In Our Leadership at Cohesity series, we talk to our amazing leadership team about work philosophy, the things that excite them about their teams, and why working at Cohesity is like no other career in tech.
In this edition, we talk with Kevin Delane, Chief Revenue Officer, about the great sales opportunities at Cohesity, our unique culture, and how we create outstanding career paths for our Cohesians.
My dad was a salesperson at Xerox, so I must have been influenced there. In addition,I was always an athlete in school, and I felt that sales was a good way to fill that competitive void as I joined the workforce. I entered the tech industry when I found a job with Dell EMC.
I think times of hyper-growth at a company have always been the best times in my career. I had a long run with Dell EMC. But by the time I left, they had gone beyond that. When I left, I went to a start-up, which gave me the opportunity to experience that hyper-growth phase of a company once again.
First, I love that we’re in that development stage as a company. I love that our product is focused on data, and that it has the potential to really disrupt the market. I always believed in working somewhere where I get to represent the best solution for customers.
I only ask for a few things from my team: Trust is first and foremost; it’s crucial that you are able to work together with a teammate honestly. That means having integrity. I also ask for accountability—whether that means we’re looking at our successes or areas for improvement. Lastly, even though my team works hard, we also make sure to find time for fun!
Since Cohesity is still relatively small, the sales team needs to be scrappy and work together to show that we’re capable of big things that a customer might not be able to see right away. To that end, we’re really activity-driven, and partner prospect-focused. Those things have been a real challenge during Covid, but are getting better. I’m back in the New York office and I have to admit, it’s great to feel that energy again because this team is about community and bringing people together.
We’re always working on figuring out a formula for success—whether that’s in the lower or higher ends of the market—and moving towards a precise sales motion. We want to be able to point a salesperson at the right account, with the right formula, and if it’s followed, the salesperson will be successful. Over nine years we’ve developed this formula pretty well, so if someone comes in with true discipline, and the ability to listen, they’ll be successful here.
So it starts at the entry-level, which is a great opportunity for people right out of school. That’s a great way to come in and learn. That’s a Sales Development Representative or Business Development representative position, and we’ve put a lot of focus on adding headcount there over the last year. We also have about 80 open job opportunities right now from commercial, to select, to enterprise, all the way up into our strategic accounts. Also, first-line and second-line manager positions.
It’s also important to offer cross-functional growth for people, give them a good feel for the company as a whole, and provide an opportunity to move throughout the business in the areas they want to go.
If you overachieve here, you’re going to make a lot of money. First, we have a six-month quota. So quotas are attainable. Secondly, we focus the quota on annual contract value, and that keeps the number smaller. So, when you have a smaller number it’s easier to do two hundred and three hundred over quota, so the road to the acceleration bonus tiers is quicker!
I really do think it’s the people. I also love watching someone new, someone younger (as most of them are), come in and move up and further their career. Lastly, if I compare us to the competition (and I see us performing better on a quarterly or annual basis), it makes me feel like a winner. I love to fight. I love being in the middle of a competition and winning it. I don’t care if it’s a 10k or a five million dollars deal—I love the thrill of winning, and that is what keeps me going.
If you’re willing to join up, embrace our system of sales, and commit to it, I guarantee you that there’s an opportunity to grow and make money. Our road towards becoming a billion-dollar company is out there, and we don’t need to change much as a company to get there.