Employee Spotlight: Gökhan Yilmaz, Enterprise Sales

Meet Gökhan Yilmaz. He’s our Team Lead of Enterprise Accounts based out of the Munich office. Read on to learn how he transitioned from a technical career to sales, what he sees for the future of our industry, and some of his fun hobbies (including his go-to dive spots and karaoke song)!

How did you first learn about AvePoint and what drew you to your current position?

I joined AvePoint as a Junior Pre-Sales Engineer in 2011 after being approached by a headhunter who pitched AvePoint as an interesting challenge. I met with AvePoint’s Country Manager at Starbucks, who had previously worked with my brother at Microsoft. Now looking back, I’ve built a great career here.

What has been your proudest moment working at AvePoint?

I’ve been given opportunities to take on more responsibilities through promotions in sales engineering and enterprise sales. I started out working closely with our Senior Account Executives as a technical counterpart and enjoyed the challenge of convincing prospective customers on why our products offer value to their businesses.

I passed on the first opportunity to move into the sales division, as I was nervous about a closing role. When a second vacancy in the department opened up, I was encouraged to make the transition. Within my first year in the role, I overachieved against my target and knew I was born to work in sales. That’s been my proudest moment.

What advice would you give to new hires?

AvePoint is a fast-growing company and there will always be changes. I’ve adapted to these challenges with an agile mindset and have learned to see these changes as opportunities. I haven’t always been ready for new challenges over my eight year-long career at AvePoint, but I’ve learnt to fail quickly and move on with the support and guidance of my colleagues. This growth mindset is something I’d encourage all new hires to work on developing; it’ll give you a great foundation to be successful.

Also, remember that hard work and potential are always noticed. I’ve seen this repeatedly since joining the company. Success is not something that will be given to you; it requires hard work to learn our products and customers.

What are the career lessons you’ve learned thus far?

Always strive to provide the highest quality performance no matter what role you’re in. As a Senior Account Executive, my goal is to be a reliable, trusted advisor to my customers. If I make a promise then I’ll do everything within my control to make that happen, and I’ll be upfront if there are any issues. Building trust with my customers helps in many ways. If you have your customer’s trust and deliver a high level of service, you’ll be the first person they reach out to when they have a new project or need.

What do you see for the future of our industry?

I imagine that everyone will migrate to the cloud–a core part of our industry–over time, which will in turn lead to new opportunities. I think companies will move to an end user-centric direction as the economic buyer transitions more to the business unit rather than IT teams. This is reflected in the continuous development of our Microsoft Teams adoption programs, Ava bot, governance automation, and much more.

What do you like most about your job?

I love the psychology of sales meetings. When I’m presenting to a room full of people, there are always different personalities and business focuses with varying priorities. I like to identify the drivers that will gain everyone’s buy-in. AvePoint has many great products, and as a salesperson, it’s my job to align these solutions with the needs of my customers.

Tell us three things most people don’t know about you…

  1. Often, when our office is celebrating a successful quarter, we’ll end up in a Munich Karaoke Bar. I’m always the first to take control of the microphone and my go-to song is Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.
  2. I’m a certified divemaster. My common diving spots are around the Aegean coast and cold lakes in Germany. Fun fact: Did you know that a lake in Germany will always have around 4°C after a certain depth regardless of the temperature outside?
  3. I recently had my bachelor party in Las Vegas and rented a Mustang GT to get around town. I loved it so much that when I returned to Munich, I went straight to the dealership and bought one!

You’re happiest when…?

After closing a large deal, we ring a bell in the office. It’s a really nice feeling to share the excitement with my colleagues who have supported me throughout the deal.

I also love celebrating over a tasty meal and a glass of wine at my favourite restaurant with my soon-to-be-wife. Good food makes me happy!