Exegy’s sales team gained valuable insights about succeeding—in the global fintech space and in their own lives—from the featured speakers at the inaugural Exegy Sales Kick Off event. Jeremy Skule, chief strategy officer for Nasdaq, shared his perspectives about the exchange’s successes in his 10 years there. Chris Nikic, the first person with Down Syndrome to complete an Ironman Triathlon, coached Exegy team members to put his “1% Better” strategy into play in every aspect of their lives.
Takeaways from Jeremy Skule
Brand Value: Skule told Exegy’s SKO attendees that a company’s brand is one of its most valuable differentiated assets, and that everyone in an organization contributes to that value.
“It’s the intersection of every human interaction between employees and with stakeholders,” Skule said. “If you have 6,000 employees aligned on your message, it has a multiplier effect.”
The Power of Partnerships: Nasdaq leverages its partnerships with other companies and organizations to extend its reach. A primary example is its relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build cloud-enabled global capital market infrastructure.
“The cloud is critical to our long-term success,” Skule said. “We know this is coming, and we’ve defined a long-term partner who will be with us as we go on this journey with our clients.”
The company also has embarked on a ground-breaking partnership with NASA, offering the use of its Times Square billboard and website for historic NASA events such as the landing of the Perseverence rover on Mars and the opening of the markets from the International Space Station.
“We are investing in space as a country again in ways that we haven’t done before,” Skule said. “There’s a lot more coming from NASA and I think it’s a way to push the envelope of the Nasdaq brand as something that’s associated with growth and innovation.”
Solution-Oriented Sales: Skule contended that in the B2B world, companies must promote the ultimate outcomes they provide, rather than the attributes of their products.
“If we’re pitching a product, we’ve already lost,” he said. “If we can show them that we understand the biggest challenges they face, and we can help them solve those challenges, that’s a partnership. That’s an entirely different conversation.” Exegy’s Chief Revenue Officer Craig Schachter agreed. “This is the direction that we’re taking as well – we’re evolving our relationships with our customers so that we are viewed as partners, providing real solutions to deliver on critical outcomes.”
Takeaways from Chris and Nik Nikic
The 1% Better Path to the Ironman: The Exegy Sales Kick Off also featured Chris Nikic and his father, Nik, who described Chris’ decision to train for the Ironman, a grueling event that consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle race, and a 26.2-mile marathon run. Chris followed a regimen of “1% Better” –working to make slow, incremental gains every day in stamina and fitness.
“We’re inundated with the philosophy of doing too much too fast,” Nik Nikic said. “While that is sustainable for a small group of people, ‘1% Better’ is sustainable for everybody.”
Chris Nikic said he applied that slow-and-steady philosophy even as COVID threw his plans a curveball. He found ways to train, ran his own half-triathlon after a planned event was cancelled, and kept going even after being injured in a bike crash. “It didn’t stop me—my dream is bigger than my pain.”
Growing Your Potential: Chris continues to train for Ironman events; he has his sights set on the world championships in Hawaii in October 2022. But he said the success of 1% Better has extended to all the areas of his life. He’s written a book about his experience. “I’ve bought my own home, I’m healthy, I’m happy, I’m making my own money—all by getting 1% better every day.”
Bringing Others Along: Chris is intent on opening doors for others like him in the world of elite sports. His successes are helping to encourage marquee races such as the Ironman and the Boston Marathon to create an entry category for racers with intellectual disabilities. In his presentation, he challenged Exegy team members to become 1% better in their own lives, and to help those with special needs do the same.
Schachter said the speakers at the inaugural Exegy Sales Kick Off left the sales team not just with words of wisdom, but with a call to action to create their own success stories.
“While Nasdaq is a much larger force in the financial markets, Exegy is on a similar path of disruption and helping to evolve the markets, and it was great to hear from Jeremy Skule about how we can rise to the challenges ahead,” Schachter said. “And Chris Nikic’s story was incredibly motivating. I know members of my team can’t wait to put his ‘1% Better’ ideas into practice.”