We’ve spent months interviewing amazing people, trying to find the right person to bring VisualCue to those businesses where we can do the most good.

Well, the search is over.

The first thing you notice when you meet Branden is the energy. It’s infectious. It’s an excited feeling that  has you leaning forward in your chair, elbows on your knees, foot bouncing excitedly. Within a moment you feel as though you’ve been friends for years and are ready to take on the world together.

That’s the kind of mentality you want in your new Senior VP of Sales. Branden came aboard with the VisualCrew this week and I had the opportunity to talk with him about his experiences and what he wants to accomplish as part of the Crew.

Born Twice

In the traditional sense, Branden was born and raised in Florida. He enjoyed doing things most Florida boys are known for: swimming, fishing, going to the beach. But he also mentions a second birth and a second childhood.  One that took place on the floor of his family’s furniture store in the Keys.

It was there that he got his first look at the art of salesmanship, matching the product to the person. He discovered it was something he enjoyed. He enjoyed it so much it followed him all the way to Florida State University. He graduated with a BS in Real Estate, acquiring commercial property for furniture store locations. Then, in the year 2000, things changed. And it started with the President.

The Software of Democracy

The 2000 Presidential election was, let’s face it, a fiasco. Especially in Florida, when the eyes of the nation anxiously turned towards the Sunshine State. We won’t get in to all of the details here (that’s what articles like this are for), but the outcome was a state, and a nation, learning the hard lesson that our voting procedure, the activity on which our form of democracy is supposed to rest, needed to be drastically improved.

Florida's recount woes.
The Palm Beach Post remembers Florida’s recount woes with a photo on Nov. 9 2010. The scandal would force the state to amend its voting practices. (palmbeachpost.com)

Florida took a step in that direction when it abandoned old forms of voting in favor of a modern, digital approach. These digital forms were meant to eliminate human error and ensure a fast and

accurate accounting of the results. However, like most of our technological innovations, there was something we didn’t account for. Digital voting booths and tabulation methods had indeed greatly improved the speed and accuracy of voting, but the ways we were presenting the results of those finding were frankly archaic.

Spreadsheets and ad-hoc PDFs posted on an obscure website were the norm.

Enter SOE Software, a nascent company with barely a dozen employees and brand new Election Night Reporting software. Their breakthrough innovation was a quick and easy way to see the results from each district and ward in nearly real time.

“We did some really good things at SOE. For the public and ourselves.”

When Branden heard of this simple idea, he saw potential: this was something he could sell that would mean something more. It could help people. Once that vision was firmly in place, the rest came naturally. Through organic growth and acquisition, SOE grew from that small handful to over 600 employees. The night of the 2012 General Election they were handling the majority of the nation’s voting data. They expanded the product out to include online training for poll workers and other features all designed to make the voting process better at every stage. Looking back on that time, Branden remembers that SOE “bettered the citizens, [they were] better prepared for voting, the poll workers were trained better, the constituents got a better visualization and the elections ran smoother.”

That’s when he realized that he loved selling products that helped people. He wanted to “provide a benefit more than just ‘go sell something.’”

The Heart in Sales

Now, some 10 years later, Branden has found another nascent company to grow. “This parallels the joy I had working at SOE” he states, “the growth in a startup, the ups and downs… building things is fun.” This excited energy fits right in at VisualCue, but it’s even more meaningful in the person leading our sales.

For Branden, sales is an art, and at it’s core it’s about helping people. It’s a lesson he learned at SOE and has stuck with him to this very day. It’s ultimately what drove him to join VisualCue. “I love being part of an organization where the juice is worth the squeeze, where the outcome is so far beyond the investment” he says. A remarkably refreshing viewpoint in a world with so many misconceptions and preconceived notions surrounding that worn-out trope: the salesman. It’s this idea that those focused in sales are by nature soulless money grubbers: a clutching, wily breed whose only consideration is how much money they can squeeze. For Branden, sales is about bringing a valuable product to those that need it most in a way that benefits both. He reminds me of the salesmen of yesteryear: quick with a smile, a story and a product he is sure can help you save time and be better at what you do. When I asked him “why VisualCue?” he paused for a second and acknowledged that this was cliché before continuing. “It’s the disruptiveness” he says. “VisualCue is precedent-setting.”

“VisualCue is going to make lives better for those that see the light and come on board”

Ultimately, that’s what you really want in your Senior VP of Sales. Someone who genuinely sees the universal value in what you have built and is excited to take it to the world.

We are certainly glad that Branden came on board with the VisualCrew. He’s just the guy to find those places where our intuitive data visualizations can have the greatest impact. We hope you’ll send us an email or give us a call and talk to him. Let him show you the value VisualCue can bring to your business.

See you next time,

The VisualCrew