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Meet Our New Vice President of Sales, Chris Pomeroy!

March 17, 2022

As part of our regular Employee Spotlight Series highlighting members of the Styra team, we can't wait for you to meet our new Vice President of Sales, Chris Pomeroy! 

We’re excited for Chris to join our team as he brings with him extensive experience in sales leadership! In this Q&A, Chris shares what he loves most about sales and working with the open source community, as well as his favorite places to ski.

Tell us a little about yourself/background?

I am originally from Boston but have been living in the San Francisco Bay area for a while now. I’ve been in sales my whole life—started by selling Cutco in college—and I have always loved it. I sold a lot of different technology products before I landed at a small Boston start-up called Acquia about 12 years ago. This was my first introduction to selling open source, cloud-based products to engineers, and ever since then it has been my focus.

After Acquia, the next company I worked at was acquired by Google, which was a crazy experience to go through since we went from a company with 25 employees to one with over 50,000! At Google, I started off leading a sales team of 10 people – at the time globally the sales team was about 100. In those years sales grew to over 3,000 in four years. Growing a sales team of that size was an amazing learning experience for me. My last role before joining Styra was as the Vice President of Sales at Codefresh. I loved my time there but was ready to find the next challenge and get back into open source technologies.

Why do you like selling to Engineers?

Selling to engineers is very straightforward. I like that it removes some of the 'cheesy' stereotypes that sales are often associated with (not that there's anything wrong with those methods!), allowing you to focus on the important stuff from the start. Engineers know exactly what they are looking for and just need a little guidance from the sales team. They don't require any hard-sells or promises of instant fixes.

What drew you to the open source community?

I love that the open source community makes you feel like you are part of a movement instead of isolated within your own bubble. If you can build your company around the community and focus on providing the solutions they are asking for, you will see your product take off like wildfire. Unlike companies selling closed software, you can see all the innovative ways people are using your product that you might have not thought of before, which adds a whole new dimension of fun to this business model.

What drew you to Styra?

I was very impressed with the Styra team and the companies they were already working with, especially in the FinTech space. Traditional FinTech and healthcare companies are the hardest to convert because they, traditionally, wait until the rest of the world has adopted the newest technology before they adapt their systems. Having early adoption by highly-regulated companies is very exciting to see.

What are a few goals/hopes you have for your team over the next year?

Styra sells a very technical product to very intelligent, technical engineers, and that requires an element of trust between sales and developers. Our team is very impressive in the way they have immersed themselves with the product and interact with the open source community. As we grow the sales team, it is important to make our product accessible to new hires who might have no prior knowledge or experience using Open Policy Agent or Styra Declarative Authorization Service (DAS). My goal is to make easy-to-learn training available for our new hires to make sure they can be successful right out the gate. Everyone can learn about our product, but we need to make it digestible for all audiences. 

I also want to tell more of our customers’ stories this year and build a customer advisory board. We have a lot of awesome customers doing some really fun things with Open Policy Agent (OPA) and Styra DAS that should be shared!

How do you define success?

Success is based both on the results and how the team is able to achieve those results. Did we hit our targets but everyone was stressed out and in the end, luck pulled through? That kind of environment is not going to lead to a strong or successful team in the end. You have to focus on building an environment that enables your team to succeed. Happy teams hit targets and are invested in helping the whole team succeed. It is important to make sure everyone on the team feels like they can succeed and are an important part of the team. Sales can be so hard, it is really a mental game, and if people can't see a path to success the team is going to fall apart.

If you could have any superhero power, what power would you have and why?

There are too many to choose from! I would like the ability to learn anything by uploading it to my brain like in The Matrix. It would be amazing to learn any language in seconds.

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

My friends and family. Most of my family lives in the Boston area, and much of my wife’s family lives in Ireland.  Hopefully, soon we’ll all be able to travel more regularly and looking forward to that opportunity.

What show are you currently binge-watching?

I just finished Succession and loved it. It somehow manages to be so bad and so good at the same time. It is really a very clever show.

Do you have a favorite hobby?

I have been skiing since I was a kid and absolutely love it. My favorite place to go skiing is Lake Tahoe in California. I also really enjoyed skiing in Japan. My dream is to one day ski in Europe and experience the ski culture over there!

Interested in working at a fast-growing startup or with open source technologies 🧑‍💻? We're hiring! Check out our open positions today.

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