Next up in our Employee Spotlight series is our vice president of sales, Erik Demaree.
In under a decade, Erik Demaree went from working at the Bloomberg Help Desk to being solely responsible for Auth0's North American corporate, mid-market and small business sales teams—firmly cementing his success as a leader in B2B tech sales. That drive, coupled with his proven track record for selling APIs and his interest in identifying and unlocking economic opportunities, made him a natural fit for Finch. Read on to hear from Erik himself about his move to our team and the leadership principles he’s bringing with him.
You’ve been at Finch for about three months now. What were you doing previously?
After college, I worked at Bloomberg in New York before moving back to Seattle. I took a job at Auth0, which was a relatively small company at the time, and stayed with them for almost six years. Over the course of my time there, I moved my way up from a business development representative role to running commercial sales. After Okta acquired Auth0, I started my job search.
How did your job search lead you to Finch?
I had a list of things that I wanted in a new company, and I found it in Finch. I wanted to move into a role that would allow me to apply the learnings I had accumulated while offering me more focused ownership over the go-to-market process. I wanted a company with a blue-chip investment team, a product that is the core of application-building and primarily sold to developers and product managers. I wanted to sell an API that can unlock economic opportunities. In terms of leadership, I was looking for founders that are very, very, very hungry.
What does it mean, on a practical level, to be VP of sales?
My mandate is to operationalize our entire go-to-market function. That includes building out the sales team, creating a sales playbook, and working with marketing to coalesce everything into a brand and a pitch that we can sell.
What does success look like in your role?
The thing we've been focusing on, within the sales team, is that a good today is better than a perfect tomorrow. We prioritize pushing stuff out, moving forward, and then learning from that. If we need to augment or iterate, that's completely okay.
We’ll never be “done” with building out the sales process. We're always looking for ways to improve ourselves, increase conversions, and close larger deals. Therefore, what success looks like now is very different from what it will look like six months from now when we have a larger team and different customers.
How do you approach work-life balance as a leader at Finch?
Finch is cognizant that building culture can also mean giving people space to have lives outside of their job. Of course, as a 30-person company, we have to be invested in building the company from the ground up. But we are still respectful of each other’s personal commitments. Giving people the space to be flexible and to work the way they want to work is super important.
What makes Finch a great company to work for?
We are building the infrastructure that will power the future of employment data. The use cases and applicability of what we are doing are limitless and, as a result, we are addressing both tactical and massive issues for our customers. On top of that, Finch is growing at a rate where every single employee is sharing ideas and iterating to improve processes, plans, and approach. We are constantly collaborating in a way where different functional areas can improve others. One of the hallmarks of Finch is our hiring practices. We have folks from all walks of life with completely different backgrounds. By bringing this team together and focusing on how we build together, we are able to share new ideas and perspectives to turn Finch into the best company it can be.
What’s challenging about your job?
We're a startup, so there are nuances and gaps that we still have to define. This makes every day different and fresh. You don't always know where the next challenge is going to come from. We can be prescriptive and try to anticipate that, but there's always going to be an element of surprise.
What excites you about your work?
Right now we are focused on a few specific use cases – these get our foot in the door – but they only scratch the surface in terms of what our product can do. Being an integration layer between applications and payroll and HR platforms may not sound incredibly exciting, but companies in the employment space are handling extremely sensitive data in very porous ways. If we can solve this piece of the puzzle, these organizations can build better products that can help people both at work and home.
All of this is pretty exciting, especially since employers are thinking more progressively about promoting holistic workplace wellness. Employees want to feel that their company is supportive, transparent, and respectful of their values and personal priorities. We can be leaders in this space and help refine the relationship between workers and their employers.
Interested in joining Erik’s team at Finch? We’re hiring! Check out our open positions.