The power of mentorship to advance your career & enable others
By Breanna Ballman
Kathryn Daugherty and her trusty work from home “coworker”
As a part of our Life at Nutanix series, we profile some of our talented employees around the world to help you get a sense for our unique team and what it’s like to work at Nutanix. This blog post features Kathryn Daugherty from our Commercial Sales team who is based in Los Angeles, California. She started at Nutanix in 2015 as a Sales Operations Intern before accepting a full time Sales role. Today, Kathryn continues to expand her knowledge of the sales landscape and our Nutanix solutions while working in a field sales role and mentoring others within Nutanix.
Here’s our conversation.
You have had an impressive career trajectory at Nutanix. What has contributed to your success?
Nutanix is a unique company with opportunities for growth and promotion that many other organizations don't have. In my case, I interned for 3 years supporting the sales organization as an order administrator. I had an incredibly supportive manager and mentor who encouraged my goals of shifting into the sales organization. I interviewed to become a Sales Development Representative, eventually was promoted to become an Inside Account Executive, and then moved into the field as a Commercial Account Manager.
Every manager I have had at Nutanix has enabled me to be successful in my immediate role while also coaching and mentoring me to further develop as a professional and prepare for the next step in my career.
You are a Commercial Account Manager at Nutanix. Tell us about what that means.
Being an Account Manager means you're the face of Nutanix for your given region. We represent the Nutanix mission and brand in every engagement we have. While we're responsible for growing the business across existing and net new customers, we’re also responsible for ensuring the success of those customers, as well as, our partners. This entails being available, responsive, adaptable, and patient. As an Account Manager you’re helping organizations bridge the gap between IT and their overarching business objectives. This requires going beyond the scope of a typical sales role and serving customers as a trusted advisor to ensure they can outperform within their industries by leveraging our solutions.
I am currently working on building our business in Southern California by bringing on new customers, expanding current customers, ensuring renewals, and building strong relationships with our amazing channel partners.
Kathryn and one of her colleagues at a Nutanix event
How does your team impact the success of our customers and our company?
My team is incredibly vital to the success of Nutanix. We're at the frontlines, selling to new customers, helping existing customers expand, and building relationships with the channel to enable them to lead with Nutanix. We're all working towards one common goal which is to make IT simple for every organization we possibly can.
Kathryn onstage accepting a Nutanix Sales award as a Sales Development Representative
Talk to us about your leadership style.
While I don't presently manage people, I do mentor several inside sellers. I personally learn by doing and I think that's the case for many sellers. Every day is different, we wear a lot of different hats and until you're in certain situations, you have no clue how to handle them.
I coach my mentees by encouraging them to master their current role while also preparing for the next. For those who want to become field reps, I encourage them to start preparing their first call pitch, to practice with their teammates and eventually consultants when they feel ready to pitch externally. I allow them to shadow me on deals so they can see the full sales cycle. I also share the good, the bad, and the ugly. I've made countless mistakes and think studying from our mistakes is very important in order to learn from them. I'm very open when it comes to times I could have handled situations differently and hope that sharing those moments helps others to learn from them as well.
In addition to your role at Nutanix, what other interests do you have here at Nutanix?
I'm very interested in getting into leadership at some point. I have a lot to learn and want to be an individual contributor for the foreseeable future, but I've found I'm really passionate about mentorship. I would love to get to a point in my career here at Nutanix where I could take the plunge and move into a management position!
Have there been any unexpected bright spots from the last year or so of the pandemic?
Although the last year has been very challenging, I was able to get promoted, moved to LA and started my career as a field rep in August of 2020. I feel fortunate to have had such an incredible career opportunity during a very uncertain time. I also love working with my dog by my side daily, he's a great coworker and has built quite the brand over the last year with his frequent Zoom call appearances.
Thanks to Kathryn for giving us insight into her experience. To learn more about our team, culture and current job opportunities at Nutanix, visit our Careers page.
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