This week’s ROTW is Daniel Kimm, a Senior National Account Executive at Velocify. Velocify is a sales acceleration tool that helps reps to prioritize daily sales activities, accelerate lead response time, and gain deeper insights into their sales funnels. Daniel was nominated by his Vice President of Inside Sales, Josh Pittman.
In Josh’s words – “In May, Daniel was 192% to quota, and he’s pacing at 142% for Q2. Beyond his stellar performance, DK is the consummate AE professional. He’s a true student of his craft and is always looking to learn from everyone around him. Daniel has an unmatched work ethic and is happy to help others – in sales or in other departments.”
We had the opportunity to chat with Daniel and are happy to share his story!
Quotakillers: Can you describe your role at Velocify for our readers?
Daniel Kimm: I’m on the inside sales team and was very recently promoted. I am now officially our first Senior National Account Executive. My role is solely that of a hunter – we have another group that manages existing accounts. We focus primarily on the mortgage, education and insurance industries, but the great thing about Velocify is that any organization with a sales team can benefit from using our software. We run on a monthly cadence – I enjoy the reset that comes with each flip of the calendar. I travel to see clients at their location every now and then, but most of our presentations are delivered via GoToMeeting screen share.
QK: What would you say separates you from other great salespeople?
DK: In a word, tenaciousness. I don’t give up – ever. I hate to lose and am laser-focused on winning opportunities. Preparation has been incredibly key to my success. The last half hour of each day is spent game-planning the next day’s calls and perfecting the value propositions I’m going to emphasize. Luck is where preparation and opportunity meet, so I try to make sure the preparation piece is taken care of because you can never have too much luck in sales. I also spend a lot of time prospecting into companies that would be a good fit for our solution. Supplementing my pipeline with self-created opportunities has helped to maximize my performance – and in turn, my compensation.
QK: How do you deal with failure?
DK: Every failure is a learning opportunity. I think about what I could have done differently, better, etc. I’m constantly honing my skills. I also do my best to assure I don’t repeat my mistakes. Through my experience I provide suggestions for others on the team so they don’t have to develop the same “battle scars” that I have. Beyond that, I always try to stay positive and look at the brighter side of things because having the right attitude makes a world of difference.
QK: Where do you see your career going in the future?
DK: Currently, I really enjoy being an individual contributor. The thrill of going after the sale and getting the close keeps me motivated and excited to come to work daily – as does going after that next promotion or raise. In accordance with the new title, my responsibilities will include expanded mentoring of less-tenured Account Executives and Sales Development team members. In time, I want to get into a sales leadership role. Then I could play an even bigger role in developing people and helping others to achieve their own success.
QK: What tools help you to be great at your job?
DK: Our tech stack includes Salesforce for CRM, Marketo for lead scoring and nurturing, Exec Vision for call analysis and coaching, Ambition for gamification and performance visibility, and obviously, Velocify Pulse. Pulse allows for sales automation, activity prioritization, rules-based lead distribution, and call and e-mail cadence management. It really does accelerate the sales process, and I’m not just saying that because it’s our product. I look back to my days in calling-oriented sales roles prior to having Pulse and wonder how much more I’d have been able to accomplish with an amazing system like this. The Ambition Tool is great as well, as it allows you to see where your performance stands compared to your peers – this really helps keep us on point! The software gamifies the selling environment in a very motivational way. We have leaderboards set up, contests running, and milestone achievements displayed. When you close a deal it plays your “walk off song” – mine is “Every Day I’m Hustlin’” by Rick Ross.
QK: What was the most memorable deal you’ve ever signed?
