Guest Speaker Series – Raoul Zaat – SDR to AE

Nov 26, 2021

“Have the courage to share your work and ask for feedback. Even if you make a mistake, you’ll recognise it, grow and after one month you’ll see a big difference.” 


Raoul Zaat volunteered in Kenya as part of the construction team. He then went on to study and work in hospitality, before joining the Academy in November last year and starting his career as an SDR. One year on he’s back to join the SaaSLeads staff as an Account Executive. 


Raoul’s SaaSLeads Academy reflection

It’s a time to learn 

Raoul treated his time at the Academy as a job. He didn’t want to bother his mentor by asking questions and would keep up the appearance he knew what he was doing and could handle all that came his way. However, in the last few weeks, he started networking, asking questions and sharing his calls and he found he learnt exponentially. Remember, the Academy is the place to try out, fail, learn and try again. 

Mastering the SDR role

You’ll have strengths and weaknesses. If you master all components of the role you’ll be an all-rounder and excel in the position. Don’t only do the actions you’re good at. Your Team Lead is there to mentor you and help you develop. 

Learn in the safe environment of the Academy and master all elements of prospecting, so when you graduate you have a multitude of experiences and feel comfortable putting yourself out there. 


Failure makes you stronger and you will develop faster. The company you’re partnered with at the Academy knows you’re learning and it’s better to make mistakes at the Academy than in job.


Use your Academy network. The alumni network you build will serve you well, as you will have the same goals to complete and you can ask for advice on how they’re finding it and help each other. 


Raoul’s biggest learning in sales 

Working in sales Raoul gained life skills like communication, sales processes and cadences, but the biggest learning for Raoul has been time management. 

Though it’s difficult to stick to, Raoul recommends booking time in your calendar for each action you need to complete and have an in-depth schedule. 

Post-it notes and notebooks are also vital to keep track of your weekly and daily tasks. Ticking off each completed task will make a massive difference when it comes to clarity of workload and accomplishing even the small things will feel great. 


The transition from the Academy 

Once Raoul graduated from the Academy he found he had the knowledge and got to put what he learnt to practice. He also worked closely with an Account Executive (AE), as he knew that was the role he wanted to progress into. 


Raoul’s tips for getting promoted from SDR to Account Executive

  • Ask if you can go on a follow-up meeting with an AE. Be curious and afterwards have a list of questions.
  • Continue to go to demos. 
  • Learn how AE’s ask questions and take note of how the sales process continues. This will in turn help you to book more qualified meetings.
  • Read industry articles and learn as much as you can about the space you are in, so when you have conversations about the product you are selling it comes more natural.
  • As an SDR you have to perform consistently. Show you can do more. 


Key takeaways 

  • The Academy is the place to learn. Have the courage to put yourself out there, make a mistake and learn from it. 
  • Network, network and network. The connections you make will serve you well into your career. 
  • Think about what role you would like to progress into and find out what you need to do to get there. 


Lena Miah

Lena is our Marketing Executive here at She is versed in all things marketing and loves creating thought provoking, inspirational, and informative pieces for the company. 

Lena was born and raised in London. She has a passion for all things words and completed a BA degree in Journalism at the University of Roehampton. 

When she isn’t keeping the company blog in tip top condition she can be found in a yoga class or checking out the London food scene, but if the food isn’t up to par she could bake it all herself. 

You can find Lena on LinkedIn here 

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