It takes a certain type of ambition to disrupt a market, and even greater innovation and leadership across the c-suite to make it a reality. It’s in part why we brought on Colin Doherty as CEO earlier this year and why we welcomed sales veteran Chris Doggett as Chief Sales Officer back in mid-July. Chris, with his diverse history leading sales, marketing and delivery teams across several different technology verticals, brings critical expertise and know-how about go-to-market strategy and building sales engines as we look to the next stage of Fuze’s growth.
We recently sat down with Chris to learn more about his background and get his perspective on the massive market opportunity he sees in unified communications and digital workforce transformation. Read on to learn more.
You have a deep background in sales, but this is your break out role in the unified communications space. What is your initial approach here at Fuze?
I’ve been in sales leadership roles for over 15 years now and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to spend time in some dynamic industries such as cybersecurity and data protection. I’ve also been able to lead teams at several high-growth companies, from transformational startups to category leaders. These were fantastic opportunities for me to learn and grow professionally, to work with incredible people, and to build a strong professional network. Throughout this journey, I’ve realized that there a few key universal ingredients to success when it comes to creating reliable and scalable capabilities for sales growth.
While it may seem elementary, for me it always begins with a focus on business strategy. All too often you see sales leaders jump right into the day-to-day mechanics and metrics of sales – pulling out their trusted toolkit and diving right under the hood. While most experienced sales managers can get immediate results by rolling up their sleeves and getting right into diagnosing how to “tune the engine” for better results, often those results create a short-term uplift, only to then have sales plateau or return to the prior run-rate. Why? Because it often overlooks opportunities to change “bigger picture” items that are critical to creating sustainable engines of growth.
Successful sales leadership is also about making strategic choices and adapting your approach over time, not only focusing on measuring the end result. For any sales leader, the current quarter is always the most important quarter. Delivering a winning record over the long-term requires making adjustments in response to the many changes that will inevitably occur in your market space, at your customers, and within your company.
What’s more, sales is not an island (although some might wish it were at times). Ensuring that the activities and direction of the sales team are aligned with the overall business strategy and the rest of the organization is key to achieving outstanding performance. In my case, I put a lot of emphasis on working across departments to ensure the customer has a positive and cohesive experience and the sales team is able to best leverage everything that the company has to offer. In my experience, winning companies have strong alignment between sales and all of the other customer-facing functions, and if sales becomes disconnected and goes on a divergent path, the results are almost inevitably poor.
I was looking for an opportunity that would allow me to apply my experience and skill set to have a significant impact and add a lot of value. I was also looking for a company with strong growth potential that was ready to move to the next stage of its development. And one of the most important factors was to be able to join a team of high-caliber people with a results-oriented approach. I saw in Fuze a great match, and the more time I spent talking to people at the company to understand its goals and values, the more it became clear we were very much aligned. This coupled with Fuze’s strong position as a visionary leader in the UCaaS space, an emerging industry segment with a massive forecasted growth, made it a clear standout for me.
You mentioned the overarching business strategy serving as a key driver for your leadership style. As Fuze continues to help businesses transition its communications stack to the cloud, what do you see as their greatest challenge?
It’s interesting, throughout my entire career I’ve worked in technology in some shape or form – not as an IT professional or engineer, mind you, but it is a big passion of mine. I’ve always looked at how technology is transforming businesses. The fact of the matter is that the world is changing as a result of the cloud. Companies are moving away from legacy systems – especially voice and collaboration systems – toward the cloud. However, various pieces of this puzzle are moving at different paces and as businesses are embracing different, often disconnected pieces, it creates a choppy experience for end users that often falls well short of meeting their needs, never mind transforming their businesses. And as if assembling and integrating a set of disparate technologies wasn’t challenging enough, migrating from legacy telecommunications systems is a complex undertaking for which there is often no safety net and the cost of failure is high. From my perspective, the only circumstance in which a company would embark on such an endeavor is with a partner that they can trust. Such a partner would need to have extensive experience working with large organizations on the most complex deployments and have a commitment to understanding the specific needs of the customer and to delivering a custom-tailored solution. There is only one company today that fits that profile: Fuze.
We’re hiring for many roles in sales across the US and around the globe. Take a look at our open positions here.