Railz is excited to officially announce that Bryan Backenstoss has joined the team as our new Head of Sales. Bryan is a tenured sales leader with over 20 years experience in technology specializing in the Finance and Healthcare sectors. He and his team are hyper focused on understanding client needs and pains and helping to connect the dots with Railz solutions. He is driven to identify and negotiate winning partnerships that empower success for both Clients and Railz.
Prior to joining Railz, Bryan was with MX, Netsmart, AMN Healthcare, ChartLogic and other great companies providing true ROI’s to those looking to disrupt and provide more to their clients. He is blessed with an amazing wife and three children who support him (and long for the days when he can travel again! 😛). Bryan joins us in furthering our mission of building the largest financial data network to empower financial institutions to make sense of messy accounting data.
Railz: Tell us about your early career, Bryan. How did you get to where you are today?
My first official title in my career was “Barker” at a local amusement park when I was 15 years old. Yes, I was the guy that would taunt people, while standing behind the counter of ring toss, or that ball in the milkcan game. My favorite was the game where I guessed your weight, age, or birth month. I was really good at it. I found it fairly easy for me to encourage people to give me $1 here or $5 there to win the big stuffed teddy bear. It was fun and that started my career in sales!
Over the past almost 3 decades my career has gone through some revisions. My focus has been in technology because I love to geek out on the newest gadget, or concept that is designed to make life easier, better, more empowering. I landed in healthcare for a number of years and then transitioned into finance. I absolutely love being able to sit across the table and negotiate terms that will work for me, but empower a new client to do something impactful for the community or clients they serve.
How has the financial technology (fintech) industry impacted your career?
This is an interesting question. The financial industry is the largest revenue-generating industry in the world. There is a lot of money to be found for the hungry sales professional. However, for me it is more of a philosophical impact. Fintechs are designed to help people become savvy investors, or empower institutions to do more with less by implementing technology solutions. Ultimately, they help consumers and businesses become stronger in managing their financial portfolio and drive a healthier more creative market.
The fintech industry has impacted my career because I have been able to see a number of organizations thrive — my own personal financial management has changed with the solutions that my credit union has implemented. I have witnessed the impact these different solutions have. I am excited to work with Railz where we bring APIs and data solutions to the commercial market.
I believe in our solution and the connections that we are making to bring data full circle to help banks, fintechs, and businesses feel secure in their financial decisions.
What is a day in the life of an executive in sales really like?
It is thrilling! No 2 deals are the same, no 2 discovery calls are similar, and there is always learning that is happening. As a sales leader, I love developing people and helping them become empowered and passionate about their role. I spend a lot of time researching and staying connected with what is happening so that I can help my team avoid obstacles or attack something where Railz adds value to. Activities related to networking, client advocacy, deal progression, product direction, marketing, hiring, team development, culture, and partnerships make up a good portion of my schedule as well.
Speaking of leadership, what is your leadership style like?
A few years back, I read in a Harvard Business Review article that discussed 7 types of sales leadership styles. I found it fascinating and in my career have found that situations require me to flex in my style a little. My experience has shown that those leaders who can flex between different styles can be the most successful in their role.
I believe that I resonate with a mentor style most often. I look at success as exceeding revenue goals for the company, creating an environment where the team will succeed, and empowering all team members to reach their individual potential. I love the notion of “failing forward.” I am a history buff and I love that we can learn from the past so that we don’t have to walk the same disastrous paths again. Isn’t that the definition of insanity? I am strategic by nature and always looking for the winning shot. I find that when the team wins, those are the moments that we celebrate.
What is your favourite thing about working at Railz, so far?
There are a ton of things I love about Railz. I love the mission to create the largest network of financial data. I love the people — there are amazing people in Railz that are defining the vision and then executing on that vision. Maybe it is because we are a little smaller, but the brain power and reaction time to problems is second to none. I believe in our solution and the connections that we are making to bring data full circle to help banks, fintechs, and businesses feel secure in their financial decisions.
Those that are interested in joining Railz specifically need to come ready to roll up their sleeves and help build something truly special.
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in joining fintech or Railz?
Do your homework. Really understand where the financial space is going. The disruption that is happening through digital transformation, economic impact, and client engagement is not for the faint of heart. There is a lot of work to do and Railz is right in the middle of it making a huge impact in how our clients engage and better align with their commercial clients. Those that are interested in joining Railz specifically need to come ready to roll up their sleeves and help build something truly special. We are actively looking for those who are passionate, have grit and urgency, and want to delight and inspire. Come and be part of something explosive!
We're building the largest financial data network to empower financial institutions make sense of messy accounting data.