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Larry Shurtz joined Genesys in May as its Chief Sales Officer leading the company’s global go-to-market strategies, including commercial activities, field sales and partner ecosystem operations. He joined Genesys from Confluent, where he was Chief Revenue Officer and contributed to the company delivering more than 60% revenue growth, doubling customer count and beating all street-guided metrics for seven publicly reported quarters. Prior to that, he spent a decade with Salesforce, most recently leading a 1,300-person team to $2.1 billion in revenue.
Dave Rahm joins Genesys as Senior Vice President, Regional Sales Leader, North America. He has more than 25 years of experience across different technologies and verticals. His career in technology includes leadership roles at Databricks, Confluent, Cloudera, Oracle, Cisco and IBM. He also is a veteran of the US Navy.
I asked Larry and Dave to talk a bit about their backgrounds, their work at Genesys and the Genesys technology portfolio.
Olivier Jouve: Larry, you’re a few months in. How’s it going?
Larry Shurtz: I’ve spent my career at companies that are leading huge market transitions, and I’m thrilled to be at Genesys where we’re charting the course for contact centers to transition to the cloud and deliver personalized experiences to their customers and employees. After spending the past three months travelling the world visiting with customers, partners and team members, I am more confident than ever that I made the right choice coming to Genesys.
We have a compelling vision with Experience as a Service®, the leading Contact Center as a Service cloud platform on the market, and a fantastic company culture with strong values.
Jouve: Dave, why Genesys?
Dave Rahm: Like Larry, I have spent my sales career at companies that are creating new markets — whether it was the push for unified collaboration at Cisco, the move toward big data at Oracle with their release of Exadata, or the move to cloud SaaS and IaaS at Cloudera and Confluent. I sense the same opportunity here at Genesys: the inception of a new Experience as a Service market for contact centers.
I also enjoy working at companies that have a significant growth trajectory and healthy competitive landscape, which is a signal that it’s a hot market with opportunity — and we’re in the pole position here!
Jouve: You both have a number of similar companies in your background, including Oracle, Salesforce and Confluent. What does that signify?
Shurtz: Sales is a relationship-oriented profession — and part of the significance is a strong professional friendship and mutual respect that has developed between the two of us over many years at high-powered, high-growth tech companies.
Rahm: Of course, being successful in sales means working for organizations with a compelling vision, a fantastic solution, a strong culture and a big market opportunity. We’ve been on parallel paths in selecting the right companies at the right time — and it’s certainly the right time for Genesys.
Jouve: What part of the Genesys portfolio and roadmap excites you the most?
Shurtz: AI. We’ve been developing with AI for many years. We have hundreds of engineers working on AI for the Genesys Cloud CX™ platform and an exciting roadmap of innovation to bring to the market.
According to Goldman Sachs, generative AI could raise global GDP by 7%. AI of all types will transform the way we work and live; and Genesys is leading the way in how AI is ethically developed for contact centers.
Rahm: Experience orchestration. I don’t see another company out there that can deliver the orchestration of systems, data and artificial intelligence the way Genesys can. And that orchestration is the magic behind delivering personalized customer and employee experiences at scale.
I’d like to emphasize the employee experiences, too, for which Genesys has a full suite of offerings — because you can’t have great customer experiences without great employee experiences. They go hand-in-hand.
Jouve: What’s your No. 1 selling tip?
Shurtz: Customers first. Building long-term customer relationships is always grounded in listening to what the customers’ goals and challenges are — and responding with solutions that can help them address their needs and deliver greater outcomes to their customers.
Rahm: It’s tough to follow Larry on this one as we’re aligned on this point. I’d take it in a slightly different angle to say that the most rewarding part of doing what we do is establishing the interpersonal connections internally and with our customers.
If we commit to investing in the people we work with, and who we sell to, we almost always get the outcome we need because you are climbing the mountain together and committing to one another’s success. Teams that care just as much about the outcomes of the people they’re in the trenches with tend to win!