Rearchitecting How Applications are Built with Dan Weinberg, Sales Leader
We’re thrilled to spotlight Dan Weinberg, Regional Vice President at Instabase, who recently joined our team. In this spotlight, we’ll highlight Dan’s personal journey, his decision to join Instabase and his vision for the company.
Dan joins Instabase after five years and multiple roles at AppDynamics, where he most recently served as Regional Vice President of the East, leading an ecosystem of 100+ sales professionals. Prior to AppDynamics, Dan spent eight years at PTC, where he led sales teams across the enterprise, federal, aerospace and defense and mid-market verticals. Dan started his tech sales career at IBM, following two years at Babson’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, which he attended following a four-year career in the sports industry as an agent representing professional golfers. Outside of work, Dan is a devoted father of two who spends his free time deeply involved in his children’s out of school activities, which include soccer, hockey, flag football and Irish step dancing.
Why did you join Instabase?
When digging into Instabase, three aspects stood out – the product, the people and the culture.
On product, everything starts with the market and the needs of prospective customers – specifically, the business critical problems they are trying to solve. I was intrigued with Instabase’s short-term success with customers around their immediate use cases and its potential to become a platform for long-term growth. Instabase’s short-term goal is to help enterprises solve complex unstructured data automation problems – automating critical processes such as client onboarding, mortgage processing and medical claims processing. This is a massive and largely unsolved problem, especially for large enterprises, in a mature market with many legacy technology providers. Longer-term, Instabase is focused on building a horizontally scalable application development platform that enables organizations to rapidly build end to end applications.
On people, it’s important to remember that companies are simply a group of people who are working together to accomplish a common goal. Therefore, it really is all about the people. For me personally, I fortunately realized very early in my career that one of my greatest motivators is the opportunity to learn from the people I’m surrounded by. Everyone I met at Instabase was incredibly intelligent, motivated and well-intentioned, making me confident that I would learn and develop here, while simultaneously contributing in a way that could lead to great success at the company.
On culture, there are four pillars to Instabase’s culture:
- We are a tribe – based on trust, learning from one another and importantly, looking out for one another, working hard to help one another be successful for our customers
- Customer obsessed – the customer is our North Star
- Growth mindset – constantly improving, growing and learning from one another, our customers and the market on a daily basis
- Committed to diversity and inclusion – we bring intentionality to how we’re building our tribe, working hard to ensure we’re not just recruiting from our immediate networks, but rather opening the aperture and recruiting from outside of our networks to identify individuals who share our vision and want to join to help us pursue our mission
These four values that underpin Instabase’s company culture appealed to me on an emotional and innate level. Each is crucial to a successful company and to fulfilled customers and employees.
Describe your role.
I lead Instabase’s ecosystem of sales professionals across the U.S. and Canada in our efforts to enable our customers to be wildly successful with Instabase’s technology. This is all about finding people who can serve the needs of the market and who are committed to helping Instabase’s customers solve their specific pain points quickly and at scale.
Because everything starts with the customer, we need to intimately understand their businesses, business drivers and business goals. Many of our customers have massive transformations or change initiatives, so we need to understand what they are trying to accomplish or change within their business to help them achieve their goals. Our solutions are only as good as our ability to help our customers achieve the business outcome they’re driving towards.
What is your approach to building and scaling teams?
There are several approaches to building and scaling a team. At Instabase, we’re looking for intelligent, high-character individuals who are coachable, have an entrepreneurial spirit and are excited to be a part of our tribe. Stating the obvious, sales is filled with lots of rejection, so additionally, it is important for us to identify people with deep reserves of resilience and grit.
Beyond the criteria and characteristics above, a critical aspect of building and scaling teams is hiring for diversity. If we only add the same type of person to the tribe, it doesn’t reflect what the world and our customers look like, so having a diverse team is critical to having a world class organization. Now, it’s one thing to say that, and it’s another thing to actually do that. This has been a journey for me over the last several years and what I’ve come to learn is that you have to start with intentionality. You have to make a decision as an organization and as a leader that you’re going to prioritize how you recruit and build your team, and not just from within your existing network. We continue to try and do this every single day.
What makes you excited about the future of Instabase?
It starts with several converging trends in the market which work favorably for the future of Instabase. At a macro level, enterprises will continue to reinvent their business models. The majority of these business model changes require software to enable/automate the accompanying business process changes. Most of that required software is bespoke, however, there are simply not enough highly-qualified software developers to meet the demand from enterprises to re-architect how they are bringing applications to the market; underscoring the urgent need to find a better way to build applications. Instabase’s horizontal application platform is going to revolutionize the way that applications are built in the future.
We are a young company, with products in the market for just over a year, and yet, many of the world’s largest organizations have already placed an enormous amount of trust in our ability to transform mission critical processes. However, Instabase is still relatively unknown, so there is an opportunity for us to educate the market and define or redefine the problem for many enterprises. Longer term, the integration of technological capabilities we’re currently working on opens the door to a new world of use cases and verticals, and expands our total addressable market.
Over the years, what is the most important advice you received when it comes to sales in the tech industry?
During my career, I’ve been fortunate to have many leaders invest their time in me. There are so many lessons those leaders bestowed upon me, but there are three in particular that I carry with me each day. First, people want to feel valued and respected. Second, people want to be heard. Third, people want to feel invested in. Accomplishing all three requires leaders to start with empathy. Being there for people is critical whether it’s a business or personal situation. So much has happened in people’s personal lives in the past year – the combination of the pandemic and movements for societal change – that have blurred our personal and professional lives like never before. Being compassionate, having empathy and working hard to understand where people are, and meeting them there, are all integral parts of being a leader.