Consistency is Matt Young’s friend. Our new VP of sales has spent his entire life in Connecticut; Monroe, Connecticut, specifically. He has also spent his entire professional career in sales. Luckily, his consistency is (part of) why we are so excited to welcome Matt to our team. His exhaustive experience in the SaaS sales space makes him a perfect addition to the BetterCloud family.
Matt sat down with us to discuss what drew him to BetterCloud, what he’s looking for as he builds his team, and what he does when he isn’t at work.
Matt has a bachelor’s degree from Bryant University.
Where are you from?
Not only am I from Connecticut, but I have also lived in the same town my entire life. I’ve never lived anywhere but Monroe, Connecticut, other than my four years in college, which I spent at Bryant University in Rhode Island.
What about your role as the VP of sales excites you the most?
This is a tricky one, because really, everything. At a high level, I’m most excited about the ability to impact change and the business overall. I was lucky enough to experience this at Okta. It’s rewarding to look back on the success of a company and feel like you actually had a big impact on that success.
So for me, the ability to impact change at the highest level of the organization and being largely responsible for the success or failure (clearly, I expect success) of the company is really exciting. There’s a million things after that, but I think it all rolls up to that.
Prior to working here, you were a senior account executive at Salesforce and then you were a senior director of sales at Okta. How do you think your past experiences with those companies will help you succeed at BetterCloud?
People give me credit for making really good career decisions, and obviously I’ll take that credit, but I also feel incredibly blessed. There are few other companies that you would put in that class of SaaS companies that are as respected, successful, and well run. When I was at Salesforce, they’d already gone public when I joined so a lot of the processes were already figured out. However, when I joined Okta’s team, I helped build a lot of processes and was part of those decisions.
If you look at the way they run the companies, their core principles are very similar. Both companies are focused on giving back, transparency, culture, diversity, teamwork. Being able to take what I’ve learned there and replicate that here will hopefully have tremendous value.
What drew you to BetterCloud? What are some qualities that you felt were unique?
It came down to a few things. First of all, the people and the culture drew me to BetterCloud. I interviewed with a lot of people: people who’d be reporting to me, people who’d be my peers, and people who I’d be reporting to. I got a good feel for the type of people here and the strong foundation that is already in place that we will build a strong culture from.
Additionally, I think that this sales team is advanced from a talent, intelligence, and skill set perspective, particularly the ADR team. They’re quite advanced compared to what I’ve seen for companies at a similar stage in their maturity. So, the people were the primary draw. At the end of the day, the people are going to be the number one reason for the company’s success.
Number two was the opportunity itself. I had the same “aha” moment I had when I was interviewing with Okta when BetterCloud’s business model was described to me. I’ve been in the cloud world for well over a decade now, so I know the challenges that are coming up as cloud continues to expand. It was amazing how obvious the BetterCloud business model was and the fact that no one else was solving that problem.
The final factor was being headquartered in New York. The last ten years I’ve worked for San Francisco-based companies and I’ve been working remotely for the most part. While I have a long commute into the city, it’s really fun for me to be back in an office environment.
Okta and BetterCloud have been called complementary systems of controls for managing SaaS apps. What do you think of that description?
I think it’s spot on. Okta is solving a very important problem of access and authentication, and they do it better than anyone, but that’s basically where Okta’s responsibility ends. In my numerous conversations with customers of various sizes and industries, many were still very concerned about what happens once the user is authenticated and inside of the application. Where they leave off is where we pick up, so we do complement each other very well.
As you build out your team, what kind of team members are you looking for?
Culture is everything to me. It is the thing I’m most proud of as I think back on my time at Okta. People used to tell me regularly that it was a unique culture. Everyone was focused on the bigger picture, and there was a general feeling that nothing was going to get in the way of our success. As a result, everyone was genuinely excited for each other when they had a big win, and everyone was equally disappointed when someone would have a loss. If you haven’t worked in sales, that’s not a very normal environment, to be honest.
It’s not what I had experienced previously as a sales rep, and it’s probably why I try to create that culture. That’s really important to me, and therefore I look for people who are driven, energetic, positive, and confident, but also humble and approachable. Those are not always easy things to find in sales people.
Want to join Matt’s team? We’re hiring! Check out our Careers page here.
If you could go back in time to give yourself advice at the start of your career, what would it be?
Take more risks and ask for more help. I think that anyone who is successful in their sales career has a healthy fear of failure—and that’s a good thing, but you can’t let it get in the way of taking risks. I would have also told myself to be vulnerable and tell people where I thought I was limited and needed help. I probably should’ve done more of that early on in my career.
What’s the best sales advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I received was to embrace failure—don’t hide from it or run away from it. A great example is when you lose a deal. A lot of people just want to forget about it as quickly as possible and move on, but you learn a lot more from failure than you do from success. Whether it’s in sports, academics, whatever it may be, if you fail at something, embrace it and try to evaluate why you failed so you can improve going forward.
Where do you see BetterCloud in five years?
No limits! I can’t even give an answer. I don’t know how to answer it. I expect that we will be solving much more complicated problems and will be the clear leader in this space. As far as any real numbers or size, I think it’s limitless.
When you’re not in the office, how do you spend your time?
I spend half of my downtime just relaxing and decompressing because I feel trying to build a company like this is incredibly hard work. When I am active, I love being outdoors. My father and I own a boat so we spend some time on the lake. Actually, a lot of things I do outside of work are things that I’m really bad at: fishing, golfing, barbecuing. It’s all the stuff that I don’t do well, but I don’t think about it.
My wife and I do more traveling now that we’re empty nesters. We take weekend trips to visit our kids at college or just go on short excursions, which is nice. It’s so bittersweet, being an empty nester. It’s a weird thing when you’ve got two other people living in your house for 20 years and then they’re gone, but it is nice to be able to pick up and go and do whatever you want for a weekend.