We’re thrilled to welcome Dave Haskell to the Flexential family as our new executive vice president of strategic sales. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Dave will be leading the charge on developing and implementing up-market sales strategies and creating new strategic solutions that reflect the evolving needs of our customer base. I recently sat down with Dave to hear his vision for this new role and discuss what brought him to Flexential. Dave is an interesting guy and received his inspiration from some unique people and places – at least one of which may require earplugs.
Patrick Doherty: Tell us about your background. How did your experience and career path ultimately lead you to Flexential?
Dave Haskell: I was most recently at RagingWire where I served as VP of Enterprise Sales for seven years. I was an integral part of the senior team there, leading our account teams for large enterprises and hyperscale companies, and helping our company more than double in size during that time. Prior to that role, I held sales and leadership positions at Latisys, Equinix and Savvis (later to become CenturyLink) – so I’m no stranger to Flexential’s world! Much of my professional experience is rooted in creating and sustaining high-performing sales teams, and my experience very much speaks to this. When I’m not working, I enjoy rooting for the Caps (excuse me, the STANLEY CUP CHAMPION Caps), riding my Peloton Cycle, playing guitar, and spending time with my wife, two daughters and two bulldogs at my home in Virginia.
Doherty: What do you see as Flexential’s market differentiators?
Haskell: Flexential is rare in our industry. I see a few things that are unique to Flexential that give us a clear advantage against competitors. The first is in the foundation of our organization: the people, our winning culture, and cross-department talent. Secondly, and where I think we’re dangerous to our competition, is that Flexential has one of the strongest data center footprints in the country. It’s a powerful brand, with experienced leadership, a fantastic financing partner and a large, reputable customer base.
Doherty: What are you most excited to explore with your new role as executive vice president of strategic sales?
Haskell: There are a few things I’m excited about, but most importantly is getting the chance to dive in and start executing on Flexential’s up-market strategy. This go-to-market strategy is a rather large task at hand, following the merger of Peak 10 and ViaWest, but I’m up to the challenge. Aside from that, I’m excited about further establishing a winning culture, making a significant impact with new logo wins and using the next few weeks to get to know the sales leadership and sales teams at the company. I’m thrilled to join the team, and I can’t wait to get to work.
Doherty: What are three big goals you have in mind for Flexential’s up-market sales strategy?
Haskell: Number one is to steer a swift, positive impact to the business. Two is growing our customer base in partnership with our sales and partner teams, particularly in the broker and advisory channel. Three is to increase our competitiveness with our aggressive and robust go-to-market plan.
Doherty: What trends are you seeing as most prevalent in the sales landscape right now? Will you employ any of these in your new role at Flexential?
Haskell: Those looking for up-market colocation are becoming repetitive buyers – and this is only strengthened when a provider can meet their expectations and foster strong relationships. At the same time, buyers have become very mature and well informed of our industry’s landscape. There’s a theme of “providing trust” at the executive layer of these partnerships.
I’ve employed an all hands on deck mentality in the past for key deal pursuits and will absolutely instill this mentality with Flexential. A big factor of this will be “teaming-defined by executive participation” to ensure that we’re all moving in the same direction with an opportunity to take advantage of diverse and experienced leadership.
Doherty: Is there a piece of professional advice that helped you the most in your career? Do you pass it on to your teams now?
Haskell: I do. It’s opportunity instinct, and how things are perceived by a prospect. There are a million ways to deliver something, but the way you word a sentence or say something to a prospect makes all the difference. It’s all about quality at all phases of the game, with a work ethic your competitors can’t keep up with.
Doherty: Last question: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Haskell: I’ve got a good one. A lot of people will get to know or hear that I’m a guitar player – which doesn’t mean I’m any good, by the way. One of my guitar teachers, and now a very close friend, was in a once very well-known popular metal band for roughly seven years. During that time, he recorded three albums, received a few Grammy nominations, and my name appears in the album credits in the “thank you” section. I’ll hold back on his name and the band, but as a kid who listened to them, it’s a fun thing for me.
Doherty: Can you give us a hint?
Haskell: It’s not Metallica. If someone asks, I’ll share. And if someone guesses, I’ll confirm.