Welcome to Share your success, a bimonthly series of interviews featuring successful people within the Experian family. I wanted to take a closer look at those who are thriving in our company to keep a pulse on everything happening in the data quality space from the people who know best: the professionals who live and breathe all things data management day in and day out. I recently sat down with Regional Sales Manager, Kendra Keegan, to get to know her better and learn about the path that led her to where she is today.
1. What is the deal with Kendra Keegan? Tell me more about her.
I was born and raised in Novato, California, about 45 minutes north of San Francisco. From a young age, I dreamed of becoming an attorney. That dream came true in 2007 when I was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar. Like many things, the reality didn’t meet the dream, and I learned that everything I loved about my job as an attorney had nothing to do with the law. I found I enjoyed the challenge of managing client relationships—often saving clients from terminating their relationship with the firm—and managing a team of six attorneys and 15 legal assistants. After eight years of practice, I took a step back and reevaluated my current position. What I determined was that I was ready for a new challenge. So, I took a risk and quit my job to pursue a job in sales. It was an incredibly high risk that has produced a much higher reward. Now I joke that I am a recovering attorney (though I keep my license active for friends and colleagues that may need me…they know who they are), but in reality, I use my law degree every day, and it has influenced my curiosity when I speak to customers. Oh, and I’m a strong believer that dogs are better than people.
2. From starting in our SF office as a sales representative to being a manager here in Boston, what have you learned over the past couple of years?
Set expectations and make what you want clear. This is certainly true with customers. But, it is also true internally. Build your brand by learning about people in other departments, listening to new ideas, and making an impact within the organization.
3. What is one of the most important things needed to be successful in sales?
I think this answer is different for everyone. Certainly, you need to be able to handle rejection. But that doesn’t keep you coming back. What makes me successful is my perseverance and curiosity. I enjoy learning about each of the customers my team manages, and I like the challenge of getting a customer to find value in what we are bringing to the table.
4. Define what leadership means to you?
A true leader is invested in the professional and personal success of the people they lead. It is the behavior I seek in a leader and the standard I hold myself to as a leader.
5. What advice do you have for people just starting out in Experian?
Learn all the aspects of the business and market trends. Talk to people in departments that you wouldn’t normally need to interact with in your day-to-day. Genuine curiosity about not only how your department fits in the organization but goals of the individuals on each team. Take the time to learn what is going on in the market, what our competitors are doing to differentiate themselves, and how Experian responds to that.
6. What is your favorite thing about working at Experian?
The people. I work with some incredibly intelligent, creative, and challenging people. Challenging because they push me to see things through a different lens, and in doing so, I can better myself and take that new perspective to my team.
7. What do you think is the most interesting thing about data management?
Data has permeated every aspect of how we function in society. Something that I find rather interesting is access to consumer data and how that data can and should be protected. This is something the data community is actively working to solve, and I love being able to play a role.
8. Tell us about one of your most memorable experiences here at Experian?
Working with one of my customers to create a personalized workflow and accomplish the company goal to stop outsourcing data management and bring it in-house. This was a huge project that required an all-hands-on-deck mentality, and I got to work with the technical side of Experian to map out exactly what the customer wanted and then watch as they built the product. I learned so much from everyone involved in the project. While there were ups and downs, it was really fun.
Thanks for taking a quick peek into the professional lives of Experian’s most successful people. I hope you have taken something away from this interview and wish you the best of luck—no matter where you are on your path to success.
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