Meet Taylor Davenport, Executive VP of Sales and President of AvePoint Public Sector. Read on to learn more about his AvePoint story, leadership approach, and what stands out about our North American Sales team at AvePoint!
First, will you tell everyone your origin story at AvePoint?
Great friends, a little bit of luck and good timing!
As a fresh graduate and former collegiate hockey player I went back to my hometown in Canada where I spent the summer pondering, “what’s next?”. After making the decision to trade in my hockey jersey and skates for slacks and a button down, I made my way to NYC. With no job, I hit the streets. I found a role as a contractor performing financial audits and quickly realized that wasn’t the right fit for me.
One night in 2010 over dinner with close friends, I was introduced to a sales opportunity with AvePoint. At that point, I hung up my accounting hat and started slinging AvePoint software. It’s been a wild 11 years and counting and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store!
What tips do you have for those who are thinking about entering software sales?
Most importantly, find an organization that fits from a cultural perspective. The right company culture is about loving what you do, who you do it with, and who you do it for. Second, find a company with software solutions that you believe in and can stand behind.
Was there anyone who has inspired or mentored you throughout your career?
I’ve been very fortunate to have strong mentors early on in college and throughout my time at AvePoint.
During my undergrad experience, I was fortunate to have three mentors who guided and taught me many valuable lessons. My Law Professor (Dale Grossman), Accounting Professor (Jack Little) and a local entrepreneur and guest-lecturer (Tony Eisenhut). This group of individuals helped me understand what the world looked like outside of the classroom and hockey rink and opened my eyes to the possibilities of the professional world.
At AvePoint, I’ve been fortunate to partner and work with many fantastic individuals. Early on in my career, I had access and the ability to be mentored by our founders, Kai and TJ. Kai took the time to sit down with me and discuss my path at AvePoint during a very early stage in my career as an inside sales rep. TJ and I have had the opportunity to co-guest lecture at Cornell, both being alum of the university. My experiences with Kai and TJ have been an absolute value add to my overall success here.
What’s the best career advice you ever received?
First, you get out what you put in! Whether that be time, energy or effort. Simple and straight forward. Work hard, work smart!
Second, know where to go for what. Be resourceful! We have many amazing resources and knowing who and where to go is a huge win in driving your business forward.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone. Get creative, get excited and try something new!
What stands out about the Sales team at AvePoint?
The collaborative nature of our Sales team stands out first and foremost. We embrace internal collaboration across many teams to drive our shared mission and objective forward.
We also have very tenured teams, which is a rarity in the software sales world but an integral part of our success. Many sellers have been here for well over 5-6 years, which speaks volumes to our company and our reps’ confidence in our platform and technology. We’re continuing to evolve and innovate so our Sales team can have the tools to be successful.
Are there any recent milestones or accomplishments you’re excited about?
We have a fantastic momentum and foundation across the North American team, whether it be Sales, Engineering, ACS, Customer Success, Marketing, Legal, etc. I look forward to partnering with every division and team to build a more collaborative, streamlined business unit. One dream, one team!
What is your leadership approach like?
The foundation of how I scale my teams is by being the best seller on the team, not just through coaching managers and individuals, but by getting into the weeds with our sellers to drive objectives forward. This is something I pride myself on – working with folks to ensure they’re successful.
What do you look for in a potential new hire?
I look for someone who’s willing to put in the time, energy and effort. Our tech has been validated in the market and our most successful people will go the extra mile to promote and engage with potential customers to see the value of our solutions. We have a tremendous amount of resources to leverage here, so working hard, smart and collaboratively is essential.
What’s your most memorable experience while working at AvePoint?
This might seem small, but I’ll take you back to Jersey City, 2011. We had the entire sales team in our small conference room for an exciting new product release… the DocAve Connector! Why was this so memorable? It wasn’t about the product specifically, but the HOW and WHY we built it. As with many of our solutions, it started with a market need, customer ask, and an opportunity for AvePoint. This was the first time I fully appreciated and understood AvePoint’s core values:
- Agility – to build and go to market in little to no time with a market ready solution.
- Passion – you could feel the excitement across the sales team to hit the phones with a new weapon in our belt.
- Teamwork – to see how all the teams came together to build, validate and take a solution to market.
All teams were onboard and driving it forward. Interested in taking your sales career to the next level? Check out our jobs and apply today!