Welcome back to Beyond The Data! This month, we’re highlighting Jake Keefer, an Account Manager on our sales team who is celebrated for being a team player, going the extra mile for our customers, and his unmatched work ethic.
Tell us your name, where you’re from, and a little about you.
My name is Jake Keefer. I grew up in the great state of Wisconsin, but I currently reside in Roseville, MN. Surprisingly, I have nothing but great things to say about the Twin Cities area! I have found the people here to be very friendly, but I must admit, they do have poor taste in their sporting teams. In my spare time, I love staying active in the great outdoors, golfing, and any sports activity imaginable.
What does it mean to be an Account Manager? What do you actually do in any given day?
As part of the sales team at phData, I am laser-focused on making sure our partners and customers are successful. On a daily basis, I am focused on building relationships and nurturing partnerships for phData and our clients. Some people would describe the “Account Manager” as a “Quarterback” of the phData team. It’s my job to enable our very talented architects and engineers to communicate with our customers and make an impact for their organization.
Tell us about the sales team. What is it like working with them every day?
Being a part of the phData sales team has been a great experience! There is a “team-first” mentality that provides a great sense of collaboration and also a competitive edge to make each other better. We have a very diverse group of people on the sales team. We have everything from sailboat racers to hockey players to golfers … (and poor golfers for that matter, I would fall into this category).
How long have you been with phData? What past experiences have prepared you for this job?
I joined the team at phData in December 2019. Time sure flies when you are having fun, as I am fast approaching one year with the team! Prior to phData, I worked for Oracle in Boston and Minneapolis, which provided great sales experience. I had some mentors to help me learn the in’s and out’s of the technology industry and provided hands-on experience managing relationships with customers in the Fortune 100 space.
How have you seen the company change since you joined? How has your job evolved?
A lot has changed since I joined the team! Our offerings have continued to evolve, and amidst a global pandemic, we have continued to grow the team. My role has continued to morph as I have expanded my responsibilities across more territory in the Midwest and Northeast United States. While there has been plenty of change, I think the one constant that has stayed true is the culture of phData. The number one thing that drew me to phData was the people. On a daily basis, I see examples of phDer’s that put others first and are committed to excellence. It’s contagious! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
What's the best career advice you've ever received?
The best professional advice I ever received is, “The one constant in life is change. How you respond to change will dictate your success”. This has really stuck with me and allowed me to stay positive in times of adversity.
What is the one thing you want customers (or prospective customers) to know about phData?
I think our people are the big difference-maker. We always talk about our core values being the foundation for our business, and it really shines through every day. Our core values – grit, curiosity, community, and psychological safety – help propel us to build strong partnerships and drive success for our customers.
What has it been like working from home as a sales professional? What positive things have you learned from this experience?
It has been an adjustment to get in a routine working remotely. For the first few weeks, I was confined to a card table in my basement while my wife enjoyed the comforts of a well-lit office on the main level 🙂 Initially, I think it was a challenge to build meaningful relationships remotely, however, I feel we have done a great job of responding to the “new normal”. I think it’s a great lesson for all of us. When you are dealt with some adversity, you need to make the best of the situation. And all things considered, we have a lot to be grateful for. One positive outcome of working from home has been increased efficiency. When you get rid of the commute and extensive traveling, it has opened other doors to spend more time with family and more bandwidth to work on more sales opportunities.
What's your favorite memory from your time working at phData so far?
Our company-wide summit in February jumps out to me. Hearing our cofounders tell stories about the humble beginnings of phData was a great moment to reflect on the success of phData. It also motivated me to contribute to our continued success. It’s funny to look back on our first company-wide photo with maybe 10 people. Now it is a challenge to fit our entire team into the frame!
What do you do for fun when you’re not working?
My wife and I recently had our first son in August. It has been one of the best experiences of my life. When I am not working, I am interacting with our son. My wife and I are convinced that he has been growing by the minute!