Bobby Thomas is an Account Executive in Ziflow's Dallas office, but the path that brought him to his current role was an unconventional one.
Originally from a small farming town in southeast Michigan, Bobby was recruited to play Division 1 golf for the University of Toledo, which allowed him to travel and meet people from all over the world. However, like many student athletes, the intense workload of classes and practices forced him to miss out on a lot of internship opportunities that would have helped him land a job after graduation.
In fact, it wasn’t until his senior year that he was able to make headway: "Luckily enough, I was able to package some of those experiences into my schedule late in my college career, so I interned with Thomson Reuters, did one semester of offsite schooling and got into their training program," Bobby recalls.
After interning with Thomson Reuters, Bobby was offered a position in Ann Arbor, but he ultimately chose to join the large associate program in Dallas. He packed up and moved to Texas shortly after graduating, and after a few stints at other technology startups, he began his journey with Ziflow in the Summer of 2022.
But while his LinkedIn profile says “Enterprise Account Executive”, Bobby bristles at that job title: "I like to take the more consultative side of things. My goal is to understand where a prospective customer’s hurdles are—is Ziflow a good fit for their creative process? And if so, I really like to educate our potential customers to make sure that, if it's not us, they're at least making the right decision with regards to an alternative solution,” he notes. “So, I think that 'account executive' as a title is very internally-motivated, whereas 'solutions consultant' is by its very nature, more customer-centric."
His internal struggles over how he talks about what he does for a living allows him to be self-deprecating—but in a good way: "Honestly, I think I'm a pretty lousy sales rep. If I've gotta run through a sales process perfectly, I'll fail miserably.” He laughs. “Where I thrive is connecting with a potential customer, just by being a normal human, getting an understanding of their business and their creative culture. Which makes it a little bit easier on both of us to have a very transparent conversation and make it easy for them to navigate to our solution or an alternative."
Bobby credits the people at Ziflow for making his transition to the company easier, and for supporting his customer-centric approach. He spent his first few weeks in his role getting to know the executive team, development team, marketing team, and business development reps. "I realized quickly that we have some unbelievable talent here at Ziflow," he says. "Getting to know everyone helped me figure out where I wanted to focus my efforts and educate myself."
"I realized quickly that we have some unbelievable talent here at Ziflow," he says. "Getting to know everyone helped me figure out where I wanted to focus my efforts and educate myself."
The exposure to senior leaders, all the way to the top tier, helped Bobby realize that he's part of something bigger than himself. "I know everything that I do as a sales rep affects everyone in the organization, which is extremely scary, but also extremely rewarding," he says. “Getting strategic with Anthony [CEO], Derek [COO], and especially Todd [CRO]—all of whom have been successful in business—has been great. It's super fun to know that what I’m doing has a direct impact on the success of the company."
“The beauty about the Dallas office and honestly, the entire Ziflow team, is the collaboration—it’s awesome. Knowing that everyone at the company wants to play a part in making you a better contributor—from senior leaders on-down to your teammates—is really exciting.”
Bobby's enthusiasm, creativity, and commitment to his customers and his company make him an invaluable colleague. And as the company continues to grow and evolve, it’s the collective atmosphere that motivates him to stay on the journey: “As a college athlete, even though I played golf, there was still a team aspect: coaches and teammates, the whole thing,” he says. “The beauty about the Dallas office and honestly, the entire Ziflow team, is the collaboration—it’s awesome. Knowing that everyone at the company wants to play a part in making you a better contributor—from senior leaders on-down to your teammates—is really exciting.”