But during that process, I got to know the sales executive who sold the software to my company. I was intrigued by his total command of the business issues my bank was dealing with, his ability to bring expert resources to the table, and the overall project itself. Seeing that really impressed me, and I wanted to learn more about the role and enterprise software in general. So I asked if I could take him out to lunch and ask him questions about his career and quickly realized that enterprise software sales was where I wanted to be.
You made a few stops at other enterprise software companies before joining Workday in 2010 as a regional sales director. What was it that drew you to Workday?
I distinctly remember when Workday won Chiquita Brands and Flextronics as new customers in the company’s early days. Both are still customers today, but they were real market proof points at that time. And just seeing two large, successful companies make the move to Workday got me intellectually curious, so I started to reach out to people I knew at Workday.
I remember thinking, “Boy, if I don’t get there soon, I’m going to miss out on this great opportunity.” And here we are 11 years later, and we’ve only scratched the surface of the opportunity in front of us.
You’ve talked about how you believe Workday has the best sales team in enterprise software. Is there one thing you can point to that makes the team special?
Being in sales for more than 25 years, I’ve seen lots of different sales teams. I’ve seen really effective ones and really ineffective ones. To me, what always bubbles to the top here at Workday, what makes us so effective, is the unencumbered way our people sell. And what I mean is that there is literally never a moment where your integrity is put into question. We never cut corners—integrity is always paramount. So when you are freed up to always do the right thing in terms of the customer and their employees, the results simply follow from that. And that’s a big reason why I believe our team is so special.
The pandemic was extremely challenging for everyone. Were there any key learnings that you and your team had through it all that you believe will help you in the future?
As you might guess, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this over the last 18 months. Certainly, just like everybody, we were knocked on our heels a bit when the pandemic first hit. And as a result, I think we got really good, really quick, at applying a certain litmus test anytime we’d interact with a customer or prospective customer. Because we knew they were dealing with the same challenges we were as a company, so we’d ask ourselves: “Is this of critical business value to this customer or prospective customer, or will it only serve to frustrate?”
This helped us focus and apply an increased level of scrutiny to how we engage so that we bring real business value to each and every interaction. We’re a better sales force for having gone through that, and I see our teams around the globe continuing to apply this litmus test today. If we can get that to stick for the long haul, we’ll continue to be able to deliver an amazing experience for our customers.
You mentioned earlier that you believe Workday is only scratching the surface of the opportunity in front of us. What excites you most about Workday’s future?
We’re on a path to $10 billion in revenue, which represents more than doubling the size of the company. We’re not content to simply eke out a little bit of growth each year. To me, it’s exciting to be part of a dynamic company daring to be great. We’re building something enduring here at Workday.