DK: Our CEO is big on work/life balance and is kind enough to close the office each year between December 24th and January 1st. While it’s great to have that flexibility during the holiday season, the life of a top-producing sales rep doesn’t always include a lot of time off – in fact, I haven’t taken a true vacation in six years! Anyway, I came in on Christmas Eve to chase one of the largest inside sales deals of the year. The lights in the building actually turned off automatically at 8pm and not long after that, I officially got this monster contract back. Since no one was in the office to celebrate with me, I took out my iPhone and recorded myself ringing the “sales gong” (and subsequently mic-dropping the gong hammer). I sent that short video to the whole team to share the victory and not long after got a congratulatory text from my VP simply stating “You are friggin’ awesome DK!” That made my day. This story proves that hard work pays off.
QK: What advice would you have for an SDR/BDR looking to become an Account Executive?
DK: Be coachable and stay humble. And always be hungry – don’t take your foot off the gas pedal. So many early-career reps seem to “stop” when they reach their quota – taking longer lunch breaks, more time at the watercooler, and side conversation with co-workers tend to increase. This is the time to pile on and set yourself apart from others, not let up!
QK: What were your first three jobs?
DK: Growing up, my family owned a 1-hour photo shop. I was working for my dad up to twelve hours a day (without getting paid!) – This is where work ethic was ingrained in me. My dad worked even harder and set the example I try to live up to every day. In college, I worked for the UCLA Annual Fund where I was calling alumni and asking for donations. While this job was a grind, it helped me to build foundational sales skills. I learned how to relate to people quickly from just a small bit of information and build rapport through conversation. My first “real” job was at LowerMyBills.com – a quintessential west coast start-up. We dressed casually and some folks even rode razor scooters through the hallways. I was fortunate enough to cash out my stock options and experience the benefits of a successful start-up. This was the beginning of my career as a salesperson in the tech space.
QK: Do you have a mentor?
DK: Yes, a gentleman by the name of Don Lavoie. I don’t speak with him very often because he’s super-busy and it’s mostly by email when we do communicate. But, any time there’s a big career decision to be made, Don is one of the first people I reach out to. I greatly respect and appreciate his input when it comes to evaluating opportunities, examining the direction an industry is moving towards, or picking through a particular competitive landscape. Don’s background includes time as a top-performer at Xerox, so not only is he a standout by his accomplishments with a notable brand, but also by the structured training pedigree that is so often under-emphasized by today’s companies.
QK: Are you superstitious?
DK: Yes, to some degree. There is a whiteboard in the office that we Account Executives use to post our numbers and “peacock” our deals. Until a deal is officially closed, I don’t talk about it, and I wait until the credit card clears to put it on the board.
QK: Three dinner guests?
DK: Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Marc Benioff. Jobs was the ultimate visionary. He saw things way beyond what others could even imagine. I also identify with his pursuit of perfection and I’d want to see what made him tick. Zuckerberg is THE millennial superstar and success story. He could have sold Facebook early at the advice and pressure of his initial investors and advisors – but, he stuck to his guns and his own belief that he could build a world-changing company. Mark did just that, and it earned him billions as opposed to millions. Last, but definitely not least, Benioff is the king of cloud-based SaaS, (which is my selling focus), so he’s certainly on my list.
QK: Away from the office, what are your favorite hobbies?
DK: I have a passion for doubles beach volleyball. It helps me get the stress out and I enjoy relaxing at the beach. I also love spending time with my six-year old son, Christian, and my beautiful wife of ten years, Vivian. Family is everything to me.
QK: What is your favorite TV show?
DK: House of Cards.
QK: If you could have one final meal, what would it be?
DK: A 58-ounce porterhouse steak from The Ranch Restaurant (A phenomenal place in Anaheim) with Lobster Mac and Cheese and some In-N-Out Double Double Burgers – with McDonald’s french fries of course. Life is short – live it up!
Please like/share/comment to congratulate Daniel on his success!
At Quotakillers, we’re building the premier online community for top-producing sales professionals. Register today to access content written by salespeople for salespeople and to be kept abreast of how we can help to fast-track your career and your earning potential. Don’t worry, we won’t spam you! We’re building a movement and we need your help. Follow us on Twitter @Quotakillers