When David Cady, Chief Revenue Officer of Virtuous, made a career jump from teaching high school English to sales, he carried with him a perspective that sales is a teaching role. He’s discovered that stepping back and really understanding customers’ needs, especially when introducing transformative CRM technology, is what creates successful sales. It’s a lesson that he, a former teacher, is keen to impart.
But David’s wisdom doesn’t stop at the sales strategy. He also has a unique viewpoint on leadership, one that emphasizes self-accountability, motivation, and continuous growth. He shares how he managed to find the right balance between his roles as a teacher and a results-driver, and how these experiences have shaped his approach to nurturing future leaders. Interestingly, David has developed a healthy detachment from results, choosing to concentrate more on the process with a goal to improve by 1% each day.
In our conversation, David opens up about the challenges he’s faced in his leadership journey, including a heavily personal experience of a sales role loss. This sobering experience reshaped his perspective on the importance of staying committed to the process, not just chasing outcomes. Shifting gears, we delve into the nonprofit sector to discuss the significance of building strong donor relationships, the struggles of donor retention, and the role of understanding donors’ motivations. David’s insights, particularly on how technology like a good CRM can help enhance generosity, is bound to be of value to anyone interested in the nonprofit sector, leadership, or sales strategy.
David is the CRO at Virtuous, a CRM, Marketing and Online Giving platform designed to reimagine generosity in the nonprofit space. David has spent the last 17 years leading teams at some of the best tech companies in the world and the last 7 years building the GTM motion at Virtuous including Sales, Marketing, Partnerships and Revenue Operations. David’s all about building, creating, and helping others along the way. You’ll generally find him kicking back in sunny Arizona with his wife and trio of awesome kids, hunting down the next great foodie spot, or soaking up some outdoor time in every spare moment he gets.
“I think there’s this idea of opportunistic, risk taking and calculated risk. I think that is number one. It’s sort of born out of this maybe opportunistic or altruistic belief that you can continue to do more and believe that more is possible with effort and input and sort of you always have more to learn.”
“Sales and deals are generally not closed in one day, especially CRM sales. We’re many times selling transformation, right? This is a large transformation. I always joke it’s open heart surgery that we sell and you have to deeply understand their why.”
“The biggest thing that I love is helping people see things in themselves they didn’t see possible. There’s a biggest joy for me in leadership.”
“My success will always be defined by how I work and what I do, and not necessarily the scoreboard, which is hard, right, because that’s not always what you’re taught in a go to market or sales environment.”
“Sales is sometimes looked at as a four letter word. It requires people to believe that we’re playing the game on hard mode. Doing sales the easy way is cutting corners as shortcuts as things that doesn’t serve customers. So not everyone can actually do it, but done the right way, all we’re doing is bringing customers close to a solution or outcome that they’re already expressing they need.”