Sit down with Account Executive, Leya Gibson Budd

Leya Gibson Budd joined us in July of 2020 as one of our first ever Business Development Representative (BDR) hires at Codat. Her hard work, positive attitude and dedication to the business all contributed to her securing a promotion to the role of Junior Account Executive in just 6 short months. Not only did we want to congratulate her on this recent success, we also wanted to sit down with her to learn more about her journey at Codat.

We are actively looking to grow our BDR and Account Executive teams at Codat. If you would like to learn more about the opportunities, please get in touch with Zak Forbes, Talent Acquisition Manager, [email protected]

Tell us a little about your role at Codat and how it’s changed over the last few weeks? 

I joined Codat 7 months ago as one of Codat’s first BDR hires. Since joining, it’s been fast paced with a lot to learn, having not come from a SaaS or API background. 

However, I feel confident that I’ve really excelled in the position and that is illustrated by my recent promotion to Account Executive. When I first started, I was responsible for engaging with prospects and managing the start of the sales cycle. I’m now taking full ownership of the end-to-end process.

What led you to want to pursue a career in sales and why did you join Codat? 

I’m a competitive person and want to be successful quickly in my career. Sales is a meritocratic industry which allows this to happen, so naturally I was drawn to a role in Sales and quickly fell in love with it (excuse the cheesiness).

Codat is an amazing company that genuinely solves a real life problem for small businesses. Backed by a leading VC and a 2 time recipient of BCR funding, it was clear to me that Codat was going to be a huge success and that was something I just had to be a part of!

What would you say have been the core differences between working as an BDR to your new role as Account Executive? 

Working as a BDR was such an important step for me as it allowed me to really understand Codat’s offering at a granular level. I believe it is one of the most important roles in a commercial team as the best quality clients come from successful prospecting. The main goal of a BDR is to secure high quality meetings and to set the Account Executives, and inevitably Codat, up for success. 

Now, as an Account Executive, my role is to guide prospective clients through the sales process whilst building a long term partnership with them to, in the end, close the deal and drive revenue for the business. Prospecting is still a huge part of my role as an AE, you just have to be much smarter with your time.

What do you enjoy about being part of the commercial team at Codat? 

Our commercial team is set up so each Account Executive and BDR has a specialised vertical, mine being Commerce and Business Applications. This means we are all experts in our field and allows us to easily establish credibility with clients. Our team is full of great individuals with strong backgrounds and longevity at Codat, so I constantly feel at ease, especially when I need extra support on client calls. I joined the team in the middle of a pandemic, I’ve had a chance to get to know everyone and have felt as part of the team from week one so I think in itself, that says a lot about our team.

What do you think enabled you to be successful and gain a promotion? 

Codat’s team, my determination and eagerness to learn as well as my diligence are all contributing factors to the success I’ve had. I’d definitely like to shout out Codat’s Commercial team, Product leads, Solutions team, People team and the Founders who have all been readily available as and when I had questions. Without their help I would not have got up to speed so quickly. However, it takes a lot of work and genuine interest to apply yourself correctly and to have the right attitude to really be successful in any role and that I’ve shown consistently.

What advice would you give to someone looking to follow a similar career path? 

The most important thing is your attitude, attitude towards your role and within life. I live by the motto that “positive thoughts bring positive outcomes” and if you can apply that into your career then the world is your oyster!

What do you think the biggest challenge would be for someone learning about the sectors that Codat serves? Would you recommend any any reading or other resources that helped you better understand the sector? 

APIs can be complicated and to be honest, I knew nothing about them before finding Codat. There are a lot of developer blogs online which can be helpful but I found reading through Codat’s API docs really helped me get to grips with the technical lingo. 

Payments is also a beast to understand, an area I’m still learning. Shout out to Nick Codron who recommended a great podcast on Payments Innovation which I’d definitely recommend for others – Simon Haslam, the payments industry transformation! Additional reading across relevant FinTech news pages, articles and podcasts are the best way to familiarise yourself with the sectors we work in.

What are you looking forward to most in 2021? 

Codat has some punchy revenue targets for 2021. We’ve already onboarded some fantastic clients – notably Virgin Money, Brex, Airpa and MoneyTech – and I’m privy to the forecast which also includes some big names. Codat’s commercial team is looking to double in size, so there are a lot of exciting opportunities coming up as well options to visit our new US office. Who knows what else is to come – Codat has just scratched the surface so all I would say is, watch this space!