A Personal Anecdote About Joining Fortanix

I won’t say how long I’ve been in sales, as I will date myself. I landed in IT/Cyber security sales about 20 years ago; selling encryption toolkits. Let us just say I have an MBA obtained on the job. I have seen a whole lot of different sales organizations, sales methodologies, and management techniques.

In my last position search, a recruiter called from a company of which I had never heard. I did the research and found a very interesting solution. I tend to like interesting solutions (I’m not good selling widgets). The interview process was short and sweet – a lot of fun. Nice people and very smart. Two interviews later and some well-crafted emails, and I was on board. In many sales organizations, as you probably know, sales is a blood sport. Competitive against the actual competition, and against team members to be “on top”. Managers raise quotas, diminish territories, redesign compensation plans to the detriment of the salesperson, and attempt to flog people to go faster.

“...But that’s the way it should be”

It is refreshing to land at a company where, what they tell you in the interview, is true. During the interview process, the CEO, Ambuj Kumar, stated repeatedly that, if I had any questions or needed help, to post it on our internal slack and “someone will feel the need to help”. During my time at Fortanix, I have seen that to be true. Any question is addressed by at least two people and, unlike you may imagine, the answers all match. As a salesperson, that really helps.

I was told that selling is a team effort; that everyone, from Ambuj down would help to make sure I and we, as a team, are successful. In my experience, I can ask anyone to join a client facing meeting, sometimes at the last moment. They have made every effort, to the point of re-arranging other meetings to be on client facing calls, and to lend their support whenever and however they are able. Clients first, always.

I was told about the culture being friendly and helpful, and it is true. Both Ambuj and our CRO, David Greene, want us to leave the people in our client facing meetings “happier” than when they came into the meeting. The entire culture revolves around being friendly, cheerful and responsive. I was told that no one would take credit for others work and no backbiting allowed. Not only is it true, but any achievement, even the ones you are supposed to do, as part of your job description, are acknowledged and praised. Everyone is a valued member of the team. All opinions are welcome and heard.

In speaking with a candidate (who I had recommended to Fortanix), I was struggling to convey this with anecdotes. He said: “…But that’s the way it should be”. Yes, but so rarely is.

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