Making the Move from Service to Sales

By | Culture, Professional Development, Talent | No Comments

By now you know that DAXKO believes in promoting from within.  In fact, over half of our team members aren’t in the same role as when they started.  We like giving folks opportunities to grow, take on more responsibility, find a role they love… and rock at!  There’s lot of those kinds of stories here at DAXKO.  Here’s one…

Sally, Product Specialist
DAXKO Claim toFame: Now in her third role at DAXKO, Sally first rocked it on the customer service side of the house and now works to promote our products and services to future customers.

Q: In your first role as a Trainer, what did you most enjoy?

A: I LOVED seeing people ‘get it’ – seeing it ‘click’ and watching people realize how our software can fundamentally change the way their business runs.

Q: After almost 2 years as a  Trainer, you moved into a new role.  Tell us about that move.

A: I was seeking a new challenge and looking to take on more responsibility.  I became DAXKO’s first CRS – Customer Relationship Specialist (now called Adoption Specialist).  I worked with our customers to better understand their needs and to help them fully adopt and optimize our solutions.  Since then, that team has more than doubled in size (now 3 people).  The company has seen positive results from creating that role and is continuing to invest in the vision.

Q: What did you learn during your time as a CRS?

A: One of the most important skills I learned during that time was how to ‘triage’ a situation – gather the necessary info, delegate tasks, and put out the fire.  I also learned how to step back and allow others to handle those delegated tasks.  That was hard for me, but I feel like it helped me develop some self-discipline that was missing before.

Q: A year and a half later, you joined the Sales Team as a Product Specialist.  Are you glad you made the move?

A: Moving teams was the absolute best thing I could have done for my career!  While I enjoyed my time in Professional Services, moving to an entirely new team within DAXKO broadened my horizon of how a company should operate, how teams should work together, and the importance of sound businesss processes, accountability, and metrics.  I feel like the move helped me to grow professionally and better understand what I want to do long-term.

Q: How has your role as a Product Specialist evolved?

A: I’ve definitely brought some structure and accountability to the role.  I’ve also taken on two additional products – DAXKO Accounting and MobileFit.  In order to help my team operate more efficiently, I’ve thrown myself into their environment, even taking on some admin responsibilities with our internal CRM system.

Q: What’s your favorite aspect of your current role?

A: I love supporting the Account Executives that sell our products and services.  The Account Executive is like the quarterback.  My position varies based on who we are facing defensively.  I’ll play wide receiver, tight end, or running back… whatever it takes to help my quarterback score the touchdown!

Q: What does the future hold for Sally?

A: That’s a good question!  Currently, I’m working with my team lead and an experienced mentor to figure out where I want to go professionally.  We’ll see…

DAXKO Recruiting: How Many Candidates Do We Interview?

By | Culture, Employment Brand, Interviewing, Talent | No Comments

If there is anything the insertion of technology has done in the hiring process, it’s cheapen the value of each application submitted by a candidate when job hunting.  The old process used to keep a lot of people out of consideration – it took work, including printing your resume, addressing an envelope, maybe doing a cover letter and getting the whole thing out in a timely fashion.

Now, candidates can push send and send out a couple hundred resumes in an afternoon via tools like Monster, CareerBuilder, etc.

Most of which are promptly ignored by the business world.

Which brings me to the point of this post.  Across a few thousand resume/online application submittals, here are the DAXKO stats regarding what the hiring funnel (how many resumes we receive for each position filled, etc.) looks like overall on average to this point in 2009:

  • 62 resumes received/sourced for each open position
  • resulting in 14 phone screens (23%)
  • resulting in 8 first interviews (13%)
  • resulting in 3 second interviews (5%)
  • resulting in 2 third interviews (3%)
  • resulting in 1 hire for the open position in question (1.6%).

Too hard? Too soft? Depends?

First up, I was a little stunned that we actually phone screen 23% of all applicants and interview 13% of those candidates.  The numbers seem a little high to me, and I guarantee you that most Fortune 500s don’t approach those percentages for phone screens and interviews.

But, we don’t use job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder, so the big boards that would drive overall volume for most companies aren’t in play for us.  Which means our capacity to phone screen and interview equates into a higher percentage since the huge resume volume isn’t a problem for us.

Your thoughts?  Always interesting to look at the numbers…

Commonplace at DAXKO – from Supporting to Managing the Product

By | Culture, Grow Your Career, Professional Development, Talent | No Comments

Remember ‘The Jeffersons’ theme song ‘Movin on Up’?  Well that’s a recurring theme for DAXKO as well – people taking on new challenges and moving into bigger roles, that is.  In fact, over half of our team members aren’t in the same role as when they started.  We’re big believers in giving folks opportunities to grow, take on more responsibility, find a role they love… and rock at!  There’s lot of those kinds of stories here at DAXKO.  Here’s one…

Saranda, Product Manager
DAXKO Claim toFame: Moved from supporting DAXKO’s products to driving the direction of DAXKO Accounting – DAXKO’s answer to accounting for nonprofits.

Q: Where did you start out at DAXKO?

A: I started as an intern on the Support Services Team, providing front line support for our products.

Q: What did you learn during your time on that team?

