August 24, 2021 | Sona Kim
In this series, we’ll be interviewing team members at Quanergy to provide insight into what they do day-to-day at the company, and how they spend their time outside the office. In our fifth interview, we spoke with Adam Andres, Quanergy’s new Vice President of Sales for the Americas. When he’s not managing the sales team, Adam and his family enjoy the coastal lifestyle offered by his home base of South Florida. He is married with five children.
Quanergy: What role will you play at Quanergy?
Adam: I will lead the sales team for the Americas. The immediate task at hand is to expand our sales team. As is the case with any disruptive technology, educating the customer base is the first step. I’d like to develop and implement processes that increase the efficiency of our team and add in cross-functional communication and feedback loops to other groups within Quanergy. This will make us more efficient overall with the use of our time and our resources.
Q: With the deal to go public already in process, this is a pivotal point in the company’s history. What characteristics do you bring to the table as a sales manager that will help Quanergy grow as it heads towards this new frontier?
Adam: I’ve got 12 years of hands-on experience in technical sales and leadership roles. The last decade of that has been primarily focused on IoT and industrial IoT. I have a knack for understanding the unique problems these customers are trying to solve. In the past, I have been able to transcend from being only a sales contact that would darken someone’s doorway to being much more of a trusted advisor. I’ve earned the reputation as somebody who delivers on what they promise, follows through and solves problems. I’ve been able to excel in leadership roles and translate my knowledge base to colleagues who have been able to replicate it with their own spin, of course. Numerous people I’ve hired and worked with in the past remain extremely successful in the technical sales space today, which is something I’m proud of.
Q: Selling tech is different than some other forms of sales, isn’t it, because of the complicated nature of the products? In some cases, you might be dealing with people who are highly technical themselves, and in other cases, maybe they’re not so technical, but they still need your technology.
Adam: That’s spot on. You must be able to tailor your information delivery to your audience. Whether that’s sitting in an engineering lab getting extremely down in the weeds from a technical perspective or sitting in a boardroom at the C-level focusing on the overall value proposition of the technology and how it impacts the long term. You must be dynamic in your ability to effectively convey information.
Q: It sounds like you need to be intuitive when assessing your customer and sizing them up.
Adam: Yes, you do. Part of that means listening to clients a lot more than you speak. We’re all busy, especially these days, so taking advantage of our exposure to customers and our time with them is critical. It’s being able to pull useful information out of a conversation that’s gets you closer to solving their problem.
Q: You jump in and assess the needs of the business, and you can increase profits or improve their performance. In a way, you’re operating as a consultant. Even though you’re not branded as a consultant, you’re performing some consulting tasks, not just sales.
Adam: Absolutely. You’re brought in because your customer has a challenge they’re trying to resolve. That might be a tactical problem with a fire they need to put out immediately or they might have a strategic concern over the long term and they’re looking to plan ahead. You’ve got to be able to disassemble that conversation and utilize the information they’re providing to build a solution. Whether you need to take a tactical or strategic approach is going to vary from client to client and from person to person.
Q: There are countless innovative tech companies out there to choose from, so what led you to pursue a career with Quanergy?
Adam: I believe we’re at an inflection point in the IoT space in general. The technology in Quanergy’s portfolio is uniquely positioned to serve a variety of markets, some that we know about today, and some that will probably materialize in the near future as we introduce new products. We can meet the needs of a diverse customer list and serve a variety of vertical markets in that IoT or industrial IoT space. Being on the cutting edge with this paradigm-shifting technology –– was exciting to me as I dug into the nuts and bolts of the tech. There are a lot of companies out there that claim to be disruptive but it’s all smoke and mirrors. Quanergy is not like that at all. These are real-world solutions on the shelf today that operate as advertised or better.
Q: We could probably write a book on this, but can you summarize your philosophy of leading a sales team? What are some of the tenets that are close to your heart?
Adam: Really good question. In my view, it’s getting the most out of your people and setting them up for success. The first piece, and the most critical element of this, is communication. We have complex products and the underlying technology is not widely known. It’s vital to educate your salespeople and give them the tools they need to succeed. Win or lose, we need to understand why, and learn from the experience. I am not a micro manager- I don’t believe that it’s productive. Everybody has their own unique style of accomplishing tasks and achieving goals, and they need the freedom to do so. I want to make sure that collectively, we have utilized every resource at our disposal to resolve customer problems and to grow our business. We have many talented people in various roles at Quanergy willing to step in to help win business. That’s a characteristic of a strong company, and one that I value.
Q: When you aren’t leading the Quanergy sales team in the Americas, what do you like to do with your leisure time?
Adam: I live in South Florida with my wife and two daughters at home. They’re extremely active competing in swimming and water polo, so that that takes up a good amount of time. We’ve got three older children who are in school away from home. They are studying a variety of disciplines. When I have some free time, I enjoy being on the ocean.