Being an integral part of a team has been a resounding theme from the Petersons and vTECH io as a whole. In this collaborative environment, there are indispensable individuals who embody the spirit of leadership and teamwork, and one such key figure is Chris McDaniel. As the Vice President of Sales, Chris not only oversees revenue generation and the strategic selling of vTECH io’s products but also assumes the role of Regional Account Executive, demonstrating his commitment to the ‘player/coach’ approach. His versatile responsibilities require him to keep a keen eye on industry trends, ensuring vTECH io remains aligned with customer demands. Additionally, Chris leads a team of Regional Account Executives, providing unwavering support to help them succeed and fostering the growth of future tech leaders. At vTECH io, our growth strategy has always revolved around cultivating our own talent and leaders. Chris McDaniel is wholeheartedly dedicated to this mission, both personally and as a vital company objective.
Chris’s journey to vTECH io started while he was pursuing a job in another field and met David Peterson through that contact. He was first drawn to Mr. Peterson because he was a business owner dressed up in a suit with a broken arm, looking somewhat out of place for the environment. When Chris asked about his arm, David told him he injured it in a kite surfing incident. Being a risk taker himself, Chris admired this personality trait in David. While he is sure he would have enjoyed the other opportunity he is pleased it worked out the way it did because being part of the vTECH io team has become his passion.
This first encounter with the Petersons led Chris to the most unusual onboard interview he has had. He and his wife, Jennifer, were invited to dinner with the Peterson’s for KFC in their RV kitchen. While it struck him as a funny situation at the time, Chris learned that the Peterson family values a heart of humility, and this situation was set up as a test of Chris’s character. Clearly, Chris passed the test because he has been with vTECH io since 2016. Although during Chris’s hiring, Mr. Peterson did note that Chris was not the smartest candidate they had hired at vTECH io, but his people skills certainly bridged the gap as sales are all about building relationships.
Working hand and hand
One important aspect of this job that Chris enjoys is the fact that he is able to work side by side with his wife. As a former teacher, Jennifer started working over the summer with Chris. They soon learned that by assisting Chris in his sales functions, they were able to double his performance within a year and Jennifer took on a permanent role as part of the vTECH io team. She has used her experience as a teacher to lead the Education Solutions at vTECH io.
He oversees the daily operations of three main objectives. His primary responsibility is to ensure profitability for the company. Secondly, he helps the sales team to achieve their own goals and finally, with 50 to 60 of his own customer contacts, he spends a significant amount of time caring for his own customers. He believes that “business transforms through technology” and wants that transformation for each customer.
Although he has accomplished many significant milestones throughout his career, one thing that has really confirmed to him that he is on the right path is when Mr. Peterson conveyed his trust in Chris and told him he could see Chris as the future CEO of vTECH io. Another rewarding moment for Chris was when he started as Vice President of Sales, he was told to set a 5-year plan. At the end of those 5 years, Chris had achieved double his original goals.
Despite the fact that many people in the tech industry are excited about the advancement of AI, Chris has some reservations over its growth. He believes it is an overrated tool and likened it to the wild west with so much uncertainty. Even with those reservations, he believes we can still use it to improve what we offer to our customers and use it to accomplish more work, more efficiently. A trend Chris has noticed recently that he is excited to see continue is that businesses are beginning to understand the importance of Chief Information Officers and Chief Technology Officers. In the past, the IT department has been viewed as an expense, lacking the understanding of its importance in the growth of any business. Now, CIOs and CTOs are being offered a seat at the leaders’ table, giving them the decision-making authority, and allowing them to calculate the IT transformation needed regarding their company’s decisions.
How Baker County Serves their citizens better using technology
Of the many customers vTECH io has helped in the past, the most significant to Chris is the Baker County Sheriff’s Department. vTECH io was able to update the entire IT infrastructure for the emergency responders, including their ICE units and Federal Prison facilities. This has allowed them to excel at their jobs with trusted tech by their side. It even earned vTECH io a shout out from Dell Technologies.
Farmers vs. Hunters
For any future IT sales professionals, Chris advises to understand “if you are a farmer or a hunter.” He explained this in detail in a article he wrote for the Tampa Florida company Sandler, detailing this theory. In short, understanding how you are wired, and your core personality traits, will determine if you are cut out for this challenging role in sales. If you are equipped to manage existing business (farmer) or grow new business (hunter), it will play a major part in your ability to succeed in this role. He stresses the importance of always being a student and capitalizing on your work ethics for your future success.
Living every day like your last day in tech
As a final sendoff of advice, Chris suggests living every day like it will be your last day working in the tech industry. This industry is always evolving, you never know when you might become irrelevant. Make sure you are evolving and changing with the industry, keeping your standards high and your passion for your work renewed. He attributes his success to his wife and their ability to work together, stating they see vTECH io as their company as much as it is David and Donna’s company. He found the perfect career by accident, but it filled him with enthusiasm and a vision for the future.
If you would like to meet more of our key players and their roles here at vTECH io, look for our next blogs or reach out to us today so we can show you why we are so passionate about the work we do and its ability to help you grow your own company.