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VP of Sales, Kognito

Company: Ascend Learning
Location: Flushing
Posted on: June 12, 2021

Job Description:

Ascend Learning is a national leader in data driven, online educational solutions for learners, educators and employers in high-growth, licensure-driven professions spanning healthcare, fitness and wellness, skilled trades, insurance and financial services. We are passionate about accelerating learning while impacting job readiness, employment success and employee retention with the belief that our work changes lives.

Our culture is intentionally results-driven and selfless with a relentless focus on our customers. We believe in trust, transparency, freedom and responsibility with a commitment to meritocracy, inclusion and diversity of thought. Continual investment in our over 1400 employees is also a core principle realized through ongoing professional development and providing opportunities to grow, develop and lead. Ascend Learning is headquartered in Burlington, MA with additional office locations and remote workers in cities across the U.S. and in the U.K.

Kognito is a leader and innovator in developing digital role-play simulations where users engage in conversations with virtual humans to prepare them to lead effective conversations in real-life that result in improved social, emotional, and physical health. We work with more than 300 organizations across K-12 schools, higher education, healthcare, and government, with more than 1 million people having completed Kognito simulations. Our team of 50+ people includes learning scientists, software engineers, marketers, product managers, sales professionals, graphic artists, writers, and operations specialists.

The Kognito Vice President of Sales is responsible for developing and executing the brand's overall sales strategy across both direct and third-party channels. This person will lead:

  • a) Kognito's new business sales team to drive direct new client acquisition,
  • b) Kognito's client success team to grow our existing client business, and
  • c) Channel, licensing, and business development initiatives

The role is responsible for all of Kognito's target markets - with a direct sales focus on education and healthcare markets in the U.S.

The VP of Sales reports directly to Kognito's GM and collaborates with Product Management, Marketing, Legal, Operations, Finance, and Information Technology to deliver innovative products to our customers, increase market share, and grow profitably.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Develop annual sales plan in support of organizational strategy to deliver on revenue and EBITDA goals.
  • Direct the implementation and execution of sales processes and best practices, including solution selling and data-driven pipeline management and forecasting.
  • Build, develop and manage Kognito's expanding sales team to accelerate growth.
  • Personally establish strong relationships with larger potential clients and existing customers, and lead strategic channel, licensing, and business development initiatives.
  • In conjunction with Product Management and Marketing, develop product solutions and sales strategies that drive sustainable and profitable growth based on market research and competitive analysis.
  • Optimize contracts, pricing strategies and delivery models to grow client lifetime value.
  • Work closely with marketing to develop effective promotional materials and demand generation campaigns that clearly distinguish Kognito's value proposition.
  • Drive client engagement initiatives ranging from initial point of contact to onboarding and to the ongoing client success function.
  • Direct responsibility for managing and leading sales employees to deliver upon sales goals in addition to creating personalized plans to help grow and develop each team member's skill set.

Required Skills & Abilities

  • Strong business acumen and experience with direct and channel sales, contract negotiations, team building and sales team leadership
  • Experience successfully managing sales practices, sales training, compensation, team structure, outside vs. inside reps / BDRs, territories, and quotas/goals within a growing sales team
  • Strong knowledge of CRM systems and associated technologies to manage sales team success. Close prior working relationships with Sales Ops teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to exceed sales goals and meet deadlines
  • Excellent leadership, communication, organizational and presentation skills
  • Excellent time management and problem-solving skills
  • A history of building relationships with satisfied clients
  • Possesses a strategic view of business and a creative mindset and approach
  • Understanding of how to implement tactical plans to execute on emerging strategies and to penetrate new markets
  • Strong collaborative approach and ability to work cross functionally to accomplish organizational objectives
  • Reviews, assesses, and analyzes results, key drivers, and performance indicators regularly
  • Leads the right balance of in-person vs. remote meetings to achieve sales goals (up to 50% travel is required)
  • Technology literate and proficient with Microsoft Office and other standard tools

Required Education and Experience:

  • Ten or more years of progressive, successful experience in sales leadership, including meaningful experience selling SaaS or other Ed Tech solutions to educational institutions (with healthcare experience a plus)
  • Proven track record of exceeding revenue goals, with strong supporting references
  • Demonstrated experience building, leading and developing direct sales organizations that have driven rapid revenue growth
  • Experience driving revenue creation through channel partners and licensing relationships, in addition to direct sales
  • Bachelor's Degree required, MBA a plus

Required Leadership Experience

This individual must be a team player who demonstrates outstanding maturity and leadership, unquestionable integrity, ethics and moral character, and acts in a way consistent with Ascend Learning's values:

  • Drives differentiated results, creates a compelling and inspiring strategy, builds and sustains broad followership, and role models the company values.
  • Thrives on change and continuous improvement, deals effectively with ambiguity, and adapts appropriately to a range of situations.
  • Demonstrates and fosters a sense of urgency, strong commitment, and accountability while making sound decisions and achieving goals.
  • Focuses on an exceptional customer experience and drives innovation to create an atmosphere that supports new ideas and initiatives.
  • Articulates, inspires, and engages commitment to a plan of action aligned with organizational mission and goals.
  • Ensures the development of a diverse pool of talent to meet current and future organizational needs.

Ascend Learning, LLC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer (M/F/Vets/Disabled). No agency or search firm submissions will be accepted. Applications for U.S. based positions with Ascend Learning, LLC must be legally authorized to work in the United States and verification of employment eligibility will be required at the time of hire.


Keywords: Ascend Learning, New York , VP of Sales, Kognito, Other , Flushing, New York

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