How to make the jump to SaaS sales, from reps who have done it successfully

Here's what our sales experts have learned since joining.

By Rachel Serpa

Published March 1, 2017
Last updated August 31, 2020

Making the decision to transition from one industry or career path to another is a big step that deserves careful thought and consideration. However, it’s important to remember that it’s never too late to make a positive change, and, in many cases, the transition is much smoother than you could have ever imagined.

In this two-part blog series, Base sales reps share how they successfully made the jump from other roles and industries into SaaS sales. Read their stories below to start getting inspired!

Paul Salazar

Paul Salazar

Ever get the urge to shake things up in your career? It's okay because you're not alone. I used to work countless hours dedicating my life toward making a difference in the healthcare industry. After five years, however, my job took a toll on me. That's when I decided to make a switch from healthcare to SaaS. Making a transition from healthcare to tech may seem daunting, but that definitely isn't the case.

Here are a few things I recommend. First off, leverage the work experience you already have. Switching industries doesn't mean you have to throw out your current skill set. In fact, you can use this skill set to your advantage. Chances are, you will be bringing a fresh perspective to the table. Second, get your foot in the door by using the power of the internet. Build an online presence and connect with influencers through sites like LinkedIn. It never hurts to connect and gain more knowledge about what you're interested in getting into.

Finally, create the mindset that healthcare and SaaS are not very different when you really come to think of it. I remember wanting to get into healthcare hoping to make a difference. I also remember wanting to be part of an-ever changing environment that keeps me on my toes. Like the medical industry, the tech industry offers the same traits. If you are thinking about making a switch, try these recommendations! It sure has helped me make a successful transition.

Kevin Hogan

Kevin Hogan

When I think about transitioning from the logistics and transportation industry to SaaS sales, I immediately think of understanding the full scope of a customer’s potential and how it’s similar in both industries. Working for a 3PL, I had to build a pipeline of consistent customers and opportunities, because when things change on a dime, you need to fill that space where your last customer has left a void. In order to do that, you need to be on the phones consistently bringing in new business. You need to focus on learning more about prospects’ processes month-over-month so you understand the entire opportunity and if they have the potential to be your next big customer.

Similarly, in SaaS, with it being a much more collaborative workspace, understanding the full scope of a customer’s potential is essential in the selling process. The more value you can identify in the sales process, the stronger case you can put together when it comes time to close the deal. If we aren’t exploring the full use case and the value the solution can bring to various roles and departments, the full opportunity will not be uncovered and the sale might suffer.

Ready for a change?

If you’re considering making a jump from healthcare, logistics or any other industry into SaaS sales, feel free to leave a question or comment for Kevin or Paul below. And if you think you might be interested in landing at Zendesk, check out our jobs page.

This post originally ran on the Base blog. Please visit if you’d like to learn more about Zendesk Sell.