A: I believe Support at DAXKO teaches you ownership and self reliance. There are some issues that you face that no one else can help you with. Once you get through those issues and determine the best solution for the customer, everyone – you, DAXKO, and the customer – is better off.

Q: What did you love about your time on that team?

A: My favorite thing about Support was the constant interaction with customers. DAXKO’s customers, for the most part, are in their jobs because they genuinely care about their cause and mission. To get to interact with these people on a daily basis makes you feel like you are contributing to their mission as well.

Q: What prompted you to move into a Product Manager role?

A: Let’s face it…not all issues in Support can be resolved. As a support services team member, it is very hard to tell a customer this. While in Support, I helped manage what we then called the “Hot List.” It was basically a list of maintenance items that needed to be updated in a product release. I helped prioritize this list and give the customer’s perspective on outstanding issues. It was while working on this project that I realized how much I love the excitement of resolving big pain points for our customers.

Q: What skill did you learn in Support that have come in handy in Product Management?

A: My time in Support was an opportunity to gain extensive knowledge of our market, our customers, and the problems they face. I also learned the importance of truly listening to what each customer says and asking questions. One simple detail can make a big difference in a resolution or development project.

Q: What have you learned about Product Management?

A: I have been a Product Manager at DAXKO for about three years. During this time, I have learned that Product Management or whatever role you are in is whatever you make it. At the end of the day, Product Management is about leading our products, our services and our company to another level and always striving to do more. I have also learned that you have to truly love your products. Product Management is similar to parenting; you have to continuously consider the daily health and well being, but also future long-term strategy.

Q: What do you love about Product Management?

A: I still sincerely love when I can call a customer and say, “Do you remember when you told me you had X problem? Well we fixed it!”

Q: What does the future hold for you?

A: Now that the task of launching a new product is behind me, it’s my goal to take this new product and make it extremely successful! The more customers benefiting from all the hard work we have put in to DAXKO Accounting the better.

I Would Have Never Learned this at School

By | Culture, Professional Development, Talent | No Comments

DAXKO’s internship and co-op experiences are different than most.  You won’t make copies or coffee… well, for anyone except yourself.  You won’t be sitting on the sidelines twiddling your thumbs and counting the days until semester’s end.  You’ll actually be in the game… and you’ll be expected to contribute.  Here’s the ‘unsolicited’ experience of one of our favorite software engineering co-ops.  Good luck, Shane!

Two years ago, I sat nervously across the interview table explaining how I loved working with computers and would love to work at DAXKO. At that time, I didn’t realize just how much I would love my work at DAXKO. Neither did I imagine how great of a learning experience it would actually be. I’ve been at DAXKO and college for the same number of semesters, and I’ve discovered some invaluable lessons here that I don’t think I would have ever learned at college:

Sometimes you have to work with technology that your uncomfortable with.  Eventually, you’ll become comfortable with it.
Spring, Hibernate, Java, JasperReports, Ext, JSP. These are technologies that I knew nothing about when I first stepped through the doors of DAXKO. They are also technologies that play an integral role in how DAXKO’s newest product works. (Yes I, a co-op, was working on DAXKO’s latest and greatest.) I had no clue where to start, but I was here and I had to dive in somewhere, so I learned. Over time, what started as uncomfortable became comfortable. I’d even go as far to say that I’ve become more comfortable working with technologies that I’m uncomfortable with – if that makes any sense.

You don’t have to understand every single piece of the software to be able to work on it.
On all my school projects, I knew what every line of every function of every class did. My projects were small, understandable, and I felt comfortable working with them. When I got to DAXKO and took one look at the code base, I was… well, overwhelmed. Despite feeling lost, I jumped in.  And with the help of my peers, I was able to put my fears aside and start making a real impact.

Unlike in class, when someone asks you to solve a problem, it’s because they don’t know how to solve it.
School can spoil you. Not only does the teacher already know the answer, but so do the 18 other people in your class who are working on the same problem. You always have a fall back – just in case you can’t figure it out, there’s someone that can help you.

After a short time at DAXKO, I was given a list of issues to solve.  Some of them proved to be difficult (in my mind, even impossible) to solve, and it dawned on me that I couldn’t just give up and ask the teacher or a classmate. I realized that the only reason anyone would ask you to figure something out is if they didn’t already know how.  School is just a funny exception. After that sunk in, I began to think much harder and more creatively about the issues I was facing.  And what do you know… they turned out to be not so impossible after all.

Software is important to a lot of people’s lives.
When I was in high school, computer programming was a hobby of mine. Because it was something I did for fun, I spent my time making things I liked – websites and games, for example. I worked on what I wanted to when I wanted to, and no one really wanted or needed anything I was making, so I wasn’t in a rush. After programming so many websites, games, and school projects, it took me by suprise when I realized just how important DAXKO’s software is to our customers.  Soon after, I discovered that…

Making meaningful software feels good.
As fun as projects like command line blackjack and recursive factorial multipiers are, they just don’t feel all that important. Even my very first (and relatively small) contribution at DAXKO gave me a greater sense of accomplishment than entire projects had in the past. Knowing that the CEO of a multi-million dollar organization will someday look at my work is quite exhilarating. Also, solving the issues of our customers is inspiring because you’re helping real people solve real problems.

All in all, working at DAXKO has been an amazing experience in so many ways!