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Faces of SteelCloud: Unveiling the Unconventional Sales Champs

September 12, 2023

Faces of SteelCloud: Unveiling the Unconventional Sales Champs

Last year we featured our outside sales team and they recounted the infamous story of the unicorn. But at SteelCloud, the sales function goes beyond actively seeking out new customers. For example, there’s the data and forecasting Barbara Hyatt generates as our Database Manager, fueling customer acquisition and retention. And there are the customer retention efforts spearheaded by our Account Manager, Umer Khaliq, that ensure every client remains happy with our products and renews their contracts.

These professionals—and really everyone from customer care to QA to development—fuel sales within SteelCloud in one way or another. They may not be flashy about it, but they are there doing the work that makes SteelCloud a leader. This is their story.

Let’s start with the basics. What do your jobs entail?

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Barbara: I manage SteelCloud’s Salesforce CRM. My job is heavily centered on data integrity. We can’t create great forecasting or insights into trends without great data. I collect, process, and clean the data that comes from the sales team, the prospects, the industry, and the clients. Then I get to crunch it and turn it into actionable intelligence.

Umer: As Senior Account Manager, I manage existing accounts, from ensuring aFaces of SteelCloud: Unveiling the Unconventional Sales Champs 2 hassle-free implementation to addressing concerns that come up from time to time. It’s my job to make sure our customers remain happy with our product and service and support so that they renew and become long-term members of the SteelCloud family.

Barbara: And the way this all comes together is that the information Umer receives along the way goes into Salesforce, documenting preferences and other intelligence, as well as documenting the process, to further fuel both the outside sales team and customer care.

What are some of the challenges that come up in your job and how do you address them?

Barbara: One of the most challenging parts of my job is making sure we have the data we need. As we sharpen the ways we use Salesforce, we need to sharpen the way we collect data. If someone asks for data that was not previously tracked, we have to train them to capture that information. The other challenge is that Salesforce will be working fine at 5pm on a Friday, then on Monday morning, everything is broken. So, the care and feeding of Salesforce takes some finesse, too.

Umer: A couple of things. One of the challenges is environmental—things within a customer’s environment that can create roadblocks. Turnover is another issue with my client contacts (and relationships) changing as people come and go on their end. One of the things I do to stay on top of all of this is conducting quarterly business reviews with each customer and ensure I know everyone on their team, and they know everyone on mine. These reviews also serve to forecast challenges and learn clients’ needs and goals. I’m not aware of anyone else that maintains that kind of relationship with customers. Yes, it’s about retaining business. But it’s also about giving customers the kind of service they should expect from an industry leading solution.

What are some of the qualities that make you good at your job?

Barbara: I was originally interviewed to become a SME (Subject Matter Expert) at SteelCloud. But Brian Hajost (SteelCloud Co-Founder and COO) saw certain attributes in me that would make a good Database Manager. I’m a lifelong learner. I always have to be on top of things. I’m always learning something new. And I relate well to others. I don’t need to be the star; I make an excellent Best Supporting Actress. It goes back to my days as a band geek. I didn’t want first chair. I’d rather play harmony than lead. SteelCloud recognized all of this and leveraged my strengths, rather than my previous work experience. And it works well because I see data from a different perspective than someone who has been swimming in it for 20 years. I present a different perspective that can often be the catalyst for creating success.

Umer: I have a similar story. I wasn’t even looking at SteelCloud as a potential job. Prior to working for here, SteelCloud was my client. I was a headhunter and hired many of the people working here today. When I decided to leave that company, SteelCloud said “come to work for us.” They recognized my skills in communication, knew how I serviced their account, and knew I was solution-oriented. I feel like there is no issue I can’t solve. We can overcome any challenge a customer is having. SteelCloud tasked me with creating a framework for that and challenged me to work outside the box. With any sales position, the energy you put in impacts what you get out. And I’m willing to put all my energy into ensuring my customers are happy.

Why do you love doing what you do?

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Barb’s Fur Babies: Roxy and Amos

Barbara: What SteelCloud has is rather unique. We have a group of people who enjoy each other’s company, work well together and like coming into the office every day. Sure, there are hiccups. But we always seem to find a way to work with each other and we have the same end goal. In the past few years, we’ve doubled in size and the family feeling has not changed. When I say we are a big happy family, it doesn’t mean we’re here all the time so we may as well be family. We really enjoy the people we work with. So, while our product is a unicorn that actually performs the impressive feats we say it does, the company is also a unicorn in that we really do love working together.

Umer: I’d agree with all that. Coming in, I was already invested in SteelCloud. I had observed it from the outside, knew what kinds of people they hired and how they were to do business with. I was already invested in the company’s success. And I saw how passionate everyone was working here. Being surrounded by people who care so much makes the workday easier. We all have a common mindset. We want to fight for this company. This is bigger than a job. In the four years I’ve been in SteelCloud’s orbit, we have gone from 27 employees to 57. Our sales team has gone from 2 people to 7. Support has doubled or tripled. Development has at least doubled. And in all that time, only 3 people have left the company. Once you get here, you just don’t want to leave.

What kind of impact do you think SteelCloud has on the industry?

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Umer, the self-proclaimed “Master Chef”, cooking Egg Roll Bowls

Barbara: Nigel (Nigel Hughes, VP Sales) says, “Nobody wants to STIG.” You don’t become a STIG expert by choice. And when you add ConfigOS to your app stack, it relieves people of the STIGging and frees them to do the things they wanted to do when they applied for their jobs. It’s a sigh of relief. A game changer.

Umer: It all comes down to the ability to cut down on cost, time, and resource allocation when organizations are under the gun. While customers realize a financial ROI, they also realize ROIs in terms of time and effort.

When Barbara and Umer are not attending to customer needs, they spend time with their families. Barbara recently moved to Georgia with her husband David, and their two dogs, Roxy and Amos. They also have six children in their blended family between the ages of 22 and 2. Barbara works remotely and travels to the office regularly. Umer and his wife Sheeza recently purchased their first home in South Riding. They have two pups named Benny and Franky. Umer is a huge sports junkie and would like it to be put into print that he is a better cook than his wife.

Connect with Barbara and Umer on LinkedIn!

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