January 1, 2013

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The SAMY Awards

Sales and marketing are vital to keeping a company out of the red. In our ...Read More

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Article

The SAMY Awards

Utah’s Top Sales and Marketing Professionals

Utah Business Editors

January 1, 2013

KRISTI KNIGHT
VP of Corporate Communications
Vivint, Inc.
Immediately upon joining the company in 2010, Kristi Knight was tasked with spearheading a name change and re-brand of APX Alarm. After a great deal of research, the company settled on Vivint, a name meant to encompass “vive” (to live) and “int” (intelligence). “Thus, the live intelligently campaign was born,” says Knight

Of the rebranding campaign, she says, “It wasn’t always a smooth ride. There were people who didn’t understand, who didn’t agree, who hated the new name. The launch, however, was extremely successful and the rebrand has positioned the company for the future.”  

And in 2012, Knight aided in the company’s $2 billion acquisition by Blackstone Capital Group—the largest acquisition in Utah history. Knight’s efforts garnered more than 50 unique articles in leading business and industry publications.

“Everyone has an opinion about marketing. Everyone thinks they are right, and the reality is that marketing lives in the land of opinion,” she says. “I have found it best to create an environment to test ideas, to prove them out and to constantly adjust to the variances of the market.”

Favorite book:
If I have to choose just one, it would be To Kill a Mockingbird.

Out-of-work passion:
I have two teenage boys, so the majority of my spare time is spent cheering them on in whichever sporting activity they are doing.

Favorite Utah diversion:
Southern Utah—red rock, sunshine and lots of fun things to do outside.

JON SANDERSON
Vice President of Marketing
Mindshare Technologies
Jon Sanderson has a long list of marketing accomplishments, but his most recent achievement was directing a major overhaul of the Mindshare brand. “We revamped the Mindshare brand from the ground up, both the visual appeal and our corporate voice,” he says. “We took a risk, we were bold and it has significantly paid off.”

Sanderson also recently managed an experimental marketing campaign that, with costs of only $5,000, resulted in $2 million of revenue from potential clients. Sanderson says it’s strategic risk taking and problem solving that he enjoys most. “Marketing allows me to use both strategic and tactical thinking, as well as creative and analytical. Each day is different from the last,” he says. “It’s a huge challenge to be creative one moment and then have to turn on the analytical part of the brain.”

To young professionals starting out, Sanderson has a simple piece of advice: “Be different. Be bold. Scare yourself every day.”

Outside-of-work passion:
I love to travel. In 2012 alone, I went to Paris, Monaco, Tokyo, Hawaii, Cancun, New York and a few different times I went to California.

How you unwind:
On most hectic days, as soon as I leave the office, I call either my mom or dad during the commute home.

Favorite Utah diversion:
Southern Utah as a whole.

TRAVIS GUNN
Sales Manager
Wasatch I.T.
Since joining Wasatch I.T. in 2010, Travis Gunn’s impact has been phenomenal. Under his direction, the company became the leading reseller of Microsoft products and was named Microsoft’s “Partner of the Year.”

CEO Spencer Ferguson says that the company’s growth wouldn’t be possible without Gunn. “Travis was tasked with growing the company’s newest service offering. He quickly developed a winning outbound call script, marketing programs, and implemented new training and accountability programs for his sales team. The result? A 7,000 percent increase in Wasatch I.T.’s managed services business,” Ferguson says.

Building meaningful relationships in his professional and personal life is what keeps Gunn ticking. “I am a huge relationship person. I cannot think of a better way to satisfy that part of my personality than through relationship-based sales,” Gunn says. “I get to create my own destiny while creating and maintaining lifelong relationships with my customers.”

Favorite TV program:
MLB Tonight.

How you unwind:
My wife is my anchor. When I spend time with her, it is an immediate unwind.

Hobbies:
I coach my son Easton’s competitive baseball team. 

DAVID IRVING
Principal Broker
Building Dynamics Realty
David Irving says the most difficult sale he’s had was also his most enjoyable. “Our buyer looked at properties from Davis to Utah counties, and after two years of going back and forth, found the perfect location,” says Irving. “Rushing someone or using high-pressure sales techniques will only turn off your buyer. There are challenges and rewards to every deal, but the most important aspect is to make sure your client gets exactly what they want.”

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