Breaking Into a SaaS Sales Career: Advice from ZyraTalk CRO Jeff Cook


SaaS, particularly conversational marketing software, is an industry that just keeps on growing.  With an outstanding 92% customer satisfaction rate, web chat has revolutionized the way customers communicate with businesses and the way businesses serve customers. It's no wonder why  SaaS sales career opportunities are not only abundant, but also lucrative.

Additionally, the industry always needs talented software engineers, account executives, and digital marketing moguls. ZyraTalk is no exception. To accommodate a rapid growth rate, we're currently recruiting results-driven sales representatives. 

Looking to benefit from this astronomical growth? Here's everything you need to know about breaking into SaaS sales.

Quick stats about industry career opportunities

  • Businesses process ~1,000 chats on average per month. (Source: Who's On)
  • Technavio predicts the global SaaS market will grow by $60+ billion from now until 2023. (Source: Business Wire)
  • As of 2020, 85% of businesses are expected to invest in SaaS solutions. (Source: 99firms)

A few responsibilities of a SaaS sales development representative (SDR)

  • Calling leads generated from email marketing campaigns
  • Educating prospects on the product
  • Scheduling demos

Breaking into a SaaS career: top tips from ZyraTalk CRO Jeff Cook

Our Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Cook has trained his fair share of SDRs at ZyraTalk. He's sharing his expertise to give candidates a better chance of securing a role in the industry. Take it away, Jeff!

What interview tips do you have for aspiring SDRs?

It seems these days most candidates will have a volume “spray and pray” approach on sites like and others.  My recommendation is the opposite. Actually do research on the few companies you find interesting, find the DM’s of the position and send a relevant and specific note to them about what interests you about the position and why you may be a good candidate. 

And then FOLLOW UP. 

We recently posted on those job sites for 2 open SDR positions and we had over 75 applicants. Not ONE of them reached out directly and/or followed up. It’s really sad. The whole role of the SDR is to prospect decision makers and send messaging that is unique and different to get their attention. If you can’t do that in the interview process, you certainly won’t do it in the job.

What type of person will enjoy/succeed in a startup?

I’ve worked for all types of gigs, from huge corporate entities to small startups. It takes a certain person to enjoy each. There is no right or wrong, just different. A lot of people will say the cliché of work ethic and discipline being the most coveted characteristics. 

Although they are important in the startup world, because of the independence that comes along with it, they are not the top two characteristics I look for. These are:

1). Curiosity: In a flat culture, the best ideas come from all roles. We want people that ask "why?” Why do we do this? How can we do it better? Our entire platform has been built on customer and employee feedback and with SDR’s and AE’s on the front lines, they sometimes have the most relevant feedback of all.

2). Adaptability: In a startup, things can change/pivot quickly. Sometimes the only constant IS change. Some people really struggle with this. They want defined structure. They need hand-holding. If you are the opposite of that and enjoy fast-paced and ever-changing efficiencies in the organization, and being an agent of that change, startups may be for you. 

If you like “having a say” and actually making an impact in the changes that are implemented for the greater good, startups may be for you. If you have the ability to adapt, look at things from different angles, and flourish in this type of environment, startups may be for you.

Wrapping up

Here's a short checklist for anyone seeking a SaaS sales career, whether it's with a startup or a large corporation:

  • Reflect on whether you possess the two most important characteristics for a career in SaaS sales: curiosity and adaptability
  • Research a handful of companies you'd like to work for or find interesting.
  • Familiarize yourself with every aspect of the role: expectations, quotas, salary, benefits.
  • Find information for the direct managers of the roles and send them a personalized note about why you're an excellent candidate for the role. If you have questions, now's a good time to ask them!
  • Follow up! (This is crucial.)

And there you have it: our top tips on landing a career in this fast-growing industry. Got questions? Start a chat with us, or follow Jeff's advice and message our team members directly. (Hint: follow the #poweredbyzyra hashtag on LinkedIn to find us and stay updated on our development